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Computer Building Service?

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September 24, 2011 4:57:16 PM

Hi i have a question me and friend are thinking of making a small mini summer job of building computers and selling them. Should we have like 3 levels of set builds, like a 750 build, 1k build and a 1.5 build? Or have a bring us the parts, we build it for a flat rate or 10/hr etc. Me and my friend have built a custom 1k game machine before and it runs like a dream, not problems at all. The question is will the customer trust 2 15yr olds to build a computer? advice or help is appreciated :D 
September 24, 2011 5:05:20 PM

You could try. I would actually suggest lowering your price ranges. Many people need home computers. Maybe a $500, $750 and 1k+ range. I would charge a flat rate and make sure you mark up the parts that you order so you make a profit.
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September 24, 2011 5:22:04 PM

Thanks for the reply! I could also just add the $500 to my tier. And yes of course i would mark up just slightly :p 
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September 24, 2011 5:29:17 PM

Sounds like a plan. Although, you would have to wait and see if you get customers.
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September 24, 2011 6:08:14 PM

Of course, but this is fro the summer :p 
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Best solution

September 24, 2011 6:28:12 PM

Agree with the others. Make a business plan - doesn't have to be complex, but figure out how you're going to market yourselves and to WHOM. Who is your target? Put an ad on Craig's, use the school paper or bulletin boards.. talk to other people and mainly do your research. Read specs on the egg for pre-builts and newspaper ads.

It is VERY hard to second guess what your "clients" will want. Decide if you're going to go lowball, mid-range on the components. But.. buy quality so you don't get returns. Watch the combo deals. Cheaping out will cause returns and that's BAD news. Quality Power supplies are #1 on the list. You may only need 300W but get good ones. Read Tom's on PSU's.

Building shouldn't take long so charge $25+ flat rate? add another flat rate for the OS. Remember you will probably get calls for support, too. You guys know how to trouble shoot? Don't over spend. Don't over spend. Don't over spend.

It's ok to provide a parts list to pick from. But, yeah, you're probably better off going low end.. uh budget. READ the guides on here and on Anand and elsewhere. I'd trust you guys more than BB for sure! OFFER to install anything and everything, too. A potential good market might be the E350's and some E450s will show up soon. ITX. Can do that with wifi kbd/mouse for under $300. Not much power but they'll do for surfing and school work. About the same for AMD 880G uATX. (no OS) IGP are just about good enough. Remember - you guys can BUILD what you can't BUY off the shelf so it's higher value but that doesn't mean much when the customers only want to pay bargain basement prices.

Do your research. Read reviews. It might work, it might not but if you don't try, you'll never know. Maybe you could attach yourselves to mom and pop shops and do what they might not want to do. Maybe they'll let you place a rig or two.. Good luck but don't get disappointed if it doesn't take off.
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September 24, 2011 6:34:16 PM

Might I suggest some type of imaging software if you end up doing OSes as well?

Something like DriveImageXML (freeware), CloneZilla (freeware, open source).

Also, you may want to add a HTPC tier?

And as a small summer business, I'd recommend the second strategy of having them order the parts and bring them to you for assembly. Might cut down a little bit on business, but you won't have to deal with the situation where you order the parts and they suddenly disappear.
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September 24, 2011 10:26:23 PM

killersquirel11 said:
Might I suggest some type of imaging software if you end up doing OSes as well?

Something like DriveImageXML (freeware), CloneZilla (freeware, open source).

Also, you may want to add a HTPC tier?

And as a small summer business, I'd recommend the second strategy of having them order the parts and bring them to you for assembly. Might cut down a little bit on business, but you won't have to deal with the situation where you order the parts and they suddenly disappear.



Yeah we were going to do that and thatnks so much for your help everyone! Were going to put up a FB fan page first and do some advertising by Posting it as our statuses on fb. And what is clonezilla and imaging software?
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September 24, 2011 11:03:21 PM

Those softwares take a "picture" of the HD and let you click and reapply it to the computer. I wouldn't reccomend it my summer job does it in a buisness enviroment and honestly its a b***h and not worth it. Just remember what serial you use for windows to put it on the computer case preferably inside so they dont scratch it off and have it for your personal use in a document. If you have a copy of windows make sure to call windows and say you had to reformat your HD and they will give you more serials :) .
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September 25, 2011 12:02:25 AM

Where theres a will there is a way but like others have said make sure you can fix troubleshooting errors before you go around telling your market place that you can build anything :)  other then that good luck and don't give up!
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September 25, 2011 12:57:02 AM

Thanks guys! And yeah we can troubleshoo t pretty good
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October 5, 2011 1:28:57 AM

Best answer selected by mauler184.
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