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kitsura
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CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:27 am

We are very sad to announce that CaseLabs and its parent company will be closing permanently. We have been forced into bankruptcy and liquidation. The tariffs have played a major role raising prices by almost 80% (partly due to associated shortages), which cut deeply into our margins. The default of a large account added greatly to the problem. It hit us at the worst possible time. We reached out for a possible deal that would allow us to continue on and persevere through these difficult times, but in the end, it didn’t happen.

We are doing our best to ship as many orders as we can, but we won’t be able to ship them all. Parts orders should all ship, but we won’t be able to fulfill the full backlog of case orders. We are so incredibly sorry this is happening. Our user community has been very devoted to us and it’s awful to think that we have let any of you down. There are over 20,000 of you out there and we are very grateful for all the support we have received over the years. It was a great journey that we took together and we’re thankful that we got that chance.

We understand that there will likely be a great deal of understandable anger over this and we sincerely apologize. We looked at every option we had. This is certainly not what we envisioned. Some things were just out of our control. We thought we had a way to move forward, but it failed and we disabled the website from taking any more orders.

It was a privilege to serve you and we are so very sorry things turned out this way.

Source: http://www.caselabs-store.com, https://www.facebook.com/CaseLabsUSA/po ... 3763453620


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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:46 am

$ 500 for a case? Cripes.
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:17 pm

I hope the people who pre-ordered get their money back. In a bankruptcy situation it is not uncommon for customers to get stiffed (customers are pretty low on the priority list for getting paid when the company's assets get liquidated). Yes, CaseLabs claims that they will refund any unfulfilled offers, but you can't get blood from a stone.
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:51 pm

The tariffs have played a major role raising prices by almost 80% (partly due to associated shortages), which cut deeply into our margins.

Apparently someone forgot to tell CaseLabs that trade wars are good, and easy to win.
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:41 pm

Yan wrote:
The tariffs have played a major role raising prices by almost 80% (partly due to associated shortages), which cut deeply into our margins.

Apparently someone forgot to tell CaseLabs that trade wars are good, and easy to win.

I won't go heavy into the R&P but I will say this: my industry, additive manufacturing, has seen a large number of well loved US/EU companies with many more than 20,000 happy customers go out of business in recent years due to the low-end market being flooded by Monoprice and its OEM partners. The trade war may be ugly, but it came from somewhere and it's been brewing for a long time.
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:18 pm

Monoprice, the consumer electronics company? It's based in the US, and its parent, YFC-Boneagle Electric Co., Ltd., is Taiwanese, not Chinese.

I can't find any other Monoprice of any importance.
 
kitsura
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:08 pm

Yan wrote:
$ 500 for a case? Cripes.

You probably weren't around during the days of Windy Soldam. But CaseLabs manufacturers the best almost modular water-cooling cases. Considering that most custom kits and the overall hardware can end up costing close to 5k what is 10% of the overall build cost?
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:52 pm

Yan wrote:
Monoprice, the consumer electronics company? It's based in the US, and its parent, YFC-Boneagle Electric Co., Ltd., is Taiwanese, not Chinese.

I can't find any other Monoprice of any importance.

The Taiwanese get their 10% cut or whatever but the printers themselves are Chinese, as are almost all of their white-label imports. Mostly from two companies, Wanhao and Flashforge, whom also sell under their own brands. There are others, of course--Creality and literally-a-fire-hazard-without-upgrades Anet have been cited as major contributors to the recent demise of Printrbot--but the Monoprice/Wanhao/Flashforge hydra is the dominant player and the one most responsible for pushing out the little mom-and-pop AM companies. You can blame China, you can blame Washington, you can blame Western businesses or the consumers themselves; my point is that the trade war has been going on for decades and it's just starting to reach a boiling point.
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:28 pm

NovusBogus wrote:
You can blame China, you can blame Washington, you can blame Western businesses or the consumers themselves; my point is that the trade war has been going on for decades and it's just starting to reach a boiling point.


Can you blame Canada? We're America's #1 foreign source of steel (16.7%, 5.75x China) and aluminum (36.3%, 2.4x China). Brazil and South Korea (22.9% of steel) were granted permanent exemptions from the tariffs but Canada was not (because we are a "national security threat"). What is happening with CaseLabs was predicted across many industries in the US and can be directly attributed to the tariffs on Canadian materials.
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:59 am

JonnyFM wrote:
Can you blame Canada?

