Velocity Micro = the new Alienware

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,884
Well, with the recent news that Velocity Micro will be selling machines out of Best Buy (I don't think this is a good idea, btw), it seems they are following in Alienware's path.

http://www.velocitymicro.com/bestbuy.php


I don't remember this working out to well for Alienware last time, and of the two people I know who worked for Best Buy at the time Alienware was in the stores, they never sold one of them. If VM has to stock machines in every Best Buy, that could end up costing alot of money.

Anyone think that they sold out? (I realise it was probably alot of money)
 

Chris_Morley

Former [H] Consumer Managing Ed.
Joined
Jul 5, 2000
Messages
3,609
Best Buy offered the same deal to Falcon Northwest, and they didn't take it...however, if VM can get the production side of it down pat, then finding new sales channels that you can fill is always a good idea.

I say best of luck to them...I'm all for giving consumers more choice.
 

aldy402

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 23, 2005
Messages
3,395
I think this is an ABSOLUTE beautiful idea and oppurtunity for Velocity Micro. The only recognition these guys ever got were from magazine advertisments and system reviews at CNET.COM. They make solid computers with $250.00-$300.00 cases + they look cool to boot.This will bring out the novice enthusiast or the spoiled kid who wants the cool looking computer to buy one of these while browsing Best Buy.It will probably even spark some competition between the other system builders at BestBuy. All in all, We the public benefit from competition.
 

Chris_Morley

Former [H] Consumer Managing Ed.
Joined
Jul 5, 2000
Messages
3,609
aldy402 said:
I think this is an ABSOLUTE beautiful idea and oppurtunity for Velocity Micro. The only recognition these guys ever got were from magazine advertisments and system reviews at CNET.COM. They make solid computers with $250.00-$300.00 cases + they look cool to boot.This will bring out the novice enthusiast or the spoiled kid who wants the cool looking computer to buy one of these while browsing Best Buy.It will probably even spark some competition between the other system builders at BestBuy. All in all, We the public benefit from competition.
Well, Alienware did the same thing, so we'll have to see how VM does it differently in order to succeed there...
 

s10010001

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 17, 2002
Messages
7,503
Sound good to me, anything to slap HP/Compaq and dell in the face is a good thing. The more computer the standard no nothing uses has a change to but the better for the better

me personally, I dont care I build my own
 

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,884
aldy402 said:
I think this is an ABSOLUTE beautiful idea and oppurtunity for Velocity Micro. The only recognition these guys ever got were from magazine advertisments and system reviews at CNET.COM. They make solid computers with $250.00-$300.00 cases + they look cool to boot.This will bring out the novice enthusiast or the spoiled kid who wants the cool looking computer to buy one of these while browsing Best Buy.It will probably even spark some competition between the other system builders at BestBuy. All in all, We the public benefit from competition.


While I agree that competition is a good thing, I don't think you understand what competition really means. A $400 E-Machine or Compaq system is not really competing with a $3000 gaming machine. They are in totally different segments. That's like comparing the Toyota Camry to the Ferrari Enzo.

My problem with this whole plan is the actual demographic make up of Best Buy's customers. I highly doubt that a majority of the people who go into Best Buy are doing so for a gaming computer. Their consumer doesn't even know what USB is, why would they pick a $3000 Velocity Micro computer over a $400 E-Machine? Short answer is that they won't.

I think Velocity is making a small marketing mistake here, as they are attempting to reach out to too broad of a market. The gaming computer segment is made up of 15-35 year old males, and pretty much 99% of it is that way.

Like I said, they are the next Alienware in my eyes, which is just a smaller version of Dell to me. Another corporate sell out.
 

Chris_Morley

Former [H] Consumer Managing Ed.
Joined
Jul 5, 2000
Messages
3,609
Velocity Micro sells a $999 gaming PC, and it's pretty respectable. I wouldn't doubt that they'll tweak their product line for this new channel.

BTW, what do you mean by corporate sell out? All corporations exist to return value their shareholders, whether or not it's public or private, doesn't matter, they are ALL in it to turn a profit.
 

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,884
Morley said:
Velocity Micro sells a $999 gaming PC, and it's pretty respectable. I wouldn't doubt that they'll tweak their product line for this new channel.

BTW, what do you mean by corporate sell out? All corporations exist to return value their shareholders, whether or not it's public or private, doesn't matter, they are ALL in it to turn a profit.

What I mean by that is this: At one point, Alienware sold gaming machines, and they only sold gaming machines. Now there focus has turned from building quality gaming machines, to getting the biggest margin.

While I am fully aware that every corporation, business, and individual is trying to make money, to do so at the expense of product quality, customer satisfaction, and product leadership is a "sell out" to me.

