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

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Aug 11, 2018.

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  1. DoubleTap

    DoubleTap [H]ard|Gawd

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    I did bother reading and you're not the only person to observe that the real reason is likely a combination of factors - you're just the only person who thinks seeing that means they're the smartest person in the room.

    This is a forum full of smart people with diverse backgrounds who often make reasonable inferences which are often augmented by people with specific knowledge of niche subjects.

    You clearly have a lot to offer, but you might consider not framing so many of your posts as a giant face palm.

    I'd like to see you stop undermining the good content and persuasiveness of your posts.
     
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  2. jhymesba

    jhymesba n00b

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    That thing makes my Mozart TX look small! No wonder it's $500!
     
  3. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    At $500, the entire inside of the case should be chilled. I can get a nice looking glass-door mini-fridge for $100 new, so why not? And yes, I want the humidity controlled too, to prevent condensation.

    Expensive cases are a rip-off not because of the profit margins, but because there is so much cool and useful stuff you could do for that kind of money, and instead we get MOAH RGB!
     
  4. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

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    Ive never spent more than $50 on a case. They dont have flash but my builds get the best inside i can afford.
     
  5. Dekoth-E-

    Dekoth-E- [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm not sure what that has to do with my statement. It might if businesses were run how most people budget and survive paycheck to paycheck, but that isn't how businesses work. Based on the bolded though I'm not certain you know what you are talking about.
     
  6. Any economists will tell you that tariffs destroy trade and protect nothing, long term. They are shitty practices. If you can't compete, then you should go under. Putting tariffs is simply a form of non-competitive practices that doesn't help anyone but the non-competing company to begin with.
     
  7. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    CaseLabs don't have any lighting....

    They are also low volume and not made in China, unlike that cheap mini fridge. People talk about wanting jobs back in the USA, but when someone does offer something made in the US, no one wants to pay the costs...

    They are also all aluminum, most cases on the market are cheap steel, and even then lots in the same size and build are as much or more than CaseLabs, any of the Aluminum mass produced cases are also in the $400+ range. The full tower 900D is $350, mass produced in China and is made of steel and plastic, yet being made of steel which is 2.5 times the weight of aluminum, yet it still weighs the same as the full tower case labs case, to give you an idea of how over built the CaseLabs cases are (which are 100% aluminum), yet people are not shitting on Corsair for the 900D.

    CaseLabs were well built (overly so), modular, very focused on working in the case and modding. You get what you pay for.

    As for cool and useful stuff you could do in a build, that is not what these cases are for. And no one is going to suggest someone get a CaseLabs case who is on a build budget, the builds that tend to go into these cases are already maxed out in every way you could think of.

    I just find it so funny, that even on a site like the [H], you have so many people willing to shit on a company who is offering a quality item, made in the US, still sticking to the roots and not going mainstream RGB etc, for no other reason than they can't afford it.




    To everyone else still talking about tariffs, CaseLabs stated that was part of the reason for their costs going up etc, but was NOT the reason they went under. This market of cases for them was SMALL, they made most of their money from industry, server and military enclosures. They started CaseLabs because they could not find a case that worked for their own internal computer builds....so they made their own.

    This is what they made money from:

    NpUROzJ.jpg

    Ldf8sxK.png

    dio4AcO.jpg


    But as already stated, one of their main clients defaulted on payment, so they will not be able to stay open.
     
  8. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    The most I have ever spent on a case was $250 for this YY-0221 I bought around 2003.
    I used it for about 8 years and then traded it for a set of Chevy Avalanche wheels with a friend. 2 years ago I was at a different friends house buying some PC stuff and saw my old case there.
    He had gotten it from my other friend a year or so before in a trade.
    Last year he brought it by and gave it back to me.
    IMG_1708.JPG
     
  9. The Mad Atheist

    The Mad Atheist Gawd

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    Damn those are some pricy cases!
    Most I spent was $350 for 2 SF-201BLK Magnesium aluminum mid-tower cases so I could rivet them together back in the early 2000s.
    http://www.super-flower.com/sf201t3bk.html
    Threw a UPS and water cooler in the 2nd case and prayed for no leaks from that early gen water setup.

