Making the Switch: PC to Mac® Computer

Thinking about making the switch from a PC computer to a Mac computer?

Experimac knows this can be a big decision. Whether you’re making the switch because you are looking for a more reliable operating system or you prefer the beautiful design of Mac computers, here at Experimac, we want to help you make the best choices for your own individual needs and style. We can help with your PC to Mac computer migration from beginning to end.

Planning to Make the Move

Once you’ve decided to make the switch from a PC to a Mac computer, it’s good to become familiar with the Mac software, OS®, as soon as possible. You can easily do this by stopping by an Experimac location close to you. The best way to become acquainted with your new Mac computer is by exploring and experimenting. Come by and ask one of our highly trained team members to assist you in learning how to use a Mac computer. As intimidated as you may feel in the beginning, know that it gets easier the more you use it. One example of a difference you might notice right away is the method for accessing shortcuts; you will be using the ⌘ key on a Mac computer instead of the PC’s CTRL button.

Variated Applications

PC and Mac computers utilize different applications. You do have the option of running Windows® on your Mac computer, however, we recommend taking advantage of the applications available to you as a Mac user. There are products that enable you to easily move from Mac computers to Windows-based computers, such as Adobe® Creative Cloud®. However, that is not the case for most applications. Because viruses don’t often target OS® software, Mac computers aren’t offered the same variety of anti-virus software. This could be a problem depending on your business and plans for use of your Mac computer. You may also lose some applications you’ve purchased with your PC, so it’s a good idea to speak with a member of our sales team to find out more on how you can make the switch stress free.

Data Migration

Making the switch from a PC to a Mac computer may mean you need to migrate data. There are several different tools and ways to transfer your data from your PC to your Mac computer. Shop our pre-owned Mac computers in store and we’ll be more than happy to help you migrate all of your data to your new laptop or computer, no questions asked.

If you’re eager to experience the wonder that is working on a Mac computer, we can help you make the move from a PC to a Mac computer. Come visit Experimac today and experience the Experimac difference.

Parental Controls: Experimac Can Set Them Up For You

There’s nothing scarier than not knowing what your kids are doing online. The average age of exposure to porn is 8 years old. Stop in and we can help you set up parental controls on any of your Apple® devices.

Using electronic devices should be a positive and fun experience for your family. It is important to inform your children of the dangers of the Internet and model responsible Internet behavior for your family. However, sometimes it can be tough to moderate their online choices when you’re unavailable. It’s important to establish trust in your child, however, keeping your children happy and safe online works best when you can maintain honesty in addition to some basic levels of protection.

In recent years, there has been a move towards using vault apps. Some of these apps are free while others require payment but these apps offer a false sense of security. Users have been led to believe that their sexts, including naked photos and other inappropriate material, are being kept in a top secret place but that’s not always true. The use of these vault apps is alarming and should cause parents to raise questions.

Parental controls are not designed to spy on your children, they are designed to protect your children. Unfortunately, the Internet can be a very dangerous place if not moderated. From child predators to sensitive and inappropriate information, parental controls are designed to protect your children from the dark corners of the Internet.

There is a great variety of parental controls available today. There are specific parental controls designed for targeted ages and purposes. Whether you’re concerned about who your child is chatting with or how much time they are spending playing their favorite games, Experimac can help you set up the best parameters. Parental controls can be set up on your iPhone® devices, iPad® tablets, MacBook® laptops and other electronic devices.

Curious about what parental control options would be the best fit for your family’s needs? Call or stop by your local Experimac and one of our friendly sales associates will be more than happy to share ideas with you about how we can help you safeguard your family.

Data Recovery: Experimac Can Get It Done

Did you lose all of your data? Before you freak out, cry or let it ruin your day, give us a call. Experimac provides data recovery and data transfer services for your Mac® computer or MacBook® computer.

Data Recovery

Apple® computers are known for their reliable and easy-to-use OS® system and software in addition to their beautiful design. However, stressful as it may be, data loss can happen to any system at any time. There are many factors that can lead up to data loss with your Mac computer such as a failed hard drive. Data recovery has become more difficult with Mac computers due to the addition of flash media storage as well as the fact that the design of Mac computers makes accessing the hard drive particularly difficult. This is work best done by trained hands; leaving hard drive data issues to the experts at Experimac is your best option. Many Mac users rely on cloud storage, however, some assume their data is instantly backed up at all times. This is not exactly the case; these services typically synchronize with a folder instead of the computer’s hard drive leading to great disappointment when data is lost.