There are ways to be product and customer driven and still make a profit. But that's the difference between being a business with a 15% margin, and one with a 19% margin. I know which way stockholders lean, and I doubt they care much about product quality and customer service as long as the margins are good, and they get nice dividends.
 

magoo

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
14,492
I think you have to wait to see what products they bring to BB. I doubt they'll push the high end,simply because its such a small market to begin with. face it folks, there are alot more mom and dad computer buyers than there are "Dude I pwned you" types. I would bet that VM will bring some quality to BB though that hasnt been seen there before.I hope they are up to the volume if this takes off though. I recall that Gateway or somebody tried a deal with office depot a while back and it fell flat......Good luck to VM. I too have found that a home build with a little help from my local computer shop is indeed preferable. :D
 

Warriorprophet

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 22, 2001
Messages
1,507
But the only reason to establish product leadership is to get people to notice the brand, experience the quality, then buy a new one every year. Once you get enough people to that point it becomess less important to be the leader on every single page of every single magazine. Actually a detriment, cause now you're respectable.

The only problem with that is when you start dropping quality to where the product is no longer providing the value its price should command. Ala Epox going from enthusiast to bargain bin in the past, etc...
 

smashp

n00b
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
3
Alienware did Awful at Best buy because they have 100% horible tech support.

Infact everysingle alienware ever sold by best buy didnt even have a working restore.


Alienware build a scripted oem install of Windows XP for their units. It didnt work. it was missing two crucial files and would not properly setup up windows without them.


Service was the worst. 6 wk deleys for HD's from the mfg.

best buy Cut them off.

Bestbuy could not allow a customer to spend $3000 on a machine that the mfg could not even make a functioning restore for.
 

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,884
smashp said:
Alienware did Awful at Best buy because they have 100% horible tech support.

Infact everysingle alienware ever sold by best buy didnt even have a working restore.


Alienware build a scripted oem install of Windows XP for their units. It didnt work. it was missing two crucial files and would not properly setup up windows without them.


Service was the worst. 6 wk deleys for HD's from the mfg.

best buy Cut them off.

Bestbuy could not allow a customer to spend $3000 on a machine that the mfg could not even make a functioning restore for.


Ok, that's all fine and dandy. But how many computers did alienware sell out of Best Buy. One, two? Maybe three?

And how much did it cost them to get demonstration units into EVERY best buy? They changed the dynamic of their business when they decided to go retail. It's one thing to have an online business, no need for inventory, and people pay for products in advance. It's another completely different situation when you introduce retail units into the equation, because now you have inventory, and you have what, one or two systems per best buy? That's an incredible amount of money to have to come up with for almost no return.
 

cleve

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
185
i actually ended up buying alienware laptop through best buy in 2003. the reason was that best buy was offering interest free for 18 months. I also bought the 3 yrs extended warranty through best buy. Overall disappointed with my AW laptop( way way too hot, broken latch).
Im casual gamer but after 11 months it burned out. By that time (2004) best buy was no longer in business with AW. Best buy said they could not fix my laptop so instead got stuck with an HP laptop(not great for gaming compared to AW).
very disappointed that i spent 3300 dollars and computer gone after 11 months only to be replaced by an "HP".

Now best buy working to sell velocity micro desktops. Afraid however to be "burned" again as i was in 2003.
 

1c3d0g

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
2,266
Ain't that the sad truth. :( But Voodoo's even worse, price-wise! :eek: Thank God for Maingear, Velocity Micro, Overdrive PC and others :)
 

morningreis

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
1,574
If you have the money, Voodoo cases are sweet, but yes their prices are horrendous too.
 

Velocity_Micro

President & CEO
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
278
Eickst said:
Ok, that's all fine and dandy. But how many computers did alienware sell out of Best Buy. One, two? Maybe three?

And how much did it cost them to get demonstration units into EVERY best buy? They changed the dynamic of their business when they decided to go retail. It's one thing to have an online business, no need for inventory, and people pay for products in advance. It's another completely different situation when you introduce retail units into the equation, because now you have inventory, and you have what, one or two systems per best buy? That's an incredible amount of money to have to come up with for almost no return.

Wow! Lot's of speculation here about our relationship with Best Buy. Please leave the business model to me to worry about, but you are way off!

Let me say that I alone have the ability to tell my buyers to use cheaper quality parts, tell my production manager to spend less assembly time testing, and my support team to not answer the phones so much. I simply choose not to cut these corners. Our product is truly premium computers, and that's why we are growing in reputation and mindshare.

