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Build Advice Where to buy PC parts in bulk or cheap?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by antec900, 29 Nov 2009.

  1. antec900

    antec900 Member

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    Like most people on this forum i am in need of some help.

    I am looking at earning some money by building computers and selling them on a website such as ebay. The problem is that i cant build a computer that will be saleable for any profit.

    I was wondering if anyone knew anywhere where i can get brand new parts cheap. Better yet does anyone know somewhere where i can get the parts in bulk. Im not looking 2 buy the parts in the thousand though lol.

    Basicaly if anyone knows anywhere that may be of help 2 me then please help. There are so many websites that you cant trust these days it just makes my life harder.:wallbash:
     
  2. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN Well-Known Member

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    If it was that simple we'd all be making a living out of that right now.
     
  3. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    Many years ago you could do this but you carn't now.

    Checkout how low Dell have their basic systems, can hardly buy the parts for what they cost let alone the Windows Licences.
     
  4. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Do we really have to suffer the indignity of "2" replacing the simple word "to". It's not like it's a lot of effort to type...
     
  5. Ravenheart

    Ravenheart New Member

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    Maybe he typed it on his phone lol :naughty: :D
     
  6. smc8788

    smc8788 ...at least I have chicken

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    So you want to mass-produce PCs? That defeats the point of having them custom built and buying them from you over Dell/HP or whatever, doesn't it?

    Don't bother. Seriously. Many people think they can do this to earn money one they've built a couple of PCs for themselves or family or whatever, but earning money from it is a whole different ball game and will only leave you stressed and (probably) financially worse off than when you started.
     
  7. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

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    Its difficult, Yes you might see loads of prebuilt systems on ebay but how many actually sell?

    When you take into account the amount of people selling prebuilts, and the amount that actually sell, the idea doesnt look nearly as promising as it did originally, Im not saying scrap the idea, just that you may need to rethink it,

    You will HAVE to cut corners, cheapo PSUs, Cheapo RAM, Crappy plasticy cases, Cheap fans. If your happy to do this then you may have a chance of making money. The problem then is cheapo components have higher failure rates, and its a balancing act between making money and a good reputation imo.
     
  8. benji2412

    benji2412 <insert message here>

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    Apparently there might be some answers here.

    Hope it helps!
     
  9. cool_dude

    cool_dude Active Member

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    Basically impossible for you to compete with the big boys. Like first reply said, if it was that easy we'd all be doing it and the bigger companies would be laughing if it was that easy...
     
  10. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    You just linked him back to this thread. Why? :confused:
     
  11. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN Well-Known Member

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    Infinite loop:eeek:
     
  12. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    There will be a few challenges in making money from this.

    1: Price and capital - To get low prices on hardware you need to get it from the manufacturers directly. If you buy from a shop they will make profit, not you. If you want to buy bulk you need to buy lots of stuff. I would guess a minimum of 50-100 units (Most likely much more than that on smaller stuff like cables). Do you have enough money to shell out for 50-100 complete computers (Or even as little as 10)?

    2: Marketing - Posting on ebay won't get you many customers. You will drown in the crowd. Basically the only viable way of advertising will be in the local newspaper or something similar. Problem is that most people that want custom computers won't have much interest in such media. Have you even considered you targeted customer group? Will you sell to gamers, kids with rich parents, students, companies or old people?

    3: Support - If the economy doesn't kill you, support will. Ask anyone who work at a help desk. Support requires lots of time and patience (Something tells me that you lack the latter). Nobody will buy a complete computer without any form of support.

    4: Warranty - You will be operating this as a business. The rules about warranty is quite different for a company than it will be for a consumer. You will have to repair the computers yourself. You will most likely have to pay for shipping of defective items. You also have to make sure that all the components in a computer have the same warranty period. Having some components with 1 year warranty and some with 5 year warranty means that you can only provide 1 year warranty yourself. You then pay extra for warranty on some components (those with 1y+ warranty). It's not critical, but it's yet another source of expenses.

