Owner Spotlight: Leonard Blue of Richmond, VA

We recently spoke to Leonard Blue from Experimac Richmond, VA. He’s coming up on the 1-year anniversary of his location; Leonard opened his Richmond store in mid-April 2016. Although he had held leadership positions during his 22-year military career, he had never owned a business before opening his Experimac store. 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. Additionally, Experimac sells accessories for these devices and offers same-day service for repairs and upgrades. We’re often able to fix your device while you
wait. Experimac offers a 90-day warranty on all repairs because we want all of our customers to experience the Experimac difference.

Leonard has a great store manager, Kevin, working alongside him in Richmond. Kevin spends most of his time doing the actual repair work and following up with customers who have been in the store for repairs. They have found that following up with customers is a great way to touch base with the customer, make sure they are happy with the service they received and it pretty much guarantees a return customer in the future. Kevin started out as a customer in the store until one day he sat down to talk with Leonard and it turned out, he had experience so Leonard decided to bring him aboard. The days are long for Leonard, averaging 12 hours, but he is really enjoying the customer contact and community involvement that owning his Experimac store in Richmond brings. Here’s more of what Leonard had to say:

EXPERIMAC: What is your connection to the community of Richmond? Why did you choose to open a location there?

Leonard: I liked the location. We’re close to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) so we can be help the kids going to college there. We offer a 10% discount to all students and faculty members that come into the store, no matter what they are coming in for. We’re trying to make it easier on them. Also, I do a lot of volunteer work within the community with young kids through a program called Go to High School, Go to College. We try to get them interested in higher education and help them stay focused on school so that they can have a better future. And I’ve also volunteered for the March of Dimes for 10 years trying to bring awareness to infants born with disabilities and other issues.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say has been the most interesting or exciting part of owning an Experimac location?

Leonard: For me, every day is different. It’s a new opportunity with each individual that comes into the store, dealing with different personalities and being able to provide the assistance that people need. You never know what to expect in terms of what’s going to happen throughout the day. I just like doing it, really. I like working with people. I like the employees I’m working with. It’s about helping people. It’s not about making money, that’s going to come in the long-term. It’s about providing that assistance to someone because you’re working on a device that they use on a daily basis and they really can’t be without it. Most of the time, they need it fixed fast and I try to assist them with that service so they can make calls and get their work done.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say has been the most challenging aspect of it?

Leonard: Knowing what to provide people. It’s so different every day. For example, knowing what to have on hand as far as the inventory you keep in the store. When you finally think you understand what your market is, it changes. You never know what type of computer the individual will find more user-friendly. It’s been challenging to get those inventory reports and all of the equipment into the store.

EXPERIMAC: Are you doing the repairs yourself or is it all done by hired technicians?

Leonard: No, I do it myself as well but not as much because I’m more focused on the initial customer service experience at the front of the store and maintaining the inventory. I’m on the computer quite a bit trying to get stuff done. We try to provide same-day or next-day service so if we’re really busy, I’ll jump in to help. I try to stay out of Kevin’s way so he can get it done but I help if he’s backed up.

EXPERIMAC: Have you been able to get involved in the Richmond community? Networking groups, schools, etc.?

Leonard: We’re in the process doing something with Fox Elementary, providing grab bags for parents with promotional items at the PTA meetings. We also do a 10% off for them and if they purchase something, 10% goes to the school’s PTA so they can use that money to send kids on trips, etc. We also do stuff at VCU like providing actual diagnostic checks on the campus to let them know what we do here, try to provide them with assistance. If there’s anything we can’t fix on the spot, we have them come to the store and we provide the service at a discounted rate as well.

EXPERIMAC: What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers so far, whether in store or online?

Leonard: Excellent feedback so far! 5-star reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook. Even when we do our follow-up calls with our customers, they enjoy our customer service, they appreciate us calling and following up on their repairs. Most of the time, when we call them, they have additional needs that we can help with. We’ve been getting good feedback. The only “issue” we sometimes have is people coming in the store saying, “we didn’t know you guys were here, I would have come to you first.” So, building more awareness is a focus.