Regardless of the cause, our highly trained technicians at Experimac are ready to help you recover lost data and get you back on track.

Data Transfer Services

Can’t imagine not having all of your files, photos, etc. on your computer or laptop? You shouldn’t have to. Moving files, music, videos, photos and folders doesn’t have to be stressful. Leave your data transfer needs to our specialists.

Buying a new computer or did you have to replace a hard drive? We understand that switching to a new computer or having a new hard drive can mean needing to adjust to new software or settings. Let us help you make a stress-free switch to your new computer by handling your data transferring needs.

Drop by one of our Experimac locations today and find out how we can help you with your data recovery and data transfer services. Experience the Experimac difference!

Hard Drive Repair, Replacement or Upgrade: Let Experimac Help

Is your hard drive crying out for help? Are you thinking about repairing, replacing or upgrading the hard drive in your Mac® computer or MacBook® laptop? Have no fear, talk to our expert techs at Experimac today! We’ll have you fixed up and on your way before you know it.

Apple® computers are famous for their impeccable operating system, weightlessness, beautiful design specs and incredible power. They really are a thing of beauty. However, due to their unique design and specialized features, it can be difficult and expensive to repair, replace or upgrade a Mac computer or MacBook laptop’s hard drive. Luckily, the highly trained professionals at Experimac stand out from the rest and will happily repair, replace or upgrade the hard drive in your Mac computer or MacBook laptop. From its hard drive to its screen, we are equipped to handle a large variety of repairs.

It’s important to keep in mind that Apple computers and other computer repair shops consider any devices more than 5 years old to be vintage. Experimac will gladly work on your vintage Mac computer or MacBook laptop despite the fact that Apple and many other computer repair shops will not.

Many repair shops also choose not to guarantee their work and may even try to convince you to just buy a new computer. We know that Mac computers hold their value, and for good reason. They are durable computers that stand the test of time and are a good investment so we will perform a thorough evaluation before making our recommendation. We value Mac computers and MacBook laptops, and we specialize in fixing Apple products. We will be honest when fixing your computer and should your computer need a hard drive replacement or upgrade, we offer incredibly low prices in addition to offering a 90-day Experisure guarantee on all of our services and products.

Let us know if we can help you with a hard drive repair, replacement or upgrade on your Mac computer or MacBook laptop. Call us and speak to our friendly sales staff, or stop by an Experimac location today.

Water Damage: What to Do If Your Apple® Device Gets Wet

We love our Apple devices! Furthermore, we’ve come to rely on them. They keep us connected to our family, friends and the world and we pay a lot of money to keep connected. What happens when these beloved devices get wet? Well, in most cases, we start to panic right away.

If you have ever dropped your iPhone® device in a puddle on a rainy day or watched an iPad® tablet fall into a pool, you know very well what that panic feels like. Water can make an iPhone device or iPad tablet completely useless fairly quickly. Important components can become damaged the moment they come into contact with a liquid and in most cases, water damage will void your warranty. Before complete panic sets in and you start thinking about buying a new iPhone device or iPad tablet, there are a few steps that you can take to prevent lasting damage.

Salt water, fresh water, muddy puddle . . . it makes a difference!

You might find yourself enjoying an afternoon by the lake on your family’s annual vacation or perhaps on a great vacation in the Caribbean while browsing the Internet on your device. It’s important to note that the water found within lakes and rivers or even the ocean contains minerals and small grains of dirt and sand. Once your phone dries, these particles can cause more damage to your device’s components. Bringing it in to your local Experimac store right away might make all the difference. Let our local experts dry and clean your device; they will ensure that all these particles are not a problem in the long run.

Rice is not a savior

Although many of you have possibly tried it, do not bother putting your iPhone device or iPad tablet in a bag of rice after you retrieve it from the bottom of the bathtub, pool or ocean. Despite the common myth, dry, uncooked conventional rice will do nothing to help your phone or tablet dry out. If it does turns back on after being put in the rice, it had nothing to do with the rice, we promise you it will be a waste of valuable time.