In fact, BBY came to us with the proposition that we not change anything at all about the way we do business, build computers, or take care of our customers. In this case, if anything about our computing experience falls, we would no longer be providing BBY and their customers with the product they came to us for. That probably would not be good. Having the opportunity to understand from the actual insiders what went wrong in the past, and designing a program that would not repeat that should ensure we will thrive, sharing our products with people so they can touch our extruded aluminum cases and experience firsthand what we are all about.

As for dealing with Best Buy, they are a fantastic customer that is incredibly concerned about our relationship being successful, and they treat us like we are partners. They have poured incredible resources into training for store associates so they understand what makes our systems different from the OEM models. This raises the bar for every computer, and the consumer wins.

The customer looking for a Velocity is not who you might think. It's anybody who appreciates quality, slick design, and a bulletproof system that will last them for years, and be easy to work on or upgrade. The age group that this appeals to is 10 to 100, and our pure aluminum systems are designed to look great to a wider audience, as opposed to many of the plastic cases that look more like toys to casual shoppers and hurt the reputation of gaming systems.

I can tell you things are going very well - better per store averages than previous efforts - because I care about the products we ship and the service we provide. Reputation is tough to gain but easy to lose, so you can be sure we will continue to improve our products and services. In fact, our growth allows me to raise the bar even higher for quality and engineering. That seems like a win for everybody.

Randy

PS - I love the public dialoge and encourage others to give your thoughts! What are we doing right, and what are we doing wrong? Only thing - save the speculation about terms.
 

TopGun

Gawd
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
766
This is great, A system builder that is going retail that actually puts quality parts into their systems. Hope this turns out good , If i see anybody looking for a new system ill recomend that they check you guys out.

-TopGun
 

cleve

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
185
Velocity_Micro said:
Wow! Lot's of speculation here about our relationship with Best Buy. Please leave the business model to me to worry about, but you are way off

As for dealing with Best Buy, they are a fantastic customer that is incredibly concerned about our relationship being successful, and they treat us like we are partners. They have poured incredible resources into training for store associates so they understand what makes our systems different from the OEM models. This raises the bar for every computer, and the consumer wins.

The customer looking for a Velocity is not who you might think. It's anybody who appreciates quality, slick design, and a bulletproof system that will last them for years, and be easy to work on or upgrade. The age group that this appeals to is 10 to 100, and our pure aluminum systems are designed to look great to a wider audience, as opposed to many of the plastic cases that look more like toys to casual shoppers and hurt the reputation of gaming systems.

I can tell you things are going very well - better per store averages than previous efforts - because I care about the products we ship and the service we provide. Reputation is tough to gain but easy to lose, so you can be sure we will continue to improve our products and services. In fact, our growth allows me to raise the bar even higher for quality and engineering. That seems like a win for everybody.

Randy

PS - I love the public dialoge and encourage others to give your thoughts! What are we doing right, and what are we doing wrong? Only thing - save the speculation about terms.

Supposed i were to buy velocitymicro desktop through best buy. What if VM is no longer in business with them say in about 1 or 2 yrs and i have a problem with desktop? Will best buy be left to deal with this? in past their policy has been to try to replace product(if unable to fix) with desktop that is similar component to component. I dont want to end up with a desktop that comes from e machines or hp and not my gaming rig?
 

Velocity_Micro

President & CEO
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
278
cleve said:
Supposed i were to buy velocitymicro desktop through best buy. What if VM is no longer in business with them say in about 1 or 2 yrs and i have a problem with desktop? Will best buy be left to deal with this? in past their policy has been to try to replace product(if unable to fix) with desktop that is similar component to component. I dont want to end up with a desktop that comes from e machines or hp and not my gaming rig?

Good News! Our systems are designed in standard ATX form factor, so there is no component Best Buy could not replace easily if the senario you presented ever were to happen. This is directly opposed to the proprietary nature of most OEM systems, so you are actually better off with Velocity.
 

alkoholik

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2005
Messages
1,693
I'll have to admit....I worked at BBY back in '00-01 when we sold (or tried to sell) Alienware PCs. For the most part people were not looking for gaming machines there and really only wanted something cheap. They also wanted name brand recognition and at the time Alienware really wasnt a house hold name. People had no idea what a USB, AGP and the like were....they just wanted it cheap.

BBY did come out with their own brand computers called the "Matrix" computers which had all quality parts in it (WD hdds, etc) which you could customize with RAID configs.....we sold a bunch of them but for some reason they always broke down and people kept bringing them back to be fixed.

