This is a guest post by Jesse Herman, the editor of iFixyouri, who specializes in iPhone repair among other services
If you are tech repair savvy some of the latest online trends probably have been favorable in your efforts to save money. In the last few years the amount of documentation and overall know-how for cell phone and computer users has risen drastically. Especially with popular devices such as the iPhone the amount of DIY repair manuals, services and guides is impressive. Especially among service sites and parts stores, the information is usually detailed.
The problem is most people should not attempt a repair themselves. Often times someone will see the cost of a DIY repair and order the kit/parts without researching exactly how to do it. Because this is electronics and not a table, cabinet or some other familiar build-it-yourself product, placing a part in the wrong spot can kill the device. For example, if you use iPhone 3G glass in the iPhone 3Gs phone, it can ruin the phone.
Another big trend within the repair community is reusing old pieces and parts. Just because your phone does not work, does not mean the entire phone is junk. The parts still probably have value. If you own a smartphone and have other old phones lying around, broke or not, let the repair company know and by sending them all in you could get yourself a serious discount. Or if you are savvy enough, take the phone apart and (if they are good parts) you can sell them yourself via places like eBay.
It seems the more popular the product the more likely you will find documentation and/or services to repair them. This is something to consider before dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on the latest gadget. Before you buy the device check to see if it or past models have forums, blogs and services that will help you when you are in need of a repair.
The last thing you want to do is throw your device away. Whether it is a phone, computer, gaming system or home appliance there is value. If you can't locate a local repair shop to take it there likely is an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling center that will.