Founded in 1987, Scan were one of the first companies in the UK to cash in on the market for IBM PC clones, picking up large corporate contacts. Later a mail order component section was added, and offices were opened in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong to make and sell cheap components. According to their website, anyway. (

Most people, myself included, came across Scan as a very, very cheap online computer component company. Most notable is the company's Today Only feature - products at pretty much trade prices, for one day only. It used to be a pain to order (telephone only - so 90's. Hur.) but recently online ordering has been added. Invisible money is -much- easier to spend.

What marks the company out, asides from their prices, is their savvy; they genuinely seem to know what niche markets want, and cater for them, often by manufacturing the product themselves. Example? They sell a 100% Hardware based PCI internal modem, with Linux drivers. They sell a high quality, region free DVD player with tonnes of connectors, for a relative pittance. Oh, and it plays MP3 CDs.

My only real complaint? Not enough info. Typically, all you get to know about what you're buying is a one line description, often without even a brand name. Rather disconcerting for people who don't really know what they're doing, but then Scan isn't really for them. Reliable and cheap.