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What to charge?

1sikbITCH

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2001
4,194
573
126
No, I am not taking to the streets :p

The last couple of years I have built a couple systems for myself and my wife, and am constantly tearing down and building back up when I buy new parts or whatever. Then my relatives started asking me to fix their computers as well, from OS upgrades to hardware installs to complete rebuilds and even setting up home networks. I'm working in an attorney's office as a legal assistant and I have assumed the role of technician for our little network. Next weekend my technician buddy will babysit me thru my first server install and reconfiguration of the network.

For family, this is great, and it's a great tradeoff for my boss and I as well.I get experience and references and they get free labor and maintainance.

But now the word is starting to spread. Neighbors, friends of neighbors, people that come to my office, etc are starting to ask me to fix or build their computers. Obviously I am going to have to charge something. My tech buddy charges $95 an hour, but he does mostly corporate or small business networks, as opposed to the neighbor up the street. He is "legit".

Me, I am not legit, I am a hack (pretty much :D) Luckily I have my friend's number on speed dial. So how do I go about figuring out what to charge these people?
 

Evadman

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Feb 18, 2001
30,990
5
81
I charged $100 for a custom build, or "whatever I felt like" for software stuff. Usually $50 for an OS install.

But you don't want to do this. You will become tech support until you (or they) die.
 

Futher

Golden Member
Jan 18, 2002
1,362
0
0
I would say it depends on the job. Don't really charge by the hour, charge by the project. A simple videocard swap is nothing, so that could be at least 20 bucks. An entire system build, OS installation and setup is at LEAST $100 in my opinion.
 

1sikbITCH

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2001
4,194
573
126
Originally posted by: Evadman


But you don't want to do this. You will become tech support until you (or they) die.
Yeah I thought about that. I think for some people the answer will just be "no".

 

KarenMarie

Elite Member
Sep 20, 2003
14,372
6
81
Do you want to charge by the hour, or by the job?

I think going rate is like $44.00 per hour, non certified, for tech support and repairs in their home. As far as building them a system, it depends... figure out what they want, get the parts as cheap as possible. Then look around at what the system would cost to buy new and figure it like this:

$400. in parts....
$800. to buy new
Split the difference and charge them $200.00

:)
 

Spike

Diamond Member
Aug 27, 2001
6,770
1
81
This interests me as well. I do much the same for friends and in-laws, though I have not really done any server installs yet. I have been told by friends to charge around $30 an hour with special prices for things such as ram upgrades and the like. I have yet to charge as all the people I help have been family and close friends, but I work retail and have been approached by semi-friends asking for advice or help. I plan to say "no" to some but the rest... I dunno yet. Needless to say, I am very interested in what you all have to say on this.

-spike
 

1sikbITCH

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2001
4,194
573
126
For the most part, I will not charge anyone by the hour. That seems like it would give it a professional feel. That raises expectations I would think. I think $100 for a system build sounds fair, and then $20-$50 for hardware or OS installs. I am not a professional by any means, just a dude who got tired of calling my friend to fix my computer for me :)

I think I'll just make it clear to these people that part of the inflated price they pay at the store or thru a company goes for tech support and warranty, and if they want that stuff they are better off paying the extra money, because they aren't going to get it from me.
 

thomsbrain

Lifer
Dec 4, 2001
18,149
1
0
Originally posted by: Evadman
I charged $100 for a custom build, or "whatever I felt like" for software stuff. Usually $50 for an OS install.

But you don't want to do this. You will become tech support until you (or they) die.
that's why you charge for tech support too.
 

thirtythree

Diamond Member
Aug 7, 2001
8,682
1
0
Originally posted by: thomsbrain
Originally posted by: Evadman
I charged $100 for a custom build, or "whatever I felt like" for software stuff. Usually $50 for an OS install.

But you don't want to do this. You will become tech support until you (or they) die.
that's why you charge for tech support too.
yeah! and purposefully fvck with their parts so they need it.
 

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