To repair or replace… This question comes up for most smart phone users who at one point or another have the misfortune of dealing with a broken phone screen or otherwise damaged smart phone.
Choosing whether to repair or replace is definitely a case-by-case scenario in which one person might be better off replacing their phone, while another should definitely choose to have their phone repaired.
Before I was lucky enough to work for eTech Parts, I shattered the screen on my beloved iPhone 3GS and, unfortunately for me, had no idea that repair was an option. Begrudgingly, I used an ancient flip phone for months just so I could save up enough money to buy myself a new iPhone 3GS off-contract. Looking back, I could have saved myself over $300 simply by choosing to repair over replace.
You live, you learn.
Trying to convince a repair customer to choose a repair over a replacement can at times be challenging and maybe even confusing – but here are some points you can make to your customers if they have doubts about whether it’s right for them. Share it on your Facebook page, Tweet it and let them know the facts. Choose to repair – NOT replace!
While it might at first seem manageable to buy a new device outright, the cost can end up being a lot more than you would expect to spend on a smartphone. Without subsidized contract pricing, a new iPhone 5s can set you back about $650. Considering the average price for fixing a broken screen on the iPhone 5s is $135, choosing to have your device repaired makes a lot more sense than replacing it.
By choosing to repair, you’ll save time and money with most repair shops taking only about 20-30 minutes to fix the average iPhone 5s. No SIM card swaps or backing up data necessary. You get your exact phone back, with some repair shops even repairing your device right in front of you!
Sometimes – especially when a device is newly released – the price of parts can be extremely high, meaning repair prices will be too. This price steadily declines as replacement parts become more readily available. A repair that costs $350 the month a device is released can be as low as $125 a few months down the road! It happens with every new device and we can expect the trend to continue as more devices are released.
In some cases, the best option might be to replace or upgrade your device. If your 2-year contract has ended or your cell phone provider is willing to renegotiate your contract, it might cost you less to replace your device. If you can get a good deal, take it.
Many repair shops can get a customer in and out in less than an hour – some shops even report repairs taking less than 20 minutes! In the digital age, going days without your smartphone can really mean going days without your work phone, email, and social contacts completely. Our phones are our lifelines so planning time to be without them can be a little stressful.
While there are many mail-in repair services to choose from, we advise checking reviews online before sending your device anywhere.
From what we hear, many warranty companies will send a refurbished phone to you instead of sending you back your original device. This means someone else’s device is now in your hands and transferring all that data? Yep, that’s in your hands too. Choosing local repair (or reliable mail-in repair services) will save you time and the hassle of transferring data to and from devices.
The average time it takes to repair an iPhone 5s is 27 minutes – so in most cases, repair shops can get the average repair customer in and out in about an hour, depending on the repair shop of course.
If it’s a one-man show in a repair shop near you, you’ll typically have to wait a little longer to pick up your phone. But many repair shops offer same-day or while-you-wait repairs, which take very little time at all.
Environmental & Local Impact
Choosing to repair your device over replacing it will always be better for the environment. According to iFixit, 75% of all electronics that are thrown out or “recycled” end up in foreign countries where it’s burned for scrap by children in junkyards. This toxic e-waste is filling landfills all around the world and it’s time to change the way we think about, use and recycle electronics. Check out iFixit.org to see just how crazy this e-waste epidemic truly is.
Photo by iFixit.org
When you break a component of your phone, it’s important to realize these devices are easily repaired and choosing repair not only helps the environment – it helps your community, too. Every time you choose to have your smartphone, tablet or computer fixed locally, you’re helping to support jobs in your local community. Choosing small business will always benefit your community and over 90% of repair shops in the United States are locally owned small business repair shops.
By choosing to repair, you’re making the right choice for the environment and for your community, too. Supporting repair is the responsible choice to combat our throwaway economic culture. While in some cases of more serious damage or contract renegotiation, replacing an iPhone can be a more cost-effective choice — but you should always be sure to reuse or recycle your device in a responsible way. Repair it and give it to a kid to use as an iPod, sell it on Craigslist or check out our list of the Top 10 Uses for your Old iPhone.
Thanks for reading — be sure to stay tuned for more from your friends at eTech Parts! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for helpful tips, tricks and Q&A sessions.