On a side note, we had a Alienware machine on display at BBY back in the day and it was the shit. It was pimped out with all the top stuff....Ti4600, P4 1.8, etc etc....but the price tag was about $3000 and we didnt sell one. After the store closed we used to play all the games on it and crank the music on the Klipsch speakers....ah the memories.
 

cleve

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
185
only reason i would consider buying a desktop from velocitymicro through best buy is their awesome 12 months to anywhere up to 24 months of interest free payment.
i think at this point i rather deal directly with velocity micro and not take chance of being burned by best buy like i have in the past.
ITs seems that i was probably the only gamer going to best buy to find gaming rigs at that time. even now they seem to have crap for us gamers.
 

HappyJack

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
145
Velocity is not selling out if the product is the real deal. It sounds like they are doing it right, and it's good to be able to go to a local Best Buy store and check out their systems before buying them there - the system most stores have is only $1990, not $3000+ - or go home and buy online having experienced the system first. They are getting better at catering to gamers, I think.

That's what I did, went home and config my own system online. The quality and craftsmanship was identical to the model on display in the store, and I didn't even have a window in my unit. I was impressed then, and still happy 6 months later.

I actually hope they keep growing the name recognition Alienware now enjoys because we need a great brand who can actually take on XPS. Rahul sood from Voodoo predicts Alienware will be bought by Dell soon. What will that leave real gamers who are over building systems themselves, and won't pay the silly prices at Voodoo, Falcon, and Overdrive?

Also, surely BB wouldn't fail a second time with a major gaming PC company, because nobody would work with them again except the OEMs, who don't get it. (Remember the Compaq X09? Didn't think so) Have some faith in these guys. Perhaps it was Alienware that was screwed up, not BB.

No sellout!
 

FreedomFGHTR

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 3, 2006
Messages
66
I'm all for them doing it. It's just another form of innovation in the OEM sector. Also take a 12 or 13 year old kid who's parents will let them get the best but don't want them building their own system for parental reasons of course. But if the kid takes em to best buy and says this is what I want its the best and it doesn't look like some transformer meets gi joe meets an atomic blast they are more than likely to get it. Which means that in 3 years when I'm looking for a nice super cheap rig to use as a *nix file server I'll get good stuff off of craigslist. way to go VM! oh yeah this also leaves room to allow someone to start another highend net PC company to get the geek creds...
 

lovemyPC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
189
I agree. I'm all for this - would seem to make a lot of sense. Consider how most boutique PCs on average go for $2500+. It's a lot of cash to throw down for a product you've never seen, touched, or test driven - especially when you have to involve someone else in the purchasing decision. The best buy near me has the Velocity on display and I'd love to test drive it, but it seems like there's always someone on it and a couple others waiting around - bummer.

Sounds like the CEO knows what he's doing and if the partnership with best buy is like he says it is, then I don't think we have to worry about the ALienware effect happening to Velocity. And if you check out that link from earlier in the thread, you can see that velocity's not in every store - one major difference from Alienware that could make this much more successful for velocity.
 

HappyJack

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
145
lovemyPC said:
I agree. I'm all for this - would seem to make a lot of sense.
Now that the news is out that Dell is buying Alienware, maybe VM is the next DELL!
 

TopGun

Gawd
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
766
Big Diff tho , Dell uses lowend parts that are factory assembled in there systems and only allow for minimal custimization of your system. I like how VM isnt just a company that tells you that ooh this is the best system for gaming , but instead allows you to choose what hardware you need or want to complete the task at hand., Who knows maybe they will grow to be highly respected and be in every office or school , man i could
only imagine using Autodesk Inventor on a real workstation instead of a p4 2.4 , 512mb ram and a geforce mx 420 with microsoft drivers :( , Its funny telling your tech teacher
that they should upgrade the drivers for the graphics card and hearing him say that it would
cost to much lol.

-TopGun
 

Stinkfist

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2000
Messages
1,508
Ok, have you guys thought JUST MAYBE Best Buy has done some research on this before going into this? Now I dont work at BB *cough* but I can tell you that they dont have these computers in all stores. Seems to me they are putting VM computers into markets they feel have customer bases for such a computer. So where is the lost money in all this? AND to add to the fact that if a customer that goes into BB is aware of the VM computers being there, it does not MATTER if that particular store has display computers or not or if they are in a chosen market to carry a VM computer, they can ALWAYS get one. The wonderful thing about a large company like BB is they get to do alot of research about the type of customer they cater too in a given market and is willing to bring them the products that will provide the customer with the best value and end-user experience, and with Velocity Micro providing top of the line computers to it's customers everyone wins.
 

un1x

n00b
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Messages
29
I don't think this will work out too well. I personally work at the Kitchener BestBuy in Ontario, Canada, and well we had "x-go" custom build systems before. We don't carry them anymore because it cost way too much money, well we still made profit, it just wasn't enough (computers aren't marked up that much any more).