EXPERIMAC: Have you noticed any patterns in terms of the type of work you’re doing? Repairs, less upgrades or more upgrades . . . any pattern?

Leonard: Honestly, I have not found a pattern yet. We do more computer repair, whether it be PC or Mac, for the local community. Screen and phone repairs is more prevalent with the college students. But, that’s all as far as patterns. The customers’ needs are always changing and we just adjust to it.

EXPERIMAC: Would you say there is a typical Experimac customer? Do you see more college students? Families that need their phone replaced?

Leonard: Honestly, since I haven’t been in business for a full year yet, there are some trends when it comes to Experimac customers but I’m still trying to narrow it down to target a certain market group. It seems like it’s always changing. Most of my computer repair work comes from the adult community, most of my computer sales comes from individuals living or working in and around Richmond but as far as phone repairs, I get quite a few from the college students. Every now and then, those college students do come in and buy a computer or a family member that is visiting will come buy a computer from our store. We’re still a young store so I can’t say for certain who our target group is.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say are the top 3 skills to be a successful entrepreneur?

Leonard: I would say, enjoy what you’re doing so you have a passion for doing it and want to do it. If you don’t, you won’t want to do it for very long or you won’t want to put forth the work to make it successful. In this particular business, you have to be a people person. You have to be able to listen to the customers. You need to understand where they’re coming from in order to take care of their problems. Listen to them, be a people person. You need to be a “go-getter” type of person. The business is not going to just come to you. You need to explain things to people, put yourself out there, let people know what you do and stand behind the service you provide. If you stand behind your 90-day warranty, for example, and make the repairs if something goes wrong, that customer is going to be even more grateful and get you additional referrals.

As Leonard has figured out, owning your own business requires a lot of time and dedication so his early morning workouts give him the stamina to make it through the day. It’s clear that where there’s a will, there’s a way because somehow, Leonard still makes time to volunteer and mentor young adults in the community in his spare time. If you live or work in the Richmond area, stop by Experimac of Richmond, VA and see how Leonard and Kevin can help you with repairs, upgrades, or trade-ins of your favorite Apple® products. We’re confident you’ll feel right at home at Experimac Richmond, VA and will receive excellent customer service as well.

Laptop Repair Near Me: Richmond Your Local Apple® Experts

Laptop Repair Near Richmond

Many computer owners fear that their home computer will break and they won’t know how to repair it. Laptop computers are even trickier to repair than their desktop counterparts. The hardware needed is small, in some cases special tools are needed, and it is not always clear what is broken before you open the machine up.

Macbook Pro® laptops are expensive machines that offer a lot of great options for individuals with a wide range of needs. For example, web and product designers use Apple products because of their simple design and advanced software. Business owners use Apple products because of how easy it is to sync all of their devices and have easy access to thousands of apps to track time, pay employees, communicate with clients and more all through their App Store® service.

But what happens when your expensive Macbook Pro laptop breaks? Trying to repair it at home can be a risky venture. Macbook Pro laptops are known for their thin bodies, making them easy to transport and carry around. But packing all of that technology into a small body is tricky so any accidental slip of a tool and you can cause even more damage to your machine.

There are a lot of common issues that can arise with your laptop. Here are some:

  • Stops charging even when plugged in
  • Cracked notebook case
  • Fan not running
  • Keyboard not responding
  • Damaged LCD screen

At Experimac of Richmond, we know how to repair these products precisely and without disturbing the inner workings in the machine.

Bring your faulty or broken Apple laptop, including Macbook Pro laptop or MacBook Air® laptop into your local Experimac center today! Our trained technicians will inspect your Apple machine and let you know what the costs will be to repair it.

If your Apple laptop is beyond repair or if you’re just looking to purchase a pre-owned Apple laptop, stop by our Richmond store. We offer a wide range of Apple products that were previously owned and loved.

iPhone® Device Speaker Repair: Where to Go if Your iPhone Device Speaker Stops Working

Where to Go if Your iPhone Device Speaker Stops Working

All iPhone devices, iPad® tablets, and iPod® devices come with a built-in sound system that allows you to play music, take phone calls, or hear alerts. At some point, most portable device users will experience a sound issue such as low volume or muffled sound coming from the onboard speaker. While in most cases, this issue can be solved with some simple troubleshooting others may require repairs.

