What would NCIX do to bring you back as a fan?

  • TheGreatGazoo™ Nov 17, 2017 12:15 AM
  • What does NCIX need to do to bring you back to being a fanboy/fangirl/fanperson now? Even just as an online store. Should they re-brand, do they need to just have stock on everything, do they need to provide free shipping like A-Jungle, a better rewards program, or just plain best pricing? Or is it just too late and call it a day?

    I have been in purchasing and marketing for 25+ years I am truly interested in hearing your response. I work for a wholesaler in a complete different industry and I went through (in 2003) a restructuring and bankruptcy protection only to come to come out stronger than ever. We went from a $500MM company to over a $1.2B company this year.

    It was very ugly in the early times and I didn't even know if I would be paid for my labor. I worked 16 hour days because of my loyalty and dedication. Many of us did during that time. It made a huge difference in the end - I begged suppliers and re-distributors to keep selling to us, even wiring prepayments to have orders released. I remember in the early days when I would tell my H.O. I needed $10MM for purchases to be wired and they would tell me I had $300K. I had to make some very difficult decisions on what to spend and when.

    I didn't know what else I could ever do but this job. In the end it worked out, and I hope it does for NCIX and their remaining dedicated folks and hope they work through this quickly.

    I ask this general question to help guide NCIX if they plan to keep operating as an ongoing concern.
  • crazyea Nov 17, 2017 12:34 AM
  • I had a long post typed out, but it just disappeared.

    Anyway, just do the online model once the current leases run out with the option to pick up at warehouse. Maybe offer other companies items for sale. Cut the random, crap from the site like clothing and rice cookers. Make sure to list items that ship from outside of ncix. Consolidate multiple websites into one. Fast shipping. Improved customer service with minimal delay.

    Hate to say, but the forum should probably go if they want to be successful. I think it is a distraction for potential customers.

    This message was modified by the poster at 11 17, 2017 12:38 AM
  • Cannon Fodder Nov 17, 2017 01:30 AM
  • Just to add my 20 cents:

    Quote: (crazyea @ Nov 17 2017, 12:34 AM)

    just do the online model once the current leases run out with the option to pick up at warehouse.


    I somewhat agree with that, except that an option to pick up the warehouse wouldn't really work for some of us. To clarify, it's too much of a drive, in my case, from Mission to Richmond, so another location further out, in the Lower Mainland, would obviously be preferable, whether that's, for instance, the Langley store remaining, or even just a smaller warehouse type situation, with a small order pickup desk. If it was online-only, and JUST the Richmond warehouse with pickup available, I'd probably be inclined to look elsewhere.... and to be honest, possibly the guys that are rumoured to be movin' in.

    Quote: (crazyea @ Nov 17 2017, 12:34 AM)

    Cut the random, crap from the site like clothing and rice cookers.


    Gotta agree with that one..... obviously I have no idea what sort of deal NCIX got on that stuff, and maybe it was too good to pass up on the chance to make a few extra bucks on random stuff, but us computer geeks don't generally shop at a computer etailer/retailer to look for clothing, rice cookers, tents, etc.

    Quote: (crazyea @ Nov 17 2017, 12:34 AM)

    Consolidate multiple websites into one.


    Yeah, I never understood the rationale behind having 2 or 3 "sister companies", and acting as though they were competitors, when damn near everybody shopping at NCIX knew they were one & the same.

    Quote: (crazyea @ Nov 17 2017, 12:34 AM)

    Improved customer service with minimal delay.


    Yup, although my orders generally went fine, due to ordering online, making sure to pick items that had sufficient stock(back when the stock checker was at least SOMEWHAT semi-accurate) and picking up in-store, it's been kinda painful reading about the customers that have had LONG delays in getting their stuff, and of course, it's only gotten worse as things have gotten closer to the point they're at now. TBH, it's actually kind of embarrassing to read all the customer service horror stories lately, especially when this is a place that's been a "go-to" place for computer stuff. It's obviously due to a lack of manpower, but when you've taken people's money, in return for some products, you've got to be way, WAY better at communicating with your customers when there's a problem with their orders.

    As for what Gazoo said, "do they need to just have stock on everything, do they need to provide free shipping like A-Jungle, a better rewards program, or just plain best pricing?"

