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Articles/Guides

About CoolTOYZ: Where deals are done Sitting down.

29 May 2011
Our many years as a laptop user has taught us that a laptop is more than the components.
It is more than the processor, the graphic card, the ram, or the hard drive.
Only actual testing can really determine if the laptop will satisfy the user.

A Customer sent an email sharing the positive buying experience at CoolTOYZ a week ago.
We are glad that after 10years, and despite our midlife questions, we at CoolTOYZ have remained loyal to our objective -
CoolTOYZ is about the buying EXPERIENCE.... after all you do not buy a laptop everyday
- Testing before purchase is a Policy and not an exception.
- Laptops sold must be ready to use. No complicated installation process when the customer gets home.
- Finally, the transaction must be done in a relaxed and safe environment.
- and most all of while sitting down.

To quote the customer - "...many stores have copied the concept, but have forgotten the customer."
It invigorates us to hear such feedback. Thank You!



November 28, 2010

“I think that a healthy, awake, alive human being, half way through his life, at some point, whether it is 38, 42 or 45 is going to be faced with some real questions that he can no longer run and hide from… You don’t have to be poor or lose a job, or have a parent die, to have a mid-life crisis – you just have to be awake and realize that half your “f_ck_ng” life is over and how short it is and how quickly it goes by and why. Why are we here? What are we doing?

You can avoid the question with alcohol or dating or work, like workaholics, and you can avoid those questions all your life if you want to, but if you are a sentient, sensitive, awake, present human being, these questions are going to come and they are gonna come sooner than you’d like them to. There are as many answers as there are people, the answers are for you to discover for yourself.

It hits you inside. Your body starts to feel it. And this is what wakes the question in you - how much longer have I have left? Then friends start to die. They drop dead out of the Blue. They wake up in the morning, have breakfast with their partner, then drop dead in the corner. That’s what happens in people’s lives in their 30s and 40s.” - This article by Raymond de Asis Lo at the Philippines star on November 22, 2010 is the nearest I have come across to explain our predicament

So here I am, definitely in the age group above… I still have the passion for laptops (after all I need to use one everyday), but at the same time asking - “is this the best way to spend the limited time I have left?”.

CoolTOYZ was set-up in 2002, as a hobby shop. The objective was to provide, reliable, reasonable and value-for-money laptops that may have been overlooked by the local distributors because the margins for them would be too small. When we(a group of friends) come across a Laptop that has interesting features, we try to bring it in as soon as possible. Evaluate the laptop and share the experience with fellow laptop enthusiasts... this was our high, and the reason why someone said we are tech junkies.

As a consumer like you, we were always in the look out for a “good-buy”. However not all was it appeared to be = Stores did not allow consumers to test items before payment is made, neither did they allow customers to sit-down and “stare at the item”. Private sellers did not provide warranty whereas most defects appeared after two weeks of constant use. Neither of the two types of sellers really put much research in the product being sold… but was more after the sales VOLUME and PROFIT to be made.

8 years later, I smile when I walk down Cyberzone we find that most of the shops now have chairs (LoL!) where customer can sit down. Demo unit laptops are now available for testing(Improvement). Some stores even started posting reviews… hala! In forum sites, even private sellers are already offering warranty. I would like to think CoolTOYZ helped to raise the bar for computer stores. It also make me smile a lot when I hear other users give the opinion that a graphic card is more important than the processor in a laptop... it was one of our early and controversial advocacy.

In any case, going back to the topic… being part of the age group described above as susceptible to midlife crisis, I am sure CoolTOYZ is something I do NOT wish to give up, among the many endeavors to chose from. But the reality is that Getting Older is just inevitable. It is not a state of mind, it is a Physical state. Your body starts to break down, you do not have limitless energy as you did at age 30. I can no longer stay up until 4AM to write a laptop review and then wake up at 6AM to bond with my kids before going to school. I need to get a certain number of hours of sleep or else I am not going to function the next day. I used to look forward to Sunday’s as it would allow me to spend time reviewing the latest laptops at the shop… but now I need Sundays for rest. So what are we going to do?

