Computer Shops in Karachi

Posted January 12, 2004 to Computing , Pakistan category.

Walk into any computer store in Karachi. The likelihood is:

  • The person behind the counter doesn't know much about computers.
  • He (and it's definitely going to be a he) doesn't really use computers.
  • The price will be as high as they think they can get away with.
  • Does not realize that he can make his life much easier using the same computers he's selling to automate much of the mindless software installation and troubleshooting they keep doing.
  • Has never heard of automated installs and imaging.
  • Customer support... ( no no no )
  • Everything will be scattered about in a way to make even the simplest task take at least half an hour.
  • Everything will be connected to a single overloaded stablizer, causing all the monitors to flicker like mad.
  • There will only be a single phillips head screwdriver in the whole shop, which will be borrowed periodically by someone next door.
  • Has never wondered why most of their customers come to him with the same issues over and over again.

The consumer is also to blame, for they are looking for the cheapest possible bargain. As shops mature and improve with time, their prices naturally go up and people shift on to the next crap store around the block. Of course, this being Pakistan, often times as computer shops get 'established' the prices start creeping up and the service down.

Every single computer part (except processors) is now made in Taiwan and China, which are both not very far from Pakistan. I have always wondered about the lack of any Pakistani computer assembler along the lines of Gateway and Dell ( but at Pakistani scale ). They should be able to get volume discounts and undercut all the 2 man (with three helpers) stores everywhere. All the current Pakistani computer assemblers like Inbox and JBS sell at a premium, and on top of that aren't doing anything different from the smaller stores. Most home users buying PC's are computer illiterate and ( I think ) would prefer buying from somewhere where they can get proper after-sales service and support. Currently, if they have a problem they drop off their pc from whereever they got it from, where it languishs for a while depending on the pressure applied from on high. Then some helper gets to fix it. After checking for porn and going through their documents, they finally do the minumum necessary to fix it. It wastes a lot of time on the part of both the store and the customer.

I envision a chain of stores, along the line of Apple's, which sell PC's based on a custom GNU/Linux distro. Customers get a hour long training session (at home or at the store) on the basics, along with simplified documentation. There is no need for Windows, as your typical home user doesn't play the latest DirectX games. Not only that, Windows computers decay/entropy very fast. A Linux distro can be made practically bulletproof, and with Mozilla, OpenOffice.org and other softwares just about every need is configured. Since Linux doesn't work with just any USB device, the store also sells a number of 'certified' accessories along with it which should cover any conceivable need, and maintains a list of hardware which does work with Linux. A proper retail chain will not be able to get away with pirating software for too long anyways, so it makes sense to stick with Linux.

Is it economically feasible? That is the million dollar question. Initially there will be no volume discounts so costs will be more than the two man on the corner stores. Fedora Core and Mandrake should fit the bill right out of the box, and would just require a little 'branding' work. The rest of the hard work is already being done by numerous people and companies out there, like the lists of hardware, compatibility issues etc. Linux 2.6 supports just about every new piece of hardware out there anyways so it's going to be that big an issue.

What all the gamers out there? Well they will certainly not be buying these Linux boxes, so the real question is how much of the market do they represent? While it is a sizeable percentage, I do not think it is very large. The really hardcore gamers already all have two pcs, one for gaming and the other one for the rest of the family.

I think people would be willing to pay a premium for quality, and if managed properly, the cost levels should not compare to badly with the proverbial corner store. After all, Sony does roaring business here, despite the large number of cheaper knockoffs with more functionality.

Disclaimer: I recently went to a few computer stores.

Online Computer Shops in Karachi:

The following are all the decent computer stores I've come across which also have a web presence.

  • Galaxy Computers :: Latest prices of computer goods in Pakistan. Website is frequently updated and the prices match current market rates. This is the single best computer website in Pakistan. Nothing else comes close.
  • Beliscity :: They have a frequently updated website, and decent prices. It's the only site of it's kind which I've come across.
  • IdealSys :: They're not selling anything online, but they are the dealers for AMD and MSI in Pakistan. The dealer prices are available on their website - that is very usefull indeed.

