As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Starting a PC Building company

TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
edited January 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
in my free time, my passion has been to build custom PCs, like one built to be housed in an arcade machine and another that connects to the TV that lets me watch stuff I download and such.

It's recently occurred to me that I could actually sell such an invention. I'm really giving it some thought. My question is, is this feasible? I know HP and Gateway already sell HTPCs. do you think I could be a successful HTPC seller?

TheSonicRetard on

Posts

  • Options
    Kewop DecamKewop Decam Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    it's damn hard to do this. I got a couple of friends that haven been doing it for like 8 years and their business has been going downhill due to Dell. Dell's computers suck ass for the most part, but a $329 tag makes people go "WOW!!!"

    Kewop Decam on
    pasigfa7.jpg
  • Options
    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    it's damn hard to do this. I got a couple of friends that haven been doing it for like 8 years and their business has been going downhill due to Dell. Their computers suck ass for the most part, but a $329 tag makes people go "WOW!!!"

    So they sell shitty computers for cheap and sucker people into it? But they don't make much money?

    TheSonicRetard on
  • Options
    archonwarparchonwarp Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    That depends on how much time and effort you're willing to put into this. A business is a lot of work. My mom is one of the lucky ones; her small business is still around after 5 years. She would basically say that you have to keep a good grasp on who you and your business are in relationship to your community and client base (find your niche).

    Are you going to be marketing some fancy looking HTPC that blends in with classical looking furniture? How about something sleek and contemporary? Why would people buy from you over some other company? Do you have the time, capital, and energy to get this going and keep it rolling? It doesn't seem like anything impossible, especially if you've already done it and have some works to show off. Why not consider making a few nice looking and well-functioning models, taking some nice shots of them, and getting a website set up?




    TLDR: Yes you could successfully do this, but it will take a lot of time and energy.

    archonwarp on
    873342-1.png
  • Options
    Kewop DecamKewop Decam Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    i reread my post and edited it to mean "DELL".

    The word "Their" wasn't clear. I meant Dell builts crap ass PCs for $329 and people go "Damn, that's a hell of a deal!!!"

    Kewop Decam on
    pasigfa7.jpg
  • Options
    Kewop DecamKewop Decam Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    the guys i know make most of their money on repairs. They rip people off on repairs because they can

    Kewop Decam on
    pasigfa7.jpg
  • Options
    BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Dell computers are not crap. I dislike them, but we use them at work and they can take a beating.

    Also, there are several HTPC companies out there. Most cater to the high-end market.

    I have been building my computers for ages. I even had a company once. I stopped when the profit was just 50$ and I had to honor a 3 year warranty to compete. Shit, I'd pay 50$ not to have to show up somewhere to fix a computer after 2.5 years.

    Also, I have been using my HTPC for a long while now, before it was "cool" to do so. I own a legal copy of most of the DVD playing softwares out there and such.

    It is hard to make a HTPC "dumb ass user" friendly. The software is still "hard" to use for common mortals, and also the HTPC concepts are not for beginners.

    Just some things to think about. My 0.02 dolla.

    Bendit on
    My Live-Tracked Electronica: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhSn2rozrIo
  • Options
    Kewop DecamKewop Decam Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Bendit wrote:
    Dell computers are not crap. I dislike them, but we use them at work and they can take a beating.

    Take a beating? That has nothing to do with the crappiness of the parts. It's a computer, not a truck.

    The majority of Dell computers are made up of cheap ass parts (especially the motherboards). This is why they can have low cost. His company can have low cost PCs too, but why would Joe buy from him rather than Dell? That should be his main concern.

    Kewop Decam on
    pasigfa7.jpg
  • Options
    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    it's damn hard to do this. I got a couple of friends that haven been doing it for like 8 years and their business has been going downhill due to Dell. Their computers suck ass for the most part, but a $329 tag makes people go "WOW!!!"

    So they sell shitty computers for cheap and sucker people into it? But they don't make much money?

    Well, large volumes plus small margins = money for Dell. And regarding their computers being shitty, well, most people don't need much out of a computer and figure they'll have to replace it every three-four years anyway.

