Is Anyone Else Out There Using Costco IP Cameras?

I remember when I started in the alarm business the average system in the S. Cal. area was selling for around $2200. This price was not affordable to a lot of people. I looked at the recurring revenue and realized installing more systems by lowering the price substantially increased the amount of recurring revenue. In approx. 11 years my company had installed around 8000 alarm systems.

Getting to the camera business, it seems to me that the lower end quality IP cameras offer the most potential for profit in small to median size businesses and residences.

Thoughts Please


One big distinction between alarms and video: There is almost no recurring revenue for video systems. There is no stereotypical monthly monitoring fee to collect, and most users do not see the practical need for video monitoring if offered or even periodic maintenance agreements, so it is a hard sell.

With that said, the overall price for cameras is dropping, and that can easily drag down markups and margins as noted in our IP Camera Pricing and Markups Statistics 2015 report.

Which Costco cameras are you thinking about? They carry several brands. Q-See is one - they're all rebranded Dahua, which IMO is one of the better of the low-cost Chinese brands.

You are right about no recurring. However, on the positive side even the slightest complexity eliminates the home owner or small business person from self installing. I always try to remember that everyone you meet knows at least 300 people and when you make them very happy they will tell some of their friends. I don't sell price because most people will forget how much they paid when you do a good job with good quality equipment.

Respectfully

Best that i can remember is the replacement parts for those box systems was an issue. You couldn't just replace a camera if one went out after the warranty went out. you would end up purchasing an entire kit. check into that before you commit. Look into Hikvision affordable and nice quality,

We have been using the Q-SEE 4MP with much success. I didn't know they were Dahua until I took this class. Well over 100 cameras installed with 0 failures.

In regards to replacing Q-SEE cameras they are sold in both dome and bullet both at Costco and others in both 4MP and 3MP.

For what it's worth, I'm not 100% sure that all current Q-See cameras are Dahua OEM. Just based on the look and some of the documentation, they look less Dahua than previous models. The recorders look the same.

I also heard some rumblings when I was in China about that being the case, that some of the Shenzhen manufacturers had started producing CVI and IP gear for some of the brands that were historically Dahua OEM.

That being said, I haven't touched it, so I don't know.

"Getting to the camera business, it seems to me that the lower end quality IP cameras offer the most potential for profit in small to median size businesses and residences. Thoughts Please"

1, good question.

The consensus among integrators here is that SMB video projects are the least profitable, primarily because video systems are least valuable to this group (compared to larger commercial, government, etc.). The fact that video is so cheap now often makes it harder to convince them of integration cost (i.e., I spent $300 for my entire system at Costco and now you want how much to install it???).

One example discussion relevant to this: Need Advice Dealing With The Customer From He** Also, Amazon is driving down install prices as well in residential/SMB, see: Amazon Launches Camera Installation Service.

If you can make money here, that's great. I am just sharing what is the general experience of others.

I live in a high end resort area almost 100 miles from the nearest real city. For us, the emotional appeal of the 4MP cameras, color and resolution seems to have overcome price rejection. The other appeal to hire us is the distance others have to travel to install. Also the cost of a service call if you can get someone to show up.

Respectfully

"I live in a high end resort area almost 100 miles from the nearest real city."

That certainly will help you compared to the average mid tier city! Thanks for the feedback.