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WORLD-WIDE MEMORY BOYCOTT?
9/29/99

As many of you are probably aware, memory prices have been skyrocketing the last few weeks.  IG.net gave an explanation for the start of it on August 5th, but that was before the Taiwan earthquake.   Dean Kent, Real World Technologies has recently published a piece, Memory Prices - A Rebuttal, which gives more insight into what is going on.  But I'll tell you, as a person who has been in this business for a long time and has seen it before, yes, there my be reasons for some increase in memory prices as stated in these articles, but the absurd prices we are seeing now are being caused by the same reason they were before: greed and gouging, nothing else.

You see there are two ways memory is bought and sold.  The big guys, manufactures, etc., the ones with clout, buy memory from memory manufactures and distributors under long-term contracts.  The rest of us, those without clout, buy it from smaller middle men, who buy access inventory from the big guys, bankrupt inventory, etc.  When conditions like those described  in the IG.net article occur prices go up, then go up some more when people think they are going up still higher, stabilize, and then continue their historic down trend.  When something like the Twain earthquake happens at the same time prices are going up, panic sets in, people get unreasonable, and middlemen spread the panic and gouge customers (and more middlemen enter the fracas--that, I believe, is how they are born).

I can remember back a few years ago when I bought a lot of memory boards for HP II printers because the boards with memory were cheaper than what I could buy the memory for.  Today, prices on PCs are so low and memory is so high, it might become profitable to buy whole PCs to get the memory... but that's absurd: buying a computer to get the memory to build a computer...

Today, one of my vendors sent me an E-Mail which said,  "... we had purchased a very large quantity of 64mb PC100 -8 memory 7days ago. We locked in a very good price for you.  But, now we will need to replenish our supplies on Monday.  Current price that we can buy it at is $167.00 before shipping..."

I replied, "...we are going to wait and are advising our customers to do likewise. Whenever ... and others, who are attempting rip-off everyone, has either gone bankrupt or has been arrested we will start buying memory again. If you all and others like us would do the same, memory prices would plunge. Let's all suffer for a month and implement a world-wide moratorium on memory...

And then I thought some more.  We now have the Internet.  That gives us the tools to potentially make a bunch of little guys "THE big guy."  Let's have a world-wide memory boycott.  What do you think?   Shall we bring them to their knees?

Larry

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