The last time, well the only time I bought gears on line, I got two small containers of tiny watch gears, but I forget how much they were. I have found ugly clocks at Goodwill-usually two dollars, I think four or five is the highest I've seen them. Watches at Goodwill aren't as cheap as you'd think. Once someone let me buy a few for two dollars each, usually they want ....can't remember, between three and five, depends on the watch. It was worth it for me, because I'm hard on watch bands! And I'll take one off an old watch before I'll pay ten dollars or more for a replacement one. So yeah, haunt thrift stores-you may get lucky.
Oh! Manto Fev! That's the website I bought from. It's interesting. Odd individual beads, fabric pieces, strange stuff. It has neat stuff, but since I'm broke, I haven't checked them out for a while.
And it's a long shot, but perhaps freecycle? I made the big gear in the middle of the dreamcatcher from polyclay.
Oh! hardware/auto parts stores! I wonder if they would have any? I've heard them reccomeded as good places for pliers, chain, doodads, ect. for crafting. Another long shot, but if you're near one...Good luck.