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Our friend and ancient philosopher Lao-Tzu gave excellent business advice: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Here are a few first steps for your business.

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Starting a repair business

I am new in fixing. Learning from here and want to offer service to others. Shows how new I am by asking this.

I do want to focus on Apple products mainly but I’m open to other devices to what essential items do you suggest I get?

What is the way I could get going fast and then build up? A good example might be in the pro tech tools there an about fifty dollar version to start with then add on kits.

So my question involves both tools and parts but also services.

Contestado! View the answer Yo también tengo este problema

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Apple is doing everything they can to put 3rd party repair people out of business. This is something you really need to reconsider. My business as well as other Mac repair people is down 70% this year alone. Let’s see what @danj has to say too.

https://ifixit.org/blog/11673/t2-mac-rep...

https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/10/...

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Fixing older systems is still lucrative (2011 and older iMac's & 2015 and older MacBook Pro's) but that market is fading. Anything newer is getting to the point of not being repairable. The newest systems are now just a few assemblies which are quite expensive discreetly. Apple won't sell you the parts directly and finding other sources is also becoming harder. Unless you are able to get into micro-soldering and have the skills to debug electronic circuits I wouldn't start a business at this point.

Unlike Mayer I work as a contractor servicing systems for companies. I'm down to one customer now and that will likely end before the end of the year unless I can find some new customers.

Just like watch makers and camera repair our industry is also compressing. The ones that will survive need to be skilled, innovative and have enough traffic to make it work as a profession.

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from a repair point of view, android is so much easier to open and fix, it's a pity that screens are $200+, customers just don't have that kind of money + labour on top.

Seems that the PC business has had a few years of downturn but is picking up again, pity Apple is going "in house" instead of supporting other businesses. It is becoming an oligarchy. I don't think we will be getting the oem parts cheap for much longer if at all.

All the best to you both.

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I'm a bit more optimistic about the future but I certainly share the concerns of @mayer and @danj. This happened many years before when there was thriving repair community for luxury items such as TV's, VCR's (!), Stereo's etc. Check out the ads in this mid-80’s magazine. It's even more prominent in older magazines.

Almost nobody has those fixed any more and hardly anyone has the skills to do so. Back then, the manufacturers supplied schematics and if you were trained in electronics, you could fix just about anything.

Today, everything is a state secret, devices are designed and manufactured to be un-repairable. Apple is using less and less "off the shelf" components and designing in house and thus controlling the supply chain. That said, there is a thriving repair community for Apple devices are they are ubiquitous and hold their value very well. It's worth it to have them repaired. But as others have noted, you need to bring something to the table. The days of easy money swapping screens is gone or dying fast and you need to be able to do something others can't or won't invest in. Refurbishing, micro-soldering, data recovery...all of these are hard but will protect you for a good while.

So start simple, get a pro toolkit from iFixit, buy a few dead or damaged devices and practice on those. That will let you see what other tools and supplies you need and when you feel comfortable, try fixing a few phones for friends and family (they will be more tolerant of mistakes). Then move up and onwards but never stay still.

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@refectio - As your more focused in phones & tablets you have a better future than me, as I'm focused in the PC world.

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quoting @refectio "So start simple, get a pro toolkit from iFixit, buy a few dead or damaged devices and practice on those. That will let you see what other tools and supplies you need and when you feel comfortable, try fixing a few phones for friends and family (they will be more tolerant of mistakes). Then move up and onwards but never stay still." Personally i agree with you and i am doing so based on this.

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@danj I agree, the PC wold kinda sucks because the products are much lower cost up front and don't retain their value well. Consequently, it 's harder to find replacement parts and owners aren't as likely to spend a lot of money on them.

I do some laptops here and there and finding schematics or getting parts for "cheap" PC laptops can be impossible some times.

On the flip side, I think where the market is going for the PC side is managed services. Now literally everyone has a computer yet only a small percentage of people really understand how computers and OS'es work, let alone understand networking, storage, backup etc. And if you're a small business, even knowing what to do doesn't mean you have the time to do it yourself when you could use that time to generate revenue.

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I used to buy broken phones/DS lites/iPods, repair them and sell them to make a few extra bucks. The newer iPhones are not easy to open, the iPods never seem to sit flush because the frame is bent with drops. I have a cupboard full of broken things that seemed like an easy, cheap fix that are annoying me- I get them out, fiddle about with them, get frustrated and then pop them back in the cupboard of no return- iphone 5s, iphone 4, 5 ipod nano, 3 ipod touch gen 4, 3 ipads gen 2,3,4, 3 ds lites, tickle me elmo, a transformer ‘bumblebee’, go pro hero2, ipod touch gen 6, PS2, original xbox (anyone got a dvd drive- they’re rare as rocking horse poo here)

I still use my iFixit pro-kit from 2012/3, waaaay better than a kit my friend bought in europe. Get a fine tip solder station with adjustable heat settings, I had a cheap hot air reflow with a few size nozzles and adjustable temp- it worked fine. A decent “spare hands” type tool for holding things, a good magnifying lamp or a camera set up to a screen for really close work. These things aren’t too expensive actually and can easily be sold on.

start small, practice, practice, practice. Google is your friend and so is iFixit.

good luck

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"I have a cupboard full of broken things that seemed like an easy, cheap fix that are annoying me- I get them out, fiddle about with them, get frustrated and then pop them back in the cupboard " I share this one pretty much, but eventually I get to the next step experimenting and I destroy them, good for spares anyway =;)

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"I get to the next step experimenting and I destroy them"

...and oh so satisfying ;>)

@arbaman

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noooooo @refectio .... destruction totally upsets my OCD... smashing easter eggs yes.!!!!

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@refectio hahahah, creative destruction may be exciting at times =:)

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On the contrary , i noticed that the are numerous free-lancers doing simple mobile parts replacement business, you can have a look at the chinese taobao website as reference for prices to bring into your country. Start slow, surely and steady. Practice is the key

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