Obligatory Robin Williams.
You can, ofc, only blame Canada if you're not Canadian. Otherwise, the politicians won't win their votes :roll:
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:21 am

Topinio wrote:
I'm convinced that song got the Oscar nomination for Best Original Song only because "Uncle F**ka" couldn't ever have been presented on that show. MTV movie awards (always trying to be edgy) gave the latter song the Best Musical Sequence award.
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:27 am

This has been coming for much longer than any trade wars, honestly that is just a lame cop-out but I expect no less from them. They wouldn't face the truth many times before.

Caselabs has been basically shouting all the warning signs of a poorly run "mom-n-pop that won't adjust" for years now. Might hear the real deal from an ex-employee soon, if you filter through those you tend to hear the same kind of stuff from these outfits.

Shame because their fit n finish was excellent, but their CS black hole + backlog problems and basically taking interest free loans from every customer for months is not new. They have had demand for around decade but never managed to get their act together, but yes I'm sure it was totally supply prices going up. :roll:
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:51 am

Bauxite wrote:
Shame because their fit n finish was excellent, but their CS black hole + backlog problems and basically taking interest free loans from every customer for months is not new. They have had demand for around decade but never managed to get their act together, but yes I'm sure it was totally supply prices going up. :roll:

Between being a banker (1987-1995) and a bank/financial regulator (1996-present), the single most frequent reason for business failure is insufficient capital, generally exacerbated by the principals of start-ups trying like hell to avoid investing their own personal resources into the business.
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:11 am

At least they got product out the door. My industry has also been plagued by a rash of dumb kids who think that having a passing familiar with software development translates directly into hardware engineering and manufacturing. They take in a bunch of Kickstarter money for yet another generic low-cost FDM system and then completely screw it up, deliver maybe 10% of the initial backer rewards and generally give everyone a bad name--especially those low-end guys who actually do know what they're doing. One bright point of the bloodbath I alluded to is that the dumb kids have finally realized that they're trying to squeeze blood from a lemon and gone off to do something else.

JonnyFM wrote:
Can you blame Canada?

I blame Canada for Celine Dion and Justin Bieber. :lol:
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:25 am

JonnyFM wrote:
Can you blame Canada? We're America's #1 foreign source of steel (16.7%, 5.75x China) and aluminum (36.3%, 2.4x China). Brazil and South Korea (22.9% of steel) were granted permanent exemptions from the tariffs but Canada was not (because we are a "national security threat").


Not because of reverse-Canadian Bacon, but because of over-reliance on Canada suppliers for national defense products.

In other words, it's -basically- because Canada is not a threat: people ignored the extra-territorial origin.

Brazil is basically all slabs, meh, and South Korea isn't typically specialty stuff, just like consumer.

It's not bulk, it's whether or not a certain alloy or formed part can be sourced, which is precisely the sort of thing the defense industry heavily relies on.

So, good, bad or ugly, agree or disagree, it is a different situation.
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:37 am

Captain Ned wrote:
the single most frequent reason for business failure is insufficient capital, generally exacerbated by the principals of start-ups trying like hell to avoid investing their own personal resources into the business.


Right, there are lot of of "Business Plans" that are basically "Assuming literally everything goes right..."

...So when they don't, sure, it's the most proximate or most politically-palatable "reason" that they blame, not the planning.

So let's see what they actually said, in more detail:

CaseLabs wrote:
The tariffs have played a major role raising prices by almost 80% (partly due to associated shortages), which cut deeply into our margins. The default of a large account added greatly to the problem. It hit us at the worst possible time. We reached out for a possible deal that would allow us to continue on and persevere through these difficult times, but in the end, it didn’t happen.


1) The shortages (so if a computer case company can't get material because of a Canadian tariff, I guess it's ridiculous to worry about F-22s not getting parts if, for instance, the US starts another war and Canada decides they're not going to be helping us [not *completely* hypothetical, Canada is in a huge spat with Saudia Arabia as of like last week because of something the FM of Canada said on twitter]) "cut into their margins" EDIT: Also, not to pick on Canada---The US has, historically, repeatedly held back parts to induce our actual "Allies" or "Partners" to do or not do various things on the Foreign Stage. We'd be foolish to think that the stuff we pull against others couldn't ever possibly be pulled against *US*, right?

2) The default of a large customer

3) Failure of bridge financing (or just further financing altogether).