Offline Computer Stores:

  • Uniplaza on I.I Chundrigar road is the center of Karachi's computer world. A veritable fish market of low end computer goods.
  • For high end stuff not available anywhere else in the city country, there is ony one option: Clifton Computers at Sasi Arcade.
  • All the other stores I've every come across are practically indistinguishable from each other.
  • There are of course the imported brands like IBM, DELL, HP, etc. but those are generally expensive and not worth the premium.

Comments on this entry are now closed. Please use the wiredpakistan forums for discussion of computer shops in Pakistan.

Update: Article updated Jan 2007. Sadly, there hasn't been much improvement in that time, with the exception of the Galaxy Computers website.

41 Comments

You forgot that you will have to make them certain that you KNOW about computers for them to give you reasonable prices.

Yes, these people can bullshit the pants of a used cars salesman...

you make a good point over here. they certainly love to b....it a lot. its like as if the customer doesnt know anything. they have all these silly reasons for simple computer problems. its like something out of a sci-fi flick. they should not test the intellegince of their customers. i guess they have never heard of the term "the customer is always right". its like most of their ideas are outdated.

i wish we had better computer shops over here. a shop with top of the line products and a lot of stuff to dazzle the customer.

I totally hear you! GetTech (my company) are providing computer hardware at reasonable prices (approx. 3% above Uni Plaza prices to justify our support capabilities and home delivery). We have computer literate employees (HOD holds a MSEE degree) assembling the PCs and providing support. We try to educate our customer on a product, understand what they need and then provide them a solution (be it a hard disk or a entire computer system). We won't sell someone a Centrino if all they need to do is browse the Internet (e.g. for a receptionist at an office) or for a dad trying to manage his business documents on the PC.

We try and strive to be different and professional, provide customer support (yes, we provide on-site home & office support) and now we have brought our outlet online...Might need some more work, but hey, this is probably the best Pakistani online computer store! http://gettech.com.pk/GT_Computer

You know I am a hardcore gamer, and I live in America, I just can't imagine going to pakistan I mean seriously, how can I go gaming online with a crappy connection and also don't forget all games in pakistan are ripped, meaning no legal cd-key, so its immposible to play Counter Strike, Battlefield 1942, and almost all of the recent games. I have a dream I can come to Pakistan and give everyone a high-speed internet access and develop a huge gaming community.... Sigh that will be years to come.... I like your site alot, atleast I get to know whats going down with IT in Pakistan.... Also I mean more relating to this topic y the hell are computer parts so expensive, I always buy my stuff from www.newegg.com or www.directron.com which is like 30 mins away from my home, very cheap stuff....

Gaming communites are developing in Pakistan, there are a huge number of gaming cafes all over the larger cities. There are ISP's providing DSL and cable internet with their own local gaming servers, so gaming communities are growing. Although some people here spend a very unhealthy amount of time at these gaming cafes...

Cool ideas people.

Maybe we can try to place them into reality.

I would disagree with the dude in America.

Hardware is less costly in Karachi because we are closer to taiwan.

Also the software price is the same because you can buy the CD Key online.

Khawar Nehal
khawar@atrc.net.pk
92-300-9284698

Also if anyone in Pakistan wants Linux support then we have been providing it since the last decade.

Khawar, hardware in Pakistan is usually 2-3 times more expensive than the price in America. At a minimum they're normally about 80 percent more. Pakistan is a lot closer to Taiwan, but its all about the volumes. It's suprising actually, as retail costs in America are a large part of the final price, while in Pakistan there are hardly any retail costs to speak of. Someone in the supply chain is making a killing...

Well I have no idea where in Pakistan you compare prices the prices in Pakistan are way too less comparing to USA. Check out prices here.

Jamal, I get slightly better or about the same rates as listed on your website. However, US prices are far far lower. The question then becomes, what US prices are you looking at? See newegg.com for an example.

There is a nice shop in Karachi "Bits n PCs" run by computer professional. Prices are really affordable.