Don’t waste time! Power down, dry it off, and leave it alone

It is critical to remove your device from the liquid as quickly as possible and then power it down immediately. Whether it’s water, soda or juice, liquid can short-circuit electronics so you don’t want your device soaking in liquid unnecessarily. Immediately turning off your iPhone device or iPad tablet will decrease the chances of internal components being short circuited. If your device has a SIM card, remove and dry that as well. No matter what, resist the urge to power your device back on! Instead, dry it off with a clean cloth focusing on the headphone jack and charge port.

Grab your treasured device and head to your local Experimac so we can immediately get the ball rolling with our unique process. The sooner you bring the device in to Experimac, the greater the chance that we can save your device. The more time passes, the more likely it is that components inside your phone or tablet may begin to corrode as a result of their exposure to liquid. Again, time is of the essence. We will assess the damage and see if there is any way that we can save your iPhone device or iPad tablet. We will start by carefully drying any excess liquid and then we will gently scrub and remove any corrosion found on and inside your device. Then, we’ll remove the logic board and apply a 91% alcohol solution to clean and dry it out thoroughly. Bringing in your iPhone device or iPad tablet in to Experimac right away can make all the difference in the world.

Rest assured, there is hope

If we are not able to save the device, we do have a large inventory of reasonably priced pre-owned iPhone devices and iPad tablets that you can purchase to replace your damaged device. Backing your device up on the iCloud® system or on your Mac® computer at home is critical because of these exact moments. If you have been doing that, you should have nothing to worry about. Experimac can help move your contacts, pictures, etc. into your new device for you.

Know your warranty

It’s always important to review the terms of your warranty so you’ll know what you’re entitled to if you’re ever in this situation. Liquid damage voids your manufacturer’s warranty including any additional AppleCare® warranty coverage you may have purchased. Some third party insurance companies will cover submersion, spills, and accidental drops. If you are covered, consider filing a claim with your insurance company.

Taking action right away and bringing your phone or tablet in to your local Experimac immediately can make a huge difference. So remember, when you or someone you know has the awful experience of watching their much loved iPhone device or iPad tablet go for a swim, Experimac’s local experts are ready and waiting to save the day!

Adding RAM to Your Mac® Computer or MacBook® Laptop: What You Need to Know

Do you know one of the most common reasons a computer might be running slower than expected? Bad RAM or not enough RAM.

RAM (Random Access Memory) is a hardware device that allows information to be stored and retrieved on a computer. Unlike a CD or hard drive, RAM is accessed randomly instead of sequentially allowing the computer to access data fast. Most computer users will notice that their computer is in need of additional RAM when their computer is booting up.

As you boot your computer up, data is sent to the memory to process instructions which can be passed along to software that you access after booting up. Each program that you open (including the browser used to access this web page) is loaded into memory while it is running. Often times, individuals will confuse the term memory with disk space. Disk storage space refers to the hardware in your computer that is capable of storing data either permanently or temporarily.

Most Apple® computers and laptops are shipped with 4 to 16 GB of RAM. The lower end of that number might be too low for your personal uses. For example, users that intend to run several programs at once such as video editing software, games, and other similar programs, would require more than just 4 GB of RAM.

If your computer has been running slow, booting programs at a snail’s pace, or taking a long time to open documents – you probably need additional RAM. The trained technicians at Experimac can run a diagnostic test on your Mac computer or MacBook laptop to locate any failures that your machine may have encountered. By running this diagnostic, Experimac’s team can determine what the issue is and if it is RAM, make suggestions on what amount may meet your needs.

Unfortunately, once a computer reaches a certain age, the Apple store will no longer service it, making it impossible to upgrade the computer. Experimac is proud to offer RAM upgrades to all Mac computer users.

Bring your slow moving Apple computer into Experimac today! We look forward to bringing your Mac computer back to life with new RAM.

Pre-Owned Apple® Products: What You Need to Know

Ask any long-term user of Apple products what they love most about their computer, tablet or other device, and most likely they will say – reliability. Mac® computers, for example, are not sold in the volume of other computers; they’re more expensive and are sometimes intimidating to PC users but their users love them. Additionally, gaining access to test out the usability of Mac products can be very limited in some areas.

