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How to charge a stranger.

BouncingSoul

Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
#1
I answered an ad on Craigslist, some guy wanting a tech to do some quick repair work. The ad said part time, so I figured it would be a good way to get some extra cash by putting in a few hours on nights/weekends. Turns out it'll be a one time thing, he just has a handful of computers with a trojan he wants removed and an upgrade from Vista to Win7 done. Here is the deal, he asked my rates and I haven't the slightest clue what to charge the dude. If I say too much I'm afraid he'll just say no and that'll be the end. If I say to low then I'm just wasting my time and setting a bad precedent if he calls back. So what do you guys think ... 7 computers, I think the upgrade will take longer than the trojan. In fact I'm thinking the best way to do it might be just say to hell with fixing the trojan and just to a clean install of Win7. I'd guess if I could do all the machines at the same time, this could be done in a few hours. This is in Sioux Fall by the way, town of 150k people, so I can't charge Chicago or other big city rates, which I'm guessing are MUCH higher.
 
#2
Last I heard rates for geek squad etc were running $85-105 per hour. Auto mechanics are $135-225 an hour, plumbers $200 an hour for comparison if he gripes.

You need to scope the job - if he wants an upgrade without data loss (that includes loss of installed applciaiton configuration) then clean install is not an option. Vista to Win 7 is a piece of cake. The malware removal cpould be a nightmare. If there's old hardware the drivers could be a problem.

I'd do an hourly rate for malware removal, fixed rate for a Vista to Wn 7 upgrade.

Define your liability if data is lost.

Also, find out what he does for a living/what the PCs are used for. If he's in a high dollar business you can push pricing higher.

Google what does malware removal cost. If he has any brains he already did to scope his costs.
 

BouncingSoul

Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
#3
Good info, thanks for that.


His email sig says CEO of a local company. One that I've never heard of. Also his account is a gmail account. So CEO is probably a prestige thing more than anything else.

I never even thought about spelling out my liability so now I'm REALLY glad I posted this question. I'm going to email him and try to get some more details out of him. Then I'll probably spell out hourly for malware and fixed for the other, just like you said. That seems like a really great idea.

Thanks again. I'll try to give some reps ... if I can.
 

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
#4
This is the same problem I face when I fix someone's computer.

Also, if he isn't going to pay for the Win7 upgrade and wants to use other means of getting it I wouldn't do it.
 

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