[Vendor] BitDeals.tech AMA

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Hello All,

Brandon from BitDeals here. Many of you may have already had some interaction with me through the support email or on discord (tehdoctor). Now that we are starting to recover from the fire, I thought it would be a good idea to start an AMA and take in some questions if there were any curiosities you guys had about the business.

We are planning on doing a soft launch of a few line items relatively soon and are just finishing up some preparations to begin shipping again en masse.

I may not reply immediately to your questions but should have a lot of stuff answered by the end of the weekend!

Lastly I wanted to say that we were touched by all of the support and love you guys showed on the discord. We have really appreciated all of you allowing us to be a part of your community and have a mutually beneficial relationship.

Hope everyone is having a great new year so far.
-Brandon

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Do you have any place we can donate to support your recovery efforts from the fire?

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Hello badi,

I really appreciate the offer, it is a really touching sentiment. Luckily all of us here are safe and sound and insurance has been really great to us when it comes to housing, food, belongings, rebuilding, and other expenses so we are in a great place other than some minor inconveniences.

If you really want to donate, I recommend one of the charities that are directly helping those impacted by COVID. You can find a full list here. Especially in our area I have noticed a growing population of homeless and panhandlers just asking for food outside of Grocery stores.

-Brandon

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glad to hear you all are doing well, and that the insurance is has been good. I was concerned about that, as I work commercial insurance for my day job and know it can be a huge struggle sometimes with a loss like that.

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Glad to hear things are ok and you are able to recover.

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You don’t seem to have many questions so I’ll ask some - feel free to answer any

  1. How did bitdeals get started; did you just fall into it, or was this a conscious career choice
  2. how many employees do you have - is this purely a family business?
  3. Do you have your own homelab? What h/w do you run internally?
  4. what generation h/w are you seeing being retired now?
  5. what servers or h/w are you hoping gets into your hands soon?
  6. what represents bitdeals bread and butter h/w
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Thank you both. I can’t say it has been the easiest thing in the world, but just gotta take it one step at a time and work towards making things better. Luckily we just found a place to rent so we can settle down and cozy up.

Thanks for the awesome questions emonster. I really appreciate it :slight_smile:

I was employed as a software engineer for awhile. Started with Application Development and got laid off when the company I worked for moved to Vegas. After that I ventured into the IoT space for about a year as the lead engineer for a startup which never went to market. Looking for work, I decided to join BitDeals’ sister company and expand on the Direct to Consumer Market and create BitDeals. The other segment of business (B2B) has been going for about 20+ years but in an effort to create a more lasting a solid market segment, this has definitely been an amazing ride.

I wHolEheartedLy am Pleased to MEet and work with all of the people we do.

To an extent, yes. COVID scaled down the operation to pretty much the bare minimum and the only employees that we really had were remote workers who helped with some of the smaller pieces of operations. But a lot of times we struggled finding the proper quality of work from remote workers and had to take on the responsibilities ourselves, even the minor things that get overlooked like Photos and Descriptions. The one thing that has been really successful and a mutual relationship is working with others to manage outreach to different communities, JDM, rfs830, ephies, and some others are some of the people that really come to mind when I think of really nice down to earth people who are a pleasure to work alongside.

I did! However its all burned down now. I built a proxmox cluster for the company that we used to host a database and API for testing data as well as some other internal tools. On top of that I recently started up a 36-Bay Unraid server since about 90% of our customers use them and I wanted to be a bit more knowledgeable on the topic when answering questions or supporting customers and really fell in love with it. I started moving over the personal VMs I had with stuff like Plex, Game servers, and some network shares we used here. On top of that I was starting to build a render machine for Blender but the fire happened before I could finish. (RIP 3080) Theres also some network stuff (Switches, Firewall, Pfsense, etc), and some test benches that we used.

LGA1366 is completely dead now. Had a bunch of servers that haven’t sold a single unit in the past year. Recently we have been seeing a lot of LGA2011 (v1 & v2 CPUs) being phased out in the same way. Sitting on a ton of HP G8’s that I would be ecstatic to sell at $50. With DDR5 about a year or two away from market I expect you to see Dell RX30’s, HP G9’s, and X10 SuperMicros replace the previous generation in price as I expect a lot of Fortune 500 companies to decommission and upgrade their existing data-centers and flood the market with current latest gen hardware en masse. Also you can expect to find a lot of Volta Tesla’s flooding the markets very soon once NVIDIA gets their supply chain in order.

