What kind of part time job can I get?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tubeexperience, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. tubeexperience, Apr 2, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016

    tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #1
    I am thinking of getting a part time repair job. (Student at UVA)

    I have done all sort of repairs on Mac products and handful of iOS products.

    Mac: Logic board replacements, keyboard/touchpad/battery replacements (without replacing the top case), top case replacements, glass only (not the whole screen) replacements, display assembly displacements, speakers replacements, cable replacements.... basically everything short of doing components repairs on the logic board (which I cannot do).

    Some of these Apple won't even do like doing replacing the keyboard/touchpad without the top case or replacing the battery on the Retina models without replacing the top case, replacing the glass on screen without replacing the whole display assembly.

    iOS: Display replacements, home button replacements, battery replacements, charging port replacements, speakers replacements, etc. etc.

    Anyway, many people on campus knows of my repair skill and bring their devices to me for repair.

    It is now time to get a part time job that paid better. The problem is that I am not an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician so I cannot get a job at a more "prestigious" repair places (ie. AASP).

    BTW, this is not what I want to spend my life doing, but only as a part time job while I go through college.
     
  2. JoshMKB24 macrumors 6502a

    JoshMKB24

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Midwest
    #3
    If I were you and you want to get your name out there, I would maybe just print up some flyers and use one of those online services for like 500 business cards for 10 bucks or something and put them up around campus and the dorms as well as giving out cards to people.

    Another thing you could do is search CL or eBay for people selling broken devices and using your knowledge to fix them and sell them for a profit.
     
  3. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #4
    You probably need to worry about the liability.
     
  4. tubeexperience, Apr 3, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016

    tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #5
    That's a good idea. Most of the people that I repair computers for either knows me personally or hear about me from somebody I know.

    The problem is that the paid is bad. A lot of people only have their MacBook Pros/MacBook Airs because they got them as gifts from their parents and are barely able to paid me for the repairs (never mind paying Apple for repairs).

    Definitely not. People on CL and eBay wants unrealistic prices for their broken things.

    Like what?
     
  5. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Someone brings in a MacBook needing a new keyboard. You fix it and two days later the computer doesn't work. Then what? Was it your fault?

    Or you fix their computer and bend the case putting it back together. Now you're liable for the damage.

    I know there is an on-demand uber style iPhone screen replacement company (I foget the name). I'm not sure how they pay or what their business looks like, but you may want to look into them. They probably cover liability issues.

    Alternatively, you might want to talk to a lawyer about drafting a liability waiver and how to handle such issues if they were to arise.

    You could also just look for a part time job as most students do who are looking for work. Just make sure you balance school, work, your social life, and other responsibilities appropriately.

    For multiple reasons I'd suggest not getting a job right away if this is your first semester at school. I think it's better to adjust to the new environment (more rigorous academics, building a social group, etc) than to jump into work unless you absolutely need to.
     
  6. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #7
    Yeah, this was my point with my post above, I wasn't being flippant, but those are the kind of jobs that are available.

    Here you say twice:

    The pay isn't great, and I'd suggest the revenue will be uneven. That's why a "regular" job, with scheduled hours, a known pay scale might be a much better option, plus, like AG mentioned above, more standardized hours and pay will make it easier to balance out those other important considerations.

    :)
     
  7. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    The 6ix
  8. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    Maybe instead of Chilis he could look in a store at the Apple Store. Or the Microsoft Store. I saw a horrendously long Microsoft commercial at a movie theater depicting how Micosoft promoted world peace by rounding up a bunch of MS store employees and going to the 5th Apple Store in NYC and singing Chirstmas Carols. (I didn't realize the Mac vs PC /PC vs Mac fanboys hiding behind their computers were such a threat to mankind). Anyways, the point is, they must be a great company to work for and excellent products??? I'm not sure, my point is you might be lucky enough to get the corporate perk of leaving work and go Chirstmas Caroling.
     
  9. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #10
    Most of the people who need the keyboard replaced on their MacBooks spilled something on them.