    5: Production capacity - If you do get lots of customers, do you have the time to handle the workload. We are not talking about a 8 hour-a-day job here. Expect to work 12-14 hours a day (Especially during the start-up process).

    6: Competition - You have two mayor competitors; Small custom builders and huge computer suppliers.

    You may be able to keep up with the custom builders, but you simply won't have enough capacity to make much money. (A bit back to point 2 here: ) Your target customers will either be enthusiasts who want a custom system and are willing to pay for it, or the average computer user. The former will simply build their own systems. The latter will go to the large suppliers because it's cheaper and safer.

    Nowadays the many web shops will custom build a system for you as well (and they can actually afford to buy bulk).



    I'm sorry if this bursts your dream, but I really can't see this working in any way. You don't seem to have thought this through very well to be honest.

    But by all means, do it if you want, but don't say we didn't warn you. :)
     
    DragunovHUN likes this.
  13. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    I think he was trying to link him to here. But failed horribly.

    To be honest I think this thread needs to be closed as well to stop it turning sour.

    I think antec900 may have learnt that in order to buy parts for cheap, you need to buy in bulk. And in order to buy in bulk and sell at a profit you must put a LOT of money into it. It is always the case that nothing is easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it.

    I would give up on it, if you really want to start a business then you need a lot of investors and a lot of support. If you are set on creating an ebay store or small website, you might want to try something small and part time. Something like LEDs springs to mind, cheap to buy from china etc, low risk, cheap postage, but unfortunately razor thin profit margins if you even manage to make a profit.

    Whatever you do mate, good luck with it.

    But a pro tip for the future: Try not to get too defensive in the face of someone telling you you are wrong, it doesn't help your cause or make you look good. :thumb:
     
  14. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN Well-Known Member

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    Smilodon, you get +rep for having superhuman patience.
     
  15. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    A friend of mine made a pretty serious amount of money (for a 17-year-old student £20k was a lot of money) importing lights, light fittings and lightbulbs from China in bulk and assembling them into finished products that he sold on eBay. However, his startup capital was about 20 times what yours is and frankly his stationary bill probably comes to twice £150. Incidentally that £20k comes on a turnover that must be many times higher than that as the profit margin is thinner than a catwalk model.

    I even have friends that make (considerably less) money doing web design and IT support for their local community. If you are actually good at what you do, and above all you are dirt cheap, you can scratch out a pittance doing reinstalls and setting up backups for the terminally computer illiterate. But again, your people skills will be your biggest selling point so I'd work on those. You'll also need to be a reasonable age or people won't want to pay you properly/won't trust you with the magic box in their study.

    If I were you (in need of cash, at any rate) I'd look for a part time job to raise the startup capital to move on to bigger and better things. And forget about going into computing. There are too many people doing that and the bulk-buy-sell-cheap thing is already done better by eBay, Amazon, Scan, OcUK, Oc, Novatech etc etc etc ad infinitum.
     
  16. barndoor101

    barndoor101 Bring back the demote thread!

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    surely the money one of us guys can make is in the niche market? like overclocking or custom cooling. try marketing those, since you should have the expertise.

    that way you arent competing with dell etc who have mahoosive buying power, and can charge a nice little markup for the custom stuff you do.
     
  17. Slippery1

    Slippery1 New Member

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    First off, hello eveyone! I've been a long time lurker and this topic has finally made me sign up to post, lol.


    To the OP,

    I have first hand experience in this subject for a while now. I've been trying to do exactly what you are wanting to do with ebay and custom built systems. Quite simply, it will not work. You can manage to eek out some sales here and there, but your markup will be small and the sales few and far between. The competition is feirce and the category is way too flooded.

    Here is a quick rundown of some of the problems:


    1. Lower end systems that are currently selling Between $50-300 dollars each. They are the bread and butter of ebay computer sales. There are a massive number of sellers in this price range and all copying each other.

