Dick Smith RIP

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Went down to the big smoke for the first time since moving to the mid north
coast 11 months ago. Went into the DS Powerhouse opposite the office where I
used to work. Gone was all the hobbyist stuff replaced by toasters and
vacuum cleaners and the only computer accessories that they sell now are
Logitech..

Went into the ordinary Dick Smith in Hornsby, it could have been JB HiFi
except that the range was much worse, it could have been Bing Lee except
they didn't have any appliances, it could have been Harvey Norman except
that there was no furniture for sale.

Whats the point of the place when all they do is what others do better? At
least our local DS (Coffs Harbour) is old skool, but for how much longer?

Keith



Re: Dick Smith RIP

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That's isn't news to anyone.
It's been that way for a long long time now.

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DSE stopped being a serious hobby chain more than a decade ago, some say
more than two decades ago. Some stores still had/have parts, but bugger all
stock compared to the likes of Jaycar and Altronics.

Also, buying parts at DSE is often a nighmare experience, with staff not
being able to figure our what anything was because it didn't have bar codes.
You had to "serve yourself" and write down all the stock numbers on a sheet
to hand in at the register.

Dave.



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  It began many years ago when Woolworths bought them out, and suffered a slow
and gradual demise till about late last year when they finally phased out the
last of the enthusiast bits.

  Sadly, they have nothing to offer above JB HiFi, Bing Lee and Hardly
Normals, because their prices are now (and in some cases, still were) just
plain obscene.
--
Linux Registered User # 302622
<http://counter.li.org

Re: Dick Smith RIP

" David L. Jerkoff "

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** Like  -  that is supposed to be difficult  ??

IME -

that simple courtesy gets you major brownie points,  particularly with
female staff members.



.....   Phil




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No, it wasn't that hard, but there have been stories on here of the system
simply not working. Part numbers not working or not being available, prices
being wrong, inventory not working etc. DSE lost all idea how to sell parts,
but that's not surprising, it has not been their business for a very long
time.

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Far easier to go to a Jaycar or Altronics where they stock vast amounts more
and you can just take stuff to the counter. But not everyone has a Jaycar or
Altonics nearby though, that was DSE's only advantage.

Dave.



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  But the brownie points don't even buy a cheek kiss from the female staffers.
  And they object if you try, anyway.

  I only got mine because I used to work with her.  It was a special case
though, not a standard customer offering.  The fact that I bought two bucks
worth of parts had nothing to do with it.
--
Linux Registered User # 302622
<http://counter.li.org

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lol!!  Phil talking about courtesy!

Dan

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And females! LOL.

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     When DSE's bean counter managers killed off the Kits Department
about last year, it was obvious that they'd soon finish the process of
getting right out of nuts and bolts electronics which started a long
time ago.
     So now Dick Smith Electronics is nothing to do with either Dick
Smith or real electronics.
     I've been getting almost everything from Rockby Electronics (who
are occupying the old Rod Irving Electronics premises in Renver Rd
Clayton in Melbourne) for years ... but I still go to Jaycar for my
novelty ashtrays and other electronic toys. :-)


Bob

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It is an hour's drive to the nearest DSE so I usually order things from
Jaycar and wait the day or two that it takes to arrive.
For the occasional resistor I sometimes drive the distance to DSE, and much
as I would like to scorn them, I can't.
The noise is deafening, much of the stock is rubbish, and some of the staff
have obviously been listening to the noise for too long.
But.
There are two guys there who know what they have in stock and where it is
and what it can be used for. And get this- if the computer system says they
have three resistors of the value I want, then in the drawer (adequately
marked with the value and  colourcode ) there will be three of the little
buggers.
I don't presume to expect someone to pick out ninety cents of components for
me, but in this shop they would. Without heavy sighs.
And last, a lot of the semi-consumer stuff is of surprisingly good quality
and surprisingly cheap.

DSE has changed, no doubt. Remember when Dick would weep emotional tears
over the Australian flag and import not-quite-compliant CB stuff, and
300baud modems that lasted a few weeks, and a hundred other products like
them?



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Yep,, they still have  the small filling cabinet  with all the draws at the
end of the middle isle, even if the sales kids  don't have a clue, about
what's what.
  And just as  well too,  there's bugger all else in Coffs, if you want bits
in a hurry.

But DSE  went commercial the day  Woolworth's bought them out,  and really
if  they only  sold electronic  components, like the little shop on the
Hume Highway at Bass Hill did,  how many years ago,  they would go broke in
no time, And  it's  the crappy speakers and computers  that keep the doors
open.

Didn't know you where in Coff's  Keith,  I,m  out of town,,  Turn left as
you go through  Coramba,  and head up the mountian  road  for about 18k's
drop me a line on   snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com  and we'll catch up.

                                                                            
                   bassett



Re: Dick Smith RIP
It's all to do with  $margin.

If DSE make $10 from a $100 camera - selling one item   - then  that's $10
in DSE's bank

If DSE make 10c from $1  resistor  then that's 10c in DSE bank.

As the owner of a DSE store  which would you prefer in the bank 10c or $10
from one transaction sale?
(less inventory, part No's etc)

Joe




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But that is a no brainer, I'll take resistor sales because people only buy
one $100 camera and a good proportion boing, but will buy 100 or 1,000
resistors and they don't boing.


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DSE don't make 10 percent on parts, they make 90+ percent easy. There
have always been huge margins in the kit and component business, but
it's a limited and messy market to be in.

Dave.

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Well, I'll disagree about huge mark ups. The real cost of kits are
assembly, marketing and customer interface. I'm sure there are plenty of
us that have done the numbers on "a nice little earner" and decided that
there are easier ways to gain a few spare $$$$.



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I know all about that, I used to sell kits and have just recently
taken it up again for a pet project. You sure have to do it for the
love of it. But it's easy to at least double your money on the parts
and assembly cost.
Marketing costs nothing these days with the Internet, and has always
been free if you got your project published as well (in fact you get
paid for it). "Customer interface" is now nothing more than a quick
email and PayPal, much easier than years ago when everything was done
by phone, snail mail and cheque.

I know the approximate mark-ups that used to go into the kits at DSE,
having had some of my projects go through them. It was a very
lucrative business for them from a margin point of view.

Raw components have even greater margins, an order of magnitude
better. DSE get them at ridiculously low prices from the best surplus
shops in Asia. Take a simple PIC16F628 chip for example - $10 retail,
they'd be paying a dollar or so. And that ain't even a good example.
Take a guess how much they were getting a $2 electrolytic caps for?!
Some parts are so cheap they are almost free.

Dave.

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I learned about the local markups when I first went to Japan in 1980. The
retail price for parts in Akihabara was roughly 1/3rd of the price that
Dirty Dick et al were charging, so there was probably a 150% - 200% markup
at least after freight and customs.



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This is the old buy in bulk and as close to the source as you can. Been
operating in many areas for decades.

The practical problem is how much you can use. For me 1,000 of any
resistor is stacks. No idea wat I'd do with 1,000,000.



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In the case of DSE (and others over the years) it's often how *far* you can
buy from the original source that matters - i.e the gray market. Hence the
fake semis DSE have sold over the years.
Direct from the manufactuer isn't always the cheapest source for DSE because
their volumes for many components are not that high in the scheme of things,
and their are tempting "bargains" to be had on the gray market.

Dave.



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