Little Things Mean a Lot

Close your eyes and think INDUSTRY. Can you see it now? That big smoke stack over there—massive machines, warehouses surrounded by railroad tracks. We're talking big boy stuff. Dirty faces and overalls. Alright, alright, that's a little old because things have changed. Just ask this woman.

Giny Root, Queens of Small Thingsar
Ginny Root, Tiny Parts Person

This is Ginny Root. She is the master and manger of PartsMine (https://partsmine.com/, the place to find surplus and legacy electronics. It's the home to capacitors, jumper wires, transistors and breadboards (no, not the kind for that sourdough loaf). It's near impossible to easily describe what Ginny does, but she patiently tried to educate me on the value of PartsMine. I caught up with her on a slow Monday. She was carefully packing some items for shipment, in this case to Amazon, though most of the products sold through PartsMine are sold direct to users. She wraps them carefully with bubble wrap and adds more padding before sealing up the box for a weight check.

Bubble-wrapped electronics ready for shipping

Packaged and ready for a weight check

Ginny's package weighs in at three pounds. She'll hand deliver it for shipment before the afternoon is done to make sure it gets to the customer on Tuesday. That's fast, but it's one of the advantages to using PartsMine. It promises in-stock items, honest pricing and fast shipping. The key is to make sure the part needed is in stock.

‘”The search box is invaluable.”

Ginny Root

A client needs to have a parts number, and if they type it into the search box they'll know quickly if the item is available. I typed DD18053 into the search box and sure enough a set of jumper wires popped up.

“The search box is invaluable,” says Ginny.

She looks up the breadboards. They pop up instantly in multiple colors.

Breadboards in multiple colors

Jumper Wires

“If it shows up on our site we have it, and we can get it to them very fast,” says Ginny.

It's one of the best things about PartsMine and Obtainium in general. Customer service is serious business no matter how small the item. A purchase of $25 or more gets free shipment. Under $25 the cost is a flat rate—$5. .

“It's bag and tag.”

Ginny Root

Most of the items in PartsMine go to to small companies and individuals. Packages go out as soon as soon as she gets the order. The packages are usually small so they often go in the mail, but she uses every delivery source to make sure the item(s) arrives in a timely fashion.

“These items are small and easy to prepare for shipment, It's bag and tag,” she says.

Ginny is remarkably fast at processing an order. Her office is located away from the main warehouse. She's on her own in a kingdom made up of three or four rooms, all loaded with shelves and drawers of small electronics. There are literally thousands of small pieces that have some important electronic function. It's rather intimidating. Each time there is an order she uses the same care to protect the product. A lot of this is second nature. She is careful, yet amazingly fast.

“We have this specialty tiny battery that all of a sudden is a hot seller.”

Giny Root

She isn't sure, but Ginny suspects the current supply chain issues may be sending more people to the PartsMine.

“We have this specialty tiny battery that all of a sudden is a hot seller,” Ginny observes. “Occasionally, I'll have to look up a product because we have an order for something I don't know, but I sure remember this battery.”

These lithium batteries are in demand

There are always a few surprises even though Ginny has been doing this good work for19-years. “I know the parts, but sometimes I don't have any idea what some of them do.

She shakes her head as if I understand and I actually do, but I'm still not sure about those breadboards.