Nice KO very informative

As always Ko man great article.. I always like your articles theres alwas so much information in them

Nice Article KO. Ive been looking around to buy a good GFX card for basically gaming purpose. My budget is around 10k, any recommendations? please specify the name of shop, ty !

You'll have to look around for yourself - use google, read some reviews etc. As for where to buy from - that's a really tough question. I can't really recommend a single computer shop in Pakistan - none of them are any good.

I just went out to look for a recharging cable for my palm zire 71, however i was not able to find it in karachi? i end up purchasing it from eBay!

I mean does our computer requirement end at those cheap computer sellers at uni plaza? belive me they sell bullshit! Why there ain't any quality computer shop where you can shop around making sure you are getting genuine stuff and lots of stuff? Why we are not able to get gadgets for overclocking PC;s or any similar goodies, why can't we get a choice of motherboard which we can configure ourselves, ( there are lots of brands in the world like gigabyte , asus etc. ) however we can only get those intel boxed boards.

Why when we inquire for a thermal cooled casing from a shop owner it results in an expression if we are mad or something?

Why o why when we inquire about a monitor dot pitch they reply us by saying "cricket pitch? no no its monitor no pitch here"

Just few thoughts in my mind ;)

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this is just a bulshit , beliscity .....'s prices r too much i just compared these itmes with laptops of an other site , i wonder how cheaper computers r avaiable in the mart as compare to beliscity , they they thinx costumers dun have a mind , they dun have a sense, huh , an overseas computer store offering compaq note book , intel p3 , within 25,000 Rs, including shiopment charges ,

beliscity sux

what is the price of age of empire in your store and also do u supply that in u.k?

14,999 Euros - Delivery in 24 hours from placement of order.

well...shops here in khi i believe Jogi is the best one coz it got all the necessary equipments that one can get easily on a very nominal price

Hasnain Ali
Network Engineer
Techno Network Solution Provider

you guys dont have contacts direct with dealers who import computers and accesories. I do however and specialize in making personalized systems for customers.Latest arrivals in the market are klipsch 6.1,7.1 speakers systems,creative professional soundcards and overclocked cheap Via, pIII processors. I will charge a nominal fee of course in case you purchase a specific item>>
suggestions are for free :)Need help in making a system cheap or getting parts>>email me at imloppie@hotmail.com. (only for residents of karachi for now)

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KO i really don't think there is any difference between the electronic goods in Pakistan and the UK in terms of price. I'm from England and i've been over to Pakistan numerous of times and i am hesistant to buy any electronic products. The only thing that does interest me regarding price are the VCD films and audio cassettes and CDs.
At this moment my brother is in Pakistan(Jhelum) could you advice me what essential software component is worth buying or any other electronic goods. Thank you.

Asalam o alaikum
I just want to say one thing that when i recieved any kind of email then i must be reply. Someone say that beliscity never respond to any email so my dear maybe beliscity didn't recieved any email from yourside so please make sure that your email reached there or not. Thanks for appreciate other things like prices & frequently update.
Sincerely,
Abid Beli
CEO / Founder
Beliscity.com

Dear Hasan Raza,
Dont mind just do one thing compare new laptop prices of beliscity.com with any other laptop dealer i guaranteed that you didn't get the low price, Maybe in other section prices are little bit high but remember that we offer free home/office delivery and one thing more that sometime we buy used laptops from local market so maybe in used laptops our prices are high but not too much high.
Thanks & Regards

On my web page the latest information on what is going on in karachi pakistan regarding computer markets. Also hidden computer markets and the real low down on prices regarding computers. Latest accesories for sale as well (only for karachi)>>email imloppie@yahoo.com>>web page>>http://www.geocities.com/samdaman678/techie.html

check it out

Hi guys, One thing I know is for sure that pakistani Market has a very bad Customer Service, you can shop around and get what you want for cheap (cheap never last), but when anything goes wrong with your PC, they will try their best to suck your blood, and most of the shop guys thinks that customer does not know shit about PC but the reality is that bonehead does not know jack about PCs, what I have seen is User community is much smarter in Pakistan than any shop owner. I really dont wanna critisize my bros but they gotta change their attitude. Good Customer Service would make your day. Anyways anyone needs any info about Laptops PI II III IV,RAM,CD-RW,Wireless cards and Routers,AccessPoints and much more, I sell all of them. or any prices from US. I have sold many LT and LT RAM in Pakistan. Faisal.Hanif@us.ul.com
another good site where I shop is www.microcenter.com in chicago.

