Caselabs plays in another league. Corsair has done a very good job popularizing some design details that previously only had some high level manufacturers. But Caselabs gives much more than that. The configuration options and finishes are simply extremes.
The problem with Caselabs is that they have very limited distribution capabilities. For example, I have ordered this:
ST-10 Case + accessories:594.55$
Shipping cost to Europe: 204.25$
Custom fees (estimated calculation): 37.05€ (48$)
VAT: 137.45€ (178.70$)
I think the goal should be to have a Caselabs processing center in Europe. If Caselabs exports material to its processing center in Europe would not pay the same customs fees that a customer pays. They can declare that they send material to Europe (parts not assembled) to manufacture the final product (assembly) in Europe. There would be a saving tax. Sending unassembled parts and doing the assembly job in Europe could schedule large shipments from the U.S. to their european processing center saving much money.
The other major expense is VAT. When we receive a package from USA we don't pay VAT depending only on the price of the case. VAT is calculated by applying a percentage to the sum of the value of the package AND SHIPPING COSTS (that they are huge). If the shipment is done from Europe, VAT will be calculated only on the value of the package. This is very important. Only avoiding VAT on shipping costs I would have saved 43$. Caselabs could also establish its european center in Luxembourg, where VAT is only 15%. Most of the other EU countries have a 20% - 25% VAT. They can send packages from Luxembourg without any additional tax throughout Europe. The saving margins are huge!!
There are many potential customers who can not afford to pay 1025.5$ in Europe for a product that costs 594.55$ in California. It is a pity, because the product is amazing. When your test a CL case, you don't want to use a different one anymore!! Edited by Tripiton - 3/21/13 at 4:09am