How much should I charge to custom build a PC?

I'm going to be building a PC from the ground-up for someone on Craigslist.

It's a quite high-end (~$1,800) system, I will be doing a CPU + GPU + possibly RAM water cooling loop, and overclocking. I expect it to take about a week, if I do it carefully and run 24 hour stress tests on each piece (in between my own life of course).

I'm thinking around $200 is fair, given how much time/work is involved in the water cooling setup, cable management, time spent OCing, etc, but I often short-change myself when it comes to stuff like this.

3 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Be careful not to overcharge. Simply because any half way competent computer tech can upgrade/customize a floor model from Staples-Best Buy and etc and basically achieve the same hardware results. A customer who is comparing prices of Alenware, for example, with what you are charging will probably opt for the premade High End System or get the aforementioned Tech to "flip" a floor model.

    $100 to $125 USD is more reasonable and if you have particularly satisfied customers; Word of Mouth will bring you more business in the long run. Unless you are building some Ultra Exotic Machine--you must stay competitive or you will be passed over more often than not. Pay attention to type of people in your area. If you are out in the sticks--you are probably not going to be successful or as successful as someone in a Major Metropolitan area. Understand that just because you are Tech Savy and know the value of your skills that customers may not have the same understanding. Sometimes, you may have to settle for less but always keep the main object in sight. Build a satisfied customer base and then you may gradually charge a rate more in line with your skills and knowledge.

    As for Craig's List--you may get lucky but the fact is people surfing that site are looking for bargains or perceived bargains. So most will be actively comparing your prices against others. They won't care too much about the details of the build( unless they are extremely computer literate ) just the bottom line price. So you will still have to stay competitive and if possible build a favorable reputation.

    Good Luck.

  • 10 years ago

    $200 Sounds OK but you could charge more because you are working on a high end PC and take probably a week on it.

    If you also have to install OS do all the updates then definetely you may charge more.

    You can Also calculate the number of hours spent on the PC and compare that to normal Working hours at may be $8/Hour that will be 40 x 8= 320. If you break it down like this to anyone then it will be easy for them to understand.

    I pretty sure this project would cost way higher than $200, if it was done at local computer shops or even Take a look at similar Spec for a ready built Factory PC like HP, Dell or any other then compare the price.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    At least $200.

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