    Well, as I mentioned in another thread, having a lot of, stock of a wide variety of items, was one of the main reasons I started shopping at NCIX. I got kind of annoyed at shopping at some other "mom & pop" computer shops that had to order in almost everything, except for the most commonly stocked items. For instance, I could go in there, and request a hard drive, CPU, video card, motherboard, & case, and because they only stocked certain brands/models(the ones they made up their in-house garden variety computers with), they'd more often than not, have to order in a specific video card, motherboard, & case, because they never had the ones I wanted, whereas NCIX always had such a variety of stuff available, I didn't need to go anywhere else.

    Free shipping? Well, that's a tough one to swallow when you're small vs. the size of the Jungle, but I could see that working if it was based on a minimum dollar figure.

    As for better rewards program, personally, that was never a big deal to me.... sure, it's cool to get free stuff, but the stock availability, & pricematching were always the big attractions for me.

    As for pricing, so long as they're competitive, and continue the pricematching, that's a big plus.
  • Jimmy2Times Nov 17, 2017 08:26 AM
  • Quote: (TheGreatGazoo™ @ Nov 17 2017, 12:15 AM)


    What would NCIX do to bring you back as a fan?


    How about an announcement by a senior management explaining what is going on with the company???
    The way things are, people find out about rumours from other sites, or figure things out for themselves. And only when it is mentioned on the forums, the only NCIX employee that appears to be left, confirms it.
    If you don't want rumors running ramped, just put it out there!
    For this reason I do NOT trust this company enough to do any real business with them any longer
  • stevenswilson Nov 17, 2017 09:22 AM
  • Stock is critical, but the second part of that would be to adopt the practice of not charging for product until it's physically ready to go out the door.

    I've never had access to any of the physical locations, so online only wouldn't be any kind of change for me.
  • Cannon Fodder Nov 17, 2017 09:23 AM
  • Quote: (Jimmy2Times @ Nov 17 2017, 08:26 AM)

    For this reason I do NOT trust this company enough to do any real business with them any longer


    That's no doubt a large part of why there's all these, "cancel my order & please refund a.s.a.p." messages on the forums. IF NCIX intends/intended to shut down all their stores and simply turn into an online-only company, AND has/had intentions & the ability to actually fulfill all the outstanding orders, people simply don't want to wait & see what happens, and potentially lose their money, so they're bailing while they can. If there was some clear direction that people would actually get their items within, say, a week or two, some of them might be inclined to wait it out, but the folks that have been waiting for months, and NCIX's inability/unwillingness to clarify that people will actually get their stuff doesn't exactly inspire confidence. :(
  • Cannon Fodder Nov 17, 2017 09:28 AM
  • Quote: (stevenswilson @ Nov 17 2017, 09:22 AM)

    , but the second part of that would be to adopt the practice of not charging for product until it's physically ready to go out the door.


    Yeah, it seems that other etailers do that, and I suppose people get rather annoyed, and rightly so, when they're charged for something weeks before NCIX even has it in their hands. I can understand doing that sort of thing with "special order" items, but commonly stocked items, that just happen to be out of stock at the time, shouldn't be charged well ahead of arrival.
  • Entz Nov 17, 2017 09:53 AM
  • lol I wrote a big post and it got ate, so yeah how about stuff that works...
    or I don't know a pre-filter check on save.

    TLDR: Fix the website, fix CS, fix stock checker, go back to what it was like before the expansion.

    This message was modified by the poster at 11 17, 2017 09:56 AM
  • Phantasm Nov 17, 2017 09:58 AM
  • Honestly, I shopped with NCIX because of the selection... not just the variety but the overall quality of the products; they appear to have been well selected/vetted.

    I've purchased from am**on for example, and the quality of the product seems to be a tossup, not to say that I'd receive a defective product or something different than what was advertised, instead that I'd feel prone to receiving a product which just didn't stand up well against its competition. Like knockoff brands almost.

    So I buy from NCIX because I don't honestly recall ever having made a purchase here where I felt that the quality of the product was lacking.

    The fact that I used to get my orders a couple days after I placed them was a nice perk but its not a significant reason why I shopped here.

    Would I shop here again? Honestly, NCIX hasn't caused me any grief (I had 2 outstanding orders during this fiasco and both of them were cancelled/refunded as requested) and while I know the risk involved with placing an order TODAY, I wouldn't have the same reservation once things settled down around here again.

