What do I pay the guy who fixed my Mac?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by maisieB, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. maisieB macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    My Powerbook G4 hard drive was dying and one of the IT folk where I work (why do they always keep the computer gods in the basement?) tested it and told me I needed a new drive and suggested adding memory.

    I bought the drive and memory and he installed them, and never asked for a dime. This was the first time I've had someone at work fix my computer and I have no idea what would be an appropriate "thank you" for his skill and time.

    Any suggestions? Thanks! :)
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think a nominal gift based on his likes would be appropriate -- concert / sporting / theater tickets, good wine, gift certificate for a nice restaurant he might like, etc.

    (Also you may want to tread carefully, because you might put him in some kind of conflict of interest position if you were to do something like pay him cash for work that he did for you while he was on the clock at his job... but usually small gifts are fine).

    My thoughts. :)

    Glad your computer is back in action.
  3. maisieB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    These are great ideas and I appreciate them. I should have said this in my original question...the company sorta looks the other way with these things, but to be on the safe side, I'm going to send a check to his home address. I'm looking for a monetary amount that would be fair.
  4. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    If you have a titanium powerbook, the hard drives and memory are pretty quick and easy to replace. So even though he was kind in fixing it, its maybe not such a huge deal for him.. maybe 15 mins work.

    I personally would stay away from giving him money.. it always makes things a little awkward.. maybe a bottle of wine or whiskey and a thank you card would be good?
    'Most' people like alcohol..and he can easily re-gift it if he doesn't.
  5. maisieB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Again, thanks for the suggestions, but I'll be paying cash. (This is a very tiny town in the middle of nowhere and in the past, people gave the tech guys cash for their efforts.) All I'm asking is for a ballpark monetary amount...he spent time running diagnostics, he spent most of the time retrieving my files from my old drive because I was a dork and didn't have a backup, and he installed a new drive and memory.

    Would $100 be okay?
  6. eLbanana macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    way to much if you ask me... a gift would be the best. Maybe you get friends like that, but not if you give him money.
  7. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    If you can swing it, I'm sure $100 would be very appreciated. Its more than the going value for the straight work is (except the data recovery, if there was serious data recovery installed that can run $1000s) but shows that you appreciate him helping you out.
  8. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Agreed. I fix a lot of my friends' computers and that's what they always do. I like it. I have to go help a friend do a clean install of Leopard and he's gonna take me out boozin' for it. I'll take the free booze for that. :)
  9. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    If I ever fix anything for friends I prefer if they just take me out for a drink or something along those lines. It feels a bit weird taking money from them.
  10. maisieB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Thank you for your answer. I don't know this guy very well and since he's married, I'd feel a little awkward (I'm a single woman) asking him out for a drink.
  11. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030


    Apr 19, 2008
    Pandora, Home Tree
    A gift card so he can pick a place to enjoy a good meal, or be spent any other way he might have need of.
  12. CBGFilms macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2008
  13. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I've not worked on a PowerMac, but iBooks are a PITA to change HDDs on. As someone who does this sort of stuff, if he didn't ask for payment, I would actually recommend not giving him cash. It can actually be a little awkward. A gift of some sort, even a gift certificate, seems more appropriate. I'd say about $50 is the right level of payment for a HDD and RAM upgrade on a machine where it wasn't too hard (if it was an iBook I would have said go for the $100 - those things are terrible).

    Tech nerds (like me) usually like Newegg gift certificates, or Amazon, or Apple, if he's an Apple guy. Or Woot, if they do GCs.

    Again, as someone on the other end of this situation often, it's nice to hear you be appreciative of him to the level of paying him - make sure he knows how much you appreciated the help.
  14. pianoman181 macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2004
    Pulling the hard drive out of an aluminum powerbook G4 [of any persuasion] is no fun at all. There are around 40 screws or so and I know I've always dreaded it when I've done it. Since you are likely a friend, or at least an acquaintance, I would say somewhere between $50 and $100 is appropriate.
  15. chedda macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2006

    I agree cash is a little cheap. Do some research and get him something he wants or needs. It is often easier to accept a small gift rather than cash. Plus this will show that you have thought about it and next time he will be glad to offer his services again. On a seperate note i have changed hard drives in powerbooks & ibooks i used ifixit.com they have some excellent tutorials.
  16. maisieB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    With your help...I've decided what to get!

    A $100 gift certificate to Newegg.

    He did mention there were an insane amount of tiny screws, he tried repeatedly to save data from my old drive (and managed to recover all of it,) and he sent me to Newegg's site to buy my new drive and memory because that's where he gets his stuff.

    Thank you everybody for your help and a HUGE SHOUT OUT to you computer gods who fix the machines of people like me. You are priceless! :D
  17. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Awe, I'm too late.

    I was going to say, and still will, a gift certificate for $100 to a nice restaurant for him and his wife, and your baby-sitting services on their night out.

    He did recover all your data, which it, to me, is worth going the extra mile.


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