Calling CoT market analysts
Is there a market for DIY PC kits?
Building this latest machine, I've found that I enjoy it. I was wondering if I could piece together several machines that differed in purpose/muscle and develop instructions for assembling them from parts.
Then, I would buy large quantities of the parts and sell them as kits.
I'm just thinking that people that want to do this probably figure it out themselves, and that there probably aren't many people who really want to do it.
April 10th, 2007 11:14am
I suspect that anyone interested in building their own PC would have no need to a middleman to combine parts for them. One of the largest advantages (actually, really the -only- advantage, as there is no price advantage building it yourself) of assembling your own PC is complete flexibility of every component.
April 10th, 2007 11:23am
Yeah, what Dennis said... Anyone who's inclinded to put together their own PC can easily get the parts, and probably wants some combination that's not readily available. Anyone who wants a pretty generic PC can get one assembled for the same price.
One thing I've noticed here is that anyone who _has_ put together their own PC usually has some story about a problem dealing with the supplier. "I ordered a bunch of stuff, and everything but the RAM came in, that was delayed a month," or "The video card was flaky, they replaced it 3 times before I got one that works," or "Yeah, they had cheap prices, but now they've closed down." Personally, I don't think it's worth the hassle.
April 10th, 2007 11:47am
"One thing I've noticed here is that anyone who _has_ put together their own PC usually has some story about a problem dealing with the supplier. "
This is another example of selective perception. You only note cases that reinforce your view.
I've built a half dozen PCs over the years, and never had a problem with any but one (when ABIT used a bad lot of caps and had a mobo or two that would blow after a year).
That said, I wouldn't bother today, as I prefer Macs, and I'm not a kid with a fuckton of disposable income.
April 10th, 2007 11:52am
I might not be interested in the parts themselves unless you had unparalleled access to really great pricing. Part of the benefit of DIY is that it's supposed to be cheaper.
OTOH, having a clear step by step guide catered to the exact components that I purchase would definitely be something I'd be interested in.
April 10th, 2007 11:54am
>>> This is another example of selective perception. You only note cases that reinforce your view.
>>> I've built a half dozen PCs over the years
Selective perception on your part, too... Note that what happens here could be different from what happens in your part of the continent. But even so, I'll put it another way: _everyone_ I know who has gone the do-it-yourself route has had problems with parts quality and/or with dealing with their supplier.
April 10th, 2007 11:57am
"Part of the benefit of DIY is that it's supposed to be cheaper."
This hasn't been true for over a decade.
April 10th, 2007 11:59am
Ward, my point wasn't that it's problem free (in which case you inverting my point back at me might make sense) but rather that EVERYONE does not ALWAYS have trouble with suppliers when building DIY rigs, which is what you asserted.
April 10th, 2007 12:00pm
One thing that can make assembling your own a better deal is if you can buy us or re-use a few pieces.
This is Tom\'s Hardware building a $300 PC without monitor or OS in 2007.
Sempron 3400+ ($70)
Motherboard with integrated graphics ($55)
2x 512 MB ($68)
160 GB, SATA/300 ($55)
Optical Drive Samsung ($30)
Coolmax ATX Black 400 W Power Supply ($27)
Total Cost $335
This guy (2005) builds a shuttle PC clone for less. Maybe if you have unusual demands, you can get it done for less as well.
April 10th, 2007 12:03pm
Everyone _here_ who does a DIY system always has trouble.
I'm leaving "here" in there so I can always claim that the suppliers here are less reliable. :) That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
April 10th, 2007 12:04pm
Besides, the fallacy you haven't commented on is: what about the people who just buy a system? They have problems, too, both with the hardware, and dealing the suppliers.
April 10th, 2007 12:19pm
>>This hasn't been true for over a decade.
oh? perhaps Toronto is a unique case, then. there's intense wholesale competition here where the margin of profit on a component is extremely small. maybe we've got a glut of wholesalers because there are so many people from hong kong here.
it's cheaper to DIY here than even specially priced Dell systems.