    This message was modified by the poster at 11 17, 2017 09:59 AM
  • Gregory_R Nov 17, 2017 12:12 PM
  • survive restructure
    The vending machine for tech only is great (website)
    now it just needs to survive off Vendor (aka manufacture) set pricing and margins.
    And make it out alive in this new vendor direct market created by R'FD, ali'express, a'mazon, etc.

    S'ears and Toy'R'US killed by new choices and attempting to survive retail. Fans alone was not enough for ncix to survive on. Had we had money to throw around we'd have not all done the R'FD thing and litterally been the problem being blamed on management here. Which were the only reason they lasted this long.

    Management exists in modern times to take the fall and blame for customers loosing interest in product. In this case the product was the ncix customer service , warranty and website.

    We sold all that out for $3 - $10, sometimes $50 an item. In this very new market. Of cost cutting and no frills

    the purchases buying the stores once ncix. are retail models whom do not compete online and never really had the online market. Mem'express buying some, threw out its price matching model couple black fridays ago , cause online likely almost killed it and I don't use it online and i don't think they care. Why they set limits like 2 fans per customer $8 shipping cause its just a retail only business with retail only pricing with overhead attached.

    These companies have only one way to expand and grow. More overhead and stores.


    From the netlink owners perspective, something went really wrong, and was caused by its retail business. it went from a supplier of these other retailers in canada to the state its in now. He likely wants to return to being that big warehouse with the bulk of canada's supply , for its online store, being competitive with the big 2 online stores and supplying these retail model stores with better supplier pricing and getting margins off that again like ncix great old rich times

    This message was modified by the poster at 11 17, 2017 12:17 PM
  • PricklyPete Nov 17, 2017 02:01 PM
  • Up until the last 3 or 4 years I was buying parts pretty much exclusively from NCIX. The primary reason for that was simply the selection and prices.... it was always cheaper for me to buy from them than anyone locally here in Regina, not paying pst, but paying shipping.... in the end it was always still cheaper to order from NCIX.

    Retail store closures mean nothing to me since I've never been anywhere near NCIX storefront. The last few years the selection and prices have not been so great so I've been using other online stores and in a few instances local shops were able to match (and beat) online prices.

    Unless NCIX can address the supply and selection issues, I'd be inclined to continue to shop elsewhere.


  • Lindsay_M Nov 17, 2017 02:20 PM
  • If your focus is going to be online, put together a decent website (your website looks like something made in Angelfire in the 90s).

    Also, work on responsiveness to tickets.

    Example:
    sent ticket on Nov 3 regarding order placed on Oct 11
    got response on Nov 7 that there was issue with supplier, offered to cancel order for me
    Nov 8 I said yes cancel
    Nov 16, order still open, nobody responding to my ticket. Sent follow up and no response.

    Try to call - call volumes too high *click*

    I've been a fan of NCIX until this experience...oh, and this is like a $1400 order too....fun stuff.
  • stevenswilson Nov 17, 2017 02:40 PM
  • Quote: (Cannon Fodder j Nov 17 2017, 09:28 AM)

    Yeah, it seems that other etailers do that, and I suppose people get rather annoyed, and rightly so, when they're charged for something weeks before NCIX even has it in their hands. I can understand doing that sort of thing with "special order" items, but commonly stocked items, that just happen to be out of stock at the time, shouldn't be charged well ahead of arrival.


    I'm not 100% sure on the exact method that's used by other online stores, but I suspect they block off the purchase amount as opposed to NCIX's current practice of charging your CC as soon as it's verified. The difference being is that they don't actually get the money when it's just blocked off which makes cancelling the order a heck of a lot easier than having to get the charges reversed.

    This message was modified by the poster at 11 17, 2017 02:41 PM
  • PricklyPete Nov 17, 2017 03:07 PM
  • I hadn't noticed earlier but this thread is stickied.... that's a great sign that at least someone is paying attention

    This message was modified by the poster at 11 17, 2017 03:08 PM
  • Cannon Fodder Nov 17, 2017 03:18 PM
  • I hadn't noticed either, and yeah, that would tend to APPEAR as though someone is interested in our opinions.
  • Yoinkerman Nov 17, 2017 04:42 PM
  • Before this latest round of stuff happening, the writing has been on the wall for a long time.