Regardless, I really want to see a builder in bestbuy, why? Well I'm a computer sales associate (currently 17 years old :D) and my job is to get the customer the complete solution, however if I'm selling, i.e., an HP desktop, it may have somethings that are extra and the customer really doesn't need that feature(s). Yet I can't take it unless they pay for an upgrade. With a builder I can get them EXACTLY what they want BUILT for THEM.

Go VM.
 

Stinkfist

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2000
Messages
1,508
un1x said:
I don't think this will work out too well. I personally work at the Kitchener BestBuy in Ontario, Canada, and well we had "x-go" custom build systems before. We don't carry them anymore because it cost way too much money, well we still made profit, it just wasn't enough (computers aren't marked up that much any more).

Regardless, I really want to see a builder in bestbuy, why? Well I'm a computer sales associate (currently 17 years old :D) and my job is to get the customer the complete solution, however if I'm selling, i.e., an HP desktop, it may have somethings that are extra and the customer really doesn't need that feature(s). Yet I can't take it unless they pay for an upgrade. With a builder I can get them EXACTLY what they want BUILT for THEM.

Go VM.

LOL dood you dont happen to have a Futureshop right across the street do you? HAHA I think that shit is hilarious.......

Sorry if you dont get what i"m saying, I guess it's an inside joke down here in the american BB's......
 

un1x

n00b
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Messages
29
Stinkfist said:
LOL dood you dont happen to have a Futureshop right across the street do you? HAHA I think that shit is hilarious.......

Sorry if you dont get what i"m saying, I guess it's an inside joke down here in the american BB's......

LOL, no however we have the sony store across the street, an mdg shop to the left and about a 5 minute drive from the apple store :D
 

Kevin Tu

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
489
Stinkfist said:
LOL dood you dont happen to have a Futureshop right across the street do you? HAHA I think that shit is hilarious.......

Sorry if you dont get what i"m saying, I guess it's an inside joke down here in the american BB's......

Isn't Futureshop and Best Buy the same thing?
 

HappyJack

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
145
So if Dell buys Alienware, and Velocity Micro is the #2 boutique is size, then I am thinking VM can be the "new" Alienware, but the CEO has promised in this thread not to cut service and quality as they grow. That makes them better than the old Alienware IMO. That strikes me as a good thing.

Now I am starting to wonder if their direct online sales from the website are growing because people see them in BB, or because of the growing AW backlash? For some reason they have shot to the top past a lot of other good boutiques such as FNW and Voodoo, and had success beyond companies like Overdrive, Maingear, Hypersonic, and Viscious because of something, right? They simply have a better formula for price vs performance and quality.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2005
Messages
23
i work at comp usa and most everyone is correct the majority of our customers are looking for a 500-900 dollar pc. but lets say i have a pc that actualy offers more POWER such as a video card or faster hdd or proccessor rather then just bells and whistles like a media center pc then i think it would help the upsell proccess. also about once a month i personally get a customer really looking to spend well over 1500 for a desktop, and why not people do it day in and day out on laptops, would be nice to sell a computer rather then have to order parts and build it. it is true that many people dont know how to build a computer or even care but that doesnt mean they dont want the fastest possible work/play computer.

anyway thats my 2 cents from a pc sales point of view...
 

HopePoisoned

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
Messages
229
ill go straight from site, but VM is the best prebuilt computers out there and I hope this bestbuy thing goes good for them

it'd be nice to see them pick up some share!
 

FadedSpark

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
7,560
After what ive read, i have to agree, VM = Best over all pre built computer in production RIGHT NOW :)

the fact you communicate on a global scale to people, throiugh a board like this shows dedication, and if i were to come across one of your machines in a future shop or something, (no best buys near me, im in canada) i would HONEST TO GOD, make sur, the next suggested customer to something in its range, would take it home :p ie done that a few times actually. changed purchases :D its fun knwing people at your local store...

All i can sya, is good job, screw alienware, Keep up the good work, Send some units to canada :p
 

HappyJack

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
145
It's official that Alienware is a Dell brand, so may I introduce the new king of the boutique world - Velocity Micro. They deserve it.
 

HappyJack

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
145
I also heard through the grapevine that Alienware has been hiring Dell management for months already. Like 5 or 6 upper managers left Dell to join Alienware in the past 6 months about, so perhaps this has been in the works longer than they are admitting. I can't see any good for the products they make with Dell management, and these guys are marketing types, too. Anyone from Dellienware care to respond if this is true?
 
Top