Technology can be fragile, and devices will break. In fact, devices can break for a variety of reasons. You could drop it, get it soaking wet, run it over with your car — or, there could be a deeper issue where it simply stops working for unknown reasons. Nobody wants to use a broken or damaged device, but the repair process can be a bit intimidating due to the unknown.
We’ve recently launched the Swappa Repair Network, and we’ve also been covering repair here on the blog, which is all in an attempt to simplify the repair process for you. Today we’ll be taking a look at what needs to be done in preparation for any repair work. We’ll be answering questions such as what you should be looking for in a repair shop, and what questions you should be asking any prospective shops.
You may also be worried about the cost. It is no secret that the repair process can be expensive, and at times, you may wonder whether you can fix it yourself. So as a starting point — we’ll get a common question answered.
Can I fix it myself?
The short answer is, yes. Or, maybe, depending on your ability. But attempting to repair your device without having the proper skills, tools, and parts can potentially lead to more problems. The honest answer is that you probably shouldn’t attempt the repair by yourself.
How do I choose a good repair shop?
Choosing the right repair shop is a decision you should take seriously. However, there are times when the decision may not be entirely yours. For example, if you have an iPhone that is still under warranty with Apple — you should be looking towards visiting an Apple Store. Similarly, if you have a Google Pixel, you may be looking towards uBreakiFix because they are an authorized service provider.
Assuming you are in the market for an out-of-warranty repair — choosing the repair shop will be your decision, and choosing a good repair shop can mean the difference between getting good service, or service that will need additional follow-up. A good starting point is to look for a shop that is close to where you live or work. But just because the shop is close to where you live does not mean it is the best.
At this point, we recommend searching the Repair Network and selecting a few different shops to get started. We also recommend checking online reviews for each of these shops and reaching out to the shops you’ve selected. Keep in mind that not all shops will be able to work on all devices, or be able to do every repair job. Some repair shops may have specialties.
What questions should I be asking?
Knowing what to expect ahead of time will help to ensure the repair process goes smoothly. This can be done by asking the right questions, such as:
- Do I need to make an appointment?
- How long will the repair process take?
- What should I expect during the repair process?
- Does the quoted repair cost include parts and labor, or just parts?
- What happens if the work is underway and the shop discovers more parts/work are needed?
- What guarantee/warranty does the repair shop offer?
Getting ready for a repair
Once you’ve made your final decision and have selected your repair shop — you will need to get your device ready. Provided you’ve selected a reputable repair shop, any data, information, or images on your device should be safe and secure. But, we recommend you consider your data before you drop your device off for repair.
A topic that is often overlooked, but will come up early in the repair process is whether you need to provide your passcode to the repair shop. The answer here is yes. In most cases, the shop will need to be able to turn the device on and off to perform tests once the repair work has been completed. This means any personal information on the device could potentially be seen.
Your device may also need to be factory reset during the repair process, so to ensure your personal data remains available, we recommend that you perform a full backup before taking your device in for repair. That way you can restore your device back to its pre-repair state in terms of your data. And, in cases where your device is damaged and you are unable to backup, you should let the repair shop know because some shops offer backup services.
You will also want to give the repair shop as little as possible in terms of parts and pieces. Doing this will help to ensure nothing gets lost, misplaced, or simply forgotten. To this point — you should make sure to remove any SIM card or microSD memory cards before dropping your device off for repair.
Ideally, we recommend you backup all your data, and factory reset your device before dropping it off for repair. Having a complete backup means you can fully restore your device once the repair has been completed, and having the device factory reset means there is little possibility of your data being seen by anyone at the repair shop.
Common repair costs
Some repair costs will be fairly standard, such as getting the battery replaced in your iPhone. But overall, repair costs will vary depending on the issue, and also on the device. For example, replacing the screen/glass on a Samsung device with curved glass on the edges, or a foldable screen will likely cost more as compared to an iPhone.
Some repair shops in the Swappa Repair Network will outline price details for common repairs. However, in some cases, you will need to contact the shop for current pricing. Many repair shops will offer a free diagnostic if you are unsure why the device is acting up. And, in all cases, you should ask for a free estimate before committing to getting the work done at that shop. In order to figure whether it’s better to repair or replace your existing phone, head over to the Swappa Repair Calculator, where you can figure out the phone repair cost for your specific device and how much your phone is worth.
You can also find additional repair information for common devices such as the iPhone, as well as phones from Samsung and Google using the following links:
Consider the cost
Now that you’ve now found the repair shop you plan to use, and you have a quote in terms of the cost, the next step is to consider the cost to repair. At Swappa, we like to see devices active and in-use for as long as possible and feel that an upgrade isn’t always necessary. However, when getting an older device repaired, we will caution you to consider all factors because in some cases the money that is being spent on repair (along with a little extra out-of-pocket)– could be used towards an upgrade.
For example, Apple currently charges $149 for an out-of-warranty screen replacement on an iPhone 6S or iPhone 7. But a used iPhone 8 (in Mint condition) is currently priced from as low as $200 in the Swappa marketplace. Essentially, for an extra (approximately) $50 you can go from the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 to an iPhone 8. Before you decide whether to repair or replace, head over to the Swappa Repair Calculator.
If you have already determined that it is not cost-effective to repair your current device, or if you just want to browse the Swappa marketplace to see what an upgrade would cost — you can tap on the button below. The Swappa marketplace is the place to buy newish when the repair isn’t cost-effective.