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The Computer Doctor: Can I Do The RPC Again?

Posted On - 05/06/2015 08:48:35

Gary McEwing of The Computer Doctor would do the Retail Price Comparison every quarter if he couldWhile the 2015 Price Comparison is NOW CLOSED for Registrations, those taking part are now finalising their data.

The question is will it be worth their effort? Well, plain speaking Gary McEwing of The Computer Doctor in Horwich thinks so – he'd do it every quarter if he could. Like to find out why he's a fan? Read on

A parting of the ways…

"I started out in 2004" says Gary, "The last 4 years with my own shop." He continues, "It's a long story – I won't bore you with it - but I used to work for a big retailer. It got so we didn't see eye-to-eye."

And with fixing computers a hobby he decided to set up. Eleven years later he's proven he's here to stay. So what's his secret?

I don't sell on price or products

"I've always based everything around services" he says. "I supply a package – so not just a PC, a PC with set-up, data transfer and so on. All for one fixed price." Gary continues, "You can't compete with PC World on a new PC so why try? Besides, people worry about whether their email will work or what to do with their photos. If they go to PCW they'll get the usual conversation about an extra £50 for this, £50 for that."

He concludes, "The trick is selling the after-sales up front. Advising people. Helping them with set-up. Not just focussing on the PC as the sale and everything else as an add-on."

Don't sell on price or products - sell the whole package: products with services at the same timeWhat prompted you to take part in the RPC?

"It's dead simple," Gary starts, "This is market research and getting it is difficult." He continues, "What you charge must reflect the market rate.  Here in Horwich we're a bit out of the way. I simply didn't and couldn't get to know what others were charging. In retailing you simply have to price fair and reasonable – on everything. I had to know what that was."

Get one price wrong, get them all wrong

But Gary's reasoning for taking part is far more than mere convenience. "I had it drummed into me when I worked in 'big Retail'" he starts.

"You've got to make money where ever you can. Everything must be right - nothing must be cheap." On this Gary is crystal clear, "Customers must have the confidence they're getting value for money. If one price is too low that shakes them - it makes everything else look expensive."

What has taking part in the RPC told you?

"Retailing taught me it's better to sell one thing at £10 than 10 things for £1 – that's a waste of time. So I'm not afraid of putting prices up if I know it makes them fair. And I'll lower them if I know they're hurting my reputation."

He continues, "The hardest thing about using the Price Comparison was understanding Sales Satisfaction. That the best price isn't the average of what others charge, it's the one corresponding to highest Sales Satisfaction. That's what the RPC told me."

Has taking part changed your business?

Make certain the customer's certain you're value for moneyHere Gary puts his money where his mouth is. "Yes. I knew I was losing customers on DC Jack repairs so I lowered them 25%. But I feel I'm making up for some of that doing more work as a result. On servicing I put prices up 1/3 and no-one batted an eyelid. £5,000 extra profit a year for no work – brilliant!"

He concludes, "The Price Comparison helped me do what I wanted – give customers confidence they're getting value for money."

Was taking part in the RPC worth it?

Gary is clear, "Yes – absolutely." He goes on, "Pricing changes all the time and new products come along – I'd do it every 3 months if I could. It'd be stupid not to for the 25 minutes it takes."

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