At this stage it seems the appropriate decision is to downsize CoolTOYZ to a size that will meet our energy level. What that entails is a work in progress… what will not change is whatever the outcome will be, be confident we will not become liars at midlife, and we will only recommend laptops that we ourselves will use. Thank you!

Additional thoughts (24Jan11): You know you are at midlife when the young kid or baby you would carry around in events is now 20years old and is a college student. I experienced this today with Dane and Cheska


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------



January 2009

Thank you very much to everyone who visited our website in 2009.
Data shows an increase of 60% in Unique Visitors [138,814(2008) vs 86,706(2007)]

The numbers speak of the growing number of consumers who appreciate hand-picked laptops sold at a reasonable price.
CoolTOYZ does not target to have the widest range of laptop models; we simply want the offer the best.
We select one model per segment that in our opinion is the best bang-for-the-buck and explain the choice.


You may not believe our opinions, you may not have bought the laptop from CoolTOYZ, but visiting our site and considering our store is already an honor. XoXo \m/



This Article is not only to introduce CoolTOYZ to our customers.
This is also intended to reminder all those part of CoolTOYZ about the main objective.
We have been doing this for years, and human as we are, sometimes we get lost and forget.

CoolTOYZ is a Laptop Shop by Fellow laptop Enthusiasts.
- CoolTOYZ should be the way we would want IT as a customer

If we fail to live up to our objectives please send us an email or a letter because Feedback is important in reminding us of our purpose.

1) CoolTOYZ should endeavor be a One Stop Laptop Shop.
CoolTOYZ must provide its Customers:
the option to Upgrade Ram and Harddrive
- purchase Accessories like SurgeStopTM, Keyboard Skins, CoolBallsTM, and more
-- downgrade or upgrade software to fit the need.
--- order battery, optical drive and other peripherals as they become worn out.
---- Claim on Warranty or avail of after sales service when warranty runs out.
ALL of this should be made available to CoolTOYZ customers at the place of purchase.

2) As fellow enthusiasts we must remember the BEST BUY is when there is VARIETY
- we must offer an assortment of BRANDS, SIZE, WEIGHT, RESOLUTION even BATTERY LIFE
-- to Fit the budget we will offer Brand New, Demo, Refurbished and Used units.
Remember we are not in the business of meeting quotas. We are in the business of satisfying needs.
Always recognize the NEED of each customer is UNIQUE.

3) We will only sell units WE ourselves are prepared to use.
- the gull of some to sell Generic laptops when their personal laptop is Branded ^.^
We must understand the technology offered in each laptop model.
We must be able to explain the features of each model offered yet not to forget
Hands-on Experience is Priceless.
Customers must SEE, HEAR, FEEL, TEST and Compare before they buy
- The customer must Fall In-Love with the Laptop that matches the need.

4) CoolTOYZ is about Peace of Mind for our fellow enthusiasts.
The customer must feel Confidence with every purchase
- We begin by providing Proof of Purchase and a Warranty Card.
-- A Warranty Policy is posted to guide the store-customer relationship. <click here>
--- All units be it New, Demo, Refurbished, Used - are offered warranty be it Shop, Distributor, International or a combination.
--- Customers also have the avenue to receive after Sales Service even when the unit is already outside the warranty period.

5) CoolTOYZ is about the buying EXPERIENCE.
- Our locations must provide sufficient Parking.
- Respecting the customer means having available what is Advertised
- Testing before purchase is a Policy and not an exception.
- Laptops sold must be ready to use. No complicated installation process when the customer gets home.
- Finally, the transaction must be done in a relaxed and safe environment.
- and most all of while sitting down.

RemeMber WE are part of of today's consumer! - a technologist and wannabe-ubergeek
Today’s consumer is smart, pretty well educated, has grown up with technology, likes it, understands it. And the average consumer isn’t going to be satisfied with a dumb answer, no matter how low the price is. If today's consumer is going to pay with hard earned money he wants to know what it is that he is buying.



January 7, 2008: We just received the summary of website stats for 2007.
Stats show nearly tripple(3x) our number of unique visitors compared to end of 2005.
Thank you very very much for your continued confidence.





