CaseLabs Announces It Has Been “Forced into Bankruptcy and Liquidation”

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Aug 11, 2018.

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  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    US-based PC case manufacturer CaseLabs has announced it is closing permanently and will not be able to fill all current orders, as the company has been forced into bankruptcy and liquidation. “The tariffs have played a major role raising prices by almost 80% (partly due to associated shortages), which cut deeply into our margins.”

    CaseLabs is likely referring to the growing number of tariffs being enforced on Chinese imports by the United States government. China and the US are currently engaged in a trade war, causing many US companies to lose money, lay off employees, or close entirely.
     
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  2. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Smells like bullshit excuses to me.
     
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  3. Dekoth-E-

    Dekoth-E- [H]ardness Supreme

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    Tariffs haven't been in place long enough to bankrupt a company unless they were already on the verge and had an awful business model. In which case there tariffs just accelerated what was already happening.
     
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  4. JustLong

    JustLong Gawd

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    Regardless of cause, I'm bummed to see them go. Their cases were amazing, well built and well designed. I was considering them for my next personal machine, but when the tariffs kicked in I saw the lead times sky rocket and it took forever for the last case I ordered to arrive. Oh well.
     
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  5. EchtoGammut

    EchtoGammut 2[H]4U

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    This is happening to several companies who rely on long term steel supply contracts. I was just reading about a medical tool manufacture that is planning on laying off 250 employees because they no longer have access to ULC (ultra low carbon... steel with extremely low ferroalloy impurities) and the US government wont grant them an exception to continue importing materials. While I am a big proponent of eliminating trade tariffs, you have to understand how business works before you go banging your war drums. Most of these contracts and pricing have been developed over long periods of time. Delivery times are usually scheduled 3-6 months in advance and even if there was a domestic supplier (which there isn't for things like ULC) it takes months for supply to be generated. Most companies can't shut down for 1-3 months waiting for supplies, let alone spend the extra money (because you still owe for the international steel and now you have pay for some domestic provider <which will cost even more>). It's a clusterfuck and sadly the people playing games now, haven't clue what is involved in real business.
     
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  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    Many? Which US companies are closing entirely due to tariffs?

    So unemployment drops to historic lows and the economy grows at a historically high pace because "many" companies are going out of business.... Because of tariffs?

    tmimn.gif
     
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  7. Dirty Butler

    Dirty Butler Limp Gawd

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    Well that sucks! I love my M8, guess it's a collector's item now.
     
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  8. DukenukemX

    DukenukemX 2[H]4U

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    US company effected by tariffs from their products made in China. Yea, that's bullshit. Lets see the real reason they're shutting down.

    http://www.caselabs-store.com/atx-eatx/

    So their cheapest ATX case is $300. How the fuck can they expect to do well when they charge over $300 for a Chinese made metal box? This is like Starbucks coffee when people realize that $10 for a cup of coffee is way to much.
     
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  9. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut Limp Gawd

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    Wow who knew China was the only place to buy sheet metal ?
     
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  10. GreenOrbs

    GreenOrbs Limp Gawd

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    This is completely false. Caselabs was a US-based manufacturer not a chinese company (all their products were made in the USA). This is why the steel tariffs applied to them--they had to buy steel/aluminum to make their cases here. One main reason for the higher cost is the higher cost of US labor vs some sweatshop in China.

    The tariffs on bringing steel into the US have been active since May. Steel prices went from around $600 before the tariffs to more than $900 and some grades are in short supply due. The steel tariffs applied to allies like Canada and Europe as well. People are confusing the 25% tariff on China with the steel and aluminum tariffs that have been more widely applied.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  11. EchtoGammut

    EchtoGammut 2[H]4U

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    Most companies are not going completely bankrupt, but they are laying of workers. These number won't hill the rolls for another quarter:
    https://www.beckershospitalreview.c...aying-off-workers-due-to-trump-s-tariffs.html
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-trump-tariff-layoffs-begin-1521241456
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/busi...ers-ask-what-about-us/?utm_term=.10139cd4e50d

    The other issue is that domestic demand for steel has caused the price to skyrocket. Companies that produce cheep, high volume products like cans or kegs can't pass the new higher cost onto customers because they are locked into contract pricing. If the cost of a can or keg costs you more than you can produce it for, you can't stay in business. As someone who has worked with a lot of companies, consulting and developing the tech infrastructure I have seen this happen a lot... even before the tariffs. The margins are slim on a lot of this stuff, so the government throwing a monkey wrench into the system isn't something they can absorb.
     
  12. EODetroit

    EODetroit [H]ard|Gawd

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    The sooner we can impeach those responsible for the tariffs, the better. I think it'll happen in early January.
     