    I tell them right upfront that I will replace the keyboard and even help clean the spill, but I am in no way responsible if the computer stops working.

    I have seen some AASP dented the case by installing the screws in the wrong place. I am very careful and have never has this issue in years that I have repair MacBooks. There were a few complains about the glass not adhering properly to the display: I was able to fix those by reheating and refitting the glass.

    And then there were people who said that I scratched the aluminum case which does happens because I have to move things around the table.

    There are a lot of places that does iPhone screen replacements. I think that my skills let me work on a much bigger scope of repairs.

    Those are the things I thought about (except the lawyer part).

    I do want a regular job, but one more suited to my skill set.

    There are lot of people who can cook Mexican food, but far fewer who can repair MacBooks/iPhones/iPads.

    I will look in this. Does it cost as much as regular ACMT training or is it free to employees?

    It's probably not too difficult since I have already been doing repairs.

    Unfortunately, I don't have those certifications.
     
  10. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #11
    Yeah, I get that, but you're in college, and you're talking part time - if you really want to just generate some revenue, you might not be able to be so selective.

    When I was in college, I was already performing network installs (Novell) , writing production code (Clipper, office automation, some low level stuff for machine controllers), etc., so it's possible to pursue the thing you're good at - but the first couple of years I also worked at a record store in the mall :)
     
  11. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    Well, I'm just warning you without proper measures in place (beyond some verbal agreement), you could easily run into liability issues. Never underestimate people. Sally spills her Starbucks latte all over her computer and you replace the keyboard. She blames you. You blame the water. The day after you give it back the computer stops working entirely. Her term paper was on there (of course not backed up)! So she gets mad and runs to daddy who's a lawyer and you end up in small claims court and now have to pay the replacement cost + legal fees. The last thing you want to do is end up in a lawsuit in college I presume? Then Daddy's mad you wasted his time and he has to pay for Sally to retake her class so he calls the IRS and reports you as an illegitimate business.

    That's a thing you have to prepare for in the real world. It's best not to be naive in the business world.

    And not to dissuade you, but at least in my day most people went to college with brand new, warrantied computers. Apple obviously doesn't have accidental coverage but as a Freshman(?) your client base won't be very big. If you're looking to make money you're probably better off working a part time job until you can get your repair business a reasonable amount of business.

    You're not qualified to work at the Apple Store? If you work in sales or stocking there's no reason qualifications. You might need to do a vocal audition for Microsoft :p

    Whether you decide to work for a business or yourself, like I said before I strongly suggest waiting before starting work. In my observation, people who rush into school and work simultaneous fall flat on their faces. You can't legitimately consider the balance of work, school, and play before you actually experience what school is going to be like. There's no way you can assess how much time and effort you will have to devote to your classes before you get started. And if a college degree is what you're aiming for, that should be your primary focus.

    Too many changes at once are overwhelming for people. My company deals with such cases on a daily basis- young people rushing to get back to work and school without properly building their foundation and therefore are not properly equipped to be as successful as possible.
     
  12. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #13
    While I agree with A. Goldberg that there exists the possibility of getting sued working on someone's computer, I will remind you that there is a chance of getting sued with anything. I am a horticulturalist/arborist. What if I tell someone there is nothing wrong with their tree and it falls down the next week? (It happened.) My parents own a rental store. What if a guy rents a trencher and slices his gas line? (It happened.) In this country, anyone can sue anyone else for anything. You can let that reality paralyze you with fear so you don't start what could be a good business. Or you can analyze the risk, take the proper precautions, and dive in.

    So here's what you do. Every job starts with a quote sheet. You estimate the job (time and money). The quote sheet has a boilerplate language that states: 1) this is only a quote and the actual time and amount may be over or under due to parts (availability), labor, etc. 2) This repair is not Apple Authorized and WILL void the warranty. 3) I will stand behind this repair for XX days after return of the product. 4) I may have to access data on the device in the process of repairing it. I can not be held responsible for the condition of the stored data on the device. 5) The discovery of illegal data on the device will result in the device being handed over to the proper authorities or the return of the device unrepaired.