December 22, 2007 Update:
We had the Formal opening of Store-2 today. Photos below the page.
The best part is being joined by our Friends whose support made all possible.

Thank You also for your continued Patronage!


December 14, 2007 Advisory:

After a week of delay, we finally finished Branch No.2 located at Petron Station, EDSA corner Arnaiz Avenue, Dasmariñas Village, Makati City.
Phone No. 889.2834

A new row has been added on the item details area of each item to indicate where stocks are located. Nevertheless, we request customers to call the branch to determine availability of stocks.
Our apologies for the inconvenience. A bit of growing pains in effect.

Thank you for your continued patronage!




May 30, 2007 Update:

For an outsider's point of view about our store: <click here>



Thank you to the author of Mobility Philippines


July 7, 2006 Update:

Back to basics… until 5 years ago we were like you always in the look out for a “good-buy”. However not all was it appeared to be = Stores did not allow us to test items before we put the money down, neither did they offer us to sit-down to “stare at the item”. Private sellers did not provide warranty and most defects appeared after two weeks of constant use. Neither of the two types of sellers really put much research in the product being sold… but was more after the sales VOLUME and PROFIT to be made.

5-Years ago we became sellers. At the time when IBM was "King"; we were one of the First to offer the Dell Laptop Line as an alternative. We also imported high end laptops like Alienware, and boutique laptops with powerful video cards and large screens for our fellow enthusiasts. But as the client base grew, more were requesting for Official Receipts and a permanent place where we can close transactions for the safety of the buyer who was after all brining cash. (Not to mention the wifee threated to kick us out of the house-office for lost of privacy... LoL!)




In 2002 we opened a shop. We envisioned a shop where good buys could be had with all cards laid on the table. Where testing before buying was a Policy instead of an exception, moreover where deals are done sitting down. All item offered for sale(Bnew, Demo, Refurbished, and Used) will be provided warranty for the buyer's Peace of Mind. If a buyer was not happy with the purchase he could re-stock/trade-in the item within 30-days less 30% of the purchase price. We were also one of the First to offer WiFi at the shop to allow buyers to experience Wireless Computing.

As of end 2Q 2006, we have already reached the sum of all units sold in the whole 2005. And as we envision to expand in 4Q 2006, the formula will continue to be the same. Much research will be invested in each item sold. Profit will continue to be secondary with selling only laptops we ourselves will use as a primary consideration. We are glad at the popularity the Dell Laptop line has reached in the local market, likewise, whereas before no one would consider a Celeron-M laptop; now it is a viable level entry alternative for the budget conscious. Hmmm.... maybe it is time to offer another laptop brand as a distributor. We thank our custmers for the support shown and commit to provide the Good-Buys and not “Good-Byes”. Thank you.



For Buying Tips: <click here>


May 29, 2006 Update: CoolTOYZ Prices

A Question was posted in a Public Forum - I am planning to buy a laptop, XXX has ads about cooltoyz and their available laptop. I was surprised because their price is lower by about 15% than other stores? Bakit kaya? Galing ba ito ng customs? Direct Importer? Me nakabili na ba dito sa cooltoyz?

Our Public Reply:
We are more expensive than private sellers because of VAT and Overhead in running a store and most of all because of the warranty coverage.

We are maybe more affordable than other stores because:
1. We are not in the malls and rent is cheaper
2. We have a low head count... less salaries
3. CoolTOYZ is a "Hobby shop" so we do not need to make too much margin. (More discussion below)
4. We import directly:
- when we feel the distro is over charging the unit we will import directly :-)
5. We pay in Cash:
- when LOCAL distro has a good item we offer to pay in cash to get the max discount. This industry survives on credit so when someone offers to pay cash distros give a discount.

A follow-up queston was posted - sir, bakit nga ba mura at very limited ang stock nyo?

Reply: We do not really intend to sell a lot of units of one model, more important to us is to experience a lot of models. However, models like the Dell D600, Dell 700M/Dell 710M, Dell 6000, HP NX6120, and recently the Acer 2423/2424/3624 which are certified store favorites... we have a lot on stock. Visit us to see the units personally.