Buyers who are on a tight budget often find even the most affordable Mac computers unobtainable which can lead them to consider purchasing a pre-owned model. Of course purchasing anything pre-owned comes with risks but we can help you make the best decision for you and your needs.

Here are some tips for purchasing a pre-owned Apple product:

What is a pre-owned Apple product?

Pre-owned Apple products can include gently used Mac computers, MacBook® laptops, and iPad® tablets that were traded in for an upgrade or bought out-right for rebuild. Pre-owned Apple products are inspected, repaired, and tested prior to being sold at a lower cost. At Experimac, we are proud to offer our customers a 90-day repair or replace guarantee on every product you purchase.

Why purchase a pre-owned Apple product?

Apple products are known for their sleek design, reliability, and cutting edge technology – not to mention their easy usability. Unfortunately, brand new Mac computers can cost a hefty penny. Pre-owned machines also offer the high reliability and ease of use like brand new Mac computers but at a much lower price point. Buyers can feel confident that their investment is in a high quality machine that functions just as it would if it came from the Apple store.

How much savings can you expect?

Pricing for each pre-owned product is unique and based on the age and computing capability of that product. While there are no exact savings that we can guarantee for each of our pre-owned Apple products, we can guarantee that you can expect a great deal and a great product.

What about warranties?

Experimac is proud to offer a 90-day repair or replace warranty on every pre-owned Apple product that we sell. We also offer our customers a full 7 days to familiarize themselves with their new product ensuring that they can feel confident that they have purchased a product that meets or exceeds their expectations.

Owning a high quality Apple device or computer doesn’t have to break the bank. Experimac has a large inventory of pre-owned Apple products such as Mac computers, MacBook Pro® laptops, and more that can fit your needs and budget. If you, your family or your business is in need of a computer or other device, consider stopping by your local Experimac store to try out a pre-owned Apple product. Our trained staff can answer any questions you might have about taking the plunge.

Owner Spotlight: Joe Muir from Experimac of Boynton Beach, FL and West Palm Beach, FL

Meet the Muirs

Muir Family PhotoThe Muir family, South Florida residents since the 1960s, is closely tied in with the success of the Experimac brand as Experimac started out of a garage in the Muir family home. These long-time residents of South Florida are a close-knit family with very strong ties to their community. Jim Muir, the family patriarch, opened the first location in West Palm Beach in 2009 and then the Boynton Beach location in November 2011. After a few years of successfully running those locations, Jim Muir teamed up with Ray Titus, founder and CEO of United Franchise Group (UFG) in February 2015 to begin offering the opportunity to franchise and expand the Experimac brand to other entrepreneurs. Joe Muir, one of Jim’s sons, recently said “My brothers and I have gone to school and grown up in Palm Beach County making many great connections along the way. Through our church, we have met a lot of incredible people as well. Staying connected and growing in the community has played a large part in our success with the company.” Today, Joe oversees both of the original locations and manages their day-to-day business, maintaining the family presence. The rest of the family has transitioned into roles with UFG. John Muir was the first family member to become part of the UFG brand, he was in charge of purchasing and distributing (PSI). Jimmy Muir teaches the first two weeks of the training program for franchisees. Josh Muir works as an Operations Advisor traveling the country visiting locations and helps out wherever needed. And last, but not least, Jeannine seems to keep everyone in line.

Joe Muir from Experimac of Boynton Beach, FL and West Palm Beach, FL

We recently sat down with Joe Muir from Experimac of Boynton Beach, FL and West Palm Beach, FL to talk about his experience running the two original Experimac locations. Here is some of what he had to say:

EXPERIMAC: Have you run your own business before? What was your business background prior to joining Experimac?
Joe: I joined the family business in 2013 when it was called The Mac Toy Store.  Prior to joining the family business, I managed a restaurant in Boone, NC for many years.

EXPERIMAC: Had you worked with your family previously? If so, how is this different? If not, how are you getting along?
Joe: There is no doubt I had a little hesitation joining the family business. To think I would be working with my ENTIRE family 2 weeks after I got married and moved my wife to sunny Florida. I can’t say it hasn’t had its ups and downs, but all in all, it has been incredible. This experience has brought us closer then ever.

