Repair or throw away?

  • I think most of us who live in Argentina can agree that it's a land of improvisation where repairing broken items is a way of life and the term 'first world problem' isn't considered a problem at all, but a minor irritation.

    A case in point is a high end laptop that a customer brought me, where the hinges had failed, causing the problem to exacerbate every time it was opened. I would suggest that in most first world countries, that would be either a throw away, sell for spare parts or replace the broken parts with new ones if the cost wasn't excessive.

    The problem here is that spare parts for laptops are hideously expensive (new or used) and more importantly, replacing a high end laptop locally is upwards of $50,000.

    Fortunately I work with a small company in San Martin that bends over backwards to help me fix such problems that I can't fix myself. They have the tools and are experts at power supplies and all manner of intricate repairs.

    I also know my limits, which is important. Most laptop repairs are tricky if they need to be opened up and I tend to stick to keyboard, memory, screen and hard drive replacement. Anything over and above that and I give the specialists a call.

    I suppose what I'm saying is that we repair things here that would probably be tossed away in other countries. Argentina may not be the king of environmental recycling, but in this respect, nothing is ever completely without hope until it's been through numerous repair processes.

    Repairing stuff is also very satisfying, especially when you can pass that good news on to the customer.

  • This is one of those things that I was not expecting. In Italy, people have to ask around for repairmen because they are so scarce.
    Often it costs less to buy a new (and newer) appliance than to repair the old one.

    There are also many people fixing furnitures, especially restoring old ones made of wood, and their work is precious!
    In Italy, I found an old country table in a bicycle shed. I had to ask around to find somebody still doing this kind of fix. Turned out I could buy the fanciest Ikea table for less money.

    Rich people fix things, poor people buy new ones. Absurd but true.

    When I visited Italy last year, I tried to sell for 30-40 USD a flat screen which was nor LED nor smart, because my mother bought a better one with a larger screen.

    I received only one inquiry, the person was super picky and wanted many details (I had the original manual, the remote, the appliance was in perfect working conditions) but in the end I didn’t sell it.

    My mom asked me to remove the listing because people were inquiring with no real interest, demanded many pictures and technical information she wasn’t able to provide.

    We had already given away other TV sets to the cleaning lady and she didn’t want them either.

    I was seriously considering to bring it with me to Argentina and sell it here, but the idea of having to pay AFIP and have my luggage scrutinized put me off.

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  • “Rich people fix things, poor people buy new ones. Absurd but true.“

    Some financial guru whose name I don’t recall advises his clients “If you want to be rich, live like a pauper. If you want to be poor, live like a rich person.” Probably true.

    I love the fact that Argentina isn’t part of the throw-away society. People haven’t lost the art of using their ingenuity and materials around them to repair things. I think that rural parts of all countries are good at that too, because of the expense or unavailability of replacements. When we were visiting friends in a small old Russian village in Alaska, my husband and our host repaired a sink disposal, using hedge cutters and a bathtub plunger. A new unit would have had to be sent by plane or boat, because there were no roads into town.

  • [quote='GlasgowJohn','']

    It could be repaired #Splinter but no one really wants to fix it....


    Or nobody really knows how!

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  • Lets offer it to Trump as a DIY project....:D

    If it progresses the way his WALL has, we'll all have long grey beards before anything happens.

    On the other hand, if you think Christina did a good job of lining her pockets while in office, your head will spin when der Drumpfmeister takes over!

  • Rice.....

    Cfk and co. Was all john doe before they came to power, and now all are filthy rich .......

    As I earlier mentioned, for Argentina there is only one cure I think ...

  • [quote='JAN','']


    Cfk and co. Was all john doe before they came to power, and now all are filthy rich .......

    As I earlier mentioned, for Argentina there is only one cure I think ...


    Swiss invasion? 🤣

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