Hi guys, One thing I know is for sure that pakistani Market has a very bad Customer Service, you can shop around and get what you want for cheap (cheap never last), but when anything goes wrong with your PC, they will try their best to suck your blood, and most of the shop guys thinks that customer does not know shit about PC but the reality is that bonehead does not know jack about PCs, what I have seen is User community is much smarter in Pakistan than any shop owner. I really don’t wanna criticize my bros but they got to change their attitude. Good Customer Service would make your day. Anyways anyone needs any info about Laptops PI II III IV,RAM,CD-RW,Wireless cards and Routers,AccessPoints and much more, I sell all of them. or any prices from US. I have sold many LT and LT RAM in Pakistan. Faisal.Hanif@us.ul.com
another good site where I shop is www.microcenter.com in chicago.

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I think KO's doing a great job of keeping the end users upto speed with the happenings in the IT industry, i totally agree with whats mentioned in the article.

I would like to support Abid Beli in his endevours. I have seen Beliscity.com grow from a small internet account dealing company to a diverse IT solution provider. IT is today one of the best pakistani Bricks & Clicks models i've seen. It has frequent updates and an informative newsletter. Some people have had an issue with being added to the mailing list, but it IS completely unsubscribeable.

About the prices, they are quite competitive, i often recommend the site to my friends as a price reference, be it mobile phones or pda's.

Keep up the goodwork guys.

Whatever you have all said, i agree to some extent. But you guys are forgetting that whatever they are offering in the pakistani market, thats what people willing to buy. As you guys said, the products u were interested in are too expensive. What does it tell you? It tells me that majority of the people there cannot afford the higher end system. Their budget and their needs are limited. How many people there can use Wifi. is there enough bandwidth available for local public or even say some companies do offer, what's the price of high speed thats supports a/b/g connectivity. Its out of range even for middle class person living in karachi.
In response to one of the statement i read above "customer is always right". I disagree, if you see the statistics, you fill find that customer always suffer, and seller always gets benefit. Its not only in Pakistan, its all over the world. What do you think that how these global companies are running profitably. This is call business politics, making customer fool pretending that they are doing best for them.

Second hand computers, I would like to state that of the main computer markets in karachi, Uni centre, regal there are a specific small shops in theses markets which deal in 2nd hand computer parts. Right now there are hp, compaq dvd+rw availablw as well rams and p3,p4 processors. fully loaded p3 machines and various monitors are also available.As always user should be careful when buying 2nd hand item and ask for at least 3 day money back guarantee. Also buy froma reliable shop owner because these people will cheat you if they can...good luck bargain hunting.

Anyone know what to put inside a game machine.
I am interested in providing machines designed specifically for computer gaming.

Khawar Nehal
atrc.net.pk

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Dear Friends,

If you are looking any person to solve your Computer Hardware/Software/Networking Problem (Quality) wise you can contact me on Cell: 0333-2399474 especially Defence Area.

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Anyone here sellings Computers stuff on US Prices ? I used to be in US 2 months back.Prices over there are quite cheap compared to shops here in karachi.Most of the people in the shops dont know S***. I am looking for a Gaming Desktop Machine.If anyone is selling stuff on US Prices let me know.
Thanks

anyone need help in making a gaming pc or cheap pc..send me an email with your requirement and phone number..I make pcs for people with special hardware needs...imloppie@yahoo.com (my specialty is gaming pcs)

