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View Full Version : Hearing "I might as well buy a new PC" more and more?


Stu
01-09-2008, 08:42 PM
I was just wondering how you guys/gals respond when after telling the
the customer how much the repair will cost they say, "Well, I might as
well go out and buy a new computer seeing as they are so cheap these
days"?

Personally I think I'm hearing it more and more, and I find it
worrying. I don't blame the customers for wanting what's best for
themselves, but I do wonder where this is leading to.

Here in the UK a decent spec system (including monitor etc) can be
had for around 400 these days. I find it worrying when a customer
turns down a 100 repair bill in favour of a brand new PC. Back in
the day when a new PC cost in excess of 1000 the 100 repair would
have been the automatic choice.

So where do we go from here? Will we all end up lowering our
prices? Move into different things eventually? Would love to hear
your thoughts and opinions on this matter.

Thanks

Stu

dipper
01-09-2008, 09:19 PM
Yes they can buy a PC for not much more but:
- what about software (Office, antivirus virus etc). How much extra is that? Who is going to install that?
- what about all the documents. Who's going to transfer that?
- what about email? Who is going to transfer that and set it up?
- what about contacts etc

Also the cheap computers are just that cheap. You will need extra RAM, better graphics (if they play games) etc.

So try and get the user thinking about the big picture which is that the "cheap" computer isn't that cheap when you factor in extra hardware, software and data transfer costs.

Simmy
01-09-2008, 09:57 PM
I've come across exactly the same problem Stu. This is the main reason why I've setup an online shop selling computers. If they want to buy a new PC instead of repairing, I simply direct them to the shop :D

Also, if you've been out and spent some time diagnosing a problem, you should at least charge them for your time. After all, it's the customer who has backed out.

swany971
01-09-2008, 10:20 PM
If i hear a customer is thinking about buying a new computer, rather than have their current one repaired, I'll try to offer them my services for when they bring their new baby home. Programs & setting transfer, recovery discs, and just plugging everything in are a few things I try to sell.

gunslinger
01-10-2008, 12:18 AM
I'm probably guilty of undercharging. But this approach has brought me a lot of business via word-of-mouth. I honestly believed the day of the $100-$125 per hour technician fee is about to come to an end. With computers, going for $4-$500 at the local Wal-Mart nowadays. I think within the next three to five years. Most people would rather junk their old computer and buy I new one than pay the jacked up rates to get it fixed. Let's say you take your old system to your local computer shop. You paid around $1000 for this machine new about two years ago, this system is not really out of date, but it's not state-of-the-art either and would probably bring about $500 If sold. Would it make sense for you to pay a computer shop $125 per hour for say 2 1/2 hours of labor To fix this computer ? I think most people would rather just buy new Computer.
I do the same thing as swany971, in that I offer to set it all up and I offer to take the old system off their hands.

gunslinger
01-10-2008, 12:24 AM
I kind of think of it this way. If I take my car to the mechanic he charges me $50 an hour to fix a $30,000 car. If the mechanic charged like the tech he would be out of work in short order because he would be charging over $1,000 an hour for labor, in ratio and proportion to the cost of the car. Remember the days of the TV repair man? How about fixing VCR's?

dipper
01-10-2008, 12:41 AM
Remember the days of the TV repair man? How about fixing VCR's?

I agree to a point but computers and tv's are 2 separate things. ie you don't have data and various other software installed on your tv that you need to reinstall.

With a tv it is very easy to buy a new one and connect it up and you're up and running in a few minutes. With computers you have to connect it, reinstall any software, copy across data, change all the setting to your preference etc. This can take hours if not days to get back to the setup you originally had.