    In order to keep a business going with smaller volumes, you will have to have larger margins. This drives your price up.

    That said, I helped found a company that does this. Basically, your mantra is going to be service, service, service. Don't think of yourself as a computer builder, think of yourself as a computer service provider. Selling computers is going to be an adjunct - see, once you've developed a solid client base doing repairs, virus cleaning, spyware cleaning, Windows reinstallations, hardware upgrades, and networking, your customers will (hopefully) have confidence in you. They'll ask you what kind of computer you recommend, at which point you can say, "Well, you can buy a Dell or HP if you want the computer version of a disposable lighter. Or you can buy a computer I build for you - it'll be about $X-hundred dollars more, but it will be tailor built for your needs and I'll deliver it to your house and hook it up to your DSL and printer as part of the package."

    If your idea is to sell HTPCs only, replace every instance of the word "Dell" with "TiVo" and the problem is still the same.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Options
    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Dell also sells volume. Cheap ass parts plus a small markup means that yeah, they may be selling a computer that cost them $280 for $330, but if they sell ten thousand of them then it's a huge profit.

    You have to offer something that Dell doesn't, namely quality material and tech support. This is key--Dell, for all it's PR on how great their tech support is, can't compete with you in that arena. You are there in town, can travel on-site if need be, and you'll do a better job of correcting the problem than they ever will.

    Make this a major selling point as well. Shop around and find standard billing rates for support labor, and then price yours competitively. Offer repair service for PCs that you haven't built (like those shitty Dells that crap out constantly) and you can use that to supplement your HTPC business.

    EDIT: Heh, Feral basically said the same thing. It really is true--if you're going to have a computer business, service and repair are going to have to be a major part of that.

    Seattle Thread on
    kofz2amsvqm3.png
  • Options
    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    The OP said he wanted to start a company doing deluxe custom casemods, you guys, not building general PCs for foot traffic.

    JohnnyCache on
  • Options
    KuroyamaKuroyama Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Ive been working in the enterprise space for the last 7 years, so my views may be a bit skewed... but before that I was building PCs as well as servicing them for a local company, and a major US retailer...

    As a PS3 owner Im used to hearing people aire their issues on hardware (both real and imagined) but with PS3 vs 360 vs Wii, the platforms are way new and subject to more subjectivity than objectivity.

    PCs have been around for far longer, and I think that iv you have actually handled hardware for any real length of time, you would see that everyone has issues... perhaps Dell makes its share of critics by its success? I know that happens elsewhere

    Most recent was this laptop battery flap! I read the most incendiary post from some guy extolling the virtues of his SONY laptop claiming that Sony would never have the issues Dell had because of Dells "cheap parts". I wish I could have found that thread after it was revealed that the batteries were all Sony batteries...

    My question is, what problems have people had with Dell that they havent had, or heard of, with other computers?

    Kuroyama on
  • Options
    KuroyamaKuroyama Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Ive been working in the enterprise space for the last 7 years, so my views may be a bit skewed... but before that I was building PCs as well as servicing them for a local company, and a major US retailer...

    As a PS3 owner Im used to hearing people aire their issues on hardware (both real and imagined) but with PS3 vs 360 vs Wii, the platforms are way new and subject to more subjectivity than objectivity.

    PCs have been around for far longer, and I think that iv you have actually handled hardware for any real length of time, you would see that everyone has issues... perhaps Dell makes its share of critics by its success? I know that happens elsewhere

    Most recent was this laptop battery flap! I read the most incendiary post from some guy extolling the virtues of his SONY laptop claiming that Sony would never have the issues Dell had because of Dells "cheap parts". I wish I could have found that thread after it was revealed that the batteries were all Sony batteries...

    My question is, what problems have people had with Dell that they havent had, or heard of, with other computers?

    Kuroyama on
  • Options
    WeeSneakWeeSneak Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    A friend of mine does this as well as his normal job. Although he only does it small time, your area and your incentive may be able to make it strive. The problem is that you don't want to buy too much parts, yet if you do you will get bulk discount from the majority of whole sellers.

    Definitely try canvassing the market and do as much research as you can.

    WeeSneak on
    sigmh7.jpg
Sign In or Register to comment.