[rescue] rescue Digest, Vol 135, Issue 8

Lionel Peterson lionel4287 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 13 08:08:47 CST 2014

I recently picked up 4 perfectly good Dell 1702 flat panel displays for
$20/each - at that price they are cheap backups/gifts for friends.

As mouse alluded to (but did not enumerate) there are many, many more costs
in repairing electronics than the cost of the technician.

You need to advertise, either provide delivery/pick-up service OR have a
'main street' retail location (at double the rent of a similar space in an
industrial park), storage space to hold items to be worked on, a work area,
a space to hold fixed items until retrieved/returned, and a method for
recovering costs when items get abandoned at the shop. Add in parts
inventory, training to be certified to perform warranty work,
heat/electricity and a profit and it's very expensive.

I paid $20/ea for four 6 year-old flat panels, I would estimate a repair
service would want at least $50/60 flat fee for such a repair, and I'd need
to have another panel to use while my broken one is out for repair. And
deep down, despite knowing that it's the right thing to do, I'd rather buy
a new (better) display and recycle the broken one than spend half as much
on repairing a display that already broke once.

I ran the numbers a couple years ago when I thought about opening up a
computer 'repair' shop, and in my area retail space goes for $2/sq ft per
month (1,000 sq ft shop is about $2K/month), figuring on a payroll of one
person (me) at $50K/yr and if the shop is constantly busy (a big if), I
needed to charge $60-70/hr - I couldn't see that being successful.

There's an 'electronic' service shop in the next town over - he does about
80-85% warranty work! the rest bills at about $50/hr and is typically a
repair to an old tube amp or transistor receiver. He used to offer a
pickup/drop off service, but at $125 flat rate, it wasn't sustainable...

The economics of the business of repairing electronics just isn't there (in
most cases)...


On Thursday, February 13, 2014, Mouse <mouse at rodents-montreal.org> wrote:

> >>> The cost of repair for a small business is more than the cost of a
> >>> new LCD monitor.
> >> That's completely dysfunctional and we should work to change it.
> By making new ones more expensive, or making repairs cheaper?  In
> either case, how?
> > It might not even be true.  Peter just said he fixed a bunch.
> Yes...at what cost?  I'm four for four, I think it is, at fixing LCD
> flatscreens by re-capping.  I'd be surprised if I would ever get to the
> point of taking less than an hour to do one - and, at any realistic pay
> rate for a decent electronics tech, that approaches the cost of a new
> flatscreen.  Add in the costs of reselling the fixed monitors and I'm
> far from convinced it's not true.  And that's not even considering
> profit margin - and, in jurisdictions where it's an issue, liability.

Lionel Peterson
lionel4287 at gmail.com

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