    Thanks, now I got that go ninja rap stuck in my head!
     
  10. emphy

    emphy Limp Gawd

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    You do you know why, don't you? 0 tariffs has always been one of the major goals at the EU level, so it was fairly easy for the president of the European commission to agree to that.

    It is one of the more effective ways the Trump government has been dealt with; give it something it already has, pretending it is a concession. Another effective one has been to promise something new and promptly ignore the agreement.

    Apart from that, tariffs have never really been a problem between the US and EU. Much more conflict has arisen from government support (at both sides of the Atlantic) and the (generally) stricter safety regulations at the EU side.

    Trump is not even very original; the Obama administration tried tariffs, too. Didn't work out too well, and these new ones likely won't either; especially when China's politically targeted ones start to really hurt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  11. DarthBeavis

    DarthBeavis 2[H]4U

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    Here is the $2k In Win case we used last Season
    mfO4PH.jpg
     
  12. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ice is back with my brand new invention.....
     
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  13. Mugato

    Mugato Muh Feelz!

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    Good to know the full story, I’m going to check and see if they were a supplier tomorrow.
     
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  14. DarthBeavis

    DarthBeavis 2[H]4U

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    Turn out the lights and it glows . . . .
     
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  15. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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  16. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    Don't take that as the full story, as with anything, I am sure there is more than what we will ever hear about. Just giving some info I know of from following them for a long, long time. It would be interesting to know more inside info, on what the pricing effects would have been on their cases if their other business didn't go under, that however is something we will probably never know. Would also be interesting to know who the client was that defaulted, but they don't seem to be sharing that info.
     
  17. Mugato

    Mugato Muh Feelz!

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    Depends on the contract I suppose if they would release or not.
     
  18. DarthBeavis

    DarthBeavis 2[H]4U

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    I can find out if you want. My friend did marketing for them for the last year or so. I would not give the name of the client of course but I can find out about what the pricing impacts of the tariffs were. I also know she tried to help them because they needed marketing help so that indicates they were trying their best to make a go of it and likely they just reached the point where they could not continue.
     
  19. That sounds like an extremely risky business practice. Not that I'm passing judgement. It just sounds risky given the number of things that could go wrong.
     
  20. d8lock

    d8lock Gawd

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    That case is bad ass and all, but it's the size of a refrigirator.
     
  21. Mugato

    Mugato Muh Feelz!

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    Well of course it is, it’s not ideal at all, but see my other posts, an SMB is difficult gents, we see all the Apples and Facebooks who provide very little and are overvalued massively, but not what most companies go through to make it. The real world.
     
  22. motomonkey

    motomonkey [H]ard|Gawd

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    We just lost the steel mill in the town where I live, it shut down last year because of the subsidized steel production in China, the irony, is that back in the 90's Chinese steel execs toured the mill. My wife actually traveled to China later and stayed with the family of one of the party that was was in the tour. The furnaces are cold now, would have to relined to restart the plant. for even more Irony, Kawasaki steel owns part of the plant.

    I drive by the plant every day on the way to work. it's hard to look at some times, seeing how far we've fallen.
     
  23. motomonkey

    motomonkey [H]ard|Gawd

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    "cue United Nations Anthem and hand out tissues"

    Fuck Globalism with Negan's bat.
     
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  24. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    Which is kinda the point. Its a quality product, in a niche of a niche market, made in low volume, in the US. High prices are expected.

    They had more than one case as well, and made large full towers to cubes and micro cases, their normal ATX and micro cases were always sold out. Which is to be expected, as the market for those is much larger than the market that needs/wants more or less a half server rack.
     
  25. {NG}Fidel

    {NG}Fidel [H]ardness Supreme

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    Because Learn lessons from great depression maybe?
     
  26. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If you turn out the lights, the case glows.
     
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  27. spugm1r3

    spugm1r3 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I second what GreenOrbs said. I also have to say, most people here spend up to $150 for riveted 1/16th inch steel and plastic. Caselabs cases are 4mm aluminum without a single rivet or an ounce of plastic.

