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Small Device Repair Business Advice?

I'm interested in repairing small devices such as iPhones, Roombas, and Blackberries as a business. I think the market may exist in my locality (the Washington, DC area.) I have fairly good electronic lab facilities.

I don't have much experience doing this work, and I can use advice from others who have been there and done that concerning: how much inventory to keep, access to technical manuals, test equipment and tools that I might need, techniques for dealing with customers who are in a rush (especially with cell phones.)

I hold a day job that I depend on very much and I'm not quite willing to quit that for at least several years yet. I think my eyes are on getting needed experience and slowly building up business for my post-retirement years.

Advice, suggestions, books I ought to look at are all appreciated.

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spare parts are always an issue - not only when repairing mac's

i was a few years in the cell phone repair business (right after i worked at a nokia shop) - sometimes the only ways to get enough parts is buying computers to repair them - if they are working - sell them to get more computers to repair them again or to use them for parts

a dead 50 bucks MacBook with a working lcd and lots of smd parts could be worth hundrets - if you know how to deal with smd parts

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Check out this excellent thread on starting a repair service that was posted on our discussion board a while back: http://www.ifixit.com/Discuss/thread/229...

The discussion was geared a bit closer to what the original poster was asking, but I think the overall thread will give you some good insight on starting your own repair business, whether it's fixing Macs or Roombas.

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What an interesting thread! I'll look it over a few more times to make sure I'm getting the most from it. I should have noted in my original post that I'm a very experienced computer repair technician, I run a small "moonlighting" business in it that is pretty interesting in many respects. I go to the customer's location rather than have the customer come to me. What I want to look into now is fixing small devices. I think the advice you are giving the young person is right on target too.

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Any additional advice here from others? --Thanks, Bob

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Roombas! I took my original red Roomba apart and fixed it's issues with helplessly spinning in circles. I was an Electronics Tech in the Navy for 10 years so gutting this little guy wasn't that big of a deal. I thought that as iRobot wasn't that big on fixing these little guys I might give it a try.

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Reparing Macs for a couple of years now I think your biggest concern should be spare part availability.

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I recommend that you check out with I did with www.zombietechs.com and if you ever want to stop through IL I would be happy to sit down with you and discuss some strategies on how to get on your feet in this business. Small electronics repair is one of the most competitive businesses you can get into in this modern age.

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cochranb will be eternally grateful.
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