May 15, 2006 Update: Repair Policy

We would like to thank Mr. J. Angelo Racoma for the positive feedback about our store <click here>

We used to repair laptops from all sources.
Unfortunately, we encountered "issues" with some vendors and some "unreasonable" customers that made us have 2nd thoughts about the laptop repair service...

example 1: A customer brought to the shop a dead laptop for repair. We relayed to the customer that the motherboard got damaged because the system requirement is a 19V 4.5AMP and the adaptor issued was a 19V 3AMP - at the end of the day, the vendor said we do not know what we are talking about and to stop bad mouthing their shop/brand... duh??? We wonder if this distributor knows what he is selling.

example 2: Again we received a totally dead unit from an airline pilot who purchased the laptop from Hong Kong. The unit was Dead, as in it would not even power up. After allocating one whole weekend, we were able to fix the shorted motherboard but soon after discovered the LCD display had a white vertical line... customer blamed us for the LCD line and wanted us to replace the LCD... duh???... how can we test before repairing since it was a dead unit? We should have gone Carting that weekend instead!

Given these two of many sad experiences we decided only to repair laptops brought by existing clients, friends and Certified nice guys. At the least we already have a relationship with them and there is mutual trust and confidence between all parties.
The service cost on repairs is good for one Quarter Pounder and not commensurate to our mental sanity when a customer is not satisfied for one reason or another...

Should you need repair service for laptops not bought from CoolTOYZ it is best to contact your laptop vendor as they will know the history of your unit. If you still wish to have the laptop serviced at CoolTOYZ and have a friend who is an existing client of our shop; you may ask your friend to send us an email and we will see how we can help. Thank you


May 11, 2006 Update: After 4-years...

We are here in Taiwan on the invitation of a Taiwanese Laptop manufacturer, who wanted to show us his manufacturing facility.
Anyway, everything here is extermely expensive and with nothing to shop we are Bored. Finding ways to be productive we decided to write in cold heat and probably edit when more time becomes available.


WoW! It has been 4-years since we started selling laptops to the general public ... time really flies when you are enjoying what you are doing.

Who we are:
We are neither programmers nor Computer Designers nor Computer Science Graduates; not even computer technicians.
Just simply - Mobile computer users like you, a.k.a. "Enthusiasts".
This early we ask for your patience if we are not well versed with technical Jargon and describe a laptop using everyday language and based on “hands-on” experience than on technical specifications.

Some visitors have commented that deciding on the items posted at the site is difficult because the website is “wordy” and have links to other related articles. In our opinion, any reseller can post an item in their website - just list the specs and presto start selling(sounds familiar?)… but where is the personal endorsement of the unit by the seller? Is the buyer fully aware of the features and advantages of the model? If we do not post a review of the item we just become like any computer store and not a place for Fellow enthusiasts. For us, part of the joy is when we get a new model to read as many existing reviews as possible and quote findings that we agree with. Sometimes, if no review is available we write our own review to share with the site visitors.

After 4-years, we may have graduated as Laptop Enthusiasts… we are now laptop “JUNKIES”. (c/o Ms. Ana Ong)

Junkies” - because we get our “HIGH” evaluating laptop models and finding out the pros-and-cons of a laptop that lands in our hands. Nothing like after a tiring day at the office to test a new model 1st hand and find out what is unique about the unit and determine if it is a “Cool Toy” or simply one of the many laptop models; then share the information with the site visitors. (Recently certain distributors have actually been sending us their units not for selling but for us to review and if we can endorse the model. LoL!)

For us Laptops is more of a Passion than a Business.
We hope to provide reliable, reasonable and value-for-money laptops that may have been overlooked by the local distributors because the margins for them would be too small. When we come across a Laptop that has interesting features, we try to bring it in as soon as possible. Evaluate the laptop and share the experience with fellow laptop enthusiasts... this is our High!

