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Can I make some money off this?

All the things above

+ What if your customers don't want to pay the full price? Who are willing to give you 1000€ so a teenager can build a computer? There are a lot of choosing beggars out there, what if they see the build and don't like it? It would be amazing but... too hard, you can try it with your family members and friends, but not with strangers

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So I'm a young teen and want to be able to make some money to learn more about financial planning or working for money. I can't legally get a job but I have an idea. I want to just do simple PC build jobs and build advice and charge a cheap price for the labor (Maybe 8%-10% of build cost). Mostly because I really love the build experience, making some money, and helping others with this kind of stuff. The only thing I really want to know if it is a good idea to spend time on this or even invest in this type of job? Where could I advertise my service? Any insight given would be very helpful. Thanks.

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Your margins are likely too small given that people would want some level of service or warranty. 


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no, so many other people come here asking the same thing. as @comander stated, how will you provide warranty services? say you build a PC for someone and their PSU dies and fries the motherboard, do you have the money to be able to buy a new PSU and motherboard, potentially new CPU and provide a new copy of windows if the current license doesnt transfer over?

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Posted · Best Answer

All the things above

+ What if your customers don't want to pay the full price? Who are willing to give you 1000€ so a teenager can build a computer? There are a lot of choosing beggars out there, what if they see the build and don't like it? It would be amazing but... too hard, you can try it with your family members and friends, but not with strangers

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An apprenticeship, internship or summer job (depending on your region) into a place that specifically works with machine assembly would help you in learning troubleshooting and diagnostics, understanding the cost in maintenance of services and safety.

 

There is a computer hardware store in my area where they let you pick the parts and they assemble it, they don't provide warranty on the computers themselves as they charge for each part and a labor fee. They simply tell you that something might be off with component(s) and that you should speak to them in terms of warranty. So, maybe a similar approach can prevent you from handling maintenance.

 

Also, you will need licenses of software you choose to preload on a system, while piracy may be ignored for private use, if you use pirated software on your commercial builds, it will come back to bite.

 

You can always start (at least at a hobbyist level) buying older makes and models (not too old, just maybe a few years) or taking hand-me-downs and upgrading them (maybe new SSD, a better case and more RAM) and flipping them on online stores

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I'm a high school student who has tried this before. I got absolutely no customers and I ended up abandoning the whole idea.

Maybe it'd work if you were older (around 15 or 16 maybe?) but as a young teen I think it would be very difficult for you to get customers.

 

You wouldn't make a lot of profit and if something goes wrong then you might end up having to pay for components out of pocket. If that happens then that's basically the end of your business.

 


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I thought about doing this a lot in highschool, but it's not something for a young teenager to do. For friends and family absolutely do it, it's good practice and usually pretty simple but strangers no way. 


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People have pointed out issues already, but the main issue is damage you yourself cause; how will you pay for the parts if you damage them? It won't be covered by any kind of warranty, and even parts are, customers are unlikely willing to wait the lengthy time for the RMA to complete.

 

If you want to try making money with computer components, I'd suggest one of these two methods:

  • Purchasing old Dell PCs, throwing a graphics card in them, and marketing them for Fortnite and other low demand titles.
  • Purchasing PCs on eBay, and selling the components individually locally.

Either one of these methods can net you pretty good profit, honestly a lot more than the 10% you'd be looking to get from complete builds. They do, however, both require initial investment on your part, as any money making venture worth doing usually does. If you live in a very small town, then those probably won't work, but frankly neither would your initial idea.

 

2 hours ago, Arika S said:

no, so many other people come here asking the same thing. as @comander stated, how will you provide warranty services? say you build a PC for someone and their PSU dies and fries the motherboard, do you have the money to be able to buy a new PSU and motherboard, potentially new CPU and provide a new copy of windows if the current license doesnt transfer over?

I don't think warranty services would be an issue. He'd just include the receipts for the components and that'd be their warranty.

 


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3 hours ago, XR6 said:

I'm a high school student who has tried this before. I got absolutely no customers and I ended up abandoning the whole idea.

Maybe it'd work if you were older (around 15 or 16 maybe?) but as a young teen I think it would be very difficult for you to get customers.

 

You wouldn't make a lot of profit and if something goes wrong then you might end up having to pay for components out of pocket. If that happens then that's basically the end of your business.

 

Doing this as a student, is absolutely possible to do, if the city you operate in is devoid of people who can also do it. Like 20 years ago this was certainly doable. Today, unless you live in a city of less than 10,000 you probably would be competing with at least Best Buy, Staples or Futureshop, or even Costco. Also remember that Amazon.com is a thing. 

 

True story, the city I went to high school in had two... rather not-good computer stores. One was operated by a high school teacher, the other was operated by someone else. Both of them employed high school kids. I didn't work for either of them. The building beside one of them became a Radio Shack and IIRC it went out of business, and the other store went out of business, but wait a family-owned shop which was co-branded with another short-lived computer store managed to pop into service around the same time.

 

Suffice it to say, even if I stuck around, computer stores started to appear and disappear quickly. 

 

If you live in a large city, your best option is to troll craigslist for people asking for computer service or create a linkedin profile. If someone needs your skills they will certainly reach out to you. The money is not in building the computers, but supporting them. If someone has a out-of-warranty HP or Dell, they will be charged large amounts of money for out-of-warranty work, and many people don't want to ship their computer. But keep in mind if people are being cheap with the name-brand, they are also going to be cheap with you. Get service work in writing. It only takes one time to break a clients computer and you end up replacing it out of pocket.

 

Speaking from experience, don't ever volunteer to do anything for free or "for cheap". The minute you do something for free or cheap, you will get recommended to all their friends and have to make the same offer. (And if you do something for free as a favor, at least get transit/gas money and lunch for your time.)

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Honestly, this is a very competitive sector now. You don't have the name or warranty the big names do.

 

Your best bet would be using craigslist or Facebook market to buy cheap, but decent PC hardware. If you get a good enough deal you might be able to turn around and sell the finished product for some profit.

 

If you really want it to get lots of hits make sure it is very visibly appealing.

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