With the coming of the new year, 2011, I have embarked on a new business venture. I intend to acquire damaged or broken musical devices, repair them, and resell them on Ebay.
Why do I think this is a good idea?
For five years, I repaired electronic musical equipment for a profession. I was an authorized technician, doing warranty and non-warranty work, for Yamaha, Roland, Korg, Nord, and a number of other manufacturers. My living was made exclusively through diagnosing and repairing various types of musical equipment: primarily keyboards, but also mixers, digital recorders, drum machines, and the occasional studio monitor or amplifier.
The repair process involved on one hand the technical work of disassembling and diagnosing equipment. On the other hand, it involved extensive interaction with customers.
Every piece of gear that came through the shop was attached to a customer- a person who required initial estimates, a time frame, updates when the course of the repair was changing- much of the day was spent discussing the situation with the customer.
In this new model, the customer is eliminated from involvement all during the repair process. If a potential repair is determined to be unfeasible, it can be discarded without the necessity of explanation.
This saves time.
There is no time line to establish and conform to. The equipment is not needed by Friday night for the customer's gig happy hour gig.
At the end of the repair, a fair price for the equipment is assured through Ebay, without negotiation.
Also because of the nature of Ebay, the time of warranty can be established and easily enforced.
Unsuccessful repairs will still result in the acquisition of parts, which can be sold on Ebay or used in future endeavors.
All these factors contribute favorably to this business idea.
The drawback is that broken gear needs to be found and purchased cheaply. This would have been more difficult in the time before Craig's List and E bay, but the digital revolution has made this a much easier task.
Finally, my years of experience repairing this equipment helps me to discern what is easily fixable and what is not, enabling me to avoid purchasing any major headaches.