Fix or Buy?

   Products that have sales and service tag attached to it are often controversial subjects. This is especially true of consumer electronics. Most laptops and cellphones are covered by warranties if consumers choose to pay for them. However, some do not prefer extended warranties. Also, many used products such as those sold online via classifieds and so on also don’t cover warranties. So when they malfunction, the consumer is often left to decide whether to repair the existing product or buy a new one.

   Repairing electronics comes with it’s do’s and don’t. Some repairs are rather expensive and time-consuming while others may take few minutes. Screen replacement whether in laptops, tablets or cellphone takes few minutes based on expertise. With screens whether used or new readily available on websites such as Amazon, eBay and new egg, laptop and cell phone technicians may easily profit 25-50% of the retail screen price while saving consumers a new laptop. For example, Dell D630 laptop screen anywhere from $25 to $30 (E bay). The retail price of D630 is anywhere from $50 – $150 depending on condition while the retail price of $100 – $150. In this case, it would be wise to buy a new D630 since the repairs might cost around $60-$65. However, one may come across D630’s on classifieds for parts at a price of around $20-$30. And if one is handy for repairs, he/she can easily save $70 on a new D630.  Or if one has multiple laptops at home or office, they can buy a monitor which would be used for all the computers and laptops for the office.

dell-d630-screen
Dell D630 Screen
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LCD Monitor

   Similarly, parts like RAM, batteries, CMOS battery, modem, touchpad, cooling fan, Modem/WI Fi cards, heat sinks etc are comparatively easy and cost effective to replace than buying new. High graphics video cards such as ATI Radeon are preferred as external video cards for dual functions on both laptop and computer. An External hard disk is also preferred as it is universal for all computers, less likely to get damaged due to overheating and good on the GO!

   On the other hand, I phone screen and digitizers will cost consumers comparatively less compared to a new I phone. An I phone 5 c screen costs anywhere from $34-$40 (I phone 5C – http://www.ifixit.com). Here is an example, where screen replacement would save consumers $160 as prices range from $100-$150+ depending on condition and memory. Same goes for batteries, replacing batteries for I phone or android is comparatively less expensive than buying a new phone. Replacing speakers, microphone or even camera piece takes a few minutes and can save consumers a new phone. Phone locked to a certain network can easily be unlocked for $20-$40 via websites online. However,  a hardware malfunction such as a phone crash or a screen that keeps getting stuck even with a new and properly installed digitizer calls for a new cell phone. Memory is another aspect of the phone that consumers look for. An 8 GB memory can easily be updated via an SD card but it will significantly affect the resale value of the phone. Accessories such as cases and battery chargers also affect the resale value of the phone. Phones with original cases and battery chargers packed in a box are worth much more than a loose one without accessories. These are some aspects to consider while buying either a new or used phones when repair is no longer possible.

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