Plus most new computers today come with Vista (especially brand names) and some people don't like Vista or sw / hw won't run on Vista.

gunslinger
01-10-2008, 01:10 AM
True. The thing is people around here seem to be getting smarter about things like data backup. Funny how they don't seem to be getting any smarter when it comes to avoiding viruses and malware. I still think some people price themselves out of a job. Of course it depends on where you are.

nonchalant
01-10-2008, 01:49 AM
I was just wondering how you guys/gals respond when after telling the the customer how much the repair will cost they say, "Well, I might as well go out and buy a new computer seeing as they are so cheap these days"?

I respond with "well I build new PC's too". "However I custom build them to suit your needs, so your not paying for additional software that you wont use that the stores claim is free when its actually incorporated in to the price". I also tell them that often a store couldnt care less what PC they sell them and are more interested in shifting a PC thats been sitting on the shelf for 6 mths rather than selling them one that is custom designed for their use and is upgradeable, etc. I also tell them that my prices are comparable, that the PC comes with quality parts (I never use cheap quality parts unlike some stores) that the PC comes with a warranty, etc.

This sort of response (from the customer) should be seen as a sales opportunity and can be quite lucrative when you calculate the markup on parts and labour to assemble and setup on-site. In this game you need to be a good salesman as well as a repairman, and I see this trend toward new PC's rather than a repair as a positive one, in fact I suggest it myself sometimes when its clear the cost to repair may exceed the value of the PC. And I'd rather be assigned the task of assembling a new PC than spend hours on an old clunker that refuses to boot etc. So in summary, I see this trend as a positive one and a boon for PC techies.

MrMille
01-11-2008, 12:15 PM
Most people can't tell the difference between quality parts or not.

If Dell are selling a desktop box for 450 euro, including 19" screen. How can you possibly build something out of 'quality' parts for less?

Are you saying your clients accept paying a premium for your services?

interesting topic!

tartis
01-11-2008, 01:00 PM
Start getting commercial customers and it wont affect your business. Business customers need you to configure everything for them, and move data. They will pay a premium for your service, and almost always need data transfered, and network settings configured.

Blues
01-11-2008, 03:37 PM
My parents wanted a new machine I looked and looked everything was missing something or just way too much. It was as cheap to build one with all they needed from quality parts as it was to buy one that had almost everything we were looking for. The end product was better then what they could get in that price point. The end result for them if you build a custom PC is they get a quality machine with a more personal guarantee. The price of a DIY is comparable to that of any system sold by major retailers there is little profit in it on the build but you can offer complete solutions. You can transfer files ensure a safe clean move and help them make sure they have all they need. You can at the least spend an extra hour billable time to help them find what they need.

mityay
01-11-2008, 04:38 PM
I don't understand how any of us can beat the big boys in computer sales. One of the most important things for consumers when they buy a new machine is warranty. Dell and others offer one year manufacturer's warranty. Can we do the same? The best we can probably do is 90 days.
I had Dell laptop that broke down within a year. I sent it to Dell and received it back within 10 days in good working condition. I was amazed how easy and painless the whole expereince was (I expected much worse).
By the way I have never sold a single PC so the above is just my personal opnion.

gunslinger
01-11-2008, 04:46 PM
I have to agree with both MrMille and tartis on this one. As far as building a new system goes, I was at wal-mart last night and seen dual core Dell with 2 gigs of RAM a 500 gig HD and a 22'' display for $700. Could I build a system with those specs in that price range? Most likely, but not with quality parts. Then there is labor. The only way I could come close to that price would be to not charge anything for labor or buy junk parts. A good 22'' LCD alone will run half that total.
As for commercial customers tartis you are right, and they don't seem to mind paying what ever it takes, they just want it done right now. To most of them time is money and the longer they are ofline the more they lose.

