Idea for a Small Hobby Business

So I live in a small city in Manitoba Canada

in the city there's a small Wal-Mart, source store a few computer repair stores. that sell bear minimum pc's that are super low end not even upgradable. now you can go talk to them about getting a better pc but from personal experience there's a lot of complicated hardware talk and a lot of people just don't know or understand the language ( I was once in the same boat at one time when I was looking).

around the mall and other areas in the town there's several free posting areas where other people post stuff there selling.

my idea was to build a mid- high range gaming Pc fully loaded plug and play then post it on one of the outlets and let people have at it

I would give my self around 25-75-100 dollars above the total cost of parts and shipping and all that
I want to try and keep the build with in 1000- 1200dollars tops

but is this even a good or viable idea?
I may just try it once and see how it go's.

Iam not sure what I should offer for customer service or warranty I don't really want to get into maintenance or virus clean up and repairs.
Should I offer a refund or trial try out period

I've thought of ideas of sealing the pc shut with a unique tape so if some one tampers with the parts then brings it back I know if they have tampered with it.

I was Wondering if there was others out there with similar ideas or have advice.

Thank you for your time and comments.

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  1. Best answer
    I dont live in Canada so I have no knowledge about business laws or licenses, tax recording etc but I advise you look at that before doing anything.

    I have a business that outsources IT to local businesses that have no need (or budget) for a full time system/network administrator.

    Being a custom built computer business without a storefront is fine, the question comes down to market and your costs. For a custom PC i typically charge at or near cost for the hardware plus 2.5 hours of rate for me to do a quality job of assembly, install windows with a flash drive (quicker then CD), load drivers and my basic suite of software; now i get more on top of this as my clients want me to hookup the pc, connect to domain server if they have one, connect to network shares and printers, install special business software, setup backups etc. If it was not for this extra work the building the PC would be questionable if it was worth my time.

    The big factor is demand, is there enough people wanting your service? So many computer repair/custom PC companies open up and so many of them fail.
    $100 per pc if you are doing 10 a week is decent, if you are doing a few a month then just your time to advertise, any busness license expenses, and expense for items screws, zip ties, tools etc makes it cost you money.

    For my clients I fix/diagnose any hardware issue free of charge for the first year (often I will do it beyond that) on a PC i built. You will be hard pressed to find a customer that is ok with havng to do all of the warranty work themselves, if they are OK with it then they probably know how to build the pc already.

    In short, I dont know what your market or your regulations are in your area, but I would suspect that this would result in not much business, and more expenses then income in the long run when you include your time.
  2. I think you should look to see if there is a market for your product. Ask around.
    People are going to ask you lots of questions (tech talk, warranty, after market support, etc.) so be prepared. Plan.
    Since you said that the businesses around you sell low end PCs then there is a big chance that there is only a small market for mid-high end PCs in your area. Businesses adapt to cater to what sells (profits); it seems that in your area low budget PCs is the main market.

    Try to help friends/relatives build PCs. There's a good chance that they'll tell others that you know how to build non-crappy PCs and people will go to you for advice or help in building PCs.

    Maybe you should open your own store that caters to mid-high end PCs.
    Just hire people for things that you can't/won't do. ^_^
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