The iPhone speaker (not to be confused with the receiver which is located near your ear) is used a lot. And once it is not functioning, you really start to notice how often you depend on it. If your iPhone device, iPad tablet, or iPod device is currently suffering from a speaker issue, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem.

Make Sure Your Device is Not Set to Silent

On the side of your device is a Ring/Silent toggle. If you see orange on the toggle, your phone is set to silent. Once you toggle it to sound, check your speaker volume again.

It is easy to accidently turn your device’s volume down without realizing it. Make sure the volume on your device is turned all the way up by clicking the volume up button.

Clean Your Device

Clean the headset pin with a clean cloth. Sometimes, dust particles can get lodged in the headphone pin of your device. The cloth should be clean and soft or else you could cause more damage. Make sure it’s not wet so you don’t risk getting water in the phone.

Turn Off Bluetooth

It might seem crazy but sometimes sound can be coming from a second device that your device is paired with. An external speaker, Apple TV® device or computer could have synced with your device at any time without you even realizing it so turn the Bluetooth off and then attempt to use sound.

If you’re still experiencing issues with your device’s speaker, contact Experimac of Richmond. Our repair experts will determine if your device has suffered from hardware damage which can be complicated to repair. Our trained staff can provide an estimate to repair the damage.

Samsung® Device Screen Repair vs. Apple® Device Screen Replacement: The Experimac Difference

Screen Repair Vs. Replacement

Whether you have a Samsung smartphone or tablet or an iPhone® device or iPad® tablet, you know one thing for sure: their screens are fragile, and repairing them can be a frightening prospect. That’s probably why you see so many people walking around with cracked or even shattered screens on their tablets and smartphones. But repairing a cracked screen does not have to be frightening if you turn to a reputable repair store like Experimac of Richmond.

The screen repair process for Apple devices and Samsung devices are somewhat different, and both intricate, which is why you should not attempt it on your own. When an Apple device needs repair, the display assembly is the first component that is disassembled. This makes accessing and repairing the screen fairly straightforward. However, other components can be easily damaged in the process, so removing the screen on your own is not recommended. Samsung devices also require meticulous disassembly to avoid damage to pertinent materials, so repair is best left in the hands of experts.

When you bring in your damaged Apple device or Samsung device for screen repair to Experimac of Richmond, you can rest assured that the problem will be properly diagnosed. Our experts will run a full diagnostic scan of the device and carefully disassemble only what is necessary. The damage will be pinpointed and repaired in a cost-effective and timely manner. Often, your tablet or smartphone device will be ready for you the same day or even within the same hour because at Experimac of Richmond, we know how important your device is to your daily life, and we don’t want you to be without it any longer than is necessary.

After your device is properly repaired, our technicians will guide you in preventing future damage and will be happy to address any concerns you have. We pride ourselves in offering the best customer service in the business so we also offer a 90-day guarantee on all of our repairs. If something on your repaired device gets damaged, we will repair or replace the defective part at no cost to you.

Cracked screens happen but at Experimac of Richmond, we want to make sure that damage doesn’t end the life of your Apple device or Samsung device.

Pre-Owned Apple® Store: Pre-Owned Apple Products That You Can Trust

There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get right after you purchase a brand new phone. Possibilities seem endless as you hold in your hands a mobile device, which 92% of American adults possess and cherish. But what if you received this phone as a gift, and instead of being brand new, it was really a pre-owned product? How can you be sure that your new, beloved phone is as good as new? Does “mint condition” mean the same quality as fresh out of the box?

Here at Experimac of Richmond, a growing retailer of pre-owned Apple products, we promise our customers the answers and attention they deserve in order to make the most educated buying decisions to satisfy their electronic needs. Tight budgets can afford our pricing, trust our warranty and benefit from the savings.

