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Homebuilds 4 Profit

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  • Homebuilt
  • Computer
  • Components
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Last response: in Systems
June 16, 2012 11:19:02 PM

As you all know there are a few companies that assemble custom computers for profit which can include a wide array of proprietary and/or trademarked/patented components.

iBuyPower & CyberPowerPC are a couple of examples that take these types of computer components & computer software, construct the PC from start to finish, installing everything from processors to operating systems, and then turn them around for profit, even allowing the consumer to create a custom computer for the company to build for them.

Then there are the companies like Toshiba & Samsung who take a more streamline approach to deliver standard, predetermined computer configurations for the mainstream, end-user market.

Now that you have an understanding of the plot I'm trying to portray, what are the policies/terms/conditions/legalities in which companies, such as the aforementioned, must undertake and/or abide by to assemble components from manufactures in which they assemble by request for consumers?

What would be required of me by law or company policy to assemble a computer simply to sell for profit? I understand that laws & company policies vary from state to state, country to country, and company to company, I'm just trying to get a general consensus on the prospect to see if building custom computers from home for profit is a viable endeavor.

Do such companies as iBuyPower and Samsung for instance have to pay royalties for their sales to the manufacturers who made each component?

Would simply building a PC from scratch & then listing it on Ebay as a brand spankin' new gaming pc be acceptable or would that open one up to lawsuits from the manufacturers of the components?

Feel free to speculate and/or offer your expert opinions.

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a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2012 12:52:21 AM

It's perfectly legal to do this; once you buy the components, they're yours and you can do whatever you want with them. However, there's little to no money to be made from it unless you run it as a full-time business and basically open a computer shop.

The fundamental problem is that the typical Dell or HP buyer won't trust a machine from ebay built by some random dude that comes with no technical support; on ebay they'll pay used prices for used machines. At best, they'd buy a computer from a small computer shop.

The typical enthusiast who WOULD trust a machine from ebay ... could also just build their own machine for cheaper. So you really don't have much of a target market.

The other thing is that manufacturers like Dell get their parts at wholesale prices. You can do that too if you get a business license and register with the component makers; there are plenty of small one-man shops that do that. But again, at that point, in order to make it worth your while, you're basically running a full-time business.
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June 17, 2012 2:09:37 AM

Very well put, this is definitely something I'm interested in pursuing but then again your points regarding selling them on Ebay are actually dead on.

Although I could do a brick & mortar style operation I'm simply not too optimistic that the demand in my area would make for a good investment & trying to compete with the larger businesses and corporations online would be extremely difficult without some sort of reputation.

I'm hellbent on finding good configurations of different tiers of computers in a way that satisfies the buyer as well as my bottom line.

Like you said though, "the typical enthusiast who would trust a machine from Ebay, could also just build their own machine for cheaper".

You have my brain in knots now.....
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2012 2:59:31 AM

you just do not make money selling homebuilt. you have customers willing to pay well above market value. you do that as a boutique with rediculously high prices for custom builds and bulk sales/OEM deals on parts.

Or you do it as a local seller, where people will pay more if they know you'll be there to service it. And where you can make money off those services. The money is in the shop not the builds.

And there ARE legal issues.You need to have limits of liability written up, warranties, be set up as some sort of corporation unless you want to risk being sued and losing your house. Insurance, sales taxes, business registration.
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June 17, 2012 4:35:06 AM

I have built custom systems for friends and referrals for a number of years. I can say there is little profit in it. All the above points are valid. Add to this the responsibility for assisting with the replacement of defective parts; the inevitable phone calls as to how something works and the always present dilemma of what to do when you are sure the new owner caused the problem but they insist it was present from the start. My opinion is that unless you commit your time and financial resources to a pretty much full time operation it is just not something to do for an income stream.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2012 4:51:45 AM

You could run a add on Ebay, offering your service to thos who want to build there own PC but do have the skills to do so.

as a hobby ( i dont think its a bad thing )

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Best solution

June 17, 2012 7:06:48 AM

It is a dream we all had at one time or another. Those of us that have tried can only tell you good luck, and don't set your sites to high. Ebay is stiff competition. There are 100s of rigs that will be cheaper then you and have pirated software which is illegal. You just can't compete with those guys, and it is definitely not worth going the illegal route.

Here is a custom search on Ebay from completed listings. http://www.ebay.com/csc/Desktops-AllInOnes-/171957/i.ht... All the moneys that are red means there was no sale. Green prices actually sold. Basically you can see there is no market for it anymore.

The hard core audience are building their own, and the rest of the public are going tablet/laptop/all in one

I have sold a few in the past but ebay and UPS have made more $$ then I did.
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June 17, 2012 7:56:08 AM

capt_taco said:

The typical enthusiast who WOULD trust a machine from ebay ... could also just build their own machine for cheaper. So you really don't have much of a target market.


I personally wouldn't trust one of the ebay sellers to build a computer correctly. The times that I have looked through ebay listings of new PCs, they have mismatched components ... such as using dual or single channel RAM in a Tri-Channel or Quad channel system. Installing 32 bit operative systems on a 64 bit processor (which also has more than 4GB RAM so you'll never be able to use all the RAM)

The list of problems go on:
* Often they don't list the motherboard/PSU they are using ... trying to sell the product on the name of the GPU/CPU only.

* Overcharging for the product where I can source the parts much cheaper and build myself.

* Choosing ghastly/ridiculous computer cases, over decent internal components.

* Cable management is probably awful!!

* Leaving an "overclocked" system with the crappy intel cooler. Those things barely even handle the heat from a non-overclocked CPU!!!
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June 17, 2012 3:05:53 PM

If you look at the companies that offer custom builds (Cyber Power, Digital Storm and others) and check the prices of the components in a system and then what they sell it for and add in shipping, you get some idea of what is needed to offer this type of service. Alien Ware was one of the biggest and best known. They saw the light and sold out. Since then the market has been so thin even Dell has not been willing to commit the resources to grow the brand.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2012 4:28:14 PM

ukee1593 said:
I personally wouldn't trust one of the ebay sellers to build a computer correctly. The times that I have looked through ebay listings of new PCs, they have mismatched components ... such as using dual or single channel RAM in a Tri-Channel or Quad channel system. Installing 32 bit operative systems on a 64 bit processor (which also has more than 4GB RAM so you'll never be able to use all the RAM)

The list of problems go on:
* Often they don't list the motherboard/PSU they are using ... trying to sell the product on the name of the GPU/CPU only.

* Overcharging for the product where I can source the parts much cheaper and build myself.

* Choosing ghastly/ridiculous computer cases, over decent internal components.

* Cable management is probably awful!!

* Leaving an "overclocked" system with the crappy intel cooler. Those things barely even handle the heat from a non-overclocked CPU!!!


Well, maybe "understand" would have been a better word than "trust." In either case, they're not buying them.
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June 24, 2012 4:00:37 AM

Best answer selected by iendigma.
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