Central London Computer Fairs – the End is Nigh?

I went looking for some cheap memory and printer cartridges this past weekend and thought I’d head into one of the two central London Computer Fairs/Markets.  It’s been at least a year since I last visited one.  In years gone by I was always more of a regular visitor to such events as at that stage internet prices were still higher than those that could be found on the tables of my local fair.

With highly competitive pricing from online computer component retailers London Computer Fairssuch as OverClockers and Scan in the past year or so I haven’t felt the need to visit the computer fairs – even when factoring in the cost of delivery.  This extra cost being worth it due to the convenience that shopping online offers

Though what you don’t get when buying online is the atmosphere, hustle and bustle of the market.  Browsing the expanse of tables looking for that high-street beating bargain price or obscure imported computer gizmo or add-on that you never knew you needed until you saw it.

It came as something of a shock when I got to my local central London computer market only to find a significantly reduced number of sellers occupying the basement of this inner city university venue.  Even more noticeable was the lack of buyers. It was the shadow of its former self. 

It used to be a case of being pushed along between sellers stalls by the wave of people coming to buy.  During this visit unfortunately all it was missing was the tumble weed blowing through the venue..

Upon reflection this shouldn’t really have come as a surprise as times have changed and London Computer MarketsI suspect people (such as myself) are much more inclined to shop around online for a better price and claim back their Saturday mornings instead of frequenting their local computer market.

I should mention however that it is quite likely that part of the reason for the lack of buyers is down to the current credit crunch/recession though it was obvious that there were other factors at play due to the sheer lack of numbers.

I’d imagine the high costs of renting central London hall space is not cheap so how long will the Computer Markets be able to sustain this level of buyers and lack of activity?  I hope things pick up for them and I will make an effort to visit when I need any replacement printer cartridges, etc as it’d be a sad day and an end of an era for us ‘build your own PC’ geeks if they were to close.

If anyone from overseas (ie: not the UK) has links to their local Computer Fair site then please feel to add them in the comments section below – I’ll then add them to the list.


British Computer Fairs

London Computer Fairs


Technorati Tags: Computer,fair,,quiet,London

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18 Comments on "Central London Computer Fairs – the End is Nigh?"

Computer fairs are dead
2 years 7 months ago

There are too many Pakistani’s Indians & Bengalis on the Stalls. They never let you have a bargain on anything,. They are killing the market because ther are driving computer fair prices through the roof!!! I always look for English, Black, European Sellers.

2 years 9 months ago

I absolutely agree with TJ about the entrance fees. With internet shopping being cheaper these days, why do they still charge an entrance fees ? I’d visit the one nearby as I live in Stratford and there is one every Saturday and Sunday 10.30 am – 4pm. But I would not pay a fee to get in, only to browse around and probably pick up something that I didn’t know I need till I see it. Do away with the fees and it will attract more people and perhaps even family visits.

2 years 11 months ago

One of the main reason i think Fairs are closing it that they still feel customer are silly and try to rip you off with some prices. People do their shopping online to find prices and then go to computer fairs only to find things much cheaper online. You have to make a profit, so just lower your prices a little and people will come back.
Stop charging entrance fees as this also keeps people out.

5 years 24 days ago

Yes. i went on hunch dispite the guy running the Stratford computer fair telling me the Tottenham Court Road fair was now closed down.
I ended up bloging it

5 years 1 month ago

I used to go a lot about 4 years ago and it was a great place.
I want to go again but I can’t find out if it is actually still running.
I found http://www.londoncomputerfairs.com/ on Google but its advertising the one in Stratford. I tried to contact them but their email link is dead.
I also found a listing on http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/tottenham-court-road-computer-fair-london which has the wrong number.

Arrrr when is the internet going to become live?

So is it still running or not?

5 years 25 days ago

Hi Brian,

There are still a couple that are running on Saturdays down Tottenham Court Rd in Central London. Just walk down the street and look for the guys with the large billboards handing out Computer Fair fliers.