Notes from Sunday September 7 conference call Topic: Repair Centers & Spare Parts
Diane Serley of the Boston Users Group and owner of http://XOexplosion.com talked about spare parts and repair centers. Brady and Jennifer of http://www.ilovemyxo.com/, the other official OLPC supplier were also on the call.
Diane is running her business both as retail and as a warehouse for official repair centers. She can buy in quantity and pass the savings on to the official repair centers who do not need to order really large quantities of parts. She is eager to assist others in running repair centers. But, she is not interested in running a repair center as she already has 3 full time jobs!
Kim Quirk: OLPC is already taking care of repair centers for large country deployments, but we will need more in US and Canada when the new G1G1 starts.
Shipping to other countries has been a problem. USPS "Priority Mail" is by far the least expensive. Diane's online checkout system automatically charges the shipping and it is often a lot more than the actual cost. She has been doing refunds (some quite substantial) when this happens.
Diane discussed customs charges. They are the responsibility of the buyer. She is required to declare a value when she ships. Someone in Finland bought a T-shirt and did not have to pay any customs taxes. She hasn't shipped any of the more expensive items out of the country yet.
Kim said parts resellers have to buy a minimum of $1000. Diane said she will sell parts at cost plus shipping to official repair centers who have registered with her.
Neal from College Station TX suggested a curriculum be designed to train people to do repairs and asked about the viability of repair centers as a business proposition.
Hiro talked a bit about his new Miami repair center.
Diane said the demand for batteries has been large. She ran out and has been referring people to iLoveMyXO.com to buy batteries.
Ian said keyboards are in highest demand at repair centers.
It was decided that a report about repair center needs on a monthly basis would be a good idea. There is a need to get a feel for what parts are needed and in what quantities before the next G1G1.