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Camera Repair Offers Advantages Over New Sales

Repairing rather than discarding non-working cameras and camcorders is a win-win-win situation for dealers, consumers and the environment, according to Precision Camera and Video Repair.

The 61-year-old service firm, based here, argues that consumers can save up to hundred of dollars by deciding to repair vs. replace their malfunctioning products, while the company’s retail customers often realize gross margins that are double what they would earn on the sale of a new camera.

What’s more, the carbon dioxide saved with one year’s worth of Precision Camera’s repairs compared to producing the equivalent number of new units is comparable to removing 1,000 SUVs from the streets, the company claims, based on a recent “Rethink Repair” environmental impact study.

The study was conducted by two Clark University Ph.D. candidates who were commissioned to conduct a lifecycle assessment of consumers’ repair vs. replace decisions using SimaPro7, a popular environmental impact database.

The researchers found that repairing a single camera consumed 15 percent of the resources of manufacturing a replacement camera.

What’s more, repairing a 3-year-old, 10MP camera costs $360 less than buying a $600 replacement while conserving enough energy to power a laptop computer for one year, the study suggested. Proportional benefits occur on $100-$150 point-and-shoot cameras as well, the company said.

In addition, since the old camera is not discarded and new metal, glass and plastic parts are not manufactured and transported, only one-seventh of the environmental resources are used. Broken lenses can be disassembled, repaired and calibrated to original factory specifications, for example, while replacing individual components on malfunctioning circuit boards reduces the need for expensive new assemblies, transported from the Far East.

As a result of Precision’s processes, air, surface water and top-soil emissions are cut, while “human” pollutants like carcinogens, radiation and ozone layer damage drop 85 percent, the repair firm argues.

“Just as a retailer’s merchandising includes accessory sales to bolster low camera margins, the 30 to 40 percent repair margin opportunity should be included too,” said Precision Camera consultant Roger Heuberger. “With no inventory carry cost and those margins, retailers can incentivize their floor to offer repair to their recession-weary shoppers.”

Precision Camera and Video Repair provides repair services for customers ranging from national retailers and service administrators to professional photographers and individual consumers. Operating out of facilities in Enfield, Conn.; El Paso, Texas; and Juarez, Mexico, the company recently expanded its reverse logistics and product remanufacturing capabilities to meet the needs of its strategic partners.

For more information, contact Roger Heuberger at [email protected] or (860) 209-5342.