Blues
01-11-2008, 06:15 PM
1 yr are parts failure is easy if you keep track of your documents as every part I buy has atleast that. I would eat the cost on 1 or 2 parts that may not have a full year. I would offer 90 days software support as really everything that is software support is generally user errors not fualty workmanship. Im not gunna say everyone will want you to build a system or that it would make good sense as you say gunslinger your profit margin takes a hit to be in the price point and use quality parts. The screen bundles are the biggest thing to fight as they do offer drastic discounts there but if you have ever seen an LCD markup they have a nice profit margin so thats hard to fight. I have learned most people who have an LCD now aren't lookin for more then the tower. If you have a large enough customer base you can look into becoming a Dell reseller to make a minor profit and sell at the wal-mart price.

nonchalant
01-11-2008, 06:38 PM
Most people can't tell the difference between quality parts or not.

If Dell are selling a desktop box for 450 euro, including 19" screen. How can you possibly build something out of 'quality' parts for less?

Are you saying your clients accept paying a premium for your services?



When I say 'quality' I dont mean 'high end'. But your right. Cost has to be cut somewhere if Im to be competitive against the stores.

So referring back to your first point. Your right, customers cant tell the difference between quality parts. They also cant tell the difference between a E6600 or an E2140. Nor can they tell the difference between a ASUS P5GC-MX with integrated video and sound or an ASUS P5K Deluxe. And nor do they care. And customers dont always want or need a new monitor, keyboard, and mouse etc so the cost to upgrade can be reduced even further.

At the end of the day I may be charging a little more than a shop would for the same item however what I am selling is the whole package ie personal service including setup on-site, personal after sales service, etc, which matters to some customers. They like the idea of someone setting the new PC up for them versus them carrying the PC home and setting it up themselves. I get the impression most customers know the cost at the end of the day includes extra for this service but that doesnt bother them.

While a store may box up a quad 6600 with a cheap mainboard, 2gb RAM, 80gb HDD, DVD-RW and a cheap case, I'll box up a E2140, an ASUS mainboard (low end but quality), 160GB HDD, DVDRW, and coolermaster Centurion case. Obviously my saving is on the CPU however some of that saving enables me to provide a quality case that is more appealing. But Im always honest with the customer and tell them exactly what they are getting. I advise them that the CPU is worth about $80 and is not as fast as a $330 quad but that they can upgrade the CPU later when the cost of the Quads comes down. And this really doesnt seem to be a concern for them. In their mind they are swapping their 256mb of RAM and 20GB HDD for 2GB of RAM and a 160GB HDD so logic says it has to better. IMO the new PC is still way faster than the old Celeron with 256mb of RAM they used to have.

And theres another advantage to being able to sell a new PC thats being overlooked. The salvageability of the customers 'old' parts. After putting a few new PC's together recently I was able to assemble a P4 2.8, 1.5gb RAM, and mainboard. I added to that a new 160GB HDD I had lying around and assembled it all together in a new case. It makes a nice 'test' machine.. :)

Blues
01-11-2008, 08:20 PM
And theres another advantage to being able to sell a new PC thats being overlooked. The salvageability of the customers 'old' parts. After putting a few new PC's together recently I was able to assemble a P4 2.8, 1.5gb RAM, and mainboard. I added to that a new 160GB HDD I had lying around and assembled it all together in a new case. It makes a nice 'test' machine.. :) Yes I forget to mention the added benifit to both you and the customer of "Well I can take your old machine off your hands if you like." If they say "No I want to give it to friend or family Joe Smith" you can offer to help fix up the machine and get it ready for the new owner. If they just say no becuase they realize that you can sometimes make something of the machine then offer a discount on the new build in exchange for the machine. The discount would be minimal but they no longer have to unload it on someone and you get a deal on its value.

nonchalant
01-11-2008, 08:29 PM
Yes I forget to mention the added benifit to both you and the customer of "Well I can take your old machine off your hands if you like."

Yea thats the 'icing on the cake'. In this instance the old PC was mentioned somehow when I got back to setup the new one and I offered to return it but the customer insisted I keep it.

ThirdMCC
01-12-2008, 03:56 AM
I have to agree with both MrMille and tartis on this one. As far as building a new system goes, I was at wal-mart last night and seen dual core Dell with 2 gigs of RAM a 500 gig HD and a 22'' display for $700. Could I build a system with those specs in that price range? Most likely, but not with quality parts.

