(Topic ID: 1725)

So, I'm thinking about starting a board repair service.....

By HHaase

8 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by HHaase
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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    #1 8 years ago

    I'm thinking about starting to do board repair work for other people, pretty much focusing on the system 3-7 Williams stuff that I know best. I figured I'd see if anybody has input regarding the customer service side of this work. Any fun stories of seriously hosed boards that showed up for repair?

    Anything you guys would like to see offered? or think I should avoid?


    #2 8 years ago

    If you know your stuff, I don't see why not. You'd have to word your repair job acceptance policy very carefully. I'm sure you'll get a number of unrepairable boards.

    I've seen some killers, and I'm sure people would try to send you stuff as bad and worse thinking you'll wave a wand over it or sprinkle it with pixie dust or something.

    Also, I know there are a few out there already, and they pretty much do any system type, so there's definitely competition for this service.

    #3 8 years ago

    I'm definitely going to steal some ideas from repair shops I've seen. One of which is that I won't take in a board without seeing a photo of it first, god only knows what corrosion I'll be seeing, though Williams boards aren't quite as bad as the other brands with the ni-cad's. Nor would I take any board with holes burned in it.

    Not too worried about the competition, as I'm not looking to do this as a full-time gig. More just as an excuse, and funding source, to build up my parts and tools pile.

    I definitely will have to get used to re-laying traces though, that's for sure.


    #4 8 years ago

    I think it's a good idea HHaase,
    I would buy Solid State games knowing I could send the boards out (N.J.-PA area)if I got in a jam.
    Pictures are a good idea - read a few stories about 'know it alls' who get a board back then start hacking into it and expect the guy who fixed it to give them some money back.
    kind of like the post sale beat down/haggle .

    but I'm sure you can make it work if your careful

    #5 8 years ago

    Yep, that's my concern is dishonest customers. Probably just stick to forums that have a good set of people on them at first, to feel it out, before opening up to the general public.

    I'm not far from you either, I'm out on Long Island.

    #6 8 years ago

    But is it really worth all your time to make like $75 on a fully restored MPU? That's what a guy charged me for my Seawitch.

    I would suggest this: do it because you like to do it, not for the money. If you are good and efficient, the money will come naturally. If it doesn't, then at least you will have enjoyed doing it. But on any sort of "hourly" rate calculation, you would be better off greeting folks at WalMart.

    My 2 coins.


    #7 8 years ago

    Mike.... you and I are totally in agreement. Any money is just for spending on my own pinball habit, and as an excuse to buy tools. My main reason is to get more experience for future development of my own stuff (maybe, I've got some ideas).

    I'm pretty comfortable in my career right now, so it's not like I'm hurting for cash.

    #8 8 years ago

    Ok, went ahead and put the info up on my website..... going to need tweaks of course, both in presentation and content, as I develop it all. Anything you guys think is confusing, missing, or otherwise should change?


    #9 8 years ago

    I've been into computer and electronics since I was a a pre-teen. It's something that I applaud you doing but don't think of it as a career. I've worked 25 years now as a senior electronics tech doing component level repair and I can't even with my own family keep up with the machines I have to refurbish anymore.

    I wish you the best of the endeavor and am sure you will get lots of clients. Be fair, be honest, etc and you will profit a bit and make people happy.

    If I can offer any help just ask.

    FYI some parts places to find old/obsolete electronic IC etc stuff:


    #10 8 years ago

    At this point the only things I'm really worried about is the tax paperwork and finding the best price on anti-static bubble bags for shipping.

    That, and finding customers

    #11 8 years ago

    Do it! By the way check your pinside mail haase.

    #12 8 years ago

    Try to build the Service Warranty (Terms and conditions) to be clean about what you promise , don't promise.

    Make a Service Level Agreement to explain your promess ( just a sheet) and describe the solution in case of Desaster (board destroyed)..

    I agree, do it !

    #13 8 years ago

    If your gonna do the tax thing, you might as well take advantage of the tax codes for a small business. Write offs on tools, equipment, office and repair space, vehicles, trips to trade shows, seminars etc. Otherwise it's not worth it to do the tax thing. Just treat it as a cottage industry under the table type deal.

    If you already have a regular gig, Uncle Sam and whatever State your in are already getting enough in taxes!!

    #14 8 years ago

    that's the plan.... of course pending it having any financial success, is to get all the write-off's. I used to run a painball business and the fact I was able to write so much stuff off was great, and that was even being very cautious to make sure every writeoff was legit too. (don't feel like developing IRS problems). But it is a lot of paperwork and record keeping. Don't forget too that being a legit business also opens up a lot of doors for wholesale pricing and tax-exempt purchasing. I was really surprised at the advantages there were to running everything legit and going through the hassles of doing the tax paperwork.


    #15 8 years ago

    Designate your workshop or a room of your house for the business. You can then write off part of your mortgage as a business expense.

    #16 8 years ago

    Yep.... I remember doing that too. Every little bit adds up when it comes to business deductions, particularly small personal businesses that see little income.


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