EXPERIMAC: Have you been able to get involved in the local community in your area? Have you joined any networking groups, chambers of commerce, etc.?
Joe: We are part of an organization called the Executive Association of the Palm Beaches. This is a very tight group of member firms that meets on a weekly basis to encourage local business between its members. We have also recently added additional outside sales representatives to our company for business to business. We are actively pursuing local businesses and groups for opportunities to grow.

EXPERIMAC: Have you participated in any local events to get to know the people in the community from the perspective of a business owner, not just a long-time resident?
Joe: We love to support the community when we are able to. We are actively involved with several high schools in the area. We promote their band, theater, and football programs. We also like to support local runs with a positive cause; we have sponsored several 5K and 10K events.

EXPERIMAC: What has been the most interesting or exciting part of being part of the family business? The most challenging?
Joe: The most exciting part of running the family business can also be the most challenging. We are very active and aggressively looking for ways to promote and improve our business. One of my favorite parts is coming up with an idea and being able to watch it play out.

EXPERIMAC: Do you do the repairs yourself or have you hired technicians for the Boynton Beach and West Palm Beach locations?
Joe: I am able to do a majority of the repairs. However, I have technicians that are far more advanced than I am. These are guys I was teaching how to fix devices to at one point and now they can run circles around me. At this point, I have found my time better spent on other aspects of the business. Every now and then, though, I like to jump in there and get my hands dirty.

EXPERIMAC: What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers?
Joe: We pride ourselves on customer service. This is the key to our success. Customer feedback is very important to us. Starting out, advertising and social media was very limited for us. We built a lot of this company through word of mouth. Making your customers happy and comfortable is vital to success.

EXPERIMAC: Have you noticed any patterns in reference to the kind of work Experimac customers need done – more screen repairs, less upgrades, for example?
Joe: When you compare the numbers at the end of the day, phone repair tends to be a little more common than computer repair/upgrade. However, the revenue leader for both our locations is clearly the pre-owned product. The best way to increase sales and profit is moving computers as quickly as you can.

EXPERIMAC: Is there a “typical” Experimac customer?
Joe: I can’t say there is a typical Experimac customer and that’s what makes this business so great. We have something every member of the family likes. From the grandparents being able to FaceTime® to the grandchildren teaching the grandparents how to FaceTime® and everything between.

EXPERIMAC: How many hours do you work on an average day?
Joe: In an average week, I will work 50-55 hours. This is spread out between two locations and some minor work at home (answering phone calls and a few emails). When I’m in the stores, they are my main focus but when I’m home, I think it’s important to work on that part of my life.

EXPERIMAC: When you’re not working, do you have any hobbies or favorite pastimes?
Joe: I guess I have a hobby but more like a second job. For the past several years, I have really invested a lot of time in real estate. I enjoy flipping houses. My wife and I are currently starting on our third home.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Joe: Dedication – You have to be fully invested into your idea. Strength – Tough times require a lot of perseverance. Support – You can only go so far without the right team.

EXPERIMAC: Is there anything else you would like to share on behalf of the family business?
Joe: It has been an amazing whirlwind of activity the past few years and I am looking forward to seeing Experimac continuing its tremendous growth. The opportunities we have now, that didn’t exist when we first started, are going to take this company to a level my family couldn’t even dream of.  Thanks to all of our franchisees, we have built a brand that is here to stay.

There is no doubt that Joe Muir is a busy man. Running the various aspects of the family business started by their patriarch, Jim Muir, the Muir brothers are truly invested in the success of the Experimac brand from every angle. The long work weeks are an investment in a company they strongly believe in. Remember to stop in at the original Experimac locations in West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach when you need your phone, tablet, laptop or computer repaired or if you’re considering the purchase of a pre-owned Apple® device. We know you’ll receive top-notch customer service you will want to brag about.

