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Last post Author Topic: Hard drive shortage  (Read 23046 times)

xtabber

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Hard drive shortage
« on: October 27, 2011, 05:28:26 PM »
Last month, Newegg was selling a Western Digital Black 2TB drive for $129.99 with free shipping.  Today, that same drive is selling for $229.99 plus $7.28 shipping!

Most of WD's factories have been shut down by flooding in Thailand, and since many of the components used by other manufacturers come from the same industrial parks in the Bangkok area, the cost of all hard disks is expected to soar for the foreseeable future.


f0dder

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 05:44:49 PM »
Most of WD's factories have been shut down by flooding in Thailand, and since many of the components used b other manufacturers come from the same industrial parks in the Bangkok area, the cost of all hard disks is expected to soar for the foreseeable future.
Especially since people have begun stockpiling.

Glad I got my server replacement drive before the flood!
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2011, 05:54:11 PM »
The prices will probably soar only until people stop buying them. It's not like you'll starve to death if you can't get a cheap new hard drive. You either bite the bullet if you absolutely need one, or put off upgrading if you don't. 
 8)

Krishean

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 06:26:01 PM »
I'm not sure if Seagate was affected, but I'm glad I built my NAS and upgraded my gaming machine before the prices went up.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

- Arthur C. Clarke

Stoic Joker

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 06:26:20 PM »
You either bite the bullet

That's best avoided me thinks, as it's hard on your teeth and they taste like shit. ;)

4wd

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2011, 07:19:19 PM »
You either bite the bullet

That's best avoided me thinks, as it's hard on your teeth and they taste like shit. ;)

Unless he meant liquorice bullets...nom nom nom

nosh

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 09:38:03 PM »
From what I've heard, it could take upto six weeks for the waters to recede.
A 2TB Green that I picked up for around $80 earlier this month, is listed at $150 on newegg.

Pity for Thailand, they already have their share of troubles! :(
 

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2011, 05:49:39 AM »
Had I been paying closer attention to this, or been thinking more like a 'shark', I'd have run to any local retailers who didn't yet adjusted their prices and buy every hard drive I could see. Interestingly enough, Walmart has already removed all 3.5" internal HDDs from their web site, leaving only SSDs and external HDDs (which of course either contain a standard 2.5" or 3.5" internal HDD with appropriate external interfaces and PSU). However, the external HDDs that do remain have all gone up in price, with most sold out.

Many retailers profited from this unfortunate experience, you can bet on that. Their existing inventory instantly sky-rocketed in value. Many may be holding onto inventory until the market stabilizes and prices are set.

If any of you wish to profit from this, go find any local retailer who isn't keeping up with things, and buy up all their hard drives ;). Of course, with darn eBay seller fees, and the trouble of selling crap, you'd need to find a good stash of them to make any real money. For me, I don't have the capital or time to muck with doing such -- but for anyone who does have free time on their hands and enough capital, there you go ;).

Similarly, if you have any used HDDs laying around, now is the time to dump them on the market. You never know who might be desperate to find an HDD in this shortage.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 05:57:21 AM by db90h »

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 05:54:43 AM »
Oh.. as for Seagate and other manufacturers.. whether directly affected or not, they will raise their prices as their competition just got 'hit', so they have an excuse to raise them. There is insufficient competition and supply in this market to accommodate the temporary shutdown of WD without massively affecting market prices. That said, I would not at all be surprised if all manufacturers are affected, as they likely all get their components manufactured or assembled in the same (cheapest) global location they could find. The HDD market is such that it would have forced the few remaining HDD manufacturers to do this, as the profit margin has to be extremely low. Or it was until now ;o

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2011, 05:59:31 AM »
"Thailand is the second-largest manufacturer of hard drives, and even companies like Samsung, which haven't had to shut down production facilities, are facing part shortages. The HDD drive motor manufacturer Nidec, which supplies between 70-80 percent of the market with motors is expected to limit production due to flooding. Other companies potentially facing shortages include Hitachi, Seagate, and Toshiba. "
- http://hothardware.c...e-of-2011-is-Coming/

Any local shop unaware of the shortage, I'd go buy all their HDDs if possible. Small retailers at the ones most likely not to have yet realized this change. Unless someone beat you to it ;)

Prices have doubled already everywhere... and are continuing to rise. After people quit freaking out, they may recede, so it is a risky proposition to buy at current prices.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 06:44:28 AM by db90h »

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2011, 06:49:43 AM »
LOL, all hard drives sold out or doubled+ at almost all big name retailers, locally and online. Speculators are now driving up the prices. How affected the supply really is we won't know for a while...

40hz

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2011, 07:55:59 AM »
LOL, all hard drives sold out or doubled+ at almost all big name retailers, locally and online. Speculators are now driving up the prices. How affected the supply really is we won't know for a while...

Good point. Once the carpetbaggers and opportunists start making a run on the supply, any near-term shortages are likely to be strongly affected by those vermin.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2011, 09:49:44 AM »
Good point. Once the carpetbaggers and opportunists start making a run on the supply, any near-term shortages are likely to be strongly affected by those vermin.

Were in not for these speculators, there may be no real supply problem. Given the continual drop in HDD prices we've seen, I would speculate there has been an over-supply. Therefore, a lack of sufficient supply for a short period should not substantially affect prices. I strongly believe all prices have been artificially inflated by the current media circus over this, and am with Intel on this one: As they say, the semiconductor industry proved more resilient than people thought in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquakes. I suspect the same is true here.