    Do you need to have a lawyer look at it? Might not hurt, but I don't think it is absolutely necessary. Stop in to a Best Buy and get a look at the Geek Squad forms or what some other computer repair shop uses. I'll bet they have something similar (with a few things I didn't think of).

    The quote sheet gets signed and the device gets repaired. Two thing to remember with a business like this - You are going to learn something about dealing with customers and you always have the right to refuse someone's business.

    Remember that gas line incident above? That guy threatened to sue my dad. My dad pulled out the signed rental contract and read the boilerplate. He had covered himself just like you are going to. Case closed.
     
  13. JoshMKB24 macrumors 6502a

    JoshMKB24

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Midwest
    #14

    That 1st statement is everything...........so spot on. I work in corporate finance and you have to deal in extremes and operate thinking everything bad that can happen, will. It's the sad/great thing about our country is how you can go after anyone. The real sad part is your scenario you run above isn't even that crazy. Unrelated to business, but just to show you how crazy people are, when I was in college my gf at the time had her car parked at the library and someone hit her car and then tried to blame her both to her face and with the insurance company. How you can blame someone who is legally parked for causing an accident is beyond me.

    To the OP, now for something like your side gig you want I doubt you need to go to extreme measures, but having some sort of document in writing releasing you from liability would be a good place to start. Don't count on people being decent good people. As others suggested, you gotta start somewhere. Sometimes you have to do the not so fun stuff as a means to an end. I started as a bank teller with a college degree and felt it was beneath me and I was overqualified. I am about to put a deposit on a Lamborghini. Point is you gotta start somewhere. Like DT mentioned above try to find something in your field, but be prepared to start from the bottom. Also, there exists the possibility that you think you might be a lot more qualified than you really are, so there might be a lot you need to learn along the way.
     
  14. tubeexperience, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016

    tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #15
    I will definitely get some legal agreement in place.

    I am from a rural area and so that might be why there isn't much of an issue. There's no Apple Store, no AASP, etc.

    Did you cracked your screen? I can fix that.
    Did your keyboard stopped working? I can fix that.
    Did you need your battery replaced? I can do that too.
    ...

    I was basically the only one in town that does Mac repairs.

    I am not going to lie: I wanted "things" so I seek out a niche that no one nearby does and it was quite profitable.
     
  15. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #16
    Regarding the liability - isn't this exactly why people go to repair shops in the first place? If I was ok taking all responsibility for something going wrong, I would do the repair myself. Any repair shop that shoves a complete liability waiver in front of me is not getting my business. When I go to a repair ship, I go precisely because I want the repairer to take some of the risk. I'm not paying the repair shop only to turn a screw driver, I am mostly paying them for the guarantee that the repair will be done well, and if they screw up, they will also fix the screw up. Of course this liability on them is not endless, but it's there.

    Regarding the job - do you really want to essentially start a small business as a part-time job? Why not work as a research assistant for a professor or some typical on-campus job? The pay for those is usually pretty good, the hours are easy, and they look great on a resume.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 4, 2016 ---
    Think about this economically. How much would you charge per fix? How many screens/keyboards/batteries would you have to replace per week to get the kind of money you hope to get? Does you rural area, where there is no Apple Store or anything, have the market to support that quantity of repairs?

    Some back of the napkin calculation, compared to my own situation:
    In college, I had a part time job that earned me $100-$150/week minus finals and vacations. Today, I would pay probably $20 for a battery replacement in an iPhone, $10 for a battery replacement in a Mac, $40 for a keyboard replacement in a Mac, and $40 for a screen replacement in an iPhone; in addition to the cost of the parts. I imagine battery and screen replacements are most common. To sustain the same income, you would need about 2 iphone screen, 2 iphone battery, and 1 mac keyboard replacement per week. This seems pretty high to me. That's at least 50 paying customers per semester.

    I don't know what the probability rates are; ie, how many dropped iphones per 1000 population in a given day or week. Even if it its high, not everyone is willing to pay for a repair.