While I hate to disagree with my esteemed collegue from Tennesee, I took a look at the Wal-Mart Dell system (Model # I531M1-H003W) as well. Here in NY, and at walmart.com, it sells for $798 + tax. I reviewed the specs, and I found that I could build a comparible system with parts from Newegg for $698. Normally I would charge $100 + cost of parts for a computer, so that would bring my price to $798, same as the Dell. Now what I can offer that Dell can't, is local service, and an English speaking tech. I also give a 1 year hardware labor warranty. I believe this Dell from Walmart comes with a 90 day warranty.

People are usually convinced by the time I tell them that they will not have to talk to India to get problems solved. :)

gunslinger
01-12-2008, 03:38 PM
I went back and checked, and sure enough It was $798. I still could not get the price on newegg to match what you did. I still think the kicker would be the moniter. If the customer already had one and you found some great deals on newegg or tiger you may be able to do it.

ThirdMCC
01-12-2008, 08:37 PM
I went back and checked, and sure enough It was $798. I still could not get the price on newegg to match what you did. I still think the kicker would be the moniter. If the customer already had one and you found some great deals on newegg or tiger you may be able to do it.

Here's how I came up with my figure:
22" Widescreen LCD Monitor (N82E16824009102) - $229.99

Barebones Case & MBoard Combo (N82E16856167010) - $79.99

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.3 GHz Socket AM2 Processor with fan/heatsink (N82E16819103776) - $74.99

WINTEC AMPO 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Desktop Memory (N82E16820161677) - $35.99

Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (N82E16822136178) - $99.99

Sony NEC Optiarc Black DVD/CD Burner (N82E16827118003) - $23.99

SUPER TALENT INT-AIN1-C All-in-one USB 2.0 Card Reader (N82E16820609198) - $7.99

Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Home Premium OEM (N82E16832116202) -109.99

SubTotal - $662.92
Shipping - $35.22
Total - $698.14

All of these parts have at least a 1 year warranty.

Now, I didn't include a modem, but they go for $10 or less anyways, and I would ask the customer before building the system if they really need one. Not too many people with dialup where I am. And like you said, the big chunk of this is the monitor, so I'd see what they really need.

I'd match the quality of the Newegg parts against Dell parts any day. When I service a brand name computer, 4 out of 5 times it is a Dell, and I am there due to hardware failure.

gunslinger
01-13-2008, 12:36 AM
"I'd match the quality of the Newegg parts against Dell parts any day. When I service a brand name computer, 4 out of 5 times it is a Dell, and I am there due to hardware failure."

Funny thing about that. Its the same here,about 95% of every computer I work on is a Dell or an HP.

focuz
01-15-2008, 12:45 AM
Its not to funny at all. I pay all of my bills by fixing brand new dells all day long. HAHA.

I don't thing your competition is going to be from dells or for the most part any single individual brand out their. Its going to be mainly places like best buy. People that have a local tech work on their machine already realize that phone support with India suck and thats why they called you out in the first place. The competition is going to be big chains that are not only going to provide local support through example geek squad but they are also able to lower prices as they are a chain and sell a bunch.

Your best bet is to explain how you personally can benefit them and be able to provide superior quality and support over the big chain shops.

nonchalant
01-15-2008, 09:09 AM
I still could not get the price on newegg to match what you did.

Im not sure how newegg prices compare to over here but I buy my parts from MSY. They are a PC chain that sells PC parts cheap..real cheap.. In fact no other 'retailer' compares to their prices. For example, I recently bought a Logitech Z5500 sound system from them for about $379 retail. The cheapest I could find this item anywhere else was about $549 retail. And the 2 wholesalers I have accounts with dont even supply them.

In fact since MSY set up shop in my state about 12 mths ago I havent even used my wholesale accounts except on a couple of occassions for purchase of XP operating system software (OEM) that MSY wont sell to me unless I buy a whole system..