Regardless, if you need an HDD in the next 6 months, you may pay a heavy premium for it. Why that long? I'd imagine that prices will be SLOW to decline to previous levels, even after supply has been re-established. Retailers and manufacturers all want to maximize profits. Although no price setting (as in anti-competitive collusion) would likely take place, this natural tendency would slow the competitive effects, and thus keep the prices artificially inflated for a considerable period. This is especially true in markets with few competitors, such as the HDD market.

In fact, given the low profit margin, manufacturers may choose in some cases to intentionally keep supply suppressed, long after they've regained production capacity ;o. Taking advantage of this situation ... I mean, think about it.. if your stuff suddenly was selling for 2 to 3 times what it once was, in a market where your profit margin is so slim you can barely survive, would you be so eager to increase supply? Still, competition will force things back to normal, eventually.. but it will take as long as they can make it take. Each step *down* in price will be slow and incremental.

(UPDATE: Prices have increased at some vendors since this morning. It seems the speculation continues. a WD20EARS (WD Green 2TB) 3.5" internal OEM drive cost as little as $69 prior to this disaster. The highest I've seen it priced is now $279 by a crazy person on ebay, and the average price seems to be $149 and rising - with it being $159 at many vendors).
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 10:15:56 AM by db90h »

wraith808

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2011, 07:50:57 PM »
Wow!  I hadn't noticed this... guess I should pay better attention!  The HD I just got for my nas for $70 is going for a minimum of $129.  2TB will last for a while, though.  Glad I'm ok on space for a while.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2011, 08:49:30 AM »
WD hard drives have now mostly sold out at the larger retailers. Many people have a preferred HDD manufacturer, so this may cause a slight premium in the value of WD drives. Of course, already going for twice what they were, I'm not sure how much higher they may go. One guy on ebay is trying to sell a wd20ears new drive for $279, a drive selling for $139-$159 after price increases at retailers where it isn't sold out. That is a heavy bet for massive inflation beyond what we see now. Of course, that person may simply be .. misguided ;)

Of course, many of these retailers may not be actually sold out, but rather waiting to see if the price further increases before offering the drives up for sale again, as I speculated above.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 10:00:40 AM by db90h »

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2011, 03:58:12 PM »
USED WD20EARS drives are now selling for MORE than they cost NEW a month ago (and this auction is far from over, it is likely to rise much higher):
http://www.ebay.com/...e58d0#ht_3657wt_1139

cranioscopical

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2011, 04:54:50 PM »
I was in a Costco in Canada today. It was selling WD2TB external drives (MyBook) for $149 which is pretty close to their pre-flood price IIRC. Nice to see that they're not milking the price increase by inflating the cost of current stock.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2011, 05:13:10 PM »
I was in a Costco in Canada today. It was selling WD2TB external drives (MyBook) for $149 which is pretty close to their pre-flood price IIRC. Nice to see that they're not milking the price increase by inflating the cost of current stock.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I think that is quite a bit above pre-flood condition pricing, which was sub-$100 for that model. They'd gone down rapidly prior to the flood, so maybe if you had last checked 6 months ago, the price might seem about right.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2011, 05:41:58 PM »
The curious thing is that external 2.5" drives seem less affected by the price increases. I think that speculators haven't 'hit' them yet, this proving it is speculators and greedy retailers that are driving these prices up.

UPDATE: I take that back, *some* retailers have adjusted the prices on these, others not. Example: I just picked up a brand new WD My Passport SE 1TB (great little USB powered backup drive) for $99 (current retail price before disaster, though I did buy one for $79 before the disaster, having found a sale). It is going on amazon new for $140+ ... So ;). Opportunities are out there for opportunists. I don't have enough capital to make any money, and this is sure to backfire, but I couldn't resist ;p.

I just WISH I had waited to sell some old hard drives I offloaded last month, darn it.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 05:50:41 PM by db90h »

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2011, 05:56:56 PM »
I don't have the money to 'invest' in this potential opportunity, and it is sure to blow up in my face anyway, hard drive prices will likely recover next week, lol.

However, if anyone does want to participate in this speculation, here is a seller that has not yet marked up the price of this drive: http://www.amazon.co...319928405&sr=8-3

This drive is selling for $140 on TigerDirect right now ... same at NewEgg (http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16822136755).. same at Amazon (via Amazon and not an Amazon sub-seller, or whatever you call those people).

Price at aforementioned Amazon seller, plus carrying case, is about $100 -- pre-flood price. 4 left in stock, so giving you guys the heads up, since I know you most likely all are poor as I am, and I estimate at 30% profit on this drive at current prices. Of course, you'll pay taxes on that income, making it more like 15%. Ah, you decide if it is worth it.

You can't really lose much, since this is the retail price of the drive pre-flood.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 06:06:16 PM by db90h »

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2011, 06:05:03 PM »
Oops... sold out, speculators (you guys?) hit those last few in stock. I bet that guy is wondering how come everyone bought up his hard drives so fast, lol.

UPDATE: NO wait, 1 left in stock, and a few other sellers who haven't gotten the message on these yet.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 06:27:33 PM by db90h »

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2011, 06:11:19 PM »
...

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2011, 08:42:14 PM »
You guys gotta see this to believe it: http://www.ebay.com/..._trksid=p3286.c0.m14

LOL

rgdot

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2011, 09:49:38 PM »
This subject is just begging for another random anti-capitalism rant from me but I won't  :P

40hz

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2011, 09:51:22 PM »
You guys gotta see this to believe it: http://www.ebay.com/..._trksid=p3286.c0.m14

LOL

I'd like to think they screwed up with some pricing updates. Because looking at the site, prices are all over the place. You've got a WD WD1001FAES Black 1TB 64MB 7200RPM SATA6.0 Hard Drive listed with the same seller for $199 - which is high compared to two weeks ago. But it's not totally insane.

Weird... :'(