Reconditioning Process of Pre-Owned Apple Products

We’ve all heard that knowledge is power, and the same goes for understanding reconditioned products and their value. Not everyone has extra cash to invest in a new computer, but the option is available to look into buying a reconditioned device at a lower price. Fear of the unknown is dissolved when we take the time to learn about our investments. Experimac of Richmond makes it simple for any buyer to be a smart buyer.

All pre-owned apple products undergo a rigorous reconditioning process before they are marked for sale at Experimac of Richmond. Each and every product you find in our stores, whether it be a Mac® computer, iPhone® device, iPod® device, Apple TV® device, accessories or iPad® tablet, works just like new and meets our high standards. If you are one of 73% of the population who own a desktop or laptop, would you be interested in browsing our large, ever-expanding stock of pre-owned Apple® products, knowing each one is carefully cleaned, thoroughly inspected, and handled with the utmost care before you see it on our shelves?

Actions Gain Trust

Spend less and reduce the stress of your decision by reading the warranty. It never hurts to cover the “what if” scenarios before making a purchase. At Experimac, we pave the path to a risk-free purchase with our 90-day guarantee. If something breaks, we promise to repair or replace the defective part at zero cost to you! Experimac Richmond is hands down the place to go to save money on pre-owned Apple products.

Stop by Experimac Richmond and see what we have to offer!

Out of Warranty Repair: Apple Inc. vs. Experimac Repair Costs

Out of Warranty Repair

Imagine waking up on a Monday morning to find that your MacBook® laptop won’t turn on. All of your work and personal files are saved on your broken computer, and the warranty has just run out. Panic sets in as you begin the decision process of whether to replace or repair your broken laptop. Can you safely say that you know the cost comparison, and do you really  know all of your available options?

Replace vs. Repair

Laptop repair rates have gone down to 24%, down from 36% in 2010. Still, each time a device breaks, the costly and emotional decision of repair versus replace must be made. The answer lies in the repair rates. If you’re spending 50% of the cost of a new Mac® computer or iOS® device on your repair, then you might as well replace your product with a pre-owned model. Experimac of Richmond offers affordable pre-owned Apple® products if you decide replacement is your route. On the other hand, if you lean more towards seeking repairs, it is critical to do a price comparison between Apple Inc. repair costs and repair costs at Experimac of Richmond. In a 2013 online annual questionnaire, including 29,281 subscribers, Consumer Reports Magazine informs, “People who used independent repair shops were more satisfied with the repairs than those who used factory service.” Experimac will have your repair completed within hours of bringing in your device or by the next day. All things considered, we urge you to bring your broken Mac computer and iOS device, especially for those repairs that are out of warranty, to Experimac of Richmond.

Apple Inc. vs. Experimac Repair Costs

If you have ever been on Apple Inc.’s repair pricing page, you have seen the outrageous repair costs. Apple Inc.’s out of warranty costs are even higher. If you scroll to the bottom of their pricing page, you will see a disclaimer stating, “Your replacement iPod® device might be new, used, or refurbished. If your original iPod device was damaged as a result of an accident or abuse, service might not be available.”  If your Mac computer or iOS device just broke, the last thing you need is to break the bank or be turned away. And don’t forget how quickly we can get the repairs done in comparison to shipping your device away for days at a time. Experimac of Richmond offers affordable repair rates, even for out of warranty repairs. We are a growing store selling pre-owned Apple products and we are committed to providing exceptional customer service and a 90-day warranty on all repairs.

Migrating Your Data to a New Mac® Computer or Laptop: What You Need to Know

If you’re a Mac computer user and just bought a new MacBook Pro® laptop or another model, you may be wondering how to get all of your data from your old computer to the new one. It seems complicated, and the risk exists that you may lose files by overlooking instructions. Still, it is an essential task to copy all documents, apps, user accounts, and settings over to your new computer or laptop so that you ensure you’ll have full access to your work.

