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Dreaming of a whitebox Christmas?

Dreaming of a whitebox Christmas?

With the ink barely dry on the ballot papers, retailers are ready and armed with oversized reindeer, giant stars, fake snow and everything else that announces the arrival of silly season.

Alongside the end of financial year, Christmas is an important sales peak for computer resellers. For many, the seasonal sales will extend well past January 1.

Sales consultant for Sydney-based Adelong Computers, Ben Boyd, said custom-built PCs do particularly well over the Christmas period.

"They are a big ticket item, but some families use Christmas as an excuse to upgrade the family computer," Boyd said. "Mostly at this time of year, people are interested in custom-built computers because they are cheaper and better value for money."

However, many whitebox resellers report a small peak in December, which skyrockets to its zenith through the traditionally quiet month of January.

After five-and-a-half years in the IT reseller game, managing director of Adrenalin Computers and Software in Adelaide, Michael Paley, said he is still surprised by the January rush.

"Our expectation is that things will begin to pick up about half way through November and carry on through January as well," Paley said. "Something happens in the holidays, people stay home and use their computers more and decide that its time for an upgrade, or a whole new machine."

Paley said there are similar peaks throughout the year following long weekends and school holidays.

And the trend isn't confined to any one area or outlet. Managing director of local PC manufacturer Plus Corporation, Nigel Fernandes, said while Christmas turnover is traditionally high, January usually exceeds it.

"A lot of shops are just as busy in January as they are in December, and we actually tend to sell more systems in the New Year," Fernandez said.

While he agreed with Paley's observations, he said there is also less supply.

"Some shops just close down from Christmas through a couple of weeks into January," Paley said. "So there is a lot more work for the ones that stay open."

However, managing director of Brisbane IT retailer Infinite Systems, John Hall, said custom-built CPUs generally don't feature on Christmas lists.

"Christmas is about getting as many flash peripherals as you can," Hall said. "We pick up on the CPU business in January, especially towards the end when the education market comes into play and teachers or students are looking at getting a new computer before the school year begins."

Unorthodox as it may seem, the moral of the story is for whitebox resellers to take off now for a much-needed rest, and keep their doors open throughout January.


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