Ring Buys Installs For New Customers

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jul 19, 2016

Q: "When is DIY not really DIY?"

A: "When Ring offers to buy professional install for you."

Yes, it is that simple.  Ring is offering to pay an installer to hang customer's new video doorbell despite strictly selling to the DIY market.

This move is a bad sign for Ring since the financial case appears unsustainable, but have they been forced into it?

We take a deeper look inside.

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Comments (8)

Much like rollout companies using Onforce, Work Market, or the like they will attempt to hit multiple sites in single day. Doing so will make it more economical by minimizing the number of initial daily startup costs. While Geekatoo shows the $130 and $99 price the volume that Ring has (or hopes to have) is likely negotiated to reflect this. The public facing price is likely for one-off installs. While I still think the price is very low, there may be some economy of scale involved.

Ultimately, you have to travel to each person's house, right? It is hard to economize on that. Throwing in an hour or two's hours of labor on a $249 product sale is a hard model, no?

If it could be done for $40-$75 cost (depending upon region) and still fit into Ring's model I am certain it can be arranged with those services. They are to labor what Hikvision is to cameras without the subsidizing.

Here's how those costs get so low:

  • With these types of services there is no liability for the installer to warranty or service the product once the job is accepted and the payment processed.
  • There are no collection costs for the installer as the payment is already in escrow before the job is posted.
  • Depending upon how the work order is written the installer may need to provide zero materials, just tooling necessary to complete the install.
  • Other vendors are posting jobs on these sites beyond just ring. A typical installer will pick up a couple jobs from Dell, some from HP, and whatever else may be in the area to offset their costs.
  • The work order can and likely would be posted with a flat rate, take it or leave it. While the installers have the opportunity to make counter offers all it takes is one in the area to accept.
  • Ring doesn't look like a terribly difficult mechanism to install.
  • These aren't technicians in the traditional sense - no vans, single person businesses, etc.
  • People tend to undervalue the cost of their time.
  • I don't know the volume that ring is pushing but they may have a pre-negotiated deal with the service that minimizes associated fees.
  • Yes, quality frequently suffers. Installing a doorbell seems low risk.

Onforce used to publish the work orders posted and picked up by installers real time. It was ludicrous what people would pick up.

Wow. That is one pricey marketing campaign - or is it user acquisition model?

Man, I would expect to see them give people discount coupon codes first. Jumping right to free install seems to be way too strong for just user acquisition.

Like we noted, the install may not meet those DIY expectations, so maybe it's meant to stave off returns or RMA once purchased.

Would adding a small rechargeable battery to the unit to trickle charge during the day,from the unmodified doorbell power, and thereby supplement the power at night, cost more than $25?

Live video, not just low light, drives the need for increased (read: transformed) power.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the regular Ring doorbell support live video as long as it is connected to unmodified doorbell power?

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