Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I need a designer to make a desk!

As I said, this hollidays were also about home improvements... basically, painting that wall. But it also involved finding new furniture... my desk it's to big to fit on the living room, so I'm using the "credenza" which is not an ergonomic solution.

So, today we went shopping for a nice computer desk. I had in mind something like the one Hermas had at his office. (maybe not that one, but something similar) In fact, I remember I saw them at office depot... when my students were researching existing products to design their own desks.

Anyway, we went to several furniture stores, from "the warehouse" to "freedom", and even NZ's office depot... and couldn't find the right desk... either they are very cheap chinese copies at a very unreasonable price, considering they are not really high quality, or they are cheap chinese mass products, low quality, etc... at a very unreasonable price again!!! I mean, the "low quality" ones are 100 to $200... when a reasonable price for that kind of junk, may be just half of that. The resellers are doing a great business... maybe I should become a retailer instead of breaking my head trying to get my studio going!!!

Anyway, the "not so baaaad quality, but anyway chinese mass produced, that look like bad photocopies of ikea products" cost more than $500... reasonable? maybe for a company, not for someone that just wants a nice computer desk to put at his/her house. That's why workstations "warehouse style" are best sellers. I can't understand why consumers still pay for that kind junk. Probably they haven't heard about demand/offer...

Most prices here in New Zealand are like that, not based on actual production costs, etc. but they are based on how much or "up to how much" consumers are willing to pay. There are $50 and $100 steps on most prices:

People are willing to pay up to 50 dollars for a pan, a folding chair, or a lamp, so they are all 49.99

What people consider reasonable for a micro audio system, a power tool, a toaster, a vacuum cleaner and an office chair is 200, so they all are 199.99 in most stores, regardless of brand, quality, or functions.

Now, many will pay up to 500 for a cell phone or a digital camera, so, they all are 499.99

How much would you pay for a fridge? for a DVD player? a washmachine? a dryer? a sofa? a TV (not plasma: regular, normal, plain tv)? Believe it or not, it doesn't matter how much technology is on a product, or how much are the materials worth... they all sell for 999.99 (just look at Noel Leeming's ads on the Tv) That is how much people are willing to pay! Not how much is the real market value (price) of those products.

Back to the desks issue... if consumers pay without hesitation, retailers will be bringing the same junk, and will even try to bring each time something worst and worst, as long as the clients still pay. It's just sad, to think that many good designed furniture will not be as successful as they should, simply because retailers inflate their prices, and thus, causing that the target market for which they were designed for, will not be reached. Those consumers will have to settle for a "warehouse" version of what they had in mind. And the higher segments will also recieve something that was intended for a middle class. In spanish we call that "gato por liebre" (being sold a cat instead of a rabit).

After today's frustration, I couldn't find a decent desk at the right price. It's a shame that office depot (U.S.) doesn't ship internationally or it would cost a fortune to pay the delivery.

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Anonymous Hooper said...

Umm.., what you need is a carpenter or a welder, the designer already sleeps every night with your wife!

Yeah! a catchy title to say that you should design you own computer desk, even if you find a suitable one in store, you ought to design your own (it's kind of a given, right?).

Then you may build it or not (or have it built anyway).

And prices are the same here, you can go to Lumen or Office Depot and no computer center costs less than US$100, a barely decent one easily climbs to $500.

There are, of course, several cheaper (chipboard) options in the local market, and as a matter of fact I have my PC on one of those put-it-together-yourself tables and have no complaints about it.

When designing your workplace, don't forget one cardinal rule though: whatever you do, Don't put the CPU close to the floor, even if it's supposed to be guarded against idle feet, hasty brooms, cute pets and/or lovely toddlers (you know it can happen!).

You see, aside of all of the above, the CPU will pick any little molecule of dirt around... even in the cleanest house, gravity pulls everything to the ground.

One nice thing to have, on the other hand, is a USB hub; once the CPU is set, you don't want to fiddle with it any time to switch peripherals.

On another post I'll tell you about my own home improvement holidays.

Matta ne...

PS. this stupid blogg won't let me change the text color, damn!

9:15 AM  
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