Hi guys, Just wanted to comment on the products available in the karachi market. p4 Asus, intel, as rock, pc partner motherboards are available in the market. Some intel and asus boards are specifically designed for overclocking. Asus, pixelview and Quadro agp and pci express cards are also available in the market alongwith specific fans for overclocking. Server casings with antec power supply, raid cards also available. Intel and asus have better warranty that is why shopkeepers prefer them. The Quadro agp cards are used for professional game editing and they are expensive.
There are a lot of choice for the customer but a local shopkeeper most of the time will not tell you what is out there. If anybody needs any help in finding these items email me with your requirement and phone number...
only dealers and middlemen like myself know what is in the market and can guide customers, not any metric pass shopkeeper who just wants to sell you a basic components and get it over with...good luck bargain hunting out there :)

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Salam brothers, ONE OF THE BIG SCHOLAR IN HIS TALK SAID WHEN A MUSLIM DOES NOT PAY ZAKAT ALL MIGHTY ALLAH INCREASES THE PRICES. You all right about Pakistani Market being high$, but be smart don't let them fool you, always do your home work before even you go to the market and ask them about the prices, they all wanna make money, and trust me if anyone of us wanna become a successful businessman we would do the same thing, I been checking out the prices thru out the Pak market and prices are slightly higher than U.S. Market, what makes US Market look good is always SALE and REBATE.Dont always trust eBay, I am an eBay buyer/seller since 1998, mostly people dont ship to overseas, but some do on high$ shipping cost, but if something is defective then suck it up. Beliscity and makarts are good sites to learn about prices ..hun.., for instance IBM T42 is listed for 120,000 to 148,000, WOW that is 2,500 USD, what the **** is going on man, hey you know what, I would sell you NEW T42,1.7 centrino ABG, 512MB,40HD,ATI-Rad7500,10/100nic,Docking station + Targus bag etc.. for 100,000, think about it, Goodluck guys. keep your eyes open.IBM Laptop or parts inquiry send me an e-mail at either one.(faisal.hanif@us.ul.com)(faisal.hanif@unisys.com), thanks KO.

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Hey KO need some info man, can someone get me the good pakistani IT site, for New IT projects in pakistan, Telecom and IT Network Infrastructure and Network Backbone etc...

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Abid Beli's www.beliscity.com is doing a great job. I have dealt with him and found him very professional. Please do try beliscity.com.

The all time great computer wizard Ali Yagami also recommends this site.

So don't wait too long.

Thanks.

Dear All,

Yes, a few sellers don't know about what they are selling. However others are doing a good job.

I will be visiting Pakistan to open the Microsoft Asia Office. This Office will take care of Asia, Australia and Africa. This will be situated in the Microsoft IT City being developed near the beach in Karachi. About 200 big IT companies will have there offices there.

Pakistan at this moment is the fastest IT related growing company in the World. There are about 20 Million Computer users in Pakistan which are growing at 15% per annum. This is one of the fastest growing %.

Hope to see you guys in October, 2005.

Cheers.

Dear Mr. Gates,

I didn't realize that Pakistan is "the fastest IT related growing company." I hope your Asia Office in this company is a success.

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hi all,
i have been doing much research about I.T businesses in Pakistan. I am a British citizen but my dream is to have a successful business in Pakistan also as i love my country. previuosly i have worked for IBM in manchester building a XP infrastructure for a insurance company(Royal Sun Alliance), but presently i am involved on a major british project. this project involves networking all vehicle garages to a main system. this contract is for the Ministry Of Defence in the UK. I am in the process of opening a consulting firm based in UK to help individuals with all experiences to get into the IT sector. i am hoping to also provide a business service in Pakistan involving hardware/software and networking issues in the near future. inshallah. i have found this site very useful and would like to thank every one of you. as i would like to set up a business in Pakistan if you have any information that would help please email me at adeelazamdilly@hotmail.co.uk as i have a business here money is not a major issue but is obviously still a big factor, so opening in Pakistan i hope to provide the best customer service experience you will find in PK!!! and also all the support and help that i can give.in september i will be taking a trip to a institue in jehlum named 'al-qasim institute'. this is a school for disabled children and i will be coming with a team of 5 from the UK to provide and install IT equipment for pleasure and educational purposes. if you would like any information please email me, if you have a big heart for your brothers and sisters please come along for the opening of the IT department at the school
thank you kindly for your time in reading this article.