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  13. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    What do you expect. A company making a niche prodouct for a niche market. They made great cases but shit was way to expansive. Worth it or not it was hard for them to compete.
     
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  14. TangledThornz

    TangledThornz Limp Gawd

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    Never heard of this company. Checked out their PC cases and their prices... holy fuck they're expensive!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  15. Zophos

    Zophos n00bie

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    Wow, just wow. I ordered an SSD mounting kit for Case Labs not even a month ago. It arrived in the mail on time and in perfect condition, just like all of the other parts I've ever ordered from them. It's super sad to hear this, as I'm sure is obvious from me popping out of lurker status just to show my sorrow.

    No one, and I mean no one, else made cases that approached the quality of these cases. Their attention to detail is (okay, was) pretty amazing. Their stuff was expensive, but they really occupied a niche that no one else has managed to touch. You can even see some the other manufacturers of cases started emulating their designs after they became a thing. One this is for sure, I'll continue to enjoy my S8 for years to come; Case Labs cases were built like tanks! (just much lighter, being mostly aluminum)
     
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  16. Azphira

    Azphira [H]ard|Gawd

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    Looks like it's time for the free market to make it's own metals. They can use robots to keep the price down, it's not any harder to replace foundry steps with robots than it is steps making fast food. :p
     
  17. Krazy925

    Krazy925 epeen +11

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    Have an S5. After their previous rant on Facebook about politics I took my business elsewhere.

    Posting on your company page about your political beliefs is stupid.

    Still love my S5 and pedestal doe.
     
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  18. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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    What kind of crap did they post?
     
  19. Krazy925

    Krazy925 epeen +11

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    They were big Hillary supporters and were mad. The post came down before I thought to screen cap it.

    Definitely wasn’t smart. This to me is just a continuation of that. I really wish I had screen capped it but I was super hungover from watching the election.
     
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  20. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    There can't be that much steel in a PC case. Even if material prices doubled, can't see that adding more then a few dollars to the price. Either their supplier failed to account for the tariffs and arrange for either securing a non-tariff supply or simply pay the tariff and pass along the 30% increase. Most likely Case Labs was on the brink financially and this offered a convenient reason to shut down.
     
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  21. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The amount of ignorance in this post... yikes.

    Their cases are aluminum and made in the US. Of course they're not cheap. They're a niche, high-margin product. If $300 is a lot to you, you weren't the demographic.

    This is like people who drive Camrys complaining that Porsche is overpriced. Stop.
     
  22. jfreund

    jfreund Gawd

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    "The default of a large account added greatly to the problem"
     
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  23. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I've always been a MountainMods man myself. I hope they don't go under.

    I doubt I'll ever have to replace my anodized Ascension + Pedestal. I've had it for almost a decade now. They're pricey but I've never felt the urge to buy another case.
     
  24. iamjanco

    iamjanco Limp Gawd

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    ^ +1 This.
     
  25. LuxTerra

    LuxTerra Limp Gawd

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    I love the two I have. Should have ordered a third! Anyone have a blue BH8 they want to part with?

    For those saying they were expensive, they definitely were. However, the price was fair for what you get. High end product for a niche market, but what a great product!
     
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  26. SmokeRngs

    SmokeRngs [H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2008

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    Then what would the problem be to raise prices a bit more and stay in business? If you're already charging a shitload for your product how is a bit more added onto it going to affect things? Keep in mind that your post indicates the customers are only people with shittons of money who wouldn't notice the difference in increased prices.
     
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  27. iamjanco

    iamjanco Limp Gawd

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    The situation was a long time coming and there's a lot more not being said publicly beyond a lot of speculation by others. If you like, you can read more about it here.
     
  28. LuxTerra

    LuxTerra Limp Gawd

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    You're not kidding. I have a GREEN BH8 that should be the only one in existence! I had to sweet talk them into making it happen because they were discontinuing that color before the BH8 was available. It never was offered and when I asked, they said they'd never built one before or likely would after.

    1 of 1...just waiting for TR3 (I think) to trick it out. Full custom loop, Optane SSD, 64-128GB+ of ram, 25GbE, whatever the best GPU around $1k is give or take, probably Hardware Labs radiators with WaterCool Heatkiller blocks, etc. It's going to be super tight to make that fit and work with reasonable temps, but I like the challenge. It's getting hard to wait. :)

    Edit: FYI, I plan to build the loop with soft tubing and try several configurations (half the fun) due to the unique radiator/airflow configurations of that tiny case. Once I settle on a good balance, it's hard tubing time! If I can't get that to work, I'll probably grab a MountainMods case that's a big bigger and build a fewer core gaming only box in it. Fun times.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  29. xmadror

    xmadror Limp Gawd

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    Always wanted one of their case but couldn't justify the price, I guess its not going to happen now since their (used) case will most likely sell for a premium now.
     
