CD-R King : Where Have All The CDs Gone?

Collection of CDs and DVDs 

When CD-R King started its business – 99 percent of its products were blank CD-Rs and DVD-Rs…I used to buy by the bulk, and collect a few of every design. My hobby back then, sometime around the year 2000, was to burn all the movies, mp3s, games, etc that I could download or borrow from my colleagues original audio and movie CDs and duplicate them, aside from buying the original audio and CD movies sold on sale …di pa masyadong uso mga DVD movies noon at mahal pa kung mayroon man…My hunger for a collection was overwhelming dahil I could buy all the blanks readily available at CD-R King then kolektahin yun at itambak lang. My plan was to be able to use them for future media resource. Di pa kasi uso torrent or limewire download noon, or kung mayroon man ay hindi ko pa alam…May mga miniature CDs pa nga na may kapartner din na mga plastic cases…Then nagkaroon na rin ng mga CD jackets or bags, CD label stickers, blank DVDs, CD markers, …..

Now, nakakagulat na…..the variety of products that they now sell are enormous and almost countless in a sense dahil you cant possibly buy one of each during your lifetime, and more new products are emerging everytime I visit their store.

The sad news is that, there are now very little choices of blank CDs and DVDs….A reason why they should probably rename their store because I think only 1 percent of their products na lang ang mga blank CDs and DVDs…

One reason is probably because of the availability of USB drives, or portable storage drives, or even the affordable terabyte hard drives where you could store all your downloaded treasures…Bihira na yata ang nag-burn or back-up to CDs or DVDs kaya CD-R King decided to offer other products.

Then here comes Bitcasa. With Bitcasa the cloud is now your hard drive. And not just a few dozen Gigabytes, Terabytes or even Petabytes, but allof it – infinite storage – for only $10 per month. This is the incredible promise of the new TechCrunch Disrupt finalist Bitcasa.

The company is launching a new cloud storage, syncing and sharing service that blows away its competitors, including hard drive manufacturers and online services like DropBox and SkyDrive, with ease. In fact, beyond the pricing and limitless storage, the most disruptive thing about the service is its complete integration with your device. You don’t see it, it’s not an icon on your desktop, you don’t drag-and-drop files or folders into it. Instead, you write to the cloud when you save a file on your computer. The cloud is your hard drive, and your actual hard drive is just the cache.

The idea of using the cloud to store files or sync files between devices is not new. Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Docs, Amazon and countless others have been offering online storage for some time. Plus, companies like Mozy, Carbonite and Backblaze use the cloud to back up your files. Other services, like Megaupload or YouSendIt revolve around sharing files through the cloud.

But Bitcasa is not like any of those services. It doesn’t move files around. It doesn’t sync files. It deals in bits and bytes, the 1′s and 0′s of digital data.

When you save a file, Bitcasa writes those 1′s and 0′s to its server-side infrastructure in the cloud. It doesn’t know anything about the file itself, really. It doesn’t see the file’s title or know its contents. It doesn’t know who wrote the file. And because the data is encrypted on the client side, Bitcasa doesn’t even know what it’s storing.

So if you want to cloud-enable your 80 GB collection of MP3′s or a terabyte of movies (acquired mainly through torrenting, naughty you!), go ahead. Even if the RIAA and MPAA came knocking on Bitcasa’s doors, subpoenas in hand, all Bitcasa would have is a collection of encrypted bits with no means to decrypt them.

Now going back to CD-R King, it may have expanded its products, kaya lang parang di na siya focused on one specific category. Halo-halo na….ang saya-saya ba or is it a sad story?

CD-R hit the jackpot years ago after setting the trend of selling dirt-cheap recordable compact discs. They now have over 60 branches all over the country. I remember seeing their first store in Greenhills Virra Mall. The place was packed. It took me 30 minutes to get my stack of CD’s. Up to now, they’re selling CD’s like hotcakes. Goes to show that Pinoys have a penchant for sharing movies and songs (whoops). CD-R King has also ventured into super cheap computer accessories. Their mice, headphones, USB sticks are actually pretty good. Yeah, you can call it the poor man’s Best Buy.

I do not know who are the people behind this very successful business, but they sure are smart and they did a good job of keeping the Filipino people up to date with the latest IT Gadgets.

“Very true. Also, staff needs to be train and oriented regarding the products they sell. Para sa isang store na ganun dapat equipped with good knowledge and information and staff. At eto pa, sobrang mura ng mga gamit nila (at mabilis masira) na ang laki laki na ng kinikita nila at inuubusan pa nila ng trabaho ang mga negosyanteng pinoy & western products sa iba’t ibang field. Imagine gel pen na 4 pesos? Standard writing pen is only 2 pesos nga lang eh! Paano pa matatalo ng mga local brands yan!? E mas mura pa ang imported!”

“mga staff ng cd-r king ang dami dami walang pakialam sa customer… hinahayaan lang nila humaba ang pila… at isa lang ng entertain samantalang ang iba ay pa petiks petiks lang… dapat manging aware ang management d2… lalo n dyan sa may robinson galeria… mga alang kwenta ang staff… mga bitch..”

“Months old and still very relevant. CDR-King is still manually handing out receipts. I definitely agree that they should do something about this. Nonetheless, damn! Ang galing din kung paano sila lumaki ng ganun considering the price competitive and “gaya-gaya” business climate we have here in the Philippines.”

