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Hey /g/uys. So, I run a computer shop and fixed a tablet for

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Hey /g/uys. So, I run a computer shop and fixed a tablet for someone today. Replaced the motherboard, and the gentleman promptly took it home and hooked up a power supply with too much voltage to it.

Doesn't understand why it doesn't charge.
Gonna be a long weekend. I can feel it.
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So how's your weekend shaping up, /g/?

Oh yeah, I guess, ask a dude who runs a computer store anything thread. I'm bored anyway.
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Where are you from?

Is the location of your shop important to it's success?

How much do you earn?

How many hours do you work?

How many people do you employ?

Starting a repairs shop is something I've thought about for a while now but I've seen so many come and go in my town the past few years that it's put me off.
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>>51451108
>so many come and go in my town the past few years that it's put me off.
Not OP, but try to get a grip of what those shops specialise in.

TV repair is a big business, since the cheapest consumer trash LCD TVs fall apart within 18 months because of planned obsolescence, and all you have to do to fix them is replace the capacitors.

I used to work at an repair shop but it was back in the day of old "dumbphones" when you had to have a specialised "debugging" cable for every model/manufaturer, and replacing firmware required a bit more fiddling than going into the menu and pressing "factory reset"
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>>51451108
I'm Canadian.

I think the location is pretty vital, but more so the time that I opened up shop. There wasn't a lot of competition at the time, which benefitted me greatly.

I probably clear 6000-8000 a month or so around christmas and 4-5k on a regular good month. Winter sucks ass though.

I usually work 8-9 hours a day.

Just myself, and one guy who handles outcalls and contract work.

Biggest piece of advice I have for being a repair/technician is to look the part. Don't spew buzzwords, if someone has a problem, explain to them what the problem is in the simplest terms you can, and if they want to know more they'll ask. Be concise, try to give good solid information, and be polite but professional. Don't chit-chat with clients unless they start it first.

Oh, and never, ever, ever comment on another tech's work ethic or honesty. That'll put you on the shitlist of your clients, AND the other guy. Also, don't be afraid to tell someone that it's not worth repairing something. It might cost you a repair or even a client, but they'll remember that you didn't try to jew them.
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>>51450930
How do you deal with customers like that? Its one of the reasons why I don't even fix things for friends, in their mind everything that goes wrong with it in future must be your fault.
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>>51451292
Honestly, you just tell them the truth. They broke it, here's how. Not much you can do about it. The people who tell me what they did (or don't KNOW what they did) are much less of a concern than the ones who DO know what they did, and deliberately try to hide it from you or blame you for it. That's why I always demonstrate the product to the person before I give it to them. "This is your tablet. I put 10% of a charge on it, so you'd know it works properly. Here you go." then when they come back, they can't say it was still broken when you handed it to them. They saw it work with their own eyes. If they get aggressive in front of other customers, I politely tell them I'll look into it for them if they come back again in 15 minutes. If that doesn't work and they make too much of a scene, or get physically aggressive, I call the police. I always make sure when I hand them back their product that they sign the service sheet that reads, "I hereby state that I witnessed the product demonstrated, and that it functions as agreed upon by the service contract I signed when I paid." and shows the amount. I've honestly only had two people ever do that to me, and both were known scam artists trying to make a buck by bringing in known faulty products and trying to get them exchanged for new ones.
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>>51451677
>both were known scam artists
Oh lordy, I can imagine someone like that getting very aggressive in front of customers.

Have you ever experienced theft in your shop before?
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>>51452228
Yeah, this is actually my second store. First one was literally run into the ground by shoplifters. Now I have a decent camera system, and the ninth hour that I work every day involves going over the day's footage. Anybody I catch isn't allowed back into my store any more. I make sure I screencap the theft as well.