    My point is, do this math before you start. It sounds like you're in a pretty small town - can this town sustain what you're looking for?
     
  16. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #17
    I came from a rural town: that's not where I am now.

    I have done mostly Mac repairs. I do iPhone and iPad repairs here and there, but they are not nearly as profitable Mac repairs.

    Also, I don't know where you get those prices from. If you were to pay me $40 to replace the keyboard or $10 to replace the battery in a Mac, I would walk you out the door.
     
  17. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #18
    I got those numbers by looking at a few random ifixit guides, approximating the time to do the job if you had all the tools and parts at hand, and taking $50/hr as a reasonable rate for a small-time operation.

    You'll be talking a lot of customers out the door then, I suspect. I think the people willing to pay a higher price would go to a repair shop with an actual business front and full-time operation, or to an actual Apple Store. For me to go a one-man shop college student doing this part time, it would have to be half the cost of a regular repair shop, and a quarter of the cost of an Apple Store, for the service. Otherwise, how do you justify it? It's similar to cars - if the dealership charges $150/hr for work and the corner repair shop charges $90/hr for work, how much is reasonable to pay a dude working out of his home garage? Not more than $50/hr for sure.
     
  18. JoshMKB24 macrumors 6502a

    JoshMKB24

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Midwest
    #19
    Those are incredibly cheap prices. I have paid to have Apple products fixed and I can tell you they are much more expensive than the prices you gave. I do agree that to go to a small 1 man show you should pay a large amount less than if you took it to Apple, but the prices you mentioned are way lower than anything I have seen before or heard of people paying.
     
  19. illegaloperation, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016

    illegaloperation macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    #20
    I would say about 60% of what Apple charges is fair.
     
  20. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #21
    The most common thing I do is cleaning liquid spill and/or keyboard replacement. I get those about 3 times a week.
    If the logic board still doesn't work after the cleaning, I sent the logic board out for repair for additional charge.

    The second most common thing is replacing the changing the hard drive cable on the non-Retina model.

    Things I do about once a week: fix cracked screen, change the battery (pain the *** for the Retina model).

    Once in a while (just about everything else): upgrade hard drive/SSD/RAM, change hinges, speakers, etc.
     
  21. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #22
    OK, some of us _are_ trying to help, you kind of went into a lot of very specific services you perform now, as a part time effort (I guess maybe to outline your capabilities), so maybe this will help to summarize (and or clarify):

    - You currently do repairs on some Apple equipment, at roughly X number of Y type per week, as an independent
    - You'd like to generate more revenue than that enterprise provides
    - You don't have any formal certifications for repair, so some shops aren't an option

    However here:

    You speak in past tense, and also indicate it's "quite profitable". So I'm confused ... [?]
     
  22. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #23
    Then was then (before I got to college) when I was back in my hometown.
     
  23. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #24
    Ahhh, so you were making decent money before college, got to school, and you're still making some money doing the same thing, but it's not as lucrative.
     
  24. Limey77 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #25
    I think as others have said before that it all depends.

    You were THE guy back home, now you're at college and (presumably) people have other options and a higher cost.

    My advice would be, that without the proper certification and a legit store then you are going to struggle. As A.Goldberg said, there is also the liability to consider and at a college that is even more important. There is a lot you haven't thought about properly.

    Where are in college? I find it hard to believe that there isn't any type of Mac repair place near campus. Could you not look for work there? I went to college 20 years ago in Philadelphia and our campus had a Mac approved repair centre in the campus bookstore.

    Dealing with friends and friends of friends is easy, dealing with regular customers is different. Customers tend to be dicks. Just like you (or I) would be if our computer had died and we hadn't backed things up, couldn't fix it ourselves and everything looked dire. You DO NOT want to be dealing with that, ESPECIALLY without definitive certification.

    Find a restaurant/bar and work hard - you'll make a lot more (and can choose whether to declare it for tax) and will have no liability issues.

    Or become a gigalo - a lot more fun!
     

Share This Page