PARKERSBURG -With more and more technology in our lives, someone has to fix it when it breaks.
Edward Escandon, owner of Really Cheap Geeks on Emerson Avenue in Parkersburg, has made a career of being that guy.
Escandon started the business in 2008 as a one-man, or one-geek, operation.
"There didn't seem to be that sort of service in the area, so I thought it was a good place to start," he said.
Since then the business has grown, both in size and scope. Escandon employs around a half-dozen technicians, depending on demand, and the business handles everything including desktop computers, notebooks, tablets and mobile phones.
The size of the business has also changed. Nearly four years ago Escandon began working out of the Geeks Emerson Avenue location.
* Really Cheap Geeks
* 3330 Emerson Ave, Parkersburg, WV 26101
"Originally this spot had an antique store, and the guy rented me some of the space, provided I sold the antiques as well," he said. "It was a great arrangement for me because he didn't come around very often, so if I needed space I just moved the antiques a little bit, until eventually I was using most of the space."
Two years ago he purchased the building, and Escandon said the business expanded to include buying, selling and trading technology.
"I'd say now that is about half of our business," he said.
The Geeks still spend the majority of their time repairing or debugging computers.
"The most common error by far is a computer with a virus or a software problem," he said. "Sometimes people come in with a computer that has sat in a corner for four years because it stopped working and we are like 'Oh, sure, that's an easy fix.' "
The Geeks also handle hardware repairs.
"We're a full-service computer shop. There is nothing we can't fix," Escandon said. "Sometimes we work with people as to whether it's worth it to fix."
Even with the shift from desktop PCs to laptops, tablets and mobile devices, Escandon said his crew still spends a good amount of time working on PCs.
"Most people still have a desktop computer somewhere," he said. "I don't think we are going to see that shift as much on the repair end. People will still need the work done. And people are attached to their data. They don't want to lose what they have on their desktop."
Escandon said the Geeks even offer classes for people to learn how to do some of the work and debugging themselves, as well as learning exactly what their tech can do.
"We try to help people get the most out of whatever they have," he said.
Escandon said he is sometimes still surprised by the success of the business.
"It's been an incredible ride," he said.