Sunday, 9 November 2014

How many keyless locks or smartlocks can you buy in your local hardware store- we found over 2000 keyed locks and 5 keyless locks in our local

Have you ever wandered up and down the aisles in your local hardware store and noticed the abundance of keyed locks on the shelves?

What about the number of keyless locks available on the shelves? We conducted an analysis of a hardware store chain in Australia called Bunnings and found some startling results – you can see for yourself here at http://www.bunnings.com.au/ and searching ‘locks’. There were over 2000 key locks, and 5 keyless locks on the shelves at Bunnings.

Hmm I don't see many keyless locks here.

We found that the biggest range was in leverset locks – there were 269 leverset locks. There were 155 knobset locks and 50 deadbolt locks, and 22 deadlatch locks and so on and so forth. There were 14 ‘keylesss locks’ or ‘digital locks’ advertised at bunnings.com, but 9 of them were on special order, meaning there were only 5 keyless locks available on the shelves at Bunnings Hardware stores in Australia, available to purchase right now. None of these 5 keyless locks were smartlocks (i.e you could not control and open the keyless locks on the shelf with a smartphone).

So one has to ask the question ‘why are there thousands of keyed locks on the shelves in hardware stores, yet there are only a handful of keyed locks available ? Or is this just the case in Australian hardware stores?

Is it because keyless locks are not affordable, so the hardware store doesn't bother to stock many? (keyless locks can be 3-5 times the price of keyed locks). Is it because homeowners don’t trust the technology? Is it because the lock manufacturers have not developed many keyless locks because there is no demand for them, or some other reason? Is it because the keyless locks are difficult to install, unreliable, expensive to maintain, not of a good design that blends in with the houses architecture? Is there no motivation to install keyless locks as it’s not really going to make our life any better?

It’s probably a combination of all the above and throw in a few more other reasons too. What we can say that the demand is clearly there for keyless locks for people’s homes. According to reports, Kwisket Kevo keyless smartlock has been moving 30,000 units a month since the start of this year starting at US$219 per unit- see story here. Kevo has also received their fair share of publicity too – simply google ‘Kwikset Kevo’ and you will see thousands of news stories about this product.

Each one of the potential reasons mentioned above could be broken down and analysed in separate posts which may or may not make for interesting reading. One conclusion that we would like to make, which to us seems like a no-brainer is;
 ‘if keyless locks can come down in price to around the cost of keyed locks (and if they can clearly be shown to be more secure and more convenient than keyed locks) then surely the demand for keyless locks will increase, and hardware stores will stock more keyless locks’. 

But will keyless locks which cost between $180-$650 dollars right now, ever get down to the cost of keyed locks which are generally less than $40?

Well if you take out the callout/installation fee of a locksmith from the equation, then we are getting close. The callout fee for a locksmith to come out and replace your lock is around $70-$120, depending on where you live. The there is the $20-$40 lock cost. So in conclusion, if you can make a secure trustworthy keyless lock for around $130-$190 which you can install yourself, and you will never have to call a locksmith again (as a keyless lock or smartlock means that you will never ever be locked out) then you will surely be on a winner right?

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