where to buy raspberry pi

Where to Buy a Raspberry Pi: Common Pitfalls & Expert Tips

So, you’re excited to buy a Raspberry Pi but don’t know where to start. You can’t purchase one directly from their official website and with a quick Google search, it isn’t clear who ships directly to your country. There are also a lot of sellers, all with wildly different prices, and you can’t tell which ones are reputable. Don’t worry! In this article, I’ll share reliable ways to get your own Raspberry Pi.

The solution is to buy a Raspberry Pi from official resellers, 3rd party distributors, or pre-owned marketplaces. From this list, there’s likely to be a store that’ll ship to your part of the world for a fair price.

I’ll explain the advantages of buying from each type of vendor, so continue reading and choose the option that works best for you.

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Before You Purchase a Raspberry Pi: Important Decisions

Before adding items to your cart, a few decisions will help you narrow it down. Namely, which Pi model do you want specifically, and what essential parts will you also need?

Which Pi Board Is Right for You?

Many Pi boards are available today, each with different processing capabilities and onboard memory. To decide the best option for you, read my article Which Raspberry Pi Model To Buy In 2024: A Complete Guide.

What Essential Parts Will You Also Need?

If you are new to the world of Raspberry Pi, you may not know that the board doesn’t automatically come with the parts you’ll need to boot it up.

Read this article to determine what other essential parts, such as power and storage, you’ll need to get your Pi running. When you compare prices, make sure you compare the same things.

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Raspberry Pi Approved Resellers

The first place I’d recommend you buy a Raspberry Pi is from an approved reseller.

Approved resellers are companies that have been hand-picked by the Pi Foundation to stock its products and provide local support.

There are approved resellers in over 60 countries—and some ship to multiple countries—so you’ll likely find one that will ship to you.

Why Buy From an Approved Reseller?

Approved resellers are trustworthy with the Pi products they sell and how they treat customers. They specialize in providing local customer support and warranties specifically for Raspberry Pi.

In addition, they may offer starter kits with all the parts you’ll need, or they’ll show you which parts are compatible with your Pi model. In other words, they make it easy to decide what to purchase.

Where To Find Approved Resellers

The official Raspberry Pi website maintains a list of approved resellers by country. Just enter your country here to get a list. For example, if I enter “Canada,” the page will filter the list with links to retailers that ship to Canada, such as PiShop and CanaKit.

How To Get Official Prices

One final and important reason to buy from approved resellers is pricing.

Buying from an approved reseller is the only way you’re guaranteed to be able to purchase at the official prices.

That’s because there can be steep price hikes from unofficial sellers, especially when Pis are in short supply.

Third-party Distributors That Sell Pi

If, for some reason, you can’t purchase a Pi from an approved reseller, you can try sourcing one from popular online retailers.

Download the Pi Glossary!
If you are lost in all these new words and abbreviations, request my free Raspberry Pi glossary here (PDF format)!
Download now

Where To Buy 3rd-Party

When you buy from a 3rd-party distributor, look through the big e-commerce sites: Amazon, Newegg, and AliExpress. The Pi models and components they offer can vary widely, so you’ll have to do some shopping. However, the good news is that these giants ship worldwide.

If a traditional retailer is more up your alley, Walmart and Best Buy also carry a few Pi boards and starter kits. They may even let you schedule an in-person pickup if that’s more convenient for you.

What To Watch Out For

While it can be convenient to buy a Pi from Amazon or Walmart, there are downsides to watch out for:

  • The selection is limited and won’t point you in the right direction in terms of essential parts.
  • The prices will generally be more expensive. Be aware that they probably won’t provide Pi-specific support or warranties, either.
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Used Options for Getting a Pi

Normally, I wouldn’t recommend buying a used Pi online: there’s no guarantee you’ll get what you expect and will have minimal customer support if something goes wrong.

But maybe you can’t find fair pricing where you live, or you’re looking to get a deal with extra goodies. In that case, below are some options.

Where To Buy Used

There aren’t a lot of options here that will ship worldwide. The first is eBay, the largest online person-to-person marketplace. There are both new and pre-owned Pis for sale.

You’ll even find kooky custom bundles that the traditional sellers above don’t offer, like a fully loaded retro game console with controllers.

Independent sellers on Amazon also offer pre-owned Pis as well. As with eBay, be sure to vet the seller, as what you’re buying is not being sold by Amazon itself.

What to Watch Out For

The warnings for 3rd-party distributors above also apply here, and you’ll want to be a little extra vigilant. To avoid receiving fraudulent hardware, ensure that the seller you’re buying from has a long history of positive reviews and is not a brand-new account with a few ratings.

Download Your Essential Linux Commands Guide!
It's a free PDF guide containing every Raspberry Pi Linux command you should know!
Download now

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Final Tips for Buying a Pi

Starter Kit vs. à la Carte

If you’re confused about whether you’ll have all the parts you need and whether they’re compatible, I recommend purchasing a starter kit for a frictionless experience.

On the other hand, let’s say you’ve done your research. In that case, stores that let you pick individual parts to add to your cart will be the best path to savings.

Cool Pi Accessories To Check Out

Once you have the essential hardware, you might want to go beyond the basics. If so, here are some other accessories you might be interested in:

  • Cases protect your Pi and make it look stylish.
  • Robot kits let you build your automatons.
  • Hats extend your Pi’s capabilities.
  • Custom all-in-ones sold on Etsy that you won’t find anywhere else.

What To Do When There’s No Stock

Raspberry Pi has become increasingly popular for learners, hobbyists, and industrial applications. As a result, there have been periods when supply shortages made it seemingly impossible to find a Pi or to purchase one at a reasonable price.

Coming to the rescue are websites devoted to tracking Pi availability. Rpilocator and NowInStock.net will give you real-time tracking of where Pi boards are in stock and at what prices.

Pro-tip: sort by country to make it easier to find who’ll ship to you.

Congrats! You’ve Scored a Pi

You’re in for a new world of possibilities once you get your hands on a Raspberry Pi. Once you get it up and running, I’ve written about a lot of projects you can try at home. Good luck!

Whenever you’re ready, here are other ways I can help you:

The RaspberryTips Community: If you want to hang out with me and other Raspberry Pi fans, you can join the community. I share exclusive tutorials and behind-the-scenes content there. Premium members can also visit the website without ads.

Master your Raspberry Pi in 30 days: If you are looking for the best tips to become an expert on Raspberry Pi, this book is for you. Learn useful Linux skills and practice multiple projects with step-by-step guides.

The Raspberry Pi Bootcamp: Understand everything about the Raspberry Pi, stop searching for help all the time, and finally enjoy completing your projects.

Master Python on Raspberry Pi: Create, understand, and improve any Python script for your Raspberry Pi. Learn the essentials step-by-step without losing time understanding useless concepts.

You can also find all my recommendations for tools and hardware on this page.

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