I’ve mentioned it in other threads but figured I would go ahead and make a dedicated thread to see if people can poke holes in the idea. I’ve seen a few comments about how Framework should implement a buyback program for old/last gen motherboards but this largely seems to be in the context of recycling the old equipment. This seems unnecessarily wasteful in my opinion. Apple seems to have made it their de facto policy now to keep old models alive to penetrate lower price tiers instead of killing off the last gen as they used to do.
This should be emulated. Sure, Framework can’t give a “fair” price for the usefulness of the old board but I’d chalk that up to essentially paying Framework to dispose of the old board. Given that the chassis is essentially identical, it should be relatively simple (I realize it’s more complex than I make it seem), to buy back old boards, drop them in new chassis after a refurbishment process and sell it again at a lower price. Now Framework can profit twice from the same board and reach lower price tiers that want to buy in but can’t afford to. The drop-in nature of the board upgrades is what makes this approach viable for Framework and not other OEM’s. This provides a competitive advantage and should be capitalized on. When the refurbs are so old as to be essentially worthless to sell, they can be donated or recycled (preferably donated), potentially acting as a tax write-off although I won’t claim any particular knowledge if that aspect is viable or not.
This closes the loop on Framework’s products, providing a more sustainable product, opens up more supply with comparatively little cost/investment from Framework and increases install base/market penetration. What do you guys think?
I don’t catch up on other RTC threads well. But in my assumption, the suggestion to increase Framework’s revenue stream is in the context of the RTC issue, and if we can find a great idea of how Framework executes a buyback program, by our collective knowledge, Framework can execute it in a better way. That gives an option to current users having the 1st gen mainboard, right?
That’s a great perspective. Thanks for creating this dedicated thread.
Actually I wasn’t thinking of the RTC battery problems at all, although this certainly gives Framework an easy out that both doesn’t piss off customers and gives them an opportunity to fix the boards (if possible) and re-sell them without losing much if any money in the process. I was actually referring to threads related to the environmental impact when I wrote this.
I think Framework appeals to the “hands on” crowd who are happy to get their hands dirty.
What Framework should seriously consider is a marketplace with seller/buyer ratings and allow people to sell Framework parts easily by providing shipping labels etc (cheaper corporate pricing) to make trades easier, and mediate disputes, fraud.
With a good service manual and replacement parts program this will be a fantastic moat that no other company (other than perhaps Lenovo) can threaten.
Sounds good but not sure as of present, the small team of Framework can support this. Perhaps working with certified 3rd party refurbishing stores might work, though they would need to be audited and vetted often.
Also, I am unsure of Framework’s board/component failure statistics. Considering the age of the 1st Gen mainboards and the 2nd Gen ones. This would determine the cost and ROI of such a move.
Lastly, this program works if there’s a significant demand and I guess for now, it is a chicken and egg issue, too little demand, this program is a waste of time and money, but without investing in it, is hard to get demand. Of course, this is assuming there is demand.
I am all for going green but it has to be more or less financially sustainable without overreaching. Doing too many things at once might drag it down to its demise.
Given that the refurb models are essentially sold out in the US, I think it is fair to say that there is demand. Although it is my understanding that the “refurbs” were mostly returns and not anything that required any real repair effort. I continue to expect that buyback credit would be dependent upon condition of the board. Board-level repairs are not economical at scale for this kind of program. Failure-rate cannot be that high or FW would go under from warranty replacements. I’m talking about buying back boards from an upgrade cycle of 1-2 years within the warranty period for most people.
Just pointing out a potential flaw, because normally companies like ASUS/EVGA etc has statistics on their historical products based on their QC and whatnot, to determine pricing/warranty etc. Framework doesn’t have as long of a history so there might not be sufficient data to be really sure.
Regarding demand, my impression was that there wasn’t that many units out in circulation. It is something like Intel Arc sales volume vs Nvidia/AMD, except that people are snapping up Framework much more in this instance. The question lies is the demand really as high or was production limited. I am kinda leaning on the latter given the size of Framework.