questions about selling Ubuntu desktop PCs

Jon Reagan jreagan1990 at
Mon Oct 22 16:44:09 BST 2007

To be honest, I don't think the problem is in your ads or computers (or
prices, or specs, ect.).  It is more of at this point, there really isn't
that great of demand for Linux desktops.  It hurts me to say that, but it's

BUT! :)

You might try introducing yourself though the forums and such to get your
name out.  While there may not be large demand for Ubuntu on the desktop by
mainstream users (yet.), I am sure you will find some users in the forums
looking to buy a computer preloaded with Ubuntu on them.

Just a thought.


On 10/22/07, Kevin Fishburne <kevinfishburne at> wrote:
>  Maybe some of you can help me with this... For the last several months
> I've been putting together a plan to sell desktop PCs with Ubuntu 7.04 to
> mainstream users. I've put together an advertising campaign plan, a web
> site, and an eBay store, and have priced out the parts for two desktop PC
> models. One is low budget at $299 and the other is mid-range at $399. I've
> ordered and built the parts for one model and used it as a prototype for
> future builds. Configuring the OS to suit your average noob was pretty
> challenging, as was finding the right mix of software to make it immediately
> useful, but I finally got the system and default profile (/etc/skel) set up
> nearly perfect.
> I listed 12 items on eBay for the $299 model with the same interior ad
> (the same as the info on my web site), but with three different titles so
> there would be hits from different search terms. About 7 days into it I
> realized some of the image and page links in the eBay ads referred to *
> file://...* and I immediately corrected the mistake, but it probably
> turned several hundred people away. After 10 days and one question from a
> potential customer none of them sold. The total number of visitors was 4304,
> amazingly. Attached is how I've associated the item titles and descriptions
> with the number of visitors.
> I've now updated the web site significantly, added two pages of selling
> points, and added the $399 model. I've also incorporated Google AdSense and
> Checkout into the site and am advertising with AdWords. I relisted some of
> the eBay items but this time using the selling points as the interior of the
> ad and providing links to my web site for further information. There is one
> $299 item and one $399 item for each of the three title/description
> variations for a total of six items (an additional two are store inventory).
> I'll do the math on those hits after the 10 days are up and use the referrer
> data in my web logs to determine which ads were the most effective at
> directing people to different parts of the site. For now I'm crossing my
> fingers but expecting the worst.
> What I'm wondering is, what am I doing wrong? Is the public so averse to
> Linux that I'd be better off selling these with no OS at all? Was the price
> of the $299 model too high considering its hardware specs? Maybe there's no
> market for budget desktop PCs and I'll do better with the $399 model? I'm
> basically looking for any advice or insight any of you may have into selling
> PCs with Linux to the public, or the way I'm marketing the product, or
> anything else you can think of. The web site address is
> and it has all the info on hardware specs,
> etc. :/
> Kevin
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