After 4-years, our passion as enthusiast has not waned because we continue to use laptops in our business concerns. In fact we have matured and are now more serious about what we are doing… but still on a part time basis. We are afraid that should we decide to do this full time, the need to put food on the table, may cloud our judgment and what to best offer to the market. We are proud to say we resisted selling ridiculously low priced laptops with inherent disadvantage that buyers are now finding out based on the emails we are receiving. We still believe in selling only laptops that we ourselves are willing to use.

The good news is After 4-years, from a Hole-in-the-Wall shop we now have more seats...
When we started our basement shop, if three customers visited at the same time, we would have to ask the last customer to step out as there is no more space to move… ha ha ha! In November 2004 we moved to a bigger location that can now accommodate 10 customers seated! For customers from the past that we had to send out... please do give us a visit one of these days and we will make it us with a free cup of coffee. (But Drop us an Email first...)

Another developement is that we used to offer 20 models at a time, now we are offering 40-models at any single time. As more and more people discover the inherent advantage of being mobile – to work, play, surf and chat; when you want and where you want! The needs of the users have also become more diverse - (1)Housewives who download pictures and video from cameras and share “Naruto” with relatives and amigas, (2)Business owners who work in the office and at home and demand utmost reliability, (3)sales people who need ultra portable laptops with day-long batteries for their presentations, (4)students who want to be able to do homework and of course play games in their machines, (5)desktop artists who need to show their projects to clients and be able to do editing on site, (6)programmers who need powerful machines with serial ports, (7) Seamen who need personal entertainment at sea, and let us not forget that big market segment that (8)simply wants to be “in” and look good in a coffee shop… To meet the different requirements, we also increased the laptop models in our inventory... (Ouch! Nabatukan by Wife)

We feel we are probably one of the stores with the most number of laptop models to choose from.
We continue to believe that the best decision is made when laptops are compared, tested, and evaluated side-by-side. We hope to provide that experience to our customers and have steadily raised the number of models to cater to the different needs and individuality of each customer.

After 4-years we still believe there is a place for a small fish in a big pond... to have the freedom and independence to do only what is RIGHT! As a hobby shop with other income than selling Laptops only, we are not obligated by Volume Quotas and Sales Targets. At the end of the day being able to share a part of us with every laptop sold is a different "High" or “Fulfillment”.


Jan 1, 2006 Update: Site Visitors Data
Thank You Very Very Much! As a hobby shop this is a big achievement for us.
More than reciprocal sales, having "co-enthusiasts" visit our site is fulfilling
...


HOW WE SEE A LAPTOP...
What Cellphone do you use? What Car do you Drive? What Clothes do you wear?

Right or Wrong Dale Carnegie said - "We are evaluated and classified by four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it"

Like your cellphone, the car you drive and the Clothes you wear, we believe the laptop one uses, communicates to the world about the user; even without a single word spoken.

How many times have you said "WoW!" to a great looking laptop without knowing the specs?
As fellow Laptop Users, in our opinion a laptop is more than a machine. A Laptop also conveys a specific 1st impression about the user. (If a Laptop did not convery "instinctive" emotions you would not be even reading this article...)
The RIGHT Laptop may evoke positive impressions like... COOLNESS for a student, ACHIEVEMENT for a Professional, RESPECT for a Novice user. DISTINCTION for an expert user.

While specs and features are important, we hope you will not forget to ask the question about what message do you want to convey to the world with your laptop?

As a hobby shop this is one of the question we ask and only offer laptops that we ourselves will use.


Frequently Asked Questions:

WHY we are CLOSED on WEDNESDAYS?

We do not know the reason behind it but it has been that way since we started.
Most likely it is in compliance to the labor code to provide our staff one(1) rest-day in a seven-day work week. We are open on Sundays and Wednesday has become the designated day-off.


WHY "sometimes" we are CLOSED other days than WEDNESDAYS?
As explained below CoolTOYZ is a "Hobby" Shop more than a business.
Sometimes other business concerns demand more time and we decide to close the store
rather then have a "newbie" staff offer the wrong advise and support to fellow laptop "enthusiasts"
In anycase Should you need to reach us immediately please call 0915-7837939

How CoolTOYZ Started?
As "early" laptop users, friends eventually began asking advice as to what Laptop they should purchase. Some friends were even asking us to purchase laptops for them (who would refuse to spend someone else's money?) Later they even asked for upgrades for their laptops to meet their ever changing needs.

