Home News Reviews Forums Shop

Retail Kits or Bare Drives?

Burn baby burn!

Retail Kits or Bare Drives?

Postby sgegreen on Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:20 pm

I've recently been looking at DVD/CD-RW combo drives for my black PC. At the time I looked it was only possible to get Toshiba drives with black fascias in the UK and then only from one online retailer, Scan International.

I passed the information to a friend with a similar PC who ordered the Toshiba 32x combo drive from Scan, but was horrified to discover that all that was supplied was a bare drive, not a retail kit. You'll see from Scan's CD-RW page that several combo drives are available but no details are given as to whether they are retail kits or bare drives.

Scan eventually agreed to supply (free of charge) the hardware and software necessary to install and use the drive. Toshiba Storage Division Europe, though, were not so helpful, simply stating that they supplied resellers with both retail kits and bare drives.

The reviews in CDRLabs only ever mention retail kits. Are bare drives supplied in countries other than the UK, and if so, is there any obligation on the retailer to state that additional items must be purchased to install and use the drive?
Buffer Underrun
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 7:22 pm

Postby coolestnitish on Thu Jan 30, 2003 3:29 pm

"Bare drives" are also referred to as OEM. Yes, they are sold in many countries. We have a lot of them here in Canada. You don't really need to buy hardware or software with the drive to buy it. For ex: If I buy an OEM DVD-ROM, I don't necessarily need to buy IDE cables, or a software such as Power DVD. I generally avoid OEM products because they just don't feel right to me. It looks to me like a used or refurbished part which most of the time they aren't. For some few $$ more, you could get a retail version. Plus, I have heard of no manufacturer's warranty on OEM products some times. Sometimes, the warranty is from the store you bought the drive from.
Never in this world can hatred be stilled by hatred; it will be stilled only by non-hatred - this is the law Eternal.
CD-RW Player
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 3:00 pm
Location: CaNaDa

Postby sgegreen on Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:11 pm

In the UK OEM doesn't necessarily mean 'bare drive' or 'bagged drive' as Toshiba call it. Usually it means that you don't get a pretty box, but you normally get everything required to make the item work, except perhaps for the latest drivers which can be downloaded free from the manufacturer's website. Basically OEM means the same for hardware here as it does for software.

The problem in this case is that on Scan's CD-RW page there is simply no indication for combo drives as to what you will get. The Plextor PX-320 is listed, and I know from other sources that Plextor only sell retail kits. The Plextor CD-RW drives on the page are marked as Retail, but the combo drive is not.

Scan are not alone in this. Online retailers vary enormously in the level of detail they supply about products, and often their telephone or email help desks take a long while to respond.

My point is that retailers should clearly mark products as Retail, OEM or bare item so that buyers know what they will get.

In this case it's particularly frustrating as it's the latest Toshiba combo drive, and it's only just been announced (in the US) on the CDRLabs news page two weeks after the drive was bought in the UK. Even the Toshiba Europe website isn't selling it online yet!
Buffer Underrun
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 7:22 pm

Postby DawnLoader on Fri Jan 31, 2003 12:38 am

I have purchased many "Bare Drive" packages from local stores and never had any back experience. I look for and purchase "drive only" deals, whenever possible. I don't need pretty packaging that goes in trash, useless 40 pin cables (since i have ATA100 hard drives/80 pin cables), extra screws and or second copy of same software that I already have.

Also the software packaged is usually Lite Edition, Express or tied to a specific drive like Nero usually is.

I suggest if you are first time buyer and new to this kind of stuff then get a Retail Package, specially if you require manufacturar support and/or have a good mail-in-rebate deal.

I have enough knowlege of computers to solve my own problems so I don't really need manufacturar support.

I recently purchased 1 retail burner because it had mail-in-rebate offer and two "drive only" DVD-ROMs that were each $20 cheaper than retail packages. So I saved $40 and everything is just working perfect.

You must also consider the quality of product that you are buying, regardless of retail or OEM (bare drive, drive only, etc.). As long as quality of the product is good, packaging is of no importance (in most cases).

I only buy "bare drives" from retail pacakages that have received good reviews by CDRLabs.com ;)
Buffer Underrun
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2001 8:00 pm

Postby cfitz on Fri Jan 31, 2003 9:14 am

coolestnitish wrote:"Bare drives" are also referred to as OEM.

sgegreen wrote:In the UK OEM doesn't necessarily mean 'bare drive'

In my experience, OEM and "bare drive" are more as sgegreen describes, at least in America. A "bare drive" is just that - nothing but the drive. An OEM drive does come with accessories and software, although perhaps with not quite as complete a package as the retail kit.

CD-RW Curmudgeon
Posts: 4572
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2002 10:44 am

Return to CD-R/CD-RW Drives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

All Content is Copyright (c) 2001-2024 CDRLabs Inc.