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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but if not please advise where may be better.

It's not an ideal situation but I need money and I'm good with computers (actually just got my degree). Friends and family recommended I go to individual's homes and trouble shoot computer problems. Most want to pay me and I need the money so I accept but sometimes the task is very easy. For example a lady wanted me to teach her how to copy photos from her phone onto her computer. However another time someone wanted me to downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 and that was more involved (driver issues etc.)

How much should I charge? Someone suggested I vary the price depending on the level of work required. For example charge $20/hr for easy jobs like teaching someone how to transfer files from phone to computer and $30 for more involved jobs like downgrading OS. Is this a good idea? By the way, these are usually senior people or people who are very uncomfortable using computers that I work with.

I'm thinking of making an ad for my service and not sure what to put for the cost.

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Like any direct service/repair business you charge a standard hourly rate.

Most services of this nature do not vary rates based upon what the problem may be. They charge $xx per hour. If the problem takes 1 hour to fix, you make X*1. If the problem takes 5 hours to fix, you make X*5. That's just how repair services work.

A mechanic doesn't have one rate for oil changes and one rate for a head gasket replacement - They have one rate then multiply that rate by the time needed to repair the problem.

This being posted, you could determine a few flat-rate services. If you know that upgrading an OS generally takes 3 hours.... you could state than an "OS Upgrade costs $X" (Hourly rate * 3). It's all based upon your standard hourly rate still. The occasional problem with this, is when you run into that customer which actually takes 5 hours to upgrade their OS... you would have to eat that extra 2 hours of work. But, in turn, you run into customers who only need 2 hours to upgrade their OS so you make an extra hour of money.

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$20/hr is a fairly typical rate for a high-school or college student doing IT drudgery for friends of family and other acquaintances. It's not a living wage, but it can cover basic luxuries like video games or eating out.

Make sure you set a minimum charge (often equivalent to 1 hour of pay). It is not worth your time to go someone's house for a 15-minute fix and then get paid $5.

Elderly customers will sometimes overpay you; they have you come over for something that takes half an hour, you tell them the bill is $20, and they end up giving you $60 - $100 because you were so nice and so helpful.

More importantly, why are you relying on this to make money when you have a degree? Don't start putting out ads for your home IT services; look for a real job.

  • I couldn't agree with the last paragraph more; get your experience at a real computer shop, then try going out on your own! There is a lot to learn about the industry, including what works and doesn't in the real world, without it costing you money to figure it out the first time. – Canadian Luke Feb 17 '17 at 16:46
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You can charge based on your standard. If you are new to this field and charge high, no one will approach you for service. So, first make an identity and charge based on that. Now , at starting phase, charge less. So that only people will approach you. Also satisfy the people who come to you.

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