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Business question...

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Last response: in Systems
October 30, 2008 1:34:07 AM

I have been thinking about building a couple computers for my coworkers who like game. They aren't hardcore like most Tom's readers but they they would like to play COD4 and HL2.
Anyway, i priced out a decent configuration on Newegg in relation to their budgets.

Well, i bring this idea up to my father, he says i should charge them twice the amount of the parts.
I thought this was a bit much considering they planned on PCs for under 500 bucks.
My idea was to charge them for the amount for parts and shipping plus my time, $11/hr~.

What do you guys think?


More about : business question

October 30, 2008 1:50:50 AM

That sounds reasonable. Some shops will build larger systems for free, just making profit on standard mark-ups for the parts... but then they get good deals on parts.

Be warned, once you start making a profit you have both legal and ethical obligations.
October 30, 2008 1:55:14 AM

^Yeah thats why i just wanted a few bucks to pay for lunch really. I don't want to start a business... yet.
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October 30, 2008 2:11:36 AM

Well, builds I sell for Sub $500, I make $25-$50 profit. It takes about 30 minutes for me to assemble and put the Windows disk in. After Windows does its thing, It takes another 10 minutes to install drivers and start the updates.

Prime for 8 hours and ship.

I figure 2 hours of actual time tops, so its actually pretty good hourly wage.

I would rather sell alot of PCs for a little profit then one for alot of profit. I make most money on repairs. I fixed a PC tonight that had a dead HDD $110 Labor/Diagnostics, $49 for the new HDD. Took a whole 10 minutes of actual time sitting at the PC.

As much trouble as you have had lately, I wouldnt build a PC for anyone other then yourself. You'll get there, but if you sell a PC you need to offer Tech support, and a warranty of some sort. Dell or HP ect....... would be a better way for them to go IMHO. atleast they would get support/ warranty.

I offer squaretrade warrantys on all the PC's I sell online. Local I support on my own. Luckily, I use good components and don't have to give much support.
October 30, 2008 2:22:34 AM

Thats the trick, use good quality components so you have less issues. Buying cheap parts is asking for problems.

A local shop I use to go to a few years ago would charge 16% of the cost of the parts for his fee to install and set up the system.

How old are you? Are you over 18? If so, then take a 100.00 bill and go get your business license and start charging for your services. That is provided you know what you are doing.

October 30, 2008 2:24:43 AM

^^Good point.

HP and Dell are not options. My co-workers are PC technicians but our department is 99.9999% software. They hate both companies. Actually, i do too. Also, most of our hardware is under warranty, so we can't really fix things ourselves. Pretty lame if you ask me.

And on a personal note, I have been getting my butt kicked by my build lately and you know that. I just wanted to say, this is the worst luck i have ever had with pc repair. I feel kinda stupid looking back at my decision to not replace the power supply. I figured the newest part is the first suspect. I was wrong.

The Squaretrade is a great idea also.
And there are no PC shops around that i know of or else i would route them there.


October 30, 2008 2:32:21 AM

I got my azz handed to me by my system for half the day today. It was one thing after another trying to do a dual boot with XP and Vista. I had to find a floppy disk and the driver disk.

I had to update the BIOS and I forgot about the last time I reset the CMOS I forgot to change the memory voltages from stock 1.85 to 2.1v and set the timings.

I kept getting the blue screen of death everytime XP tried to start during the OS install. I was running memtest, trying different memory slots and had taken out 1 of the video cards and then later switched video cards to make sure one or the other wasnt bad.

I felt like a DA after I realized it was mainly due to XP needing the raid driver and not recognizing the raid setup.

Crap happens to the best of us. At least now after nearly going bald I am installing games and programs on my freshly redone system. :p 
October 30, 2008 2:35:56 AM

I myself would just settle for lunch as payment :p 
October 30, 2008 2:57:19 AM

I charge the cost of parts (including OS) plus $150. It's a simple enough process to assemble all the components and I enjoy doing so, but my time is NOT free.

Keep in mind, once you piece these machine together you're inevitably on the hook for future support/blame. Be sure to keep records of the parts you buy and I'd recommend making images of the initial loads as a CYA policy.
October 30, 2008 3:02:59 AM

$150 fee for a $500 machine is damn steep.
October 30, 2008 4:19:34 PM

As I said, my time isn't free. If I'm going to take my off-time and dedicate it to some else's rig I darn well better make some cash doing so. I don't change the fees for a $500 pc or a $2000 one, it's a flat rate.

Keep in mind that people here drop 10 times that on a purse or watch, economies differ depending on the area. $150 builder's fee for a new gaming rig isn't so bad for a SFF case their kid can take with them to college or schlep between their mommy and daddy's homes. If they'd be better off with a $400 Dell for their 80yo grandma I tell them so.