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Eric The Tech Guru

Marketplace for Custom Builders

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Okay guys so I posted on the /buildapc reddit here - http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/2qrui2/discussion_a_marketplace_for_custom_builders/

I said:

Hey guys, I do a lot of custom PC building and such, but it's a pain getting clients, especially when you have to do all the legwork yourself. I was wondering if you guys would be interested in a site where people who want custom PC's can list their price range and location and people all around the world can offer to select parts and build a PC for them, then ship it to them. This way, everyone can have a chance to build and sell a computer, enjoy the work they do on it, and see someone use it with a smile on their faces. People would basically bid on the chance to build a pc by changing the parts they'd use or by lowering their profit margin or offering free shipping or something, and the buyer would ultimately decide who they want to build the pc, then they'd deposit some money and use a 3rd party like escrow or something to hold it until they are happy with the finished product. Users would handle disputes on their own, and if they get escalated, a member of the resolution team could step in. TL;DR: Do you want a site where you can offer to build custom PC's for people and get paid to do it?

EDIT: A lot of people have been concerned about quality of the product. I was thinking of an ebay like rating system for builders or a verification process and verified builders get priority when applying to build a computer for a customer.

 

There was a huge response from the buildapc community and I wanted to hear your two cents on the idea.

I've responded to I think every single comment that was posted on the original reddit thread so if you have something similar to say that was already commented there, unless there is something huge the commenter was missing, there's no need to re-post it here but thanks for the thought.

 

To elaborate on the original idea above:

I worked with a custom PC building company for a year or so back when I lived in the US. I built and shipped a ton of budget machines, and occasionally a nice one I got to have fun building.

A lot of people are in the market for PC's, but they go to dell.com, see the deals, and see a cheap computer and think "Oh I'll just buy that cause it's probably gonna work for me I think."

If they get what they need then cool all is good for them, but if something breaks, they're stuck in a bit of a rough spot where limited warranties and poor technical support are super discouraging.

This marketplace will offer personal support for the computers you buy, offered by the builder of the computer so if anything they built might break, they know how to fix it and can work it out with the buyer.

When people don't know what it is they need or how much they should spend, they tend to overspend on something superfluous, or underspend and get a crappy machine that won't last them more than a year (people selling Celeron computers in 2015).

With a marketplace like this, buyers can say what they do on their computer, and their price range. Builders can offer different configurations and prices to sway the buyer to make a smart choice. The buyer will instinctively look at the cheapest offer, but with verified builders offering a more sensible build, it may push the buyers to make a wiser decision.

Instead of guessing at what your needs are, you've now got a panel of (supposed) experts at your beck and call trying to get you what you need at a competitive price.

 

Legal issues with the site concerning liability will be dealt with later, but the basic principle would be that a verified deal is one made with a verified builder and a buyer and we take some more responsibility, where unverified deals are made with unverified builders and a buyer and place the burden of law on the buyer and builder more heavily.

Builders can get verified either by submitting an application with a processing fee, or by completing a certain number of builds as an unverified builder with happy customers.

An idea came up to do all the purchasing of parts through the site with partners like Newegg and amazon and NCIX so buyers know how much the builders paid for the parts and can make sure the builders aren't running off with the money.

Finished products can be verified on the buyers end when they receive the machine by running a speecy or some other program and submitting the results to the site to confirm they received what they had ordered.

That's all I can think of for now. I'll be watching the thread and actively replying to anyone with any questions or suggestions or just words of affirmation.

 

Thanks!!!

- Eric TTG

 

P.S. - Anyone wondering about the upkeep and cost of the site, I replied in depth on the reddit thread. -  I'm a full stack web developer with lots of experience making sites for businesses and clients and I've got a whole lot of background when it comes to this stuff so designing and building the site will be all on me. Site hosting is done easily through Amazon Web Services. I've got a lot of credit in my AWS account thanks to amazon being amazing and they offer tens of thousands of dollars in free credit to startups with ideas they support. The site will generate revenue by taking a small percentage off of each sale and possibly by offering premium builder status for verified builders who would pay a fee to get verified and that fee would cover any kind of verification costs we might have.