Also, I make sure I keep any actual worthwhile merchandise behind glass. Parts and such stay on my worktable, because if they go missing I can't afford to lose them, and anything expensive has camera on it fulltime. I once had a guy actually walk right behind my glass counter to try to pocket something. You'd be amazed how ballsy people are sometimes. I totalled nearly 40,000 dollars in shoplifting losses over the first 3 years that shop was in business and just declared bankruptcy after that. So yeah, shoplifters are a huge problem. It's actually surprising, but most of the shoplifters are not teenagers at all, but usually fairly well dressed working folks just looking to make a quick buck. Just goes to show stereotypes won't help you too much.
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>>51452308
One tactic I actually borrowed from old school DVD/VHS/Game rental stores. I do keep displays up with processors, equipment, software, accessories and such, but if someone wants to see it they have to ask me first. The boxes that are out for display are just to show people what popular products I have in stock at the time. There are a few big ticket items that are out all the time, but those are usually tablets, laptops, and entire PC/video setups that are literally bolted to the desk (I don't chain the PC units to the desk, but rather mod my display cases so that the unit can be bolted down. I used to chain them up like you see in BestBuy but I had someone stupidly knock one right off the display table while trying to see the ports at the back. Now they have swivel platforms which they're bolted to. That's usually reserved for high end gaming systems, where the wholesale on the cases is affordable enough that I can mod one out for display without losing a ton of cash. Case sides are always see-through but locked closed. Laptops use standard laptop locks, but are locked to the frame of the table as opposed to the display behind it. I've had one or two snatch-and-grab attempts where the guy has literally blown himself right off his feet by tucking it under his arm and finding out the hard way that the lock won't just rip out like he expects. Only one or two of those, but they're great shining examples of man's stupidity.
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>>51452308
>I totalled nearly 40,000 dollars in shoplifting losses over the first 3 years
Fuck, that's serious shit. What were the most popular items to get stolen?
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>>51452429
RAM and (usually portable) harddrives, also cell-phone and tablet cases. I assumed the anti theft methods used by big box stores would translate equally well to small retail venues, but jesus fuck was I wrong. People are pretty creative. Metal-lined purses, small wire cutters, team ops where one guy would distract me or my tech guy and then slip something out of a box and into his pocket. Etc etc. It takes me 2 minutes to get a vacuum sealed package open sometimes without my knife and these guys do it in seconds. It's fucking stupid.
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>>51452429
The absolute worst ones are those last ones, where you do inventory at the end of the day and find five boxes of 2.5inch portable harddrives empty. Your heart just plummets into the floor as you mentally wonder which of the guys who cordially greeted and tried to help fucked you straight up the ass without you even knowing. It sucks HARD.
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>>51452429
Probably the biggest hit we ever took though was right after a shipment. Since our loading/stock room didn't have any cameras, some wiseguy literally came in our back door, loaded a shrink-wrapped 1/4 skid of Intel CPUs into his truck and drove off. If I'd gone to take a shit at any time in the 10 minutes it took him to do it, I could have prevented it. I still don't know if it was a crime of opportunity or if it was planned, but that back door was only propped open for 20 minutes as we moved stuff from the back to the front for inventory.
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>>51452519
Goddamn dude, I've been working in a repair center for the last 4-5 months now and I haven't had anyone try anything yet, but I don't think we keep as much stock as you do. We keep laptops behind glass display cabinets and HDD/RAM/other components in the back (we're mostly repairs, we don't sell that much new stuff) and Desktop PC's are out for people to look. Must be a lot of opportunistic people where you live. Which is interesting because the socio-economic area I'm working in is on the poor side.
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>>51451108
Location is the most important thing followed by advertising in regards to opening a business. You could have the best damn shop in town but if you live in a town with 11,000 you won't make any money. I live in Dallas, there's a shop near me that stays steady as fuck but the guy can literally fix any electronic.
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>>51452491
>>51452519
>>51452577
Might it be worth moving your store to online only, say as an amazon/ebay seller? That way the stock is always guarded and members of the public can't come in and wonder around, maybe just have a small front of house counter for the repair part of the business.

Is the area known for being a crime hotspot? Because the CPU shipment theft sounds almost like a co-ordinated hit.
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New poster in this thread. Thank you so much for this advice.
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>>51452744
Nah, I went back and simply didn't make the same mistakes the second time. We've been in business for six years now and haven't had anything major happen. Large, visible cameras and difficult-to-access products are a solid deterrent for a small store.
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