First in our "Vendor Review" series is a fairly new vendor specializing in Cooling Parts for your system. They carry Global Win Heatsinks and Fans and also a great assortment of Case Fans and other cooling accessories. There are also product reviews and How to articles on the site to help you with your decisions.
We asked Ian, the owner of 2coolTek, to introduce himself:
"Joe had called me about this, saying "Hey, we are going to do vendor reviews, and we need a victi… err… test case for our first article." Not the most auspicious beginning, but I was naive enough to volunteer (I know, never volunteer, last time I did I ended up in the Air Force, think I’d learn something, eh?)"
"Anyways, here I am. I am the owner/sole proprietor/only employee/number one super guy at 2CoolTek, an online store dealing with computer cooling hardware. I do have my long suffering wife, Georgia, handling my paperwork. I would get no sleep without her help, I still tend to forget meals, bedtimes, work times, etc… without her gentle prodding."
"2CoolTek is all of 3 months old now. I started out as a just another person hanging out on the various hardware sites, looking for ideas on cheap performance modifications for my home system. I made more than a few modifications to my system, and realized that I would need a website to show them off. Kind of had to put up or shut up with all the mods I was claiming to have accomplished. So I headed over to Geocities for some free space."
"First thing here, I am a complete HTML novice. As in no clue whatsoever. This is my first, and only webpage so far. Before February I had never even used an FTP program or a text editor. So I spent more than a few hours researching the whole thing. Geocities worked great for a newbie, but I quickly hit the "glass ceiling" there. I moved on to Dreamweaver and Hypermart, and with some good friends helping out with graphics and ideas, things have evolved."
"I didn’t plan on opening a store. It was a couple events that came together to make it happen. One was the "How to Buy Hardware Cheap Guide" over on Thresh’s FiringSquad. They gave great directions on becoming a licensed reseller. During this same time I had a really bad customer service experience with a certain online store that was offering guaranteed overclocking combos (Intel Celeron 300a’s and Abit motherboards). Not naming any names but their business rhymes with "BombuterBird" "
"; ) That fiasco took 2 months to resolve (December to mid February). I thought to myself "Ya know, nobody should have to go through this crap just to get some decent cooling parts." Sooo… off I went to get my reseller license, find distributors and build a store (short version, doesn’t reflect the hours and hours of real time involved)"
"So I opened 2CoolTek. My goal is to enjoy myself, and help people. I am not doing it for a living. Currently I am 11 years enlisted with the US Air Force, so I do have a day job. I love getting in new hardware, modifying it till it screams, and posting my results."
"Couple times a day I sit down and answer the e-mails people send to me just asking for help. I like the reaction when I recommend a modification to their existing setup or even point them at another retailer who has what they need. Seems like everyone expects someone to hardsell them, and doesn’t know how to react when I don’t try to "hook them up" with one of my products."
"Like I said, I don’t NEED to make sales. So if it isn’t necessary for someone to buy one of my coolers when their stock one is working fine, I’ll tell them so."
"I have many many hours wrapped up in this. A lot of it has been blind searching for information on how to set up all the parts of the business, from online shopping cart to credit card services. A lot of this was pointless, as once you know the right place to look, the information was easy to find. I don’t like that, and have put up a web page that tells my experiences on building my store, along with links to information sites and business resources. I am probably helping my future competition, but again, I am not stressing."
"So thats my philosophy. I will keep doing this as long as I am having fun and helping people. The business is financing my computer hobby right now, which is more than I expected. This allows me to get even more stuff to tweak and play with, and even more projects to show people different cooling solutions. What more can I ask for?"
Joe and I have spent time chatting with Ian and feel that his business approach is one that we both applaud. We have both been burned by less than scrupulous vendors and Ian strikes us as a breed apart.
I have personally dealt with 2CoolTek many times and have always been treated fairly. There have been a couple times Ian has gone out of his way for me. In my opinion, I would recommend 2CoolTek for your cooling needs; if he doesn’t carry it, drop him a line – he can point you in the right direction I’m sure!
Drop us a line and tell us how Ian is doing – your feedback is important to others.