How to buy a Raspberry Pi

Find out the best ways to get a Raspberry Pi in the second article in our getting started guide.
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Ron on Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The first article in this series on getting started with Raspberry Pi offered some advice on which model you should buy. Now that you have an idea of which version you want, let's find out how to get one.

The most obvious—and probably the safest and simplest—way is through the official Raspberry Pi website. If you click on "Buy a Raspberry Pi" from the homepage, you'll be taken to the organization's online store, where you can find authorized Raspberry Pi sellers in your country where you can place an order. If your country isn't listed, there is a "Rest of the World" option, which should let you put in an international order.

Second, check or another major online technology retailer in your country that allows smaller shops to sell new and used items. Given the relatively low cost and size of the Raspberry Pi, it should be fairly easy for smaller shop owners to import and export the boards for reselling purposes. Before you place an order, keep an eye on the sellers' reviews though.

Third, ask your geek friends! You never know if someone has an unused Raspberry Pi gathering dust. I have given at least three Raspberry Pis away to family, not as planned gifts, but because they were just so curious about this mini-computer. I had so many lying around that I just told them to keep one!

Don't forget the extras

One final thought: don't forget that you'll need some peripherals to set up and operate your Raspberry Pi. At a minimum, you'll need a keyboard, an HDMI cable to connect to a display (and a display), a Micro SD card to install the operating system, a power cord, and a mouse will be handy, too.

Raspberry Pi Zero W Starter Kit

Raspberry Pi Zero W Starter Kit from CanaKit

If you don't already have these items, try borrowing them from friends or order them at the same time you buy your Raspberry Pi. You may want to consider one of the starter kits available from the authorized Raspberry Pi vendors—that will avoid the hassle of searching for parts one at a time.

V-Kits Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Starter Kit

V-Kits Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Starter Kit

Now that you have a Raspberry Pi, in the next article in this series, we'll install the operating system and start using it.

He was introduced to Linux by his uncle back in 1996. In the early 2000s Anderson transitioned from being a developer to a system administrator/release engineer. He joined Red Hat as an IT Release Engineer in 2007.


Don't forget brick and mortar stores! Some of those sell Raspberry Pi products. In the US, Micro Center and Fry's Electronics are two chains that have them, and so do a few Target stores. (Others can get them shipped to store.) And there are also non-chain electronics stores that sell the Raspberry Pi, usually along with other maker products.

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