I'm trying to come up with a custom build for a bare bones, internet browsing, home pc for relatives and my limited customer base. I just can't seem to develop anything to compete with some of these incredibly cheap deals online such as the Acer Aspire that you can currently get for about $289 +tax w/ free shipping.
Seems to me like building base pc's for resale is dead? (probably still enough profit margin to build gaming pc's) Just resell these systems with a small mark up and charge for delivery and installation?
We just charge whatever newegg charges for parts and then an hourly to put them together. If someone wants a bargain bin computer, getting an Acer or another manufacturer is the way to go. If they want quality components or something a little more flexible, you can sell them one you've built.
We'll NEVER be able to compete on price with these guys. They use a lot of substandard parts and OEM-only junk that none of us would ever think to put into a PC. They may also use a pirated O/S, unless they've got a volume discount, OR the O/S may not be included.
Assuming everything but the monitor is needed (i.e. all peripherals and O/S), I'm not sure I could build a PC for less than $500, at least not with a clear conscience.