Monoprice: From underground following to legitimate electronics brand

By on February 5, 2013, 6:30 PM

Monoprice built a very successful online business by doing one thing exceedingly well: offering extremely high quality cables (most notably HDMI cables) at unheard of bargain basement prices. This allowed the company to grow into a $120 million a year business that’s been growing at between 25 percent and 35 percent per year for the last five years – impressive considering it was almost done completely through word-of-mouth.

The company had what could be described as an underground cult following of nerds for several years since being founded in 2002. Those that knew better than to spend $100 for a 6-foot HDMI cable at the local big box retailer would recommend the service to friends, family and even strangers on forums across the web. It all sort of grew steadily from there.

The secret could only last so long, however, as Monoprice is a well-known source these days for everything from cables to audio equipment. But last month at the Consumer Electronics Show, Monoprice debuted a couple of products that has helped them transform their name from an online source of cheap cables to a reputable source for consumer electronics.

One of those products was a high-end 27-inch monitor with an IPS panel featuring a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. Typically you’d expect to pay somewhere around a grand for a quality brand-name product but through Monoprice, it’s yours for less than $400. It's worth pointing out that similar high-end panels have been available overseas through eBay for years but this is one of the few times a US-based company has offered something comparable.

Unsurprisingly, the Monoprice CrystalPro Monitor is currently on backorder through March 20 with the only real complaint being a cheap stand – the panel itself is described as beautiful by one reviewer while all of the reviews on the product page cite the display / image quality as a pro.

The other new product unveiled at CES was the MHD Action Camera, a Go-Pro style recorder with a price tag of under $100. Much like the monitor, you’ll have to wait until mid-March to get your hands on the handheld shooter.

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