Tech toys, gold, and red hots
motherboard, which is a three-hundred-dollar part and a hundred dollars labor, but to do a fix on it, you can switch out a ten-dollar part."
Marketplace Changes doesn't cover service businesses, but Beagle Brain also has a retail side: an eye-catching array of accessories, particularly laptop cases and sleeves, iPod accessories, and headphones. "They make the store look nice," says Falk. "They're colorful. If you go down to Office Max, you can't find a lot of laptop sleeves-it's all black bulky business bags." Falk has dozens of svelte, colorful computer bags, backpacks, and sleeves from the Finnish company Golla, for $15 to $40. He also stocks a minimal but well-researched selection of printers, routers, and speakers.
He claims he makes little to no profit on any of his retail business: "We compete with online. Students in particular know how to go online and order whatever they want at the cheapest price and have it delivered to their door. To be honest with you, I don't believe in electronics retail. It's not viable at this point with the Internet. So why do I believe in this little shop? Well, because it's not a store, it's a repair shop, but everything I sell in here is the good stuff, and I sell it at a competitive price."