A “neighborhood tech” business is fixing its sights on Queens as it continues to expand.
1800Fix.com, a chain of stores that repairs, buys, sells and trades electronics, is looking to open up 10 locations in Queens over the next two to three years, according to co-founder Tony Brea.
The company, which already has corporate and franchise locations Brooklyn, the Bronx and Westchester County, is growing with the consumer technology market.
“At the end of the day, the philosophy in this country is buy, buy,” Brea said. “But that costs too much.”
Brea started the business with his brothers, Abel and Luis, around 15 years ago, but it originally developed from a beeper shop about 20 years back, he said.
As technology evolved so did their business. People started coming in with broken cell phones and they had workers who could fix them, he explained.
Today, 1800Fix.com will repair just about any electronic item, even hearing aids and Roomba vacuums, except, as it says multiple times on its website, the company has a strict “no toaster” policy.
The rule comes from a fiery incident that happened years ago.
Once, an elderly woman came into a shop, desperate to fix her broken toaster, Brea said. They tried to help her, but after a half-an-hour of working on the small appliance, it was on fire.
“She was very upset,” Brea said. “We had to buy her another one — so no more toasters.”
Though Brea said 1800Fix.com was one of the first businesses to offer the kind of services its stores do today, they are not the only ones who currently do.
But he believes his business still stands out against the big chains by providing efficient, friendly service.
“We strive to get [your electronics] back to you as soon as possible,” he said.
“We want to be small in the neighborhood,” he said. “We don’t want to be big.”