Comment: It may have changed since the company was founded, but

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In reply to comment: Dell doesn't even assemble them (see in situ)

It may have changed since the company was founded, but

my understanding was the only thing Dell ever made was the sticker on the case. (likely outsourced I'm sure though)

Originally, they didn't even stock a thing. (if they do now)

They were a middleman.

You used their website to spec out your computer with desired parts, they'd have it "assembled" for you, slap a "Dell" sticker on it, and have it shipped to you. After of course, you gave them your Credit Card number. So they didn't even pay for anything until you paid THEM.

I think they are a bit more of a traditional business model now though.