Sounds like Captain Ned has their number: This just doesn't sound like a business that was likely going to be making it in even the slightly-less short run. (and custom case companies sound like they are tossed about by the waves of capricious consumer taste and the storm of razor thin margins in general anyway.)
Last edited by Glorious on Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:38 am

NovusBogus wrote:
They take in a bunch of Kickstarter money for yet another generic low-cost FDM system

Maybe I'm just being dense, but I have no idea what "FDM" is in this context. None of the entries on freedictionary seem to be relevant. Though I suppose devising a low-cost way to produce freeze dried mealworms sounds like a fun project!
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:56 am

Any industry’s jargon is over full of TLAs*. I make it a point to raise my hand in meetings and ask a presenter to define them.
* TLA = three-letter acronym
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:01 am

Somewhere on our corporate intranet there's an acronym definition page I looked at a while back. One of them made me LOL:

IOT: IoT Operations Team
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:14 am

Frequency-Division Multiplexing?
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:20 am

just brew it! wrote:
Somewhere on our corporate intranet there's an acronym definition page I looked at a while back. One of them made me LOL:

IOT: IoT Operations Team

That sensation I feel when I put two mirrors facing each other and try to see the end... you've just replicated it.
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:00 am

JBI wrote:
Maybe I'm just being dense, but I have no idea what "FDM" is in this context. None of the entries on freedictionary seem to be relevant. Though I suppose devising a low-cost way to produce freeze dried mealworms sounds like a fun project!


It's a 3d-printing thing, there is a like continuous feedstock loop which builds something by additive layers.

I actually don't know what it stands for, it might be like the less-used acronym for this.
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:07 am

Glorious wrote:
JBI wrote:
Maybe I'm just being dense, but I have no idea what "FDM" is in this context. None of the entries on freedictionary seem to be relevant. Though I suppose devising a low-cost way to produce freeze dried mealworms sounds like a fun project!

It's a 3d-printing thing, there is a like continuous feedstock loop which builds something by additive layers.

I actually don't know what it stands for, it might be like the less-used acronym for this.

Ahh, OK. It apparently stands for "fused deposition modeling".
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:11 am

That seems weird, because it's really more like an extruder than a fuser, it's the material that self-adheres.

EDIT: wow, this is kinda of a crazy semantics question now that I think about it.
 
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:14 pm

Bauxite wrote:
This has been coming for much longer than any trade wars, honestly that is just a lame cop-out but I expect no less from them. They wouldn't face the truth many times before.

Caselabs has been basically shouting all the warning signs of a poorly run "mom-n-pop that won't adjust" for years now. Might hear the real deal from an ex-employee soon, if you filter through those you tend to hear the same kind of stuff from these outfits.

Shame because their fit n finish was excellent, but their CS black hole + backlog problems and basically taking interest free loans from every customer for months is not new. They have had demand for around decade but never managed to get their act together, but yes I'm sure it was totally supply prices going up. :roll:

You've nailed it. A strong well-run business doesn't go out of business because of a small disruption.
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:23 pm

1- It is really hard to parse any meaningful information on the main true "smoking gun" cause of this particular company's failure with the limited information.

2- The fact that the company decided to file for chapter 7 straight-away with no consideration for a chapter 11 filing may be inferred to mean that the outstanding obligations may have been too much; they didn't feel it was even worth to try to restructure/negotiate the company's obligations(they noted they tried to unsuccessfully negotiate a deal, but no information is given whether it was a temporary forbearance by the company's creditors, or a third party).

3- The tariffs may have been the final nail in the coffin for an already struggling company. It may have been that the tariffs may also be an excuse for their bad business decisions. I think once they file all of the relevant bankruptcy related schedules a "smoking gun" may more likely be found instead of just plain speculation. Even then, it may have been more than one gun that did them in.

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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:32 pm

When I have more time to dig I'll use my PACER account and see what I can find for the filings.

EDIT: Nothing yet under CFC California Fabrication Inc (name verified with CA Secretary of State).
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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:34 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:
You've nailed it. A strong well-run business doesn't go out of business because of a small disruption.


1- An unexpected 20% or double percentage rise in the cost of your raw products is not a "small disruption". You essentially has to pass those costs to the customers. That means at the best scenario that there is less business, and you have to cut down on your recurring costs. In the worst case scenario, you go out of business. I am not trying to defend or say what was the true reason for this company to fail, but at least wait until the postpartum examination by the coroner before we speculate. It seems we have already come to that conclusion without much though or evidence to aid us.

2- It is really easy to say that it is a small disruption without any other evidence to back-up it. And a well run business is not a fool-proof business. Any business, no matter how well run, has the possibility to fail. It all depends on many factors. Let's wait and see how much of a disruption these tariffs cause to our businesses.

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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:36 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
When I have more time to dig I'll use my PACER account and see what I can find for the filings.


1- I would greatly appreciate it. That is meaningful evidence that may help us come to a more sensible conclusion.

2- I have been too lazy to fix my PACER account. I need to eventually do that some day!

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Re: CaseLabs Bankrupt and Forced to Close Down

Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:17 pm

Well, nothing in the Central District of California for any date in August. Their corporate registration in CA is in Canoga Park, which is clearly in the Central District's coverage area.
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