Is cheaper worth all the headache?

Let’s face it, when it comes to cheap PC parts, accessories, portable disk drives, memory cards, CDR-King is the place to go. I have no qualms about their products, I mean for that price, you really can’t expect it to last for more than a year. I haven’t had any experience returning any products or buying any defective products.

So what “headache” am I talking about? You know what I mean. Whenever you come to any CDR-King branch, there’s always a lot of people and why is this so? Is it because of the small space? I don’t think so, I know of stores that have small face but are able to accommodate a crowd. It’s because of their Cashiers and salesladies. WTF is their manual receipt all about? I mean, I’m sure the owners are already making millions of pesos because they’re selling OEM products from China, why can’t they afford cash registers? The way they make receipts for their products is what makes buying at CDR-King a headache.

If the owner of CDR-King happens to be reading this post, a word of advice: You’re losing customers because of this “system of yours”. I for one had passed up buying on your stores and bought from other stores even though their products are more expensive because a few amount of pesos saved is not worth wasting my time waiting in line.

If I have to point out one weakness to CDR King is their poor customer service. I don’t think I have to explain, there’s a lot of complain about them over the internet, even friends and family would rant about their grumpy sales people. Why is the CD-R King customer service so slow by the way? I’m sure that if they can improve in this area then they will really dominate the market.

Many are also saying na substandard ang mga products nila…though cheaper compared to the prices of other stores, maraming cases of questionable durability and sirain daw at di tumatagal. You get what you pay for….There’s a reason kung bakit mura lang ang mga produkto nila. Pero minsan, may nakaka-tsamba naman ng mga bang-for -the buck…tiyempo lang talaga.

Like many technology companies, CDR-King had its fair share of being slapped by the government (an issue about illegal importation).

The Optical Media Board (OMB) once slapped CD-R King with a P1.5 million penalty for failing to produce permits for some of its optical media disc importations. CD-R King is a registered company allowed by the OMB to import blank, rewritable optical discs.  OMB said that they are also seeking the cancellation of the license of CD-R King to sell optical media in the country.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, they were even found using pirated softwares in their business operations. Tsk tsk.

OMB  conducted its “validation inspection” to verify a tip it received that the same company was using unlicensed software in its operations in the country.

Success Factors
Purely based on my observation, I think that CD-R King became successful because of the following factors

Cost Advantage – If you’ve read one of my previous posts about the 4 sources of competitive advantage mentioned by Mariusz Skonienzky in his stock investing book, you’ll quickly  realize that CD-R King has a cost advantage over its competitors. They could price their products lower simply because

  • CDR King does not rely on selling branded equipment
  • They do not advertise heavily
  • They do not give a very long warranty which usually adds up to a gadget’s price

Franchise Model – While I have not seen or heard any information about a CD-R King franchise being offered publicly, CD-R King operates just like a successful franchise business. Every gadget you purchase is uniformly labeled with a CD-R King logo, every employee wears a uniform, and every CD-R King store has  the same paint color. This is starting to sound like McDonald’s but they sell CD’s and technology gadgets and not hamburgers. Ironically, they also manually collect payments and manage inventory.

Niched Market – Right now they only exist here in the country as CD-R King Philippines and their Mission/Vision statement is taylored specifically to the Filipino people. They did not try to target all types of consumers or big establishments, but probably just the C and D Market here in the Philippines. The strategy is to penetrate the technology market through the “regular juan” type of customer and that is through my first point, cost advantage

CD-R King Vision

“Our vision is to provide every Filipino with the latest technology at an affordable price.”

CD-R King Mission

“Our mission is to be the No. 1 top media & technology provider in the Philippines that could provide the latest technology at an affordable price without extra cost and also to be able to deliver up-to-date technologies to the Philippine market with the latest computer related products as well as computer accessories.”

“Guys remember why cdr king is cheap…because they know people want them. you want something affordable? then bear the long wait na lng…wala nga silang pos customer service skills pa kaya? but im not dissing them..i think of it as like going to divisoria..for the price..aircon na and accisible..so its ok..”

“This might come as a little late but I have a feeling that CD-R King insists on using manual receipts so that they can hide their smuggled goods from the BIR (and make some extra cash in the process). Why else would a tech store used manual receipts? It just doesn’t make sense.”

“for me, it is worth the wait. Manual receipt sila, kasi nagtitipid. Sayang yung ink at papel nila, tatapon lang natin.
P.S. Di sila nag smu-smuggle. may certificate naman sila ng bir. tsaka you get what you pay for. Tip lang: buy when they are off-peak, like umaga, bubukas pa lang o pag lunch or gabi, bago sila mag sarado.

ang weird nga eh. parang prinogram sila at memorize nila ung return at warranty policy na sinasabi habang nagsusulat ng resibo.”

“All I can say is: Every day’s great at your CDR King~!

P4 allusions aside, I’d agree that they really need to do something about their customer service. They should take a lesson from the fast-food places like McDo and Jollibee about good, quick service.”

“Napaka Ironic nga e, they’re selling innovative and latest technology products pero sa resibo outdated sila. Hahaha!”

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Monching
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 18:33:17

    anne mae mango

    Reply

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