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Other What to charge? (site building/pc repairs)

Discussion in 'General' started by nukeman8, 21 Jan 2011.

  1. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    labour wise on repairs i rarely charge more than £60 for a single job. even if something is on my bench a few days, if i cant repair something i charge an inspection fee, for taking the time to have a look(my main hardware repairs are laptops so it can take a while to stripdown, and diagnose)

    i do the normal adding markup to my cost of parts.

    if you are setting up a business, you have to work out, what it's going to cost you to run that business.

    you have to take into account, insurance, phone, mail, electric, rent(if you have office space), tools, software, etc etc, you get the idea anyway.
     
  2. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    You need some insurance too - say you drop it accidentally and smash it good and proper, you don't want the money to come out of your own pocket to replace it.
     
  3. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    i go with the no fix no fee approach and charge out usually something like £40 a fix which to be honest is extremely cheap.

    when i used to work in leeds repairing comps for a company the local stores would charge £30-40 inspection + £40-50 for fix.

    i also run my own business now and its very easy to setup as a sole trader and about the only paperwork you have to do is your self assesment tax return.

    word of caution though if your planning on visiting houses insurance is needed for yourself and equipment.

    personally i dont do home visits as people bring thier PCs to me.
     
  4. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Public liability insurance. I just paid mine for the year last week :rolleyes: I have to have quite a large indemnity because I regularly tender for work in public buildings.

    I don't operate the no repair, no fee policy. I used to, but I learned from another electronic engineer who I worked with for a while that in an 8 hour working day (which is what he and I were working at the time) an hour spent diagnosing a BER fault in a TV or hi-fi system was still an hour of labour. He charged a deposit fee with all faulty goods received for repair and if it turned out to be BER, the cost of our time was covered. That fee was £10 and it was the same for everything from the smallest MP3 player to the biggest TV.

    The figures you guys are all mentioning for simple PC repairs are extortionate. I pride myself on never overcharging anyone, being cheaper than all the local competitors and still making a living from it. Rich I take it you only do PC repairs? To be honest a lot of the repairs I perform on electronic goods - especially spill damage repair which I do quite a bit of - come to at least £60 with many of them being more but that includes labour and travel because I offer a callout/collection and return service. Network installation jobs are also often far north of your figure, but that's a different type of job entirely.
     
  5. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    i do a combination, of laptop, pc repairs, onsite software installs, network setups.

    on laptops i replace sockets, inverters, screens, boards if they are cheap enough( i normally say if its ber, but some customers want a quote and do sometimes say yes to an expensive board), i don't do component level repairs except the sockets as i dont have the facilities for smd testing and soldering.

    onsites are charged @£30phr regardless of fix or not, but if needs be, i would take machine back to workshop, after an hour or so, depends whats needed, this is charged at a much lower rate.

    i have repeat customers, so they must be happy with the work i do and the prices i charge.

    when i do onsites to setup networks, i dont drill holes, but if they drill the holes, i do run cables and connect network sockets etc, i also test existing cables and equipment.

    i build machines and upgrade them as well. although i can't match pc world/ebuyer etc for prices.
     
  6. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    really i find it normally fine to compete with them unless they have some super special on i.e. clearance stock.

    i can build machines same as the dells (using quality components) and be slightly cheaper or the same and make a profit.
     
  7. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    i cant claim vat back on the stuff i buy, as am not vat registered, but if i was then yes maybe i could.

    some of my suppliers prices are pence difference in price terms from ebuyer/pc world.

    can you build a £299 pc, including windows, and still make something from it?

    thats all some peeps want to pay
     
  8. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    ok £299 PC from PC world is some rubbish pakard bell

    E3300
    skt 775 board using DDR3
    2GB of 1066mhz
    320GB HDD
    intergrated GPU

    £299

    mine

    E3300
    G41 ASUS board
    2GB of corsair DDR 1333mhz
    320GB HDD seagate
    430W corsair buidlers series PSU
    asus cheap case
    win 7 64-bit HP
    MY FEE

    £315

    only £15 more expensive and im using quality PSU, faster and branded RAM and chances are better motherboard.

    id say thats competing
     
  9. nukeman8

    nukeman8 New Member

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    Unfortunately unless the customer has some technical sense then they will nearly always go for the cheaper one.

    Luckily its much easier to compete when you move the scale a bit to gaming systems, add about £80 to your price and i can build a pc that can play all games at reasonable settings.
     
  10. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    V.interesting topic.

    I would love to make PC building/repairs my full time job, ive constantly got 3-4 PCs being worked on/built/fixed. But as its for friends & family i rarely charge anything.

    I would be concerned that i just couldnt earn anything like what i get at the moment. Maybe going part time outside of work would give me a flavour of what i could earn.
     
  11. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    providing you can talk to the customer and not just box shift it isnt hard to convince the customer that the extra £15 is worth it.

    i lose out sometimes but id say 75% opt for my service over PC world as long as the price is close
     
  12. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    But you are making nothing from that. If it took you a couple of hours to build that and maybe even install some software for the customer you're making what... £15 or £20 off it all together? And where's your software? I don't see a Windows License in there anywhere.

