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Happy Customer new Business Niche

by jsimmons

My Problem

I own a small computer repair shop and business is a little slow these days. I'm always looking for ways to bring in more revenue and when an opportunity comes up I usually jumped on it.

My wife saw a post in FaceBook from one of her friends that asked if anybody knew where to get a shattered screen replaced on an iPod. There were, of course, several replies telling her where to take it and what it would cost. My wife asked if I would be interested. I did a quick Google search which brought me to ifixit.com. A general search on the site took me right to an overview of the repair and the general cost of a replacement screen. I immediately knew it was something I could do, so I told my wife to reply back and give the person a quote $40 below the highest shown in the replies and have her give me a call if she was interested. She called within half an hour.

While I was on the phone with the customer, I was going through the ifixit website. Based on the information I was learning from the site, I was able to explain to the customer how to get the model number from her iPod and when she gave me that, I immediately found the replacement screen. I was literally learning on the fly, searching the site, answering her questions and sounding like I've been doing this for years. I ended the call and prepared to finish the order. Going through the instructions, I found out I needed a heat gun and special tools to disassemble the iPod. In the end, I was relieved when I figured out I wouldn't be losing any money on this deal.

So, I ordered the iPod Touch screen, a heat gun, and the tools needed to make the repair. The price I quoted the customer covered the cost of the parts, tools, and shipping with $20 left over. I guess I get to keep the tools and my wife gets the 20 bucks. Anyway, now I just had to hope that I can do the repair when the part comes in.

My Fix

The repair went great! The ifixit.com instructions were perfect and very precise.

The iPod screen was shattered on the bottom left side corner next to the Home button. That actually made it a little easier to get started with the disassembly since it gave me a small opening to pry on. The first few steps went without a hitch. However, to my dismay, in step five I learned that I didn't have the right size screwdrivers. I had the same micro driver set for years and very rarely did I ever use the 2 smallest drivers. At this point it was too late in the evening to go out and purchase a set and I was too impatient to wait until the next day. So I improvised by fashioning some flat tip screwdrivers from exacto knife blades. I ground the tips to fit snuggly in the screw slots. These were a little awkward to use, but it got the job done. I won't do it that way again . . .

I followed the rest of the procedures and had the iPod back together in a little over an hour. That does not include the time it took for fabricating the screwdrivers and uh, looking for a screw that fell on the floor (that alone blew 45 minutes).

This wasn't part of the procedures and I'm not sure how dangerous for the iPod it was, but before applying the glue, I put everything together and fired up the device to make sure everything worked. It did just fine!

To my surprise, reapplying the glue wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Using a razor blade, I cut to glue strips apart and lined them up the way they would go into the iPod. Using small tweezers and an exacto knife I put the small strips in place and used my smallest (too big) micro flat tip screwdriver to press the adhesive into the appropriate areas. I let it sit for a while before pulling the backing off.

After making a last check, I lined up the screen and pushed it down and it fell right in place. I was very excited that it fit perfectly and looked like the original screen all the way around the edges. After that, a final test to determine that everything worked and I was done!

The customer was very happy and I'm sure she'll recommend me to others. I know for sure that she updated status in FaceBook about getting her iPod fixed at a really good price.

My Advice

Don't over estimate your tools. I thought I had everything I needed but my smallest micro-screwdriver was too big for the job.

A small low-strength magnet will help hold small screws while you're working on the device.