So this may not be as long as I’d originally intended due to having stuff to do.
FYI – all links open in a new tab.
The information provided – as usual – is simply my opinion. If any details are not factual you may send the correction and I’ll have it done/added.
The link above should take you to information about IntComex. They’re basically a franchise company like KFC or BK. There are multiple locations across the Caribbean and they provide lots of IT & computer supplies.
Originally when they came to Jamaica, I was attending NCU. The year I don’t recall. At that point – EVERYONE on campus doing IT had an account with them. I didn’t bother to open one because I could literally walk into the hallway and find someone who had an account. Considering that I had setup the first LAN and message board system in use on the dorms, it was easy to message the room and get stuff purchased as well.
Prices were better than everywhere else. This was also before the rise of the freight forwarding companies and commonplace Visa/Mastercard debit cards. Doing a direct purchase from IntComex would give you a rate close to what you’re seeing on Amazon – and less than what most computer stores locally would charge.
IntComex became the major supplier for just about everywhere. And that’s where things went South – with the beginning of the monopoly.
Campbell’s Office Supplies in Kingston were a dealer for Cooler Master – a decent brand for peripherals such as cases, power supplies and fans. Since you could get all your supplies at IntComex, Campbells came out of the PC dealership and focused on the office supplies around 2019. While you can get items special ordered, it will take 2 weeks to get it here – and most persons can just order on Amazon now.
Having pushed most other dealers and companies out of business, if you can’t get what you want at IntComex – you’re better off ordering it. The pricing model for IntComex started climbing shortly after grabbing the market. The prices are currently just around what it would cost for you to buy on Amazon/eBay – pay the freight forwarding company – and pay customs. I mean – that’s not too bad, right? Right? Well – it wouldn’t be if they didn’t suddenly reduce the inventory.
One of the major problems in Jamaica currently is power. JPS is the primary power (electricity) supplier and the power is…dirty to say the least. No fault of theirs and not everywhere. If you don’t have a good UPS and power supply (PSU) for your PC, you’ll end up paying much more over time for your ownership.
That link above will show some good power supplies. IntComex went from having EVGA as an option to only having XTech. You’ll note that XTech isn’t even on the list. None of the better brands like those listed below can be found in Jamaica.
- Cooler Master
The above list isn’t comprehensive, but it shows what the options are. Cooler Master is on the list in the link multiple times – and it’s no longer available easily at Campbells. You’d ideally want at least an 80 plus bronze power supply – I’ve no seen that on XTech at any point.
Something you can do. Find someone – a store or otherwise – that has a good quality dead power supply. If they have a 500W – compare it with a 700W Xtech. I guarantee you that any smaller output PSU from one of the companies in the link above, will weigh twice or more than a 700W or higher XTech PSU.
Does the weight matter? Not really. But it shows the difference in the quality and number of components used. The use of the PSU here is just one of the areas. No good motherboards, RAM or CPUs are easily available anymore. Everything has to be purchased online. And the best part? If it costs more than USD$50 the customs will slap you with their fees. This is retarded considering that the duty-free amount when you physically travel is USD$500 last I checked. Especially for IT parts – they should allow for a greater threshold.
I think I’ll leave that there where it is. There’s not much else to say. Where IntComex is concerned – the options are horrible – the pricing is no longer as pocket-friendly as it was – oh! I forgot! They’ve now locked things so you have to meet a certain purchase criteria before you can get membership. So if you’re not a business and moving a certain volume – you can’t buy from them. Neat huh?
My recommendation is to find a tech or friend that is in tech. Pay something to have them locate what you need online if it’s a full build – or just ask for a recommendation if it’s a single part. Get a good UPS – not FORZA – and protect your investment as much as possible.
Links below will show why getting an 80 plus bronze or higher PSU is recommended.
Basically. An 80 plus PSU is guaranteed by the manufacturer to work properly even on 80% load. Most cheap PSUs fail after 50%-70% load (like XTech) and some fail even lower. You can’t use an XTech to run a gaming or graphics/video editing system. While it may work for a time, it will likely damage your devices as the power will be fluctuating and not stable. Add that to JPS and you have a recipe for a fire.
That’s it now. I’m out. Let that sink in for a bit.
End User Faults
So this last part is an addition on 2023-01-22 @ 3:55PM. I entirely forgot about the end user issues. That’s part of the reason why IntComex has moved to where it is now. Most users simply buy the cheapest option. Never mind what the tech may recommend – you can get a PSU for less. Choice between an i7 and i3? Maybe they’ll pick the Celeron. It works right? So the company has moved to the cheapest option. They’re about moving products – whatever sells. Never mind that THEY are the ones who shaped the markets to what it is now.
I’d like to point to this link below.
That’s an 80 plus white Thermaltake PSU. Cost on Amazon is around USD$40 which is about JMD$6,280. Considering that IntComex gets the items at a really low price – and can manage to sell them back with markup/profit at less than that – they could provide better PSUs to the local market. At least give the option.
Prices are not shown due to privacy issues – but the end cost of those power supplies would be about JMD$4,710 – with markup that’s going to be about JMD$6,200 in a store.
Firstly – they can sell it for less based on their suppliers. Secondly – they can get better quality ones and still sell them at a reasonable price. And it’s still more expensive here than elsewhere. Check this out.
The link above is to one of the dealers linked to from the XTech website. I had to search through to find one that actually had PSUs available. Most had other products – but no PSUs. Keyboards. Mice. Headsets. No PSUs. And when I do finally find it – it’s still like JMD$1,000 cheaper at the PUBLIC online store. That says IntComex could still do better. Feel free to do your own research on it.
Cheaper isn’t always better. Some of the available products are really just there as a “stop gap” until you get the right things. But with what’s available now in Jamaica – there’s hardly any “right” thing.
Free Market Pricing
One of the issues with a free/capitalist market is the available pricing. The government (customs) is a major factor, but I’ll show how this works with another sector that persons can relate to. Cars.
Needed what’s called a “crank angle sensor” for my vehicle at the time. Local price? JMD$25,000 new – genuine. Want to know how much I paid for it? Genuine. Online purchase. Lemme show you what it was for that vehicle.
It was 2015 and I then paid USD$7.48 which was then JMD$932.41 and would now be about JMD1,174.36. That’s just a tad cheaper than the local price right? And I mean – it’d have to be ordered from the supplier because they didn’t have it immediately available.
Do your research. Shop around. You want something that works? Buy what’s here. You want something GOOD? Get it online. Pay the extra. Protect it as best as you can using a UPS from APC, Liebert or PowerWare. Don’t use Forza. Go solar if you can.
IntComex no longer makes sense unless it’s an item that you need and can’t wait for it to be shipped. The ONLY reason to buy from them is for the very limited warranty. Even hard drives you’re only getting like 1 year or less – most stores give you 30-90 days. Want to know what the warranty is like overseas from the manufacturers?
I’ll close on that.