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William George (Product Development)

How We Handle Peripherals Is Changing

Written on March 9, 2021 by William George
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Since our founding, more than twenty years ago, Puget Systems has offered a small selection of keyboards, mice, and other accessories for purchase and use with our computers. The exact categories and models we have carried changed over time, of course, but it was always just an assumed part of our business - after all, people need input devices, displays, backup drives, etc. But what if that isn't actually the best approach for our customers?

It is certainly easy to make a case for carrying peripherals. For example, doing so makes it convenient for users to order everything at once - "one-stop shopping", so to speak. But over the years we have uncovered many downsides to this method of selling accessories:

  • Peripherals are a personal choice - no single accessory is the best for everyone, and we can only carry a limited selection
  • We weren't adding any value - yes, we did basic vetting of brands and models, but we couldn't unbox and test each one
  • Larger items cannot fit in the box with a computer, resulting in additional shipping charges
  • Multi-box shipments may not arrive on the same day, which is inconvenient for those who must take time off to receive deliveries
  • Customers end up paying for shipping twice, in effect: from suppliers to us, and then from us to the end-users

There are more reasons for the change, but that is enough to get across the conclusion we have come to: reselling peripherals isn't really providing a good experience to our customers, and in many cases may be doing them a disservice. Once we understood that, we began working on a better solution - which we have unveiled today! Behold our Recommended Peripherals page:

Puget Systems Recommended Third Party Peripherals Page Screenshot

Screenshot of our Recommended Peripherals page at launch

Instead of trying to carry a sufficient selection of accessories to meet our customers' varied needs, we now have a page on our website with a curated list of hardware that we are comfortable recommending to pair with your Puget workstation. All of the items listed are fulfilled through Amazon, and if you purchase using the affiliate links on that page it will support Puget Systems. The descriptions we include are based on Amazon product listings and correct to the best of our knowledge, but these items are not tested, fulfilled, or supported by Puget Systems. We have chosen to utilize Amazon because of their service and delivery speed. By freeing up time and energy spent on logistics, we can also focus our attention on what we do best: building and servicing high-performance workstations.

If you have feedback on the devices we list, or suggestions that you have used and recommend, please share that with us and other readers in the comments below!

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Tags: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, experience, expectations, External Drive, Accessories
gravitysmith

The idea makes perfect sense and is fitting with your reputation for outstanding customer service. However Amazon affiliate links are used by low-class sites that will sell your personal information to make $0.05. Why not link directly to the manufacturer product? People who prefer Amazon know how to find the item.

Posted on 2021-03-12 12:54:39

Thank you for that feedback! I think the goal from our standpoint is to make it as easy as possible for our customers to order peripherals, and (at least in my experience) Amazon provides some of the best prices and fastest shipping available. However, I do like your idea of linking to the manufacturer's page directly as well - I'll suggest that as something we could add, if it wouldn't clutter the page too much :)

Posted on 2021-03-12 17:17:26
Madhuvidya Agnima

I agree with this approach, and also agree that Amazon is not the best way to link. As a small business owner, if I try to sell my products through Amazon, on a $10 product I make $1, and Amazon makes $4. I believe this illustrates a significant problem in our economy, and prefer to not support that business model.

Posted on 2021-03-22 15:17:23
Walex B

> As a small business owner, if I try to sell my products through Amazon, on a $10 product I make $1, and Amazon makes $4.

Try to sell through physical shops, often they buy at $2-$5 wholesale what they sell to the public at $10. Many Amazon people used to work in physical wholesale or retail and know that well.

Posted on 2021-04-05 12:17:17
Walex B

One complication you may encounter is that your change of approach means that the customer has to deal with multiple suppliers, and you are no longer a one-stop-shop. For many of your customers especially those with their own IT support staff that is not a problem, but some of your customers may want a "just call Puget Systems" approach. The latter level of service may be unprofitable, but it may help make sales of the higher margin package easier (look at Dell for example, which may have a business model different from yours).

Posted on 2021-04-05 12:12:22
Larry Fasnacht

I think it's okay as long as these are items that Puget Systems has checked and are certain will function correctly with the system ordered. And looking at your peripherals page, I don't see the BenQ 32" monitor that I bought from you in December. That extra large screen was a major item for me and knowing that had been vetted by Puget was an important issue for me. I paid the extra shipping even after your sales people told me that it was going to be expensive. It was worth it to me knowing that it was well matched to the system.

Normally when I buy a computer from a company like Dell I don't get a lot of choice, but at least I'm assured that everything will play nice together. When I buy custom system, I worry that the components might not be great matches. But when I buy from Puget, I don't worry about that as I trust that you have tested them all and are confident that they will work together.

Having said that, if you can give me a list of monitors (for example) that you certify for my custom system, and point me to a link where I can get one, that's fine. As long as you are willing to stand behind the compatibility issue. As for possibly receiving a defective unit from another retailer, that isn't a problem. I can deal with that.

One idea that comes to my mind is that you might be able to form some sort of partnership with some of the other companies. I had an outfit I used to deal with and they would have some items "drop shipped" directly to me from a manufacturer. You might be able to make a more profitable arraignment that way. On the other hand, that might limit you to certain manufacturers and maybe you don't want to do that. I get it.

With all that being said, I think the new policy is workable as long as I have YOUR assurance that everything will function together.

I love doing business with your company and am willing to work with you to make the experience valuable for both of us.

Larry

Posted on 2021-04-08 14:44:54
ewilts

As a customer, I prefer Amazon links but completely understand the seller's point of view as well. Since COVID started to affect us all last year, many customers relied on Amazon and other mail-order firms to provide the goods and services we need. I have unfortunately been unable to support local businesses. Product links plus Amazon links would benefit us all and we can hope that buyers will do what they feel is the right thing to do.

Posted on 2021-04-08 14:48:32