Part-time business custom building computers?

Hi.

I love building computers and had an idea the other day whilst driving around in my car enjoying the sun ... "HEY, why not build and sell computers for some extra bucks!!". I know there's probably money in everything, but was wondering "Is there money to be made custom building and selling pc's". Sound like a fun part time business to start somehow!

I was thinking of starting with maybe building a cheap (but good quality) budget pc that of course would be comparable or better than the prebuilt "crap" they have at the department chains and then putting an ad for it for sale on my car or in some local paper and trying to profit $100 bucks off it or so.

Maybe, better yet would be to do custom builds within certain price ranges that the customer could specify or even pc's that I would build for a certain price. Would I need insurance for this type of business?

Any comments on this idea?

thanks a lot!
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  1. As with any sales business, your biggest challenge will be liability/warranty/service. How much service will you offer, at what cost, and who is responsible if you end up with a lemon part, etc. I would start researching the types of agreements other PC retailers have.

    Its easy for a big corporation to absorb the loss of a few consumers that break their own stuff and demand to be compensated for it, but for you it will be much more difficult. Also you will need to be extra clear about what service/IT advice you will offer for free, and what they will need to pay for -- I can easily see you getting trapped into regularly removing viruses for buyers if you are not careful ...
  2. Yeah, I should've just used google first. Found out it's not worth the time and it's too much hassle.
  3. keto6789 said:
    Yeah, I should've just used google first. Found out it's not worth the time and it's too much hassle.


    Basically this.

    Plus, most of the people who would be adventurous enough to go with a homebuilt machine are also adventurous enough to build it themselves. And the ones who aren't are going to buy a Dell anyway. Not really an easy way to make money unless you do it nearly full-time and open a computer shop.
  4. Now if there was a way to build a GOOD pc for say $200 and then sell it for $500 then I think you could make money ... lol
  5. Also, you could build a pc for cheap, but with good parts and then sell it "as-is" just like if you had your old pc that you sold in the local paper. I know that when people just sell a used pc in the local paper they don't offer warranties or anything.

    You could advertise it something like ->
    Just built a nice pc that runs great with Windows 7, Brand New! Will take $499 for it "as-is". This PC isd better than the crap you get at your local department chains!

    But, I think the smart people would realize that there's NO warranty and that's the kicker. The PC at the department chain may not have the better parts (like granny cares about that or understands it anyway) BUT they have some type of WARRANTY!
  6. although, I didn't have a warranty when I built my pc, and don't care.
  7. Yea, none of us did -- but we knew we weren't trying to cheat ourselves! I know wouldn't trust anyone I didn't know to have built mine ..
  8. keto6789 said:
    although, I didn't have a warranty when I built my pc, and don't care.


    Yeah, but the difference is, the parts themselves have a warranty, as long as the person who originally bought them is the one making the warranty call. If you build your own computer, that's not an issue; you bought them and you still own them. If you sell the machine to someone else, the warranty goes poof and it is now a "secondhand" part. Unless you're kind enough to take care of a warranty issue yourself on behalf of the person you sold the machine to. But now you're getting into offering service and maintenance all the same.

    Also - most people who buy computers prebuilt are not comfortable being their own tech support, which is another big issue. And even if you told them you'd take care of everything ... you're one guy, so if anything happens to you, you move away, whatever, then they're on their own. So that's why they go to a big company like Dell or |HP that they're pretty sure will always be there.
  9. I'm not seriously considering it anyway, but my point is that people who do buy used computers through, say a local private sale, don't get warranties, they buy "as-is".


    So, if I were to advertise it "as-is" someone may buy it. I'd explain to him/her that I just built it and it runs great (If it did) and that I don't offer a warranty and that's the catch.

    A better idea, would be that I build a pc FOR someone and just charge for the service?? But, like someone said "People that would even bother to care about that would probably just do it themselves anyways.
  10. keto6789 said:
    A better idea, would be that I build a pc FOR someone and just charge for the service?? But, like someone said "People that would even bother to care about that would probably just do it themselves anyways.


    Yes - I agree. There is still risk here, but when you are building it for them they at least know you are using new parts, etc. If you built first I would think an average consumer would assume were just reselling a lemon.

    You would probably need to be straightforward about your profit margin on this though -- you would inevitably end up sharing with them listings for what parts you purchased if it was an order. Might be able to make up some $$ through rebates and etc.
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