    Lets face it, the stuff that PC world and Curries sell is absolute mass produced crap. HP's, Dells, whatever. I don't care what logo is on the case, it's all rubbish. I don't build cheap crap. Most of my entry level home office machines start in around the £450 mark and they are built with good quality components that I trust and are carefully and thoughtfully built machines.
     
  13. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    I'm currently charging £800 + VAT per day. I'll go down to £600 + VAT per day for customers who have a support contract with me already.
    But that's for companies & is mostly server & networking work.

    Doing private repairs I used to charge £50 an hour 5 years ago. I now charge £20 deposit then fixed prices for the job (using £60 an hour to estimate from)
     
    Unicorn likes this.
  14. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    That's called doing it right and making a qualified professional's wage off it. Kudos to be honest.
     
  15. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    i would make something from that and if you read my post it did have a windows license in.
    i also generally have images of blank setups with pre-installed software such as open office, reader, flash and all that normal jazz people use.

    to be honest though the machine i spec'd is not one i recommend i was just pointing out that you can build a similar spec and still make money.

    my recommened minimal builds also start around the £400-450 mark but if the customer really wants to spend less ill try to help out but warn of any potential isssue or drawbacks.
     
  16. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    This is some times a right royal pain. I'm the only one that friends and family know, so it always no charge unless something needs replacing and half the time I got bit laying about so I just use those. I'm going to have a go this year at trying to get something going, so it's good to see what what every one is saying price wise.
     
  17. SteveU

    SteveU New Member

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    I do the odd job for work colleagues and neighbours and charge £20/hr for virus removal, wi-fi issues, etc..

    I also do laptop repairs (everything down to power jack replacement) and still stick to £20 an hour (I can do a power jack in sub 2 hours so charge £40 for this). There are a few companies on eBay charging £40ish for power jack repairs so I know I'm in the right ball park.

    I've just started taking on more laptop repair jobs from a guy who does home theatre installs and PC software repairs as he doesn't like to do fiddly things like laptops so he passes them on to me.

    I'd definitely recommend getting in to laptop repairing as I find a lot of people who are happy to strip a desktop are scared stiff of laptops. There's tons of money in them and all you need is basic soldering skills, some decent mini screwdrivers and a bit of patience while you learn how they come apart.

    I do all this as a hobby at the moment by the way, my 9-5 is in the motor trade but I'm currently self-learning my CompTIA A+ qualification which will quickly be followed by Network+ and then MCSE. Once I have these under my belt I'll be looking to get into the IT repair industry properly, hopefully working for a Blue Chip company as a repair tech and doing domestic repairs in my spare time to earn extra dough!
     
  18. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    although i think compTIA A+ and N+ are good qualifications in reality very little jobs require it and very little even say recommened.

    its a good thing to have as + on your CV but experience is much much better and from what ive seen is usually required to have 1-3 years experience in the IT support sector. i always wodnered how you get the experience before you get a job though !!!!

    MSCE is good though and they are definately worth thier weight in gold
     
  19. PHILIP1193

    PHILIP1193 a Self Confessed HP Server Lover!!

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    Ok, so i've worked for several PC repair companies and had to do break even analysis on things like this.

    What you need to think about is what it costs to realistically run your own business, because right now you dont seem to have much of a clue (not flaming, just been honest).

    Firstly, you dont state how your employed. You also probably haven't though about insurance have you? If you haven't got it i wouldn't look at one persons computer and charge for it till your covered by this, because if something goes wrong and they sue, your screwed!!!

    There are two types you need as a minimum for what your looking to do:

    Professional indemnity insurance and Public Liability insurance.

    So to cover off what each of them are and why you need them (general overview):

    Public Liability Insurance:-

    You then need to consider what type of business you are whether it be sole trader or limited company. While sole trader is the easier to set up and manage, the big difference is you are personally liable for any debts your company gets and any legal action taken again you. Whether as a limited company is a completely seperate entity to you as a person. So if you goes down the swanny you personal assets are safe (presuming you dont have a director guarentor against you).

    The reason i talk about this is because you want to make a wage of this. To give you an example if you paid your self £15,000 in a year your cost to the company is probably around £16 an hour. Your probably thinking no its not!! Ok so work it out for your self here...
    http://www.itcenta.co.uk/it-support/employee-cost-calculator

    Remember you dont work 365 days a year, to do your job you need computer provisions, you will no doubt need training and training time and your never 100% efficent with your working day. You may also not be as effecient as the customer taking it to a professional company who charges more but can do it in less time.

    There is a lot to think about and i've really covered off the basics in my post.

    The companies i have worked for though needed to cover off £20 an hour costs per working engineer, based up on a 40 hour week on £16,000 a year pay. They charged £45 an hour inc VAT to look at computers.

    So based upon your cost of £15 an hour and you wanting to win business as your new your probably looking at a minimum of £25 an hour to charge your self out at. Sounds a lot but it isn't really.

    Hopefully that helps you.

    Phil
     
  20. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    It's interesting to see what prices you are operating with here. How can you make a profitable business if you charge 9£ per hour?

    Where I work we charge about 90-120£ per hour depending on what kind of service we are doing.

    I know price levels are different in Norway and UK, but they aren't THAT different.
     

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