Owner Spotlight: Jeff and Monika Prainito from Experimac of Charlotte, NC

Jeff and Monika Prainito from Experimac of Charlotte, NC

We just recently sat down to have a chat with the hard-working, but fun, husband-wife team behind Experimac of Charlotte, NC, Jeff and Monika Prainito. Their location in the booming area of Charlotte opened up just over a year ago, at the end of July 2015. With franchises across the country, Experimac is a trusted tech source for Apple® product repairs and upgrades, pre-owned sales and trade-ins for iPhone® devices, iPad® tablets, iMac® computers, MacBook® laptops and more. Experimac also sells accessories for these devices and we offer same day service for repairs and upgrades. Often, we’re able to fix your device for you while you wait. Experimac offers a 90-day warranty on all repairs so customers never have to worry about their repair work.

Choosing to open Experimac of Charlotte came as a result of one of Jeff’s friends working with Transworld Business Advisors and connecting Jeff with Experimac. “For me, it was about wanting to be the first one in Charlotte and getting our choice of location,” said Jeff. Monika really liked the idea of people having another option other than the Apple® store.

Jeff and Monika Prainito from Experimac of Charlotte, NCOwning a small business of their own comes as nothing new to this power couple. Growing up, Jeff’s family were small business owners, opening three separate restaurants. And Monika is a business owner herself, completing architectural surveys. They seem to balance one another out well and are therefore able to focus on different angles of their Experimac business. Jeff is clearly a people person who is eager to please his customers with good service and looks forward to the moment they smile as they walk out the door with a working device in hand. Monika is able to see things differently from behind-the-scenes and provides valuable insight as she handles the marketing for Experimac of Charlotte. More than anything, it’s evident that Charlotte is home and they really want to do their part to be part of this thriving community. Here is more of what they shared with us about the journey of owning an Experimac location.

EXPERIMAC: What’s your background from a work experience angle?
Jeff: When I was really young, I did work on the first computers, the 386-40MHz and the 486-50MHz. Things you probably have never even imagined. I custom built AutoCAD workstations. Later, I had a full career in industrial engineering in the automotive and healthcare industries. Then, this opportunity came to own our own small business.
Monika: I have been working on computers, as a user, for 25 years. I am an interior designer but I’m more into the drafting side of it. That’s what I was doing in the hi-tech world, working with telecommunications companies. I was drafting and marketing for them. I eventually started my own company and have been working as an architectural surveyor and I started using PC computers until our oldest son suggested I switch to Mac® computers so I did and I’ve been using Apple® computers for about 6 years now. So the idea behind Experimac immediately appealed to me. I still do my surveying and I help Jeff with marketing for Experimac of Charlotte.

EXPERIMAC: Have you worked together professionally before opening Experimac of Charlotte?
Monika: Since I knew of Jeff’s background with AutoCAD and computers, while we were waiting for Experimac to be ready to go, we worked together for a few months doing the surveying. It was very interesting! I didn’t know he would do so well, so quickly. We actually did some of our own surveying jobs, he at one site and I at another.
Jeff: I used Macs® to do it. Yeah, she didn’t know I would be as good as I was. On a serious note, Monika is a great boss and a great trainer. She is by far, one of the best in the country at what she does.

EXPERIMAC: How has it been working together? How would you explain the experience?
Monika: I would say that because we have different perspectives on it, we complement one another. He is great with the customers and the technical part and being the front man at the store. I do more of the marketing side, behind-the-scenes. If I’m there, I will say hello and have quick conversations with customers but I prefer being behind-the-scenes. Jeff totally enjoys the interaction with customers.

EXPERIMAC: Sounds like it’s been a good fit, then.
Monika: Yes, totally. I see the business more from the behind-the-scenes, entrepreneurial side of it and he’s very much about the commercial, out front with the customer side of it. It works really well for us.

EXPERIMAC: Tell us a little bit about your family.
Monika: Of course! We have 3 children. Our oldest son, 29 years old, is an audio producer in South America. He lives in Colombia. He uses a lot of Apple® products and computers and he’s even working with Spotify now. Someday, he’d like to leave South America and go to Germany to work on his music there. We also have 16-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, they are sophomores in high school. Of course, they love their iPhones! . . . and sports, both are very involved at school, but they both worked a little at the store over the summer. She can repair an iPhone already. He seems to like the business side of it more.
EXPERIMAC: So they balance one another, just like you and Jeff do. That’s great!

