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Ask RiotACT: What happened to the computer fairs?

By Tack - 18 June 2016 14

Ask RiotACT

Rude awakening for me. Planned on going to one of the weekend computer fairs (annual event – if that). Looks like they have shut up shop in the ACT. The websites that listed upcoming events are now bare of ACT fairs.

Anyone know what happened and why? I assume it is just a sign of inadequate business despite the fact they always seemed very well patronised when I went in previous years.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: What happened to the computer fairs?
The cat did it 6:35 pm 23 Jun 16

Two factors killed the computer fairs. First was the growth of online sales, as other commenters have described.
The other factor was the that the market evolved. The rate of computer hardware development slowed and pretty much reached maturation. No need to upgrade RAM, increase hard drive size etc as there was during the days of Windows Millennium and XP. The shift to i-Devices etc has also diminished the usage of desktop computers, which were the focus of the fairs.

MarkE 3:05 pm 23 Jun 16

MSY is good if you need something in a hurry but ebay offers prices that I have never seen at an Australian retailer. You can source computer parts directly from China delivered to my home with free postage.

Simply the computer fairs can’t compete on price.

Mordd 1:43 am 21 Jun 16

gooterz said :

Masquara said :

dungfungus said :

Does anyone know where in Canberra u can buy a high end gaming computer ? Not after a “brand name” one. Would prefer to use a local based company or person – more so because of potential warranty claims. Was thinking of the Computer Fairs, but if they dont exist now, thats no good. Thanks.

I’m pretty sure MSY does builds… you give them the specs/ what you want it for and a decent budget and they will build it for you.
If not talk to the engineering/it/computer science students at ANU I’m positive that some of them would be willing to do it for you.

Thanks for the tip about MSY in Fyshwick. Have sent them a request.

Let us know how you go, and if 1 staff member doesn’t seem good, ask for the manager, he really knows his stuff.

rommeldog56 7:42 pm 20 Jun 16

Masquara said :

dungfungus said :

Does anyone know where in Canberra u can buy a high end gaming computer ? Not after a “brand name” one. Would prefer to use a local based company or person – more so because of potential warranty claims. Was thinking of the Computer Fairs, but if they dont exist now, thats no good. Thanks.

I’m pretty sure MSY does builds… you give them the specs/ what you want it for and a decent budget and they will build it for you.
If not talk to the engineering/it/computer science students at ANU I’m positive that some of them would be willing to do it for you.

Thanks for the tip about MSY in Fyshwick. Have sent them a request.

excession 10:45 am 20 Jun 16

Ten years sounds about right. The dearth/death of retail computer parts shops in Canberra has progressed to the stage where there are very few players left, and ‘computer markets’ just aren’t anymore. I use stores like Umart (Queensland), Scorptec in Victoria, and PC Case Gear, and EBay. My latest computer mouse was 40% cheaper than JB Hifi’s price and delivered to my door the next day from Sydney. I would also like to ask if anyone has successfully bought computer gear from NewEgg in the USA since they started offering $AU prices and international shipping? I don’t miss the Computer Fairs one little bit.

pink little birdie 10:03 am 20 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

Does anyone know where in Canberra u can buy a high end gaming computer ? Not after a “brand name” one. Would prefer to use a local based company or person – more so because of potential warranty claims. Was thinking of the Computer Fairs, but if they dont exist now, thats no good. Thanks.

I’m pretty sure MSY does builds… you give them the specs/ what you want it for and a decent budget and they will build it for you.
If not talk to the engineering/it/computer science students at ANU I’m positive that some of them would be willing to do it for you.

Mordd 9:27 am 20 Jun 16

dungfungus said :

Does anyone know where in Canberra u can buy a high end gaming computer ? Not after a “brand name” one. Would prefer to use a local based company or person – more so because of potential warranty claims. Was thinking of the Computer Fairs, but if they dont exist now, thats no good. Thanks.

The only local places I trusted are all closed these days. Yours options are pretty much get MSY to build something for you, or my preferred option, get one of PC Case Gears pre-built systems, if you really don’t want to build it yourself.

Or I’ll help you spec it together and build it, and support it afterwards, for $50 if you want to do that. Msg me on here if interested. I’ve built dozens of pc’s over the years for myself and friends, and I worked at Harris Technology for 3.5 years in Fyshwick speccing systems for ppl and providing support, I know how to custom spec something to suit individual needs and budget. This is my current system if you’re interested: https://imgur.com/a/Nu9qE

rommeldog56 8:25 am 20 Jun 16

Does anyone know where in Canberra u can buy a high end gaming computer ? Not after a “brand name” one. Would prefer to use a local based company or person – more so because of potential warranty claims. Was thinking of the Computer Fairs, but if they dont exist now, thats no good. Thanks.

Mordd 6:02 pm 18 Jun 16

Haven’t tried to go to one in over 10yrs either, not at all surprised they aren’t around anymore, it always was a setup for money laundering anyway with retail items being sold at 25% below cost (easy to check ebay prices yourself) and in many cases with the retail sticker price still on them showing how much they were bought for. Theres only one reason you sell new stock at less than cost, anyway, that was the only reason they were sustainable in the 1st place, money laundering.

If I need hardware these days either MSY in Fyshwick with great prices and great service, or for more exotic parts then PC Case Gear in Victoria with fast shipping. Haven’t even bothered with static ice for years either, its another relic of the past like computer fairs. MSY generally always have the lowest price anyway so need to static ice it.

John Moulis 4:02 pm 18 Jun 16

I used to post here every week about the computer fairs and they were always chockers with stalls. The last one I went to was at the Tuggers basketball stadium three years ago and there were only three stalls there. My guess is that like all other retailing it has fallen victim to online trading via the Net. If you go onto eBay there are thousands of retailers from China and Hong Kong with dirt cheap goods in your mailbox within a few days.

switch 1:58 pm 18 Jun 16

I stopped paying $4 to the privilege to shop years ago

Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that. Another reason I gave computer fairs the flick.

switch 12:26 pm 18 Jun 16

You only go once a year (if that) and have to ask where they’ve gone??

I gave up on computer fairs over ten years ago. I often had things go wrong with purchases that required trying to track down the trader to fix, if you could find them, which left a bad taste. Reasonably priced shops opened around then in the ACT but now I use overnight delivery from the likes of PC Case Gear or Static Ice. I’ve never had a problem since.

Narzor 9:38 am 18 Jun 16

Oh I should point out that MSY is not a place where you can ‘browse’. You need to know the exact part, model, brand and capacity you are looking for, otherwise the staff and everyone in the queue behind you will get p$ssed off. I find after after during the week (they close 6:30) is an okay time to go.

Narzor 9:31 am 18 Jun 16

MSY in Fyshwick have ‘computer fair’ prices everyday, and you can see their stock online. Otherwise items on eBay bought locally (ShoppingSquare, PCMeal etc.) usually arrive in 2 days. I stopped paying $4 to the privilege to shop years ago and I’m sure the sellers stopped paying too given their margins are so low. To make the point MSY have a 2% credit card surcharge..

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