Amazon Launches Camera Installation Service

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 18, 2015

If Amazon selling cameras for cheap does not get your attention, maybe the fact they have added installation services will.

Not only can end-users buy hardware themselves, but now they are able to get quotes from multiple installers at the same time who are all competing to be the lowest priced provider.

In this note, we examine Amazon's Home Services for surveillance installation.

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Price **********

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Prescreened **********

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Profit ********

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Comments (28)

The hardest part of any trunkslammer's job is getting work. Seems like this could really help. Even losing money on a few jobs would be worth it if you get access to lots of work. There are quite a few timesaving tricks that'll leave a customer happy and knock the time required down to less than three hours per system, allowing our trunkslammer to do two or three jobs in a single day.

Thank god I am not in the resi business! I would be concerned if I was Home Depot or Lowes where they have contractors that will work for these prices. This market is one that a legimate integrator can not provide value added services. So these guys can fight over the crums.

I completely agree! However there is a market from the retail side and its growing. The installation side is about as relevant as Home theater installations are (not very much). Companies like Dropcam have the correct formula, make it easy enough for just about anyone to setup and keep them on a steady payment plan. Dropcam will never reach into businesses with 50,000+ sqft facilities or high security businesses however so pro installations will always be necessary.

From FRESH (one of Amazon's approved installer vendors) website- "We conduct a FREE laser particle reading, using the ParticleScan IAQ tool, which detects particles down to 0.3 microns in diameter every six seconds, for the detection of airborne particle concentrations in normal and polluted indoor environments.

We also perform accurate testing for radon, termites, mold, allergens, VOC's (volatile organic compounds), and lead as part of a complete home or commercial property inspection. Our goal is to assist our clients to lead healthier lives by helping them optimize the indoor air quality in their homes."

Not sure how that would make me trust them to install low voltage.

I think it's pretty fair to presume 'trunkslammers' will eat this type of referral service up!

I wonder if IPVM will make a survey asking how many people/companies self identify as 'trunk slammers'?

Oh, good, we get to do this thread again.

Oh man, the 'Funny' upvote button would get wrecked so hard if that thread were 6 months newer.

That might be my favorite thread ever.

The profits may be thin, but it also could be a job that an installer would have had zero chance at before.

With Amazon's approach, the end user buys their own gear but is able to entertain the idea of hiring the install out at the same time. They may just go for it.

Before, they'd buy an 'Amazon deal of the day' CCTV kit on a whim, get it in, maybe plug in the DVR and a few cameras, but then lose interest and stick it in a closet to gather dust.

Matching up potential installers with 'DIY-grade' equipment purchases in an easy way may seem small, but I think consumers will take advantage of it.

not only will many houses now have satellite wires stapled all over the exterior they will also have surveillance wires all over the place...

Is the quote based/tied to a specific all-in-one hardware purchase, e.g. the q-see 16 ch Dvr with 8 bullets and 4 domes and 12 pre-terminated 100 ft coax runs?

Look for this type of slamming to increase...

At this point the 'Home Service installation' option is linked on a select number of all-in-one box kit product pages, but there is no specific limitation restricting the service to only those kits.

In other words, you can buy equipment wherever and contact an Amazon Home Services installer for installation.

Example offer:

Software installation and configuration software

Typo? The way it reads configuration software is 'included with this service'.

Installing a DVR or a server is physically different than configuring software for use, agree? What about viewing clients? Port forwarding/Remote access?

The scope language is so vague, it could easily become a pain point for half-measures.

I personally believe that whoever is choosing these "installers" is clueless. Judging by who has been selected in NY and by what is adverstised as stated in previous post.

John, maybe you should extend an "trial period" invite to Amazon so that they can at least get an idea of who they should be "inviting" and adverstising.

Now they have no excuse...

FYI, His published email is just jeff@amazon.com....

Once the star ratings start coming in, we'll know for sure. However, there have already been 5-Star rated transactions:

Not to be a 'glass half empty' kind of guy, but I wonder if we'll have to worry about star-erosion here also. Meaning are they (the installer) offering some type of incentive to the end user for a high/5 star rating? Basically rendering the reviews less than meaningful, while looking legit on the surface.

The star system is pretty easy to game. People sell reviews all day on fiverr.com.

This seems more and more common. Computer repair, business networking, basic structured cabling, and other entry level computer tasks have gone the way of services like Onforce, Work Market, etc. I see this as the commoditization of labor. To me, this seems like a dangerous path.

I emailed one of the Amazon installers asking about what was included. Here is his response:

"Although most outdoor applications are simple and with no extra cost involved, some require more extensive work.

Our price also includes DVR setup and remote access."

"Remote Access" is automatic with some :)

Our price also includes DVR setup and remote access.

To be fair, DVR setup and remote access is fairly idiot resistant. Many if not most DVRs take about 20 minutes to set up if you've done it before for that particular brand. And most Hikvision white-labels are fairly consistent, so learning a new brand usually isn't that bad.

If installing an all-in-one kit, especially ones using cat 5, isn't it a pain running pre-terminated cables from outdoors into a closet?

Do you snip one end and re-terminate the other? (And then re-certify the cable, like any ethical slammer).

The read / interest level have been very high for this post.

It would seem to show concern for Amazon's move.

The fact is most people on a budget are looking for the price range Amazon Services offer. When they see positive reviews, and all the "qualification" work pre-done, it's probably good enough for them. There will always be the Honda Civic and the BMW offerings. Keep in mind the service providers are "licensed, insured and bonded", so certainly not on the typical "trunkslammer" level, I'd say.

There's so much salesmanship out there that I believe many consumers distrust the added-value charges from many companies. If this is their first time buying a surveillance system, they don't really know the differences and quality ranges that are present. Sometimes as a consumer you don't know what you want until you get what you don't want.

I looked in my area and out of the 3 offerings I was familiar with one integrator. I'd day for the price, and the type of products to be installed, I'd have no problems recommending them. How can you expect a customer buying a low-end system to want to pay 2,3 or 4 times its cost for installation and set up?

Update: Amazon has $40 off services when you spend $75 or more as a Prime Day special.

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