How to Migrate Your Data

Dealing with data migration on your own can be difficult, and this is why companies like Experimac of Richmond have a team of experts on-hand to fulfill your data migration needs. Supplied with the newest hardware on the market, Experimac technicians provide same-day service, migrating data to your new computer so you don’t have to.

Read on if you are a do-it-yourself tech whiz, or a tech whiz in training. You can follow these steps for migrating data, if you’re ready to take the plunge on your own:

  1. Full device inspection – analyze the laptop or computer’s software, settings and power.
  2. Name your device – go into settings and name your computer, using something effective and personalized so you can recognize the device as your own.
  3. Install updates – be sure to check your app store and download any pending app updates, including third-party software updates, too!
  4. Connect devices – do this either by using the Time Machine® backup feature, a normal Ethernet cable or link the computers to the same Ethernet or Wi-Fi Network.
  5. Apple Migration Assistant® feature – use this feature to complete the transfer of your files from the old device to the current computer.
  6. Log in to your new account – check to verify your files have transferred successfully.

Although the Apple Migration Assistant feature was designed to walk Mac owners through migrating their data themselves, consumers who prefer assistance with this should contact Experimac of Richmond to assist with affordable data migration. A thorough, in-store assessment can be done before migrating your data so that we can devise a plan to have your new computer or laptop up and running with full access to your old files in no time

Smartphone Repair Near Me: Get Your iPhone® Device Fixed with Experimac

Smartphone Repair Near Richmond

If you have an iPhone device, you might have had something go wrong with it at some point. Maybe the battery drained quickly, the screen cracked, or something inexplicable went wrong with the hardware. When these things happen, iPhone device owners may have a hard time deciding whether to get the device repaired, or to try to resolve the problem themselves.

The best approach to take when your iPhone device gets damaged is to turn to a qualified, professional repair shop like Experimac of Richmond. Doing so will ensure that the problem will be properly diagnosed and the damage will be pinpointed and repaired in a cost-effective manner. Unfortunately, while it may be tempting to look up fixes online and attempt to fix the device yourself, you may end up causing even more damage costing you more money in the long run.

When you bring your damaged iPhone device in, our Experimac of Richmond expert technicians will run a full diagnostic scan of the device to make sure they locate the exact problem. They will then begin repairing your device in a timely manner, often having the device ready for you the same day or even the same hour. We know how important your iPhone device is to your daily life, and we don’t want you to be without it any longer than is necessary. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering while you wait and same day repair services.

Once your device is properly repaired, our technicians will answer any questions you may have about preventing future damage or caring for your device. At Experimac of Richmond, we take pride in having the best customer service in the business, and will be happy to address any concerns you have before you leave our store. We also offer a 90-day warranty on all our repairs, so if something gets damaged, we will repair or replace the defective part at no cost to you.

If your iPhone device has a damaged battery, charging port, or anything else is not functioning properly, bring it in to Experimac of Richmond today. We will have it repaired and in working condition quickly and will help to prolong the longevity of your device.

iPhone® Water Damage: What To Do If Your iPhone Device Gets Wet

Let’s be honest with ourselves – we love our iPhones! They keep us connected to our close friends, family and the world at large. And we pay a lot of money to keep connected. What happens when these beloved devices get wet? Well, in most cases, panic sets in fast.

If you have ever witnessed a friend being thrown into a pool with their phone in their hands or if you have ever dropped your phone in a puddle on a rainy day, you know all about that panic. Water can make an iPhone useless fairly quickly. Important components can become damaged and in most cases, water damage voids any warranty that you may have. Before panic sets in, there are a few steps that you can take to prevent lasting damage.

Think About the Liquid
You might find yourself enjoying a relaxing weekend at a friend’s pool or on a great tropical vacation one day. Keeping this in mind, 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 iPhone components. Bringing it in to Experimac Richmond and letting our local experts dry and clean your phone will ensure that all these foreign particles are not a problem in the long run.

Rice Is Not King
Although many have tried it, do not bother putting your iPhone in a bag of rice. Dry, uncooked conventional rice will do nothing to help your phone dry out. If it turns back on after being put in the rice, it had nothing to do with the rice. You pretty much wasted the cups of rice your put your phone into as well as some very valuable time.