As a Laptop enthusiast it was a very frustrating experience to purchase a laptop whether it be in the Philippines, Hong Kong, or Singapore. The store or dealer was always too eager to sell. Moreover, they did not really understand what they were selling because they were all using desktops for their POS and Inventory systems. Worse, they do not even allow testing of the laptop before purchase? It was is as if BUY NOW, test later.

Anyway, after 2 years of being a "den" based laptop seller, it was decided to open CoolTOYZ as a shop for our fellow enthusiasts as at that time there was no store fully dedicated to laptop needs... hopefully we could make the buying experience more pleasant.


BUSINESS OBJECTIVE:(2005)
To provide an Avenue to Serve the Needs of Mobile Computer Users to
PURCHASE, UPGRADE, & REPAIR Mobile Computers at Friendly Prices.

To offer YOU the buying power otherwise lost to the typical consumer


WHAT will make CoolToyz Different?
Being fellow Laptop users (and buyers), we have always found it frustrating that
1. Stores and Sellers do not allow Testing of the Item we want to buy
2. We always transact Standing Up(have you noticed that also...)
3. Post items in their website that is reality not Available! (Added)

We visit their store to find out the item is not available. If available sellers want us to pay a big sum for an item we have not tested or evaluated because either the item has no operating system or simply the seller does not allow Items to be tested. Moreover, they do not allow us to sit down because they want a fast deal.

We hope to change this buying Experience

At COOLTOYZ, we try to update our website real-time.
Buyers will be allowed to "Comfortably" Test and "Experience" the unit they intend to purchase... watch a movie, type a report, surf the net, even run a series of diagnostic programs we provide for free.

You May even bring your Own Software. Bring your CAD software to test if the Laptop will run the software efficiently with laptop of your choice.

The biggest advantage in buying from a store is You may compare different units side-by-side before the final purchase!... you can not do this on-line

Our objective is to allow the consumer to have an informed and educated decision before any purchase and of course be Comfortable while deciding...
Our CoolTOYZ concept - Where deals are done sitting down!


Joke: Computer JUNKIE'S Whims
"Mabuti pa ang keyboard may pumipindot"
"Mabuti pa ang monitor may tumitingin"
"Mabuti pa ang mouse may humihimas"
"Mabuti pa ang USB Thumbdrive may pinapasakan"
"Mabuti pa ang CD may iniikutan"
"Mabuti pa ang CD-R sinusulatan"
"Mabuti pa ang CD-RW sinusulat-sulatan"
"Mabuti pa ang Mic may kumakausap"
"Mabuti pa ang Speaker may nakikinig"
"Mabuti pa ang Webcam may sinusulyapan"
"Mabuti pa ang RAM may inaalala"
"Mabuti pa ang CPU may trinatrabaho"
"Mabuti pa ang modem may tinatawagan"
"Mabuti na lang may Internet para mayroong libangan."



Thank you.

May 11, 2005 Update: - we are being noticed...
You must be curious about us if you have reached this point...

The greater Laptop market has slowly been noticing our store - CoolTOYZ; and so have other stores. We now have other stores as regular buyers (some of whom are sneaky and do not introduce themselves but we see our warranty stickers in the items displayed at their stores :-)).

As we normally sell lower than market prices, some stores have begun sourcing laptops directly and even been pre-ordering certain models. How does it go? An allied store will feature a laptop in their website but does not have the actual stock. Once an inquiring customer comes, a motorcycle-messenger will visit CoolTOYZ, purchase the laptop from us and deliver it to their store… luckily we are in the center of Megamall and Gilmore.

Of course given this relationship we have also sourced some of our items from these “allied” stores to avail of a group volume discount from distributors, then pass the discount to our clients.

If for anything, this fact is a validation, that from a parallel market source when we started, we are now gaining legitimacy as a laptop source specially for “Boutique”, High-End and Super laptops that are not offered in the local market.