High Capacity stuff is always fun and always welcome, and I’d love to play with one of those higher end CPUs from Intel either Cooper Lake or Cascade Lake. (Not like I really have a place to stand up a server anymore though, but during rebuild we can have a proper server closet now :]) Also for personal use I have been hunting nonstop for a 5900x, but I’m like 99% certain now that they just a myth. Other than that it’d be cool to get a 9500-16e to see if there’s any speed difference between the 9400-16e we bought.

The real bread and butter of BitDeals is all of you who support us. We wouldn’t still be in business if it wasn’t for all the awesome people who choose to shop with us.

In terms of hardware, it would have to be SAS for sure, Specifically 3TB and Higher. The higher capacity the faster it’ll sell out if the price is right. SSD’s have been pretty good for attracting new customers, but are really hard to obtain in the specs people want. (NVMe especially near impossible to get)

Thanks again for the questions! If there’s anything else you want me to dive further into feel free to ask away! :slight_smile:

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As someone who is completely new to serverbuilds.net, could you tell us more about your business and what it is that BitDeals.tech does?

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Thank you for the responses to detailed questions. I already liked BitDeals, but now I wholeheartedly just want to support what you’re doing.

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Hope you guys recover and do well going forward… hopefully my current order gets fulfilled also lol…

Thanks for my previous orders as well, the items I received were top notch

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HELP ME?

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We primarily sell refurbished hardware at hopefully good prices haha. With a particular specialty in hard drives.

I really appreciate it. Without all of you we wouldn’t have gotten to where we are. If you have anything you want answered feel free to ask.

Can you send a message to me on discord with your order number. tehdoctor#4116
Ill look into it for you.

(⊙_⊙’) I reallY have no idEa where you got thiS from.

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@BitDeals, sent you a friend request via discord

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Hi Brandon. Wanted to know if you’ll be having bundle specials like before (hhd/sas, LSI card, ssd)?

Also, where do you see the sweet spot for hard drives to be in your business?

Glad your insurance came through for you and your company!

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Glad to hear that you all are safe and business is resuming! Made a recent purchase right before the whole mess, and I was really happy with the drives provided and the quality customer service.

What does your refurbishing process look like?

I know BitDeals has a pretty decent DOA warranty period, but what has been the most common type of failure purchasers come back with?

What are your thoughts on consumers shucking external hard drives?

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Accepted.

Yes. But we found that the more variables in an order, the longer it takes to fulfill them. Different drive and SSD models are fine, but introducing something like the Array builder with LSI cards and lower capacity 2.5" drives really hindered our time to fulfill orders so it might take a while before you see some of those options come back. Also considering a large majority of the inventory of LSI cards and NICs were consumed in the fire, we are going to have to wait for some more shipments to come in for something like that. Hopefully we can find a good source for 4Kn compatible cards in the meantime.

In terms of pricing? Generally we’ve seen for lower capacity drives, that people want ~$0.60-0.70/TB, and for higher capacity it scales up to generally $1.00/TB. For 10TB and higher there is a bit more of a premium and it can go above $1.00 per TB but we try to stay competitive in any market. Also SATA is always generally closer to the $1.00/TB if not higher.

In terms of what sells, it has been pretty split between lower capacity and higher capacity. Everyone’s needs and budget are different, so hopefully by giving people the option for cheap lower capacity drives, and more dense capacity with a premium everyone can find something to fit their needs.

On every drive we have a 3-pass DoD wipe straight from the server room its pulled from. After it arrives in our shipping facility we inventory it, test with Hard Disk Sentinel to ensure there are no read or write errors, and prepare it for shipment. This isn’t 100% foolproof as generally there are some bad sectors that develop shortly after customers receive them, but its incredibly difficult to justify the time requirements of doing a full zero out again in our shipping facility.

More often than not its always some form of mechanical failure from shipping. Especially prevalent in 3TB drives due to their older age. We have refined our packaging process over the past 2 years to really limit the amount of vibration and shock the drives can receive with padding and bubble bags but even still we see a fair amount of failed drives (Albeit fractions of what it was before when conforming packaging around USPS boxes). If a higher capacity drive fails, its always some form of Helium error or Motor error but these are very rare which could also be a testament to the improvements in engineering in the 6 year difference between them.

I think shucking is great honestly. The truth of the matter is that there is a large majority of people who do not feel comfortable putting their data on refurbished drives so for those that have mission critical data, or can justify the added premium they pay for a shucked sata drive then more power to them. A lot of the deals we see on shucked drives keep us on our toes as well.

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Do you think you’ll be getting any more 4TB HGST SAS drives in stock anytime soon? You gave me a fantastic deal this time last year and I need to pick up about 6-8 more. One of mine was DOA but I was too lazy to deal with it before.

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