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  30. ZLoth

    ZLoth Gawd

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    Hmmmmm..... this is going to be interesting. I'm looking at my current system.... a four year old i7-4790K, and I'm thinking... can I make this last another four years? Answer is probably while the fighting and fingerpointing continues. My last upgrade was from the 980 to the 1080 card in early July. At this point, I'm at a upgrade dead end.

    However, due to an act of sheer idiocy, one of the USB 2.0 ports was broken on my Thermaltake - Chaser A71 case. I tripped over a cable. Anyony know where I can get a replacement USB port (or three) so that I can desoldier the old one and install a new one? Because, in a while, it may be better to nurse our older systems along than upgrade.

    Actions have consequences. Sometimes, those consequences are unplanned, unintended, and unexpected.
     
  31. DarthBeavis

    DarthBeavis [H]ardness Supreme

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    Guess I will keep the ones I have. This big one and two smaller ones including one painted to look like the Teenage Ninja Turtle Van (mean to build it for Vanilla Ice - still might one day) . . .(not my airbrush work - disclaimer)

    90929937575343253802516.jpg
     
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  32. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    "Forced".

    It couldn't be that they sell $500+ dollar cases that nobody can afford, nah couldn't be that. :whistle:
     
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  33. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I read through it and it's just more speculation. It sounds like this wasn't just CaseLabs but perhaps some fundamental problems with the parent company as well.
     
  34. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Why does this keep getting posted?

    There are $2 million dollar cars for sale. Just because something is expensive doesn't mean there isn't a buyer.
     
  35. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    How many people do you know that want to build a computer and say "Gee, you know what would really make this build, a $500 dollar case". None. 95% of builders go as cheap as possible on a case so that they can spend more on core components such as Video Cards, Processors ect. So that leaves Case Labs with the other %5 (if that), not many people, not much profit. I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did.

    Do a search on Newegg or Amazon for the top rated computer cases. Case Labs isn't even on the list.

    Also, there is a monumental difference between a company receiving two million dollars for a product or five hundred.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  36. Ryun

    Ryun Limp Gawd

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    If you read the posted link caselabs says it's due to the tarrifs and a major client of theirs defaulting. Not sure why the latter wasn't included in the OP...
     
  37. TheHig

    TheHig Limp Gawd

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    Tough to see any small American business go under. Even if they were in the skids already and tarriffs or whatever else pushed them past the point of no return. Niche small businesses will be the first to feel these effects. Big diverse companies will weather the storm but who gives a shit about the little guys? Not your commander in chief and not the large companies.

    You can chant “Buy American “ all day but you then can’t balk at the high prices.

    Pony up and buy American shit when you can or sit down.
     
  38. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    They only have themselves to blame by charging such high prices. If they were smart they would have put out a budget line of case at a $50-$100 dollar price point & still offered the premiums as well. Or offered a step up program.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  39. TheHig

    TheHig Limp Gawd

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    I have to agree that having something in their line up that is more accessible would be a good idea. Lots of of the shelf big name cases have 100-200 dollar options.

    I have a Kimera Industries Cerberus X case that is the result of a passion project and is manufactured here in the US by Sliger. It’s expensive, built like a tank and worth every penny. Not all will agree but that’s fine. 250bucks. By far the most I have ever spent on an enclosure. But I like the fact that it was design and now manufactured by enthusiasts and small business here at home.
     
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  40. LuxTerra

    LuxTerra Limp Gawd

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    Counterpoint me...and all the other people who can't wait for a 32c or more Threadripper. Total system cost on that will likely exceed $5k, but whatever...this is suppose to [H]. 10% or less of the build going to a nice case is really nothing.

    I can't say how much the tariffs or the market or whatever contributed to their bankruptcy, but there certainly is a market for such cases. I have two already and was considering a third before this news.

    It's a common fallacy to assume the world revolves around you and your perspective. It's really a lack of emotional intelligence (the empathic part, not the self regulation part) to only be able to view the world from your perspective and not others/multiple. Expand your horizons and realize that people do build PC costing more than $5k and a few hundred for a case DOES NOT MATTER. I'll grant you it's niche, but so was CaseLabs. Also, it's not always for epeen...I have several engineering degrees and like to play with VMs and engineering simulations/modeling that really do need 32c and more. I only wish I could reasonably justify several Titan-Vs, but alas even that's out of my current rationalization. I'm not alone in needing more PC than average or just for games.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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