April 10th, 2007 12:30pm
...it's also possible that big box companies discount their hardware packages in the US a great deal more than in Canada...
eg. i was just reading how a certain TV here costs 40% less in the states (with exchange rate factored in and taxes factored out).
April 10th, 2007 12:31pm
>perhaps Toronto is a unique case, then. there's intense wholesale competition here where the margin of profit on a component is extremely small
Muppet is on the Eastern Seaboard (seaboard...what a weird term) of the US.
I'm in the Toronto area, and there definitely is no cost savings assembling your own PC -- you can assemble the cheapest components possible and get a really terrible PC at the price of a low-end white-box PC, but you won't come out ahead.
And of course the reasoning is very obvious -- a whitebox vendor order 100,000 motherboards, 200,000 memory modules, etc, has far less overhead on the process, and less middlemen, than 1000 retailers buying the same, with all of the delivery and administration between, and then adding their own take and administration to sell it to an end user.
April 10th, 2007 12:59pm
Id be interested in seeing whether there was a market for a kit targetted specifically at parents of newbie geek teens.
decent gaming machines with lots of useful instructions about how to put things together and then market it by persuading mr and mrs average that their teen is probably a teenage genius and needs to learn how to build computers.
let me know if it works out, Ill sue you for half the profits....
Agree with the economics. It's like building your own 2007 Ford Mustang by gathering the parts together.
April 10th, 2007 2:36pm
If you really want to go that route, The Micro Center still sells cases, motherboards, and everything that goes with them. They have their own 'house' brand, too (made in China, I believe, sigh).
April 10th, 2007 2:53pm
I think this has a market. No idea how large of a market, but I think one exists.
And this is because one of the tough things for newbies to get right when buying computer parts is ensuring the compatability between the pieces. "Do I buy DDR or DDR-2 memory? 400mHz or 667? AGP or PCI-E video card?"
So if you had a box with pre-matched components and some clear assembly directions, I think you could sell some. Think "Heathkit", but without the soldering.
April 10th, 2007 3:15pm
The market changes too frequently now. You'll have inventory issues, which seems like what you're trying to do to make a piece of the pie.
April 10th, 2007 3:55pm
>>a whitebox vendor order 100,000 motherboards, 200,000 memory modules, etc, has far less overhead on the process, and less middlemen, than 1000 retailers buying the same, with all of the delivery and administration between, and then adding their own take and administration to sell it to an end user.
true. however, by definition, the DIY person doesn't pay for assembly.
plus, i think the margin between buying 100,000 motherboards versus 1000 isn't that big. it's just way too competitive a market. so the component cost is about the same.
anyhoot, my original point was that it would be a tough business to get into because it's so price competitive, so it's not like we're really disagreeing.
April 10th, 2007 4:30pm
The way they assemble a system in a factory, the labor costs are not that great compared to the piece costs.
April 11th, 2007 1:58pm
I wasn't thinking along the lines of getting rich doing it, just whether enough people wanted to buy it to make it worth the time investment at all.
"The market changes too frequently now. You'll have inventory issues, which seems like what you're trying to do to make a piece of the pie."
People want things *now*, but if I could work something out so that people were willing to wait sometimes I think I could kill the inventory issues and model the Japanese' JIT supply chain.
What I'd do is take orders for a system until I hit the magic number I needed to buy all the stuff in bulk. By that time, I may be able to get some better components than originally listed, but that probably wouldn't garner complaints.
I was thinking of it as a sort of parent/child project, something akin to the electronics experiment boards and chemistry sets. Only this would actually be useful for something other than dying the poodle blue after you've gone through the manual.
April 11th, 2007 2:42pm
I am just enjoying my project and I'm betting there are others that would but may be too skittish to just start buying stuff and seeing if it works.
I ordered a bunch more stuff yesterday. Soon I will have all my waterblocks, my radiator, and 950gph pump. Muahaha. This thing is gonna be a monster.
April 11th, 2007 2:45pm