10 years ago that smart phones (smartphones) appeared on the market, and they have become an almost essential tool in our lives. But, despite the competition, they are not cheap (or if they are, they are not good). And when you break your device outside of the warranty conditions, they often tell you: it is not worth repairing, change it. But many times it is not true, hence the need for a repair shop . It is the company idea that I propose to you today.
Buy, throw away and buy again
Many years ago, I dedicated an article on this blog about programmed obsolescence , a business practice deeply rooted in our consumer world. Basically, companies make products that won’t last to make sure they can sell others later. This strategy has been going on for more than a century , and is still in force, with different techniques. In some cases the products do not last, in others they are durable but convince consumers that they are obsolete and that they need the latest model.
In the case of electronic products, when something stops working, they often tell you that it will be cheaper to buy a new one than to try to repair it. Printers, small appliances, and even mobile phones are sold as throwaway products, even though they have sometimes cost a lot of money to purchase.
Two real cases
A few months ago, I broke my mobile screen. The device was about a year old, and it was mid-range. I think it had cost me about $ 160. Obviously, this was not covered by the warranty and I decided to try my luck with a screen change. I thought it was going to cost me about $ 40 or $ 50, and that it would still compensate me. I went to various stores, the kind that sell new terminals and accessories, and after looking at their databases, they all answered me the same: “it doesn’t compensate you, the repair will cost you $ 80, you better buy another mobile” . It seemed incredible to me that an item, even the screen, would cost so much, but I couldn’t get a better price. After verifying that the same second-hand model was also worth $ 80, I gave up on repairing the device, and reluctantly bought another one.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine saw how his cell phone no longer charged. He took the phone to a store and was told the same thing: “buy yourself a new one . ” But he kept investigating. He realized that it was not the battery that was failing, nor the charger, but the connection between the charger and the battery inside the mobile. They told him that this could not be repaired. He asked if there was an external charger for mobile batteries and they told him that it did not exist . He found out that it not only existed but that it was also very cheap (about $ 5), and decided, provisionally, to recharge his battery in that way.
I mention these two cases because they illustrate that on many occasions, the mentality of selling a new product prevents even the possibility of a repair from being considered. And there are actually options. For example, in my case, the model I had was quite common, and a second-hand screen from another damaged mobile could have been used.
The idea of the mobile workshop
That business idea, which would work very well in large cities, would be to have a workshop specialized only in repairing mobile phones, and that would not sell new mobile phones, not even accessories. It would work in collaboration with brands to obtain spare parts at a good price from Maya Cellular Parts, but it would also take advantage of unused second-hand mobiles to get certain items at a better price. There is no doubt that a person with a little knowledge in electronics could solve many of the most common failures that occur with mobile phones. The purpose would be to be able to repair without the cost being too high for the customer.
Of course, it should not be underestimated that many consumers take advantage of the first opportunity to change their mobile, and that it is not necessary to insist much that “it is more worth buying another” for them to do so. But there are also many people who do not want to spend so much money on their mobile, and they want their device to last for a long time. These people represent, I suppose, a sufficient market for a workshop of these characteristics to be successful. And when we think about the impact on the environment, these kinds of ideas should carry more weight in the new economy.