And as for the brand name PC's. Yea, I started a new job this week for a bank doing IT support and saw like 10 dead HP's in the storeroom. They were no more than 3 years old..lol

Emockler
05-18-2009, 11:09 PM
I am about to open a store - I know I need my head examined.

Anyway, the way I intend to handle the inevitable " I may a well buy a new pc"
is to offer "new system purchase consulting" which includes choosing the best deal from ALL sources, removing the expireware, moving data from old to new
(or maybe making the old system a physical disk VM using VMware server), just making sure the customer gets the new pc they envision.
Thereby making nothing on the hardware (that we can't compete in anyway)
but charging for expertise. such a service is probably worth $100 or so, but I think it's something they would rather pay for - instead of a "markup" or getting talked into an extended warranty.

soho-integration
05-19-2009, 02:54 AM
Most people can't tell the difference between quality parts or not.

If Dell are selling a desktop box for 450 euro, including 19" screen. How can you possibly build something out of 'quality' parts for less?

Are you saying your clients accept paying a premium for your services?

interesting topic!

Yes, new computer hardware is cheap, but remind them that the Office license that is on their old computer STAYS with their old computer (if it was OEM - most often it is). Also, remind them that they'll have to pay another $99 to Dell to get Xp installed - unless they actually 'want' Vista (shudder!).

Next - if they want a new computer, offer to transfer their data for them :)

Sevdog
05-19-2009, 06:22 PM
Ok...so consider that you may charge the customer $300 to fix their PC and a new one costs $500. Depending on what the problem is with their computer are they really going to go out and purchase a new PC every time their PC needs service? What if they buy a new PC and they are infected with a virus 3 weeks later? They are already $200 deeper than if they had you fix it in the first place but now are going to spend that much more for to have the new one fixed. The point is, while prices for a new PC look good, that before you offer to sell your customer a new PC that you should point out the illogical reasoning associated with buying a new PC instead of having it repaired. In the long term the customer will be spending much more money buying new PCs.

purple_minion
05-19-2009, 06:34 PM
Ok...so consider that you may charge the customer $300 to fix their PC and a new one costs $500. Depending on what the problem is with their computer are they really going to go out and purchase a new PC every time their PC needs service? What if they buy a new PC and they are infected with a virus 3 weeks later? They are already $200 deeper than if they had you fix it in the first place but now are going to spend that much more for to have the new one fixed. The point is, while prices for a new PC look good, that before you offer to sell your customer a new PC that you should point out the illogical reasoning associated with buying a new PC instead of having it repaired. In the long term the customer will be spending much more money buying new PCs.

Especially if it's not a hardware problem, or ancient. Like treating the guy with STD's over and over, when with something simple like a condom could prevent those issues. They need to be educated, since they can't ask the question "how does this happen" themselves.

Azz
05-19-2009, 07:25 PM
I find that most people prefer a cheep repair than buying a new PC.

I had a call on Sunday, lady phoned another repair guy and he told her she needs a new PC as hers is unfixable. 40 later and an hours work and its fixed.

When I took it back to her she asked if I thought she should get a new PC, I told her spend about 50 on this one and it will be like a new machine. That 50 will get her a RAM upgrade, a thorough cleanout (clogged heatsinks) and a tuneup. She was so happy that she didn't have to spend loads on a new one and appreciated the fact that I gave her the cheaper option.

For me, there is little money in building PC's now as they are so cheap to buy from the shops.

Aaron

thor999
05-27-2009, 02:47 AM
The poster is right, pc's are cheap as hell these days. If you guys don't know how to build one yet, you better learn quickly! I actually want to get to the point where I can build 5-10 of the same at a time, keeping 2 for parts and selling the rest quickly. That way when they say "I should just go buy a new one" you reach under your trench coat and produce a build of your own!

SOHO-NZ
05-27-2009, 03:38 AM
I do sell PC's. Both custom made and off the shelf.