EXPERIMAC: What is your connection to Charlotte? Why did you choose to open your store here?
Jeff: My company relocated me to Charlotte from Michigan about 8 years ago. This location is right around the corner from us, our kids go to school close by and it’s just very convenient. When I talked to Jim Muir, founder of the Experimac brand, his main advice was whatever you do, make sure your store is as close to your house as you can get it. You’ll be there a lot and you want it be an easy commute. I took his advice. We’re about a mile from our house.
Monika: It’s a really nice, family-oriented area. For me, it was important to be close to our house and the kids’ school. Our kids go to one of the best high schools in the area so I really liked it for that reason. There are also a lot of big companies moving their headquarters to Charlotte so there are a lot of businesses in Charlotte and the areas nearby like Ballantyne and South Charlotte. In that sense, we thought we had a great opportunity in this area.

EXPERIMAC: Now that you’ve been in Charlotte for 8 years and have opened up your own business, how involved are you with the local community?
Monika: We want to get more involved but we have had some meetings with the Chamber of Commerce and now we’re working on getting involved with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. They approached me about us joining their group a couple of months ago. This is a big deal here. We’re working on this more and more. We are members of a big church and that’s another place we are able to network through and market our business as well. Also, through the school and the sports teams, we’re able to help get the name out there.
Jeff: Like Monika says, the kids being in high school and in sports has been a great feeder for broken cell phone repairs and computer sales. I fixed most of their friends’ phones (some, multiple times) at our kitchen table leading up to the store opening. I attend various business networking groups and we are also listed on the Blakeney Racquet and Swim Club VIP Discount card, for example, offering exclusive discounts to club members.
EXPERIMAC: Grass roots marketing is a big part of it; getting people to know the brand more. We’re sure you’ll get more and more involved each year.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say has been the most interesting or exciting part of being in business over the past year?
Jeff: For me, personally, it’s when a customer comes in with a seemingly difficult repair, for which they have been quoted a very high price or have been told it cannot be fixed, and we happen to have just the right part for them at a price $100’s less than another place would have charged them for it. It’s just amazing how those things happen. It’s a great feeling. I can think of 10 stories like that when exactly what I need comes through the door just when I need it. Those little miracles and people smiling when they walk out of our store, that’s what I want and that’s what I enjoy.

EXPERIMAC: What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers?
Monika: They love it! For the most part, we have really great reviews. Even yesterday, while I was at the store, someone stopped by just to say how great the store was. People like it a lot. Once they know that we’re here and what we do, they really like the idea.
Jeff: Yeah, I get that every day. People come in and say “what a great concept,” “we’re so glad you’re here,” “it’s just so convenient,” etc. We’re now down to the 3rd or 4th level of referrals . . . “My friend told me,” “My cousin told me,” etc. A lady came in just to see me because she was referred by another customer who told her, “you have to go see Jeff, he takes care of all our devices.” She brought her Samsung phone in for repair, and I tried to give her the best advice possible in her situation. People appreciate the honesty. We don’t try to talk them into repairs they don’t need.

This is one of my favorite reviews on Google: “This store is fantastic for Apple repairs, sales, and buybacks. They successfully fixed water damage on a MacBook Pro that Apple said was ruined for a very reasonable cost. They also repaired my iPhone 6+ very quickly. Great ownership and friendly environment.”

EXPERIMAC: That’s really great! It must make you guys feel really good with such a warm reception from everyone.
Monika: Jeff is amazing at that. He has a great heart and it shows with his customers. People appreciate that. He gets a lot of appreciation for that.

EXPERIMAC: Honesty is refreshing for people these days.
Monika: People find a store like ours easier to approach. We can provide a lot of one-on-one attention.

EXPERIMAC: How many hours does Jeff typically work at the store in a week?
Monika: He’s here about 60 hours a week, probably 10 hours a day. The store is open Monday – Saturday so we feel his absence at home at times but it’s part of owning a business. We’ve had conversations about it, being the business owner, he needs to be there and maybe eventually, there will be a manager he can trust and leave there while he takes care of other sides of the business. He enjoys it a lot though!

EXPERIMAC: What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Monika: Most importantly, you need to love what you’re doing. Also, you need to know what you don’t know so you can find someone to help you with those things as well.
EXPERIMAC: Wise words.

