Buying on real budget
The first thing to do to buy or order something on your real budget is to get the approval of your coach. Once this is done, there are two possibilities:
- ordering from a supplier (if possible already in the EPFL suppliers list)
- buying the material at a physical shop
Any device that can be classified as a computer has to be inventoried (yellow labels) and must be ordered from an authorized supplier and paid on invoice (buying it in a shop and getting a reimbursement is excluded).
If you want to order from a foreign supplier, please pay attention to the taxes (7.7% VAT, often import charges around 20 CHF, and possibly further taxes), shipping costs and delays that this might imply. Swiss suppliers (or foreign suppliers that directly sell to Switzerland, like most of the suppliers listed below) should be preferred when possible, to minimize paperwork and expenses related to goods import (VAT, customs charges, additional bills from carriers, etc.). Please refrain from ordering at cheap Chinese suppliers that have very long delivery times, as in the past they were not reliable enough to get the parts in time, and the quality was sometimes too low; furthermore, additional import paperwork (e.g., supplying a copy of the payment receipt to the customs) is not excluded.
Orders have to be placed by us: please see below about how to proceed. We will not reimburse anything you order online yourself. However, you are allowed to buy whatever you need in physical shops: in that case, you can pay and get reimbursed later, therefore please keep all the receipts. If you don't have a proper receipt, there is no way we can reimburse you.
This is a short list of suppliers (for now especially for electronic components), just to give you some addresses. For some of this suppliers (e.g., Distrelec, Conrad), EPFL has some discounts (around 5%) and/or benefits of free shipping. Note that these are common suppliers we use, but you are not restricted from using other ones.
- Distrelec (free shipping for EPFL, next day delivery if you send us the order in the morning)
- Farnell (15 CHF shipping for orders <50 CHF, free shipping otherwise; 1-2 days delivery)
- RS Components (free shipping, usually 2-3 days shipping; Swiss website only in German)
- Conrad (around 10 CHF supplement for small orders, often takes up to one week)
- Mouser (free shipping for >54 CHF)
- DigiKey (free shipping for >54 CHF)
Order format and limitations
If there is no article number, make sure the description is sufficient to properly identify the article. Orders without article numbers from suppliers who do use article numbers will be rejected. Please note that orders made with lists of web links, or screenshots of web sites will be directly rejected.
To minimize the number of orders and the time they require, please group them as much as possible. Only one order per supplier every three weeks is allowed. Further orders will be charged CHF 10.– on the virtual budget, limited in any case to a maximum of one order per supplier per week.