    You can not custom build a similar spec'd computer based on this price range. You will be over budget every single time just trying to match these systems and that's without an OS. You can scour the internet all day, but unless you can source the products straight from the manufacturers with bulk price discounts, it just won't happen.

    How are those sellers able to do it? They are selling refurbed systems that come from Computer/Metal recyclers across the country. The recyclers get the products free, or pennies on the dollar. They inturn sell the systems themselves on ebay, direct public wholesale ($20-50ish each), or overpriced retail. What has happened on ebay is the effect of multiple recyclers selling and dropping the overall price. All because of constantly undercutting each other. This has wiped out any custom builders at that level bar none.

    2. Next you are looking at the $300-700 price range. Now you in the turf of prebuilt systems from major manufacturers. Most people shopping in this range are buying from bestbuy, or wal-mart and not ebay. Plus cheaper laptops have hurt this sales range. There are a few sellers in this range, but even fewer actual sales. The sellers in this range have to use crappy parts/specs, but tend to hide it well with a nice auction layout, decent warranties and a lot of hype. The best markup you may find would be $50-150ish per system, but that won't always be the case. Honestly I feel bad for the customers buying systems from ebay in this range. Most of the time it's a simple rip off. (onbaord video/sound, low ram, no os, etc) That's likely why the sales are small too.

    3. Now you are looking at low high end and the new high end. Basically $800-2500. There are somes sales here, but even less than the $300-700 range. People shopping in this range usually know what they are looking for, so they tend to build systems themselves (or know the price of things to begin with and won't pay your inflated price). The mark-up in this range is usually the best out of all them, but it also makes virtually all the computers way overpriced compared to the spec sheet. However there are uninformed customers/gift buyers that will buy these systems, but you will likely be going long periods between sales.

    Also, there tend to be a lot sellers in this range that will sell their "old gaming rig" which will outspec yours for a lot lower price (not including your markup).

    4. There is a high highend price range of $3000-10000 computers on ebay. The markup is usually pretty nice, but you will have to add a crapton of extra value. Things like Free 24" LCD, Gaming Keybaord/mouse, Speakers, games, warraties, overclocking etc. You can still make money with all that included, but the sales would typically be 1-2 sales a month at best. In the $3000-4000 price range no less. Surprisingly there is a lot of competition in this end of the market, so those sales may not always go to you. There are some sales over $4500+, but they tend to be once every 2-6 months.


    Basically, it is currently a crappy crappy category for any kind of real money. It's still possible, but it will take a ton of work with small profit margins. Your only real hope is to source the products from the manufacturers cheaper, Add value (case modding, water-cooling etc), and include freebies (programs, games, peripherals etc). Good Luck though!
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2010
  18. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Forget it. You'll never compete as a systems builder.

    The only avenue available is to become a e-tailer for the components themselves, but you have to buy direct from the manufacturer, or importer in massive numbers to be able to resell at a competitive price. You also have to hit the ground running with a full stock inventory, or you will not be able to turn your stock around fast enough for people to be pleased with your service.

    We're talking an investment of millions to start up a Scan like operation. If you can raise a few Million, then go for it... but you'll have to start at a high level, and that's an opportunity for a big investor, not a part-time home builder. You'll need support and RMA infrastructure, stock control, you'll need to employ buyers, and IT staff... you'll need premises.. yadda yadda....


    Basically, you're 15 years too late.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2010
  19. benji2412

    benji2412 <insert message here>

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    No, no you thought wrong, I did indeed mean to make a loop after the comments in the thread you linked.
     
  20. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    I thought about selling on ebay a couple years back .
    There plenty of way's to do it you can buy bulk thing's like usb sticks and sd cards from china or you could just do drop shipping .
    As for selling pre build rigs your on a hiding to nothing with that.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2010

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