[rescue] rescue Digest, Vol 135, Issue 8

Peter Corlett abuse at cabal.org.uk
Thu Feb 13 12:45:20 CST 2014

On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 07:38:34AM +0000, microcode at zoho.com wrote:
> They've come down a lot but commodity el-cheapo flatscreens here cost about
> 150 bucks for a decent (by our ratty standards) 19.5 inch. They don't pay
> what passes for technicians here two hundred bucks a day. I think it would be
> closer to 14 USD an hour- and from my experience, they're about 14 dollars
> overpaid. But I digress... I guess depends a lot on where. Most markets are
> much smaller than North America and most places the prices are much higher
> than in North America. Here, it definitely makes sense when you can pay one
> guy to (sortof) fix 8 screens and sell them for let's say 800 dollars for 112
> dollars in labor and whatever a new cheap set of Chinese caps cost.

The UK is a smaller market, and I also happen to be a company director here.

My company can buy said ratty 19.5" monitors new for #64.19, which is $106.86
at the current exchange rate. Meanwhile a *minimum wage* employee costs
#7.76[0] or $12.87 per hour. But I'd need staff to not only repair the
monitors, but also collect the dead units being thrown out, sell the repaired
units, and deal with returns.

I'd only scrape a very meagre profit from it at best, and it has a high
opportunity cost compared to just selling new monitors, or indeed doing the
profitable consultancy that the company was originally set up for. In practice,
those monitors would fall into the category of consumable hardware that's paid
for out of petty cash.

However, I *do* fix my kit off-the-clock for fun and because I'm a tight-fisted
Northerner who hates waste, but I know to toss it when it's beyond my abilities
or the repaired unit is still dysfunctional enough that it's not really worth

[0] The official headline figure of #6.31 is what the employee sees on their
    payslip, with employer NI and accumulation of holiday entitlement
    accounting for the remainder. There are possibly further costs that I'm
    unaware of.

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