    This is a sad day, and its made more sad by the fact that a US company, building products with US workers, falls in the face of economic pressures, and a whole crowd of people blame the company. But go ahead and keep buying your Corsair and Thermaltake.

    I also second what TheHig said, which is why I have two Caselabs cases.
     
  28. Daroller

    Daroller [H]Lite

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    LOL @ people complaining about hardware costs on [H]. Where did all these budget minded 'tards come from? I didn't think they were the target demographic of [H]ardOCP. GTFO of here with that shit.

    I thought my next case would be a CaseLabs product when I "outgrew" my Core X9. It's a crying shame they won't be around anymore.

    And yes my American friends, the tariffs (10% aluminum and 25% steel, and that's just from Canada) are hurting your industries.
     
  29. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    Plenty of US made aluminum.
     
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  30. The Mad Atheist

    The Mad Atheist Gawd

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    $2k and you couldn't buy a decent desk to game on. Look at that!, you have to sit on your knees, you can't even pull up a chair, the desk is too short! And how can you use the mouse, there's no room to move it......
    Please I hope someone didn't take this ^ serious.

    Back in the Dark Ages of case modding, most didn't rely on costly cases! :p
    Hmm, I wonder if Directron's forums are still up, been a while looking at those mods.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  31. spugm1r3

    spugm1r3 [H]ard|Gawd

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    No. But, I'll go ahead and make a statement based on gut feelings too, since that seems the modus operandi. The few that do exist are likely experiencing a massive windfall, due to the tariffs, and are not likely feeling altruistic.

    It's simple supply and demand here, limit the supply without a drop in the demand, and price goes up. US production will ramp, but they are going to do it slowly. In the meantime, if you somehow had a business model that was predicated on building quality products, and the country where you employed that business imports more than 80% of the raw material you need to build those products, a change in the taxation model on that raw material WILL affect your bottom line. Maybe catastrophically so.
     
  32. DarthBeavis

    DarthBeavis 2[H]4U

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    It is a full room VR setup . . . .In Win sponsored the case. When I want something really custom I fab it myself . . . I have a laser cutter, CNC router, and several 3d printers ;) The dark ages still do pop up . . .Dremels and files are still the most used items in my shop. Go figure. By hand will always be critical.


    Here is one of the CL Bullet cases . . . they did make some nice smaller chassis but as others said they were priced out of reach for too many people This one fits ATX but they also have a smaller ITX version.

    GKiSgm.jpg
     
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  33. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    Yes. I know because I work at them. Slowly isn't even close to being accurate. As fast as they fucking can is the accurate term. The cheap Chinese aluminum doesn't cut the mustard.
    But hey, what do I know... I only do work in every sector of manufacturing all over this country, Mexico, and Canada.
     
  34. d8lock

    d8lock Gawd

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    No offense, but for all we know you watered the plants.
     
  35. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm not questioning whether or not tariffs are bad, I'm questioning the excuse by a company that has to shut down almost overnight only ONE month after tariffs went into affect.

    Hard to argue our economy is steaming along pretty good right now and even if tariffs are the most evil thing since Hitler, any company that heads for the tall grass after 4 weeks of them had a LOT bigger problems with their business than tariffs and to blame 80% of your problems on them reeks of bullshit.
     
  36. Lizard Testes

    Lizard Testes Gawd

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    Narrator: he got both.
     
  37. Dullard

    Dullard 2[H]4U

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    Just these observations seem to point towards labor being a major portion of their cost. Wasn't the tariff on aluminum 25%? So a 25% increase in material vs months to build cases and the burden on the labor force to build these custom cases. Not being able to produce high volume points to lots of hand labor. That 25% might have surely put a dent in profits, but if they were operating even 50% cost of goods then the price increase would only need to be 12.5% per unit to cover that. $500 case becomes $565 case. But I bet material costs were way less than 50% of the cost of one of their $500 cases.

    Steel prices have increased a lot this year, more than 25%, but we go through a few hundred thousand pounds a week and are nearly swamped with a backlog of orders and are having no supply issues out of the ordinary.
     