 

 

TL;DR: Would you be interested in a marketplace where people buying computers can say their needs and custom builders compete to build a computer for them that suits their needs best?

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Edited for you!

yes i would. just need to implant quality control


Thats that. If you need to get in touch chances are you can find someone that knows me that can get in touch.

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that sounds interesting to me. 

I've been building computers on the side for over 10 years now, and the hardest part by far is trying to find customers, especially customers for interesting builds. 

It's easy to find people who want a $500 computers, but much harder to find people willing to spend a couple thousand on a nice gaming build. 

 

If this ends up happening I would sign up. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

that sounds interesting to me. 

I've been building computers on the side for over 10 years now, and the hardest part by far is trying to find customers, especially customers for interesting builds. 

It's easy to find people who want a $500 computers, but much harder to find people willing to spend a couple thousand on a nice gaming build. 

 

If this ends up happening I would sign up. 

Good to hear! I custom built probably 15 <$500 pc's last year. They're not much fun, but it is a better quality than prebuilt even if the margins are really slim.

(Headed to bed now, 3:00 AM here)

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The interest of customers would be more applicable.

It's a cool idea but selling on a marketplace would have to be more of a hobby than a business. Especially with all the competition.

 

How do you deal with warranties for PC's you build?


System: Thinkpad T460

 

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The interest of customers would be more applicable.

It's a cool idea but selling on a marketplace would have to be more of a hobby than a business. Especially with all the competition.

 

How do you deal with warranties for PC's you build?

Bring customer along to buy parts > warranty goes to customer > build parts on site


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I think it would only work if you limit the number of PC builders. start your own business essentially, but every "employee" is contracted in and bids individually. that way it doesn't turn into 5,000 builders and only 10 customers. Im just worried it will turn into absoutely zero profit, because some people might be willing to build a pc for free or near free. 

 

 

 

that being said, would love to be part of this

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tldr?

 

Wants money for building computers, but no one will.


I roll with sigs off so I have no idea what you're advertising.

 

This is NOT the signature you are looking for.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Bring customer along to buy parts > warranty goes to customer > build parts on site

Well the warranties would be covered by the builders, verified builders would be required to offer a like 30 day warranty or something while accepting returns. Non verified builders have a warranty also but aren't required to provide one.

 

Also yeah parts could be required to be purchased through the site where we get a confirmation of the parts you buy, we'd offer the lowest prices available on amazon or ncix or newegg or ebuyer or wherever.

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I like your idea. I read most of the Reddit thread, but i did not read through all of it, so i am not sure if someone else has made the same suggestions. 

My idea of how the website might work is that builders would have there own page similar to etsy  and they could decide whether to come up with builds and sell them as they see fit, or taking custom orders and building them to order, or some combination of both. Also, the builder would be responsible their own advertising. I think most problems with independent custom computer builders is that they have to rely on marketplaces like ebay which is getting expensive to sell on. If the serious builders could have there own pages they could advertise with social media, or on any website they want, but it would be on the builders to get costumers not the website. which i would think would create a competitive market without builders building for free because they would have to somehow promote their own page. 

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the idea I like about building a computer for someone is generally passing a little knowledge with it (that's what I do normally I let the person build but giving I'm advice and saying if he is about to make a mistake ect.) so I don't think something fully automatical like that is the best solution for client. But well if I can make a pc by week and get money for it and pass my time by doing so I'll be super happy. So yeah great idea but I'll go with a more client to builder perspective where not everything is automatic and it's more interaction ^^ 

 

edit: also to be functionnal the site need good visibility and good reputation as said before we don't want something with 5000 builder for 10 customers the limit idea is also a great idea cause generally the builder on this site will be more likely to know the site than customer. 

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