Jeff and Monika are working really hard to push their business ahead. Balancing business ownership and family time is demanding but they are both excited about this journey with Experimac. Monika hopes they can take a nice vacation on a beautiful island with the whole family one day soon but in the meantime, she and Jeff will keep working towards success with Experimac of Charlotte. Feel free to stop by and present Jeff Prainito with your technology challenge and we’re sure you’ll get nothing but the truth from this successful entrepreneur.

Apple® Devices as Complete POS Systems

Apple Devices as Complete POS Systems

In the recent past, a point-of-sale (POS) system for completing customer transactions required retail, restaurant and other business owners to invest in either traditional or PC-based POS equipment. At minimum, this equipment includes cash registers, bar code scanners, payment terminals, touch screens, paper records and printers, and could cost thousands of dollars in upfront fees with continued fees for licensing, maintenance, and upgrades.

Today, cloud-based technology has enabled Apple devices such as iPad® tablets to be turned into complete, secure and multi-functional POS systems that are less costly, more mobile and easier to use than traditional POS systems. A recent study discovered that 20% of retailers of all sizes currently use mobile POS systems, while another 56% are planning to implement use of these systems within the next three years. Aside from convenience and lower cost, the transportability of a mobile device enables owners to conduct work from home and allows employees to assist and checkout customers throughout the store. This mobility prevents long checkout lines, enhances customer service and can potentially increase sales by as much as 25%.

Tablet-based POS systems effectively replace the traditional cash register, but they can also manage other business needs, all within a convenient, centralized system. There are many highly rated cloud-based POS software systems currently available. While features may vary according to the particular POS system you choose, installing POS software on an Apple device can enable you to accept customer payments; send digital receipts via text message or email; receive customer feedback; control inventory; manage tips, taxes, and discounts; accept online orders; manage employee logins; track employee sales; connect to direct deposit; integrate loyalty program features; and, for restaurants, keep open tabs and split bills.

Additional hardware is easily accessible and inexpensive. You can add a small credit card reader that fits into the mobile device’s headphone jack, permitting you to scan customer cards for payment, and you can even purchase chip and contactless readers to accommodate chip cards and mobile-based payment methods such as Apple Pay®. Unlike traditional POS providers, tablet-based POS apps offer low month-to-month service fees with convenient cancellation policies.

Pre-owned Apple Devices: The Better Choice

When thinking about using an Apple device for your business’s POS system, you should consider a pre-owned device for several reasons.

  • Cost – Even though an Apple device may be much less costly than a traditional POS system, new, “off-the-shelf” Apple devices from a big box store are notoriously expensive, requiring a relatively big investment. This cost can pose a particular barrier for new business owners who will most likely already be paying start-up costs and fees. Although Apple® offers pre-owned devices, the discount offered through Apple is usually never more than 20%, and often 10% or less. When buying through Experimac, however, the difference in cost is astounding, saving business owners and individual consumers an average of 60% on purchases. For example, new iPad tablets start around $400, Experimac often has iPad tablets available for purchase starting at $199.99.
  • Reliability: Unlike other pre-owned products, you do not have to worry about a reduction in quality when purchasing Apple devices. Apple products are reliable and designed to last for a long time. At Experimac, you are guaranteed to receive a product that has gone through rigorous inspection, testing and reconditioning, making it as good as new.
  • Options: You may prefer a “vintage” Apple product, which, like a classic car, might actually make for a better model. While purchasing directly through Apple will only allow you access to products from the past five years, Experimac offers pre-owned Apple devices from 2007 and beyond.
  • Service: When you buy a pre-owned Apple product through a resale store like Experimac, you will have easier access to help and support, along with enormous benefits. At Experimac, these benefits include quick same-day or fix-while-you-wait service, a 90-day cost-free replace or repair warranty, honest and reliable quotes, and excellent customer service from Apple product experts in numerous locations across the U.S. and abroad. You can come into the store to test the equipment, and if you experience any problems down the road, you do not need to make an appointment or box up and ship your device for repair; just come in to a convenient nearby location!

If you are starting a new business or looking to upgrade your POS system, come visit us and experience the Experimac difference.