    The NCIX phone system hasn't worked decently for like 8 ****ing years. Seriously. This was largely got around by the ticketing system working reasonably well. Until there were 2 people working tickets, for what seemed like forever. First it was boxing day backup. Then it was boxing day and new years. Then it was boxing day, new years, easter, victoria day, wednesday, every day that ended in y being backed up.

    Items being on backorder or going EOL has literally never worked. Customers do not get notified until they go "wtf is up with my order".

    Pricing has been progressively more out to lunch on high interest items. Call me right now and ask me how much I care about hearing "suppliers set baseline pricing for us our hands are tied". I'll just order it from somewhere else. It's not 2003 anymore.

    Stock checker, info, category info, item listings in categories have been garbage since about the time NCIX expanded to other provinces. If an item says in stock, I expect when I punch in my cc info that said item EXISTS and is allocated to my order and delisted from the stock info. Literally every other online company can manage this with minimal issues.

    I would literally rather spend money to get items shipped to my house instead of dealing with the garbage fire buying things in store with their ridiculous in store ticketing system. 6 employees on the floor, 5 doing nothing and 1 dealing with walk ins.

    I'm tired of typing.

    TL;DR: NCIX can't act they're on no. 3 road with a "going out of business sale" sign on their window that has been hanging for 6 years and somehow expect to compete online in todays market. They failed to modernize and we've told them every step of the way.

    That's not true. Their youtube marketing has been consistently good.
  • BoredNow Nov 17, 2017 05:31 PM
  • TBH, ncix as a whole made a lot of stupid business moves, sitting on the outside looking in it would appear the company is run by the "new millennials" or the equivalent of the whiny little 13 yr old basement dweller with the IQ of a turnip but knows everything about nothing but he or she thinks it so it must be, lol.

    Be honest, if it's going belly up then say so but as it stands I can not afford to throw $$$ at orders that I may or may not get so to me it feels like ncix has died until further more convincing notice passes by my internet eyes, I honestly believe a real statement should have been emailed out along with the e-flyer.

    Seriously how can a business thrive if it hasn't learned that it made mistakes and with that mentality I see no future for it.

  • Doug_the_Slug Nov 17, 2017 07:46 PM
  • I used NCIX for the following (in order of importance)
    Deal breakers:
    1) price matching - why shop anywhere else when you can just price match. Still technically available but I've been getting rejected more recently.
    2) local pickup - used to work near the burnaby location, used that for years. Then coq opened near my home. Both of those are completely gone.
    3) decent stock / selection - selection is technically still there if you can wait weeks/months. That just doesn't cut it anymore, stock levels are awful

    Really nice to haves:
    4) 0 dead pixel warranty - I bought every monitor for years with this. That peace of mind was amazing.
    5) 50$ assembly - They always did a really good job for assembly. I just didn't feel like assembling my own anymore, and this was great value, especially since they could immediately locate DOA hardware and replace immediately.
    6) Forum help - I'm sure I could get reasonable help elsewhere, but I could typically rely on NCIX forums to help me out most of the time. Greg is a superstar.

    Side notes:
    - The weekly sales are stale. For the record they have been for almost the entire time. You see a sale price, and sometimes you could still price match lower.
    - Annual sales like black friday and boxing day sometimes had a really good door crasher type deal, assuming you could load the sale page and checkout. The rest was always filler.
    - I used to browse the sale page just to keep up to date. It was better than the new section which I almost never visited cause I'd forget and it was out of the way.
    - Rewards/points were always a nice bonus, but I often wondered how much business sense it made to be giving away that stuff for free. It didn't affect my purchasing patterns one bit. It kind of sucked when reward point inflation when through the roof though. That whole EBP for points really took a dump on 25 points per week.
  • comitu Nov 18, 2017 10:32 AM
  • Make a nice website and get good shipping for 🇨🇦
  • Baconator Nov 18, 2017 11:43 AM
  • Hire Linus back, find a way to blame all the issues on him & fire him publicly. Make sure he cries & apologizes.

    Then stock & sell all the parts a person might actually need to create  a complete build (I hear computers sometimes need RAM).

    Free shipping is what brought me to ncix many moons ago so make that happen.

    Getting good account managers back (ie Dave Crymble) might help a lot too. He was incredibly helpful and I often sent business this way even when there were cheaper options for that 'human touch'.
    On that topic.. streamlining your processes for tax exemptions.. I started using a lot of other retailers that don't make me take extra steps due to tax.