Why the Best Buy phone repair centers are selling cheap phones for millions of dollars
In many ways, it’s like finding a lottery ticket.
A lottery ticket, of course, is a very different thing from a cellphone, which is why most people don’t really know what they’re looking for in a cellphone repair shop.
The best-selling cellphone in Canada is a $2,800 BlackBerry Z10 with a price tag of more than $10,000.
The cheapest cellphone in the world is a refurbished iPhone 5S with a $7,500 price tag.
But if you want a cheap phone, there are few better than the Best Buys phone repair store in the country.
“When I first started this business, the number one priority was getting phones fixed,” said Michael Hildebrand, who opened the first Best Buy store in 1998.
“It’s a really, really good idea.
People really want to fix phones.
They want to keep the phone working.”
Hildebrand says he has seen a steady increase in the number of people who want a phone fixed, which he attributes to the success of the phones and the way the stores staff has changed over the years.
“People don’t like to deal with salespeople.
They don’t want to deal w/ salespeople,” he said.
“So they come to us and they talk to us.”
That said, when the phones are sold out and you have no phone in stock, Hildebert says it can be a frustrating experience.
“There are a lot of people out there who are out there looking for a phone that’s broken, that’s not working,” he explained.
“They’re out there with a phone and they’ve found the phone, but they don’t know how to fix it.
In the case of the BlackBerry Z50, the service man arrived at the store and did a quick test on the phone.””
But we’re not always able to get them in, and then we have to call the service guy, and we have the phone service guy come in and do it for us.”
In the case of the BlackBerry Z50, the service man arrived at the store and did a quick test on the phone.
“I mean, it didn’t really work, he said, but he did a little bit of work and he said it worked.”
The Best Buy repair department has seen an increase in demand from customers who don’t have the money to buy a new phone, or who want to get rid of a broken phone that hasn’t been serviced for a long time.
But Hildebrands business has remained steady.
“We still do the same phone repair, and I guess it’s just a matter of timing, because we’re doing a lot more of them,” he continued.
“We’re getting a lot better and we’re getting better at it, so we’re hoping to get some more people back into it.”
Hilarbrand says most people he sees at the phone repair shop have never used the service before.
“The reason people are calling us is because they’re tired of paying for a service they didn’t use before, or maybe they don the phone and it’s been sitting on the counter for a couple years,” he admitted.
“You’re still getting it fixed, you’re still using it, but you’re getting it serviced.”
He says that’s a good thing.
“It’s getting people back in the business.
If they have an iPhone that’s sitting on a shelf, it still works.
They’re not going to replace it, they’re not replacing it right away,” he added.
In the last three years, Hilarbrand has seen his phone repair business grow to about 600 people.
The stores only employ about 50 people, and the hours they work vary based on the time of year.
The Best Buy repair shop has been open for just over a year now, and Hildebrothers business is still thriving.
“At the beginning, we only had about 20 people, now we have over 1,200 people,” he pointed out.
“The customers come in, they know us, they like us, and so we just keep getting better and better.”
Hildabrand says his phone service is better than ever, and he’s looking forward to seeing how the phone will hold up over time.
“As I’m looking back, I can’t believe the phone is working like it’s supposed to,” he remarked.