Of the shelf PC's are priced at Recommended Retail Price, or over that if it doesn't meet my minimum margin requirement.

Custom PC's are priced by the total cost of the parts from my wholesaler + my standard margin, + my build time. My quotes are itemized so that the customer can see exactly how the price is built up. I only ever use high quality parts. - Cheap parts are a warranty liability. - Higher quality parts cost more, so you make more on the sale, and the customer gets a more reliable machine.

I don't compare prices to anyone else, I just let the customer take it or leave it. Selling PC's is just the cream on top of the service work I do. I won't do this for the love, so I have to build a minimum profit in there.

NJDemur
05-28-2009, 12:11 PM
Even though major computer retailers, such as Dell, offer a much better warranty than any of us can.. they don't use quality parts. I've built 7 custom machines in the past month. I'm still giving out quotes, still getting clients for custom builds, and repairs.

thepcdude
06-03-2009, 07:44 AM
Well here in the UK i find alot of people "say is it really worth me repairing a laptop for 140", and i normally honestly say "yes there is nothing wrong with the computer just needs a bit of TLC". That normally brings them round a little bit.

But like you say there are alot of people willing to scrap their laptop/desktop for a brand new model which i find ashame to see our culture like that now. This could push the design of computers to be more fragile and more "flimsey" to save on costs and to make people buy more.

But alas we strole on battling the customer to part with thier money and to convince them there really is nothing wrong with there computer and just needs some work to it and could be good for another 5 years.

Normann
06-05-2009, 05:12 PM
This is a very interesting thread. I think the answer is to avoid serving this segment if you can. That is hard if you live in a low income part of the country. I have quite a bit of business experience but I have just started out as a tech. Reading this and other topics and comments on this forum made me change my strategy about my target market. Three things that I have picked up reading here:

1. I don't want to compete on price even if I feel like a fraud when I ask the same as an established tech with 20 years of experience.

Common sense dictates that pay is relative to experience. So if I have less I should charge less. But this does not work here. Entering the market and trying to gain advantage based solely on price will define my customer base and hurt the established tech, who in turn will need to lower his prices, and that will come back and bite me when I feel ready to raise mine. Instead I am matching the price and offering services I am comfortable with.

2. I don't want to serve the "I can buy a new PC for $300" crowd.

Low prices puts you into contact with this segment. This is bad for several reasons:

- This segment is highly affected by economic fluctuations like the one we are in right now.
- This segment has little loyalty and will drop you the moment someone undercuts your prices by $5.
- This segment is after the free, the special, and the bargain all the time. Especially here in the US this is true IMHO more than elsewhere. What is free for them is expensive to offer for you. There is no end to this either.
- This segment often lacks people with professional degrees or certifications that are hard to obtain. Thus they have a harder time understanding and valuing services that are rendered by professionals.
- This segment uses the PC for basic things. You can't offer them value services because there is nothing valuable on their system.

At first I was going to advertise on craig among other places. Then later I have decided against it. Word of mouth, direct mail, and flyers targeting specific areas is what I am doing. I am lucky that my wife is a professional. She is in private education. Her clientele is high income families only. You can't get on her list anymore for many years now. Right now she is dropping lawyer and doctor clients for clients who live on the ocean in multi million dollar houses. I am lucky because I can just piggyback on her. With this income segment trust is important and referrals are key so it is hard to get your feet in. I am lucky to be in this position. This has already yielded me business. On my very first call in a very neat neighborhood I did a 40 min job for $75. They were going to give me $100 because they were so happy. (Btw I declined that.) That would never happen with a $300 computer owner.

3. I need to go after high value services.

Another thing this thread made me realize was that I will need to very quickly figure out how to perform higher end services for which I can charge more. This thread shows clearly that the profit margin is shrinking rapidly especially in residential.