  38. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is incredibly, incredibly disappointing. CaseLabs was truly a cut above the rest. Truly made (designed, manufactured, built entirely. Unsure the source of all their materials but even if those weren't all local its still impressive) in America, they were crafted for enthusiasts top to bottom. Every case was made of aluminum and was modular w/o any rivets; you put it together with screws from a flat pack. Every major chassic component and sub-component was able to be purchased a la carte if you wish - wanted a new top panel radiator mount with a different style? Just buy that piece! They offered upgrades to everything in this way - you never needed to buy a whole new case just for a modern I/O panel or a new radiator mount style etc. Furthermore, such features like FlexBays went even further with this even between models! I have one of their high-end cases and I was getting ready to buy at least one more so to see them go out of business is really frustrating.

    It doesn't at all surprise me that the recent economic decisions and trends were a big part of this - I know many American business owners/workers who have found materials becoming far more expensive at every step of the supply chain, even those locally sourced thanks to ripple effects among other things. I find it a little surprising that some seem unable to believe that the current tariff and overall economic situation could not have a role to play here. Lets not forget that many metrics commonly cited for economic "strength" and joblessness are - and have long been, regardless of major American political parties in power - imperfect at best, failing to account for a wide variety of factors (perhaps selectively and by intent) bolstering appearance compared to the real experience of the majority of citizens. In any event, the amount of people who seem to be placing the majority of blame on CaseLabs instead, seems odd.

    I like anyone here who is not privy to special knowledge on the company do not know the inner workings of CaseLabs, yet some of the rationale for blame set upon them don't seem to sit right. For instance, the expense of the cases themselves. CaseLabs has always made more expensive, boutique cases. Furthermore as I mentioned, they also made them here in the US. They've survived many long years catering to a niche group of us who appreciate it and are willing to pay the price if what we get in return is reasonable, such as some of the features I described above. It should also be noted that many other boutique builders over the years like MountainMods, LDCooling, and many others (including those like XFORMA) charge similar or greater amounts for their cases of similar type, owing in part to the various features of being a "boutique" case manufacturer. Its also worth noting that in the past year or two they even added the Bullet series which were significantly less expensive and thus more accessible while still maintaining a solid level of quality. In addition, in recent years there were many mainstream companies launching high end cases with higher prices, even though they were not designed/manufactured/assembled in the US/EU etc...or necessarily otherwise up to CaseLabs level standards. From what I could see from public posts, it seemed that CaseLabs had plenty of demand for their product - if anything, a valid criticism could be that there were sometimes long lead times when they had a back-up in fabrication, especially when they were forced to divert resources to major contracts. CaseLabs seemed to have (possibly through their parent company) contracts with larger business and government operations in need of specialty gear . For instance, I was told once when inquiring about the possibility for a "desk case", they had actually made a few custom ones that had ended up at NASA. The mention in the decision to closed down shop that a large client backing out of a deal acting as the killing blow would seem to confirm this.

    So between a strong relationship with enthusiasts , making a solid and highly desired product, backed up by a parent company with large contracts, a long standing business etc... it doesn't seem likely that their business plan or implementation of caused them to fail. WHile anything is possible, Occam's Razor suggests that instead of some sort of severe and covert mismanagement of which there seems little evidence, that instead a niche company, making high quality products locally sourced, fell victim to the economic policies of the time (which as others have mentioned, sadly are going to hit companies of this type first and hardest) mixed with an untimely event of a large client backing out, caused the issue. Its just too bad that companies "doing it right" have to bear the brunt of these horrid policies and the loss of CaseLabs is a significant blow to the hardware community.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  39. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    they were not using local material, hence the "due to tariffs" part of their explanation...
    doing it right would have been using American materials to back up that "boutique" price.
     
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  40. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    It wasn't a simple matter of the tariff, there was also an aluminum shortage because of it, many places were also over buying because of expectations, so prices shot up. They didn't make a lot of money on these cases, their main business was the focus, and they never wanted to be mass production, they got asked that question probably once a week on FB. But again, the tariff was not the reason for them closing, it was the parent company that had to close, and as such so did this CaseLabs side.
     
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