Act Quickly! Power Down, Dry It Off, Leave It Alone
As the panic sets in, it is critical to remove your iPhone from the liquid right away and power it down immediately. Water and other liquids can short-circuit electronics so you don’t want it soaking in the water. Immediately turning off your iPhone will minimize the chances of internal components being short circuited. If applicable, remove and dry the SIM card as well. Resist the urge to power your iPhone back on! Instead, dry it off with a clean cloth focusing on the headphone jack and charge port.

Grab your iPhone and head to Experimac Richmond; we will immediately get the ball rolling with our unique process. The sooner you bring the phone in to our location, the greater the chance that we can save your phone. This is critical because the more time passes, the more likely it is that components inside your phone may begin to corrode as a result of their exposure to water. We will assess the damage and see if there is any way that we can save your iPhone. Our first step is to carefully dry any excess liquid and then we gently scrub and remove any corrosion found on and inside your iPhone. We will then remove the logic board and apply a 91% alcohol solution to clean and dry it out thoroughly. This is why bringing in your iPhone right away can make a world of difference.

Find Comfort In The Fact That All Is Not Lost
If we are not able to save the device, we have a large inventory of pre-owned iPhones at reasonable prices that you can purchase to replace your damaged iPhone. Remember that if you’ve been backing your phone up on the iCloud or on your Mac at home, you should have nothing to worry about because all of your beloved contacts, photos, etc. should be there and can be moved into your new phone easily.

Get Familiar With Your Warranty
Take a moment now, while your phone is working well, 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 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.

Again, taking action quickly and bringing your phone in to Experimac Richmond right away can be the critical factor! So remember, when you or someone you know has the awful experience of watching their much loved iPhone go for a swim, Experimac’s local experts are here to save the day!

Pre-Owned Mac® Products: Choosing Pre-Owned Apple® Products, What You Need To Know

Choosing Pre-Owned Mac Products, What You Need To Know

Ask any long-term Mac user what they love most about their computer and more than likely they will say – reliability. Macs are not sold in the volume of other computers; they’re more expensive and are often intimidating to older generations. Additionally, gaining access to test out the usability of Mac products can be very limited in some areas specifically here in Richmond.

Buyers who are on a tight budget often find even the most affordable Mac products unobtainable which can lead them to consider purchasing a refurbished model. Of course purchasing anything second-hand comes with risks.

Here are some tips for purchasing a refurbished Mac product:

What is a refurbished Mac?
Refurbished Macs can include both pre-owned Mac computers, laptops, and iPads that were traded in for an upgrade or those returned for defects. Refurbished Mac products are inspected, repaired, and tested prior to being sold at a lower cost. At Experimac in Richmond, we are proud to offer our customers a 90-day money back guarantee on every product you purchase.

Why Purchase Refurbished Mac?
Mac 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. Refurbished machines offer the same reliability and ease of use as a brand new Mac but at a much lower price point. Buyers can feel confident that their investment is in a high quality machine that looks and functions just as it would if it came from the Apple store.

How much savings can you expect?
Pricing for each refurbished item is unique and based on the needs of that product. In order to supply our customers with the highest quality refurbished Mac, we use the highest quality hardware we can get our hands on. While there is no exact savings that we can guarantee for each of our refurbished Mac products, we can guarantee that you can expect a great deal and a great product.

What about warranties?
Experimac of Richmond is proud to offer a 90-day money back guarantee on every refurbished Mac product that we sell. Offering our customers a full 90 days to familiarize themselves with their new product ensures that they can feel confident that they have purchased a high quality machine that exceeds their expectations.

Owning a high quality machine doesn’t have to break the bank. Experimac of Richmond has a huge inventory of refurbished Mac products such as iMacs, MacBook Pros, and more that can fit your budget. If you or your family are in need of a new computer, consider stopping by your local Experimac store to try out a refurbished Mac product. Our trained staff can answer any questions you might have about taking the plunge.