More people fixing up, holding on to older gadgets

More people fixing up, holding on to older gadgets

(NPN) - Smartphones these days can cost you $600 or $700, and newer models are coming along all the time. Yet, not everyone wants to spend the money on the latest and greatest tech gadget.

These days, more and more people are looking to hold on to what they've got for a little longer, partly for money, or other reasons, maybe sentimental, are driving their decision. And lucky for them, it's easier than ever to keep their gear going.

Frank Rothman is easily frustrated by today's ever-changing tech devices.

"Generally speaking, I'm just not good with gadgets. I find that following the instructions, getting things to work just never works for me. So when I do get something that works, I tend to hang on to it and not want to get rid of it," Rothman said.

He's still using his old iPod and admits he's spent more money adding memory to it than it would have cost to just buy a new one. But he likes it. And he's not the only one with this mentality, according to industry experts like the iPod Doctor.

"People who hold on to their old devices are a niche market. They hold on to them for sentimental reasons. They have them because a loved one passed away. They want to recover the data, uh playlists," iPod Doctor Founder Demetrios Leontaris said.

Leontaris fixes iPhones, iPads and laptops, too.

And his son has a business fixing old Game Boys.

As more and more people embrace the old, and those owners want to amp up the battery or replace the hard drive in gadgets, repair companies with a retro niche are popping up, and are busier than ever.

"Our business has grown year by year," Leontaris said.

Not just that, these days you can also find several websites to fix and update older gadgets on your own. Zachery Nelson runs "Jerry Rig Everything" on YouTube and gets more than a million hits a month from people trying to fix their own devices.

"Once you've seen the inside of the phone, seen how you take it apart, all the different screws and stuff, people are much more willing to take apart their devices," Nelson said.

And he says repairing your retro gear on your own is easy when you can find parts online for cheap.

"A penny saved is a penny earned, and if you can fix your own device, you can save a few bucks and get your device working again," Nelson said.

Nelson admits the DIY approach is not for everyone.

"You have to use a little bit of common sense and kind of know what your skill level is. Obviously, I'm showing the repair, but if you've never held a screwdriver before, it's going to be kind of difficult," Nelson said.

Rothman admits he's not one of those guys.

"I find by step three I'm completely lost, so I tend to shy away from those things," Rothman said.

So, Frank will keep turning to the iPod Doctor and similar tech companies for help, even if it means being teased a bit for being retro.

"Keep your old tech alive, there's nothing wrong with it," Rothman said.

Nelson has some tips if you plan to follow a YouTube video to fix your gadget. He suggests you watch the video all the way through at least twice before taking your own device apart. He also recommends you read the comments for suggestions from others who tackled the DIY approach.

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