Unfortunately I can't target businesses like the experienced technicians with advanced certificates can. I can't because I will never be available 24/7 for this job, and my knowledge on complex networks and servers is weak. I am also afraid of repairing laptops due to the variety out there. But that is almost irrelevant since you can buy those for $300-400. Same problem as before. I was thinking about learning how to do advanced data recovery, or getting some CISCO certs under my wings to be able to serve commercial customers. Not sure if I will go ahead with that because I already have a lucrative profession, at least the moment my former employer recalls me I do, and once that happens I will not be able to put the effort in to really benefit from that education. But IMHO you guys who are full in, should definitely try to climb into the services that need advanced training, advanced and expensive equipment, and in general provide higher value and compensation.

nonchalant
06-05-2009, 09:36 PM
Its does seem more people may be going for new PC's instead of paying the cost of repair however Im fairly confident this trend wont continue. Fact is the cost of PC has dropped dramatically over the last year or so so Im sure many people who were hanging on to old clunkers have gone out and bought a new PC instead of calling me, but its unlikely their going to do the same again when they get another virus infection in the next 6 - 12 mths. It just doesnt make economic sense, not to mention they know they will lose all their data in the process.

On a positive note Ive been given the go ahead to build a med-high end PC for one of my regulars which I'll be assembling for him today :)

He also knows Ive added approx $200 into the quote for assembly, install, and setup on-site. I'll reiterate what I said in one of my earlier posts - customers will pay extra for personal service vs dealing with the stores.

purple_minion
06-05-2009, 09:58 PM
When you buy junk, it will break. Simple as that. Build a quality machine and it will run for a long long time. Ask them if they are going to be buying a machine over and over again, and like mentioned before, what if they get a virus, or need to save their data, etc. Buying a new machine won't fix the root cause of issues like virus's, or a network not working.

MLCS
06-12-2009, 11:12 PM
I scanned through most of these posts and I agree with most of the common techs here on the forums.

Generally we only hear these statements from home owners. It's easy to gain money either way. If they want a cheap computer you're not going to be able to compete with the prices of the $500-$600 systems out there. I generally give them 2 pitches and whatever one they pick I still make about as much money.

#1 - I can build you a new system to specs you request and desire. We can load it with XP or Vista, whichever you choose, I will load all the software you want that you have the original discs for, load virus/malware protection and update everything and transfer all of your old data from the old system to the new one for this price, but it will be considerably more than the system from Walmart, but I can assure better parts and quality.

#2 - If you would like to go purchase a new system from Best Buy or Walmart etc, let me know, you will still need your old data transferred, virus/malware protection, updates and everything else. So I'll be happy to come help you set it all up and get it running for X amt of dollars.

Generally I will make just as much profit on #2 as #1 and less headache of them calling me on my own systems I built for them if there's issues.

This is actually a change from my previous feelings towards selling new systems. I used to be for it, now that I've seen how much I can make from option #2 without the extra hassle I prefer not to.

Either way, recommend the best thing for the customer to do, or give them good options and be honest and up front. But make sure you're making money no matter what option they choose and you're golden.

nonchalant
06-12-2009, 11:25 PM
My philosophy exactly MLCS..

Ive said it before and I'll say it again - in this business you need to be a bit of a salesman. Theres always money to be made no matter which way the customer goes. Put yourself in the customers position - often they know squat about PC's. You come along to fix a problem & suddenly they have all the information in the world they need right at their doorstep with a view to that new system their considering. And how nice it would be to have YOU (someone they trust) build the system (no cheap or unupgradeable parts) and set it all up for them (no carting the PC from the store then having to figure out how to set it all up when they get home hoping it will work)..

An example is the system I built the other day. Customer happened to mention he was about to fork out for a new system soon. I told him I build PC's too (dont assume that they know you do) and discussed with him the type of system he was considering. In the end he went for a slightly different system to what he was going to buy (i7 vs Q9650) saving him $200 or so in components (which I then took in labour charges) giving me the task of building the system.