These start-ups that help you fix your computer, your washing machine, your car…

Posted on April 22, 2022, 11:51 am

The washing machine is leaking. The printer hangs. The car no longer starts. The jacket zipper is stuck. We’ve all been through these situations, which of course always come at the worst time! Faced with these minor everyday glitches, there are several options: crack and buy new to immediately replace the defective item. Call a professional. Ask a handyman friend for help. Or try to give it a second youth yourself. According to a YouGov survey published in 2020, those who don’t consider the repair cite several reasons: the cost (41%), not being a handyman (28%), lack of tools (7%) or more time (7%) ).

To remedy this, many new offers have come up in recent years, with the aim of converting the French to do-it-yourself, repair, yourself or thanks to the service of a start-up. Here are four scenarios.

1. I have a problem with my car

“I understand perfectly, I was not a handyman myself, we all have the same fear: doing something stupid and making the problem worse! », Theo Dumas agrees. When he was a student, his car broke down. The mechanic gives him an estimate of 600 euros. Ouch… The young man looks on forums and, based on written advice and photos, knows how to change his stamps, paid for a few euros, for just a few hours with his nose under the hood. He then envisions video tutorials to easily show you how to fix the minor issues we most often encounter with his car. My key of 12 was born !

The site and the YouTube channel bring together hundreds of videos that clearly show how to change shock absorbers, a battery, an air filter, do the level, change the oil… All on different cars, with the aim of achieving the most possible . “We put ourselves in the place of people starting from scratch, we show everything: how to open the hood, lift the car if necessary…”says Théo, who primarily thinks of beginners.

In total, the YouTube channel has more than 18 million views and 100,000 subscribers. “The videos that attract the most are simple repairs, such as replacing light bulbs. Here we also see the most girls: 45%, against an average of 20% on the channel. These small, easy moves are a good first step to gain confidence.”, Theo points out. Depending on the complexity of the case, the Internet user can try to repair it himself. Or, worst case scenario, know what he’s talking about by going to the garage.

There’s still work to be done: Less than a third of French drivers get their hands dirty to fix their vehicle, according to a 2019 BVA survey. On the other hand, 61% of millennials said they wanted to. “ intensify the do it yourself car in the future.

2. I ripped my favorite jeans

According to the research “The reverse of my look” by Ademe, we buy 60% more clothes than fifteen years ago. Worse, we keep them “half as long” † To fight against fast fashion, Blandine Barré has introduced herself recoverable, a textile repair service. Objective: take care of your garment, instead of throwing it in the trash. † The problem is that the repair can cost more than the clothing itself! Our goal is to make it more accessible, to democratize it, so that it becomes a new daily reflex”she explains, often approached by customers who want to restore textiles with emotional value.

The operation is simple: the user makes his offer online. I indicate that I have torn my jeans, the size of the hole, the location, I send a photo and I already see a price appear. † A hole costs between 6 and 15 euros. For a fly, 16 euros”quotes Blandine, whose price range extends from 5 to 50 euros.

If he likes the invoice, the customer sends his package to the Repairable workshop in the Vendée. “Our goal is for the repair to be as invisible as possible. And to send it back, we use the codes of the new ones, which take care of the presentation. †specifies the founder, who wants to set up antenna workshops throughout France to limit the movement of packets. “In any case, it will always have less impact to have your jeans repaired in France than to buy a new one, produced on the other side of the world”the entrepreneur points out. Less energy, less expensive. And the joy of finding his favorite jeans.


3. My washing machine has let me down and I don’t know about it

Instead of replacing it immediately, the startup murfy offers a single package for 85 euros, to send a mechanic home, see if the machine is salvageable. On the spot, once the diagnosis has been made, there are several options. The first: the device reboots, everything is fine. The second: spare parts are necessary, but not expensive, the customer agrees to pay for them. The third: the repairs are too expensive, the customer prefers not to insist. “Half the time it is not necessary to change parts. But if this is the case, and if they are too expensive, we advise the customer to buy a refurbished device from us, 20 to 50% cheaper than the new version, with a voucher for the well-known 85 euros »specifies Guy Pezaku, the founder of the box.


With this solution, Murfy has repaired nearly 100,000 devices since its inception in 2018. And the entrepreneur sees a huge potential market… “Our belief is that the circular economy was like e-commerce thirty years ago. We are going to witness a real transformation in the way we consume, knowing that today less than 10% of consumers call on a professional to fix a household appliance when it breaks.”emphasizes Guy, who wants to offer his services to all items in the house.

4. My computer or household appliance is faulty and I want to try to fix it

“In two-thirds of cases, there is no spare part to replace. All you have to do is take the sock out of the pipe, reconnect it, clean… It costs nothing and you can reboot your device! †, launches Geoffroy Malaterre. This engineer by training founded the company in 2018 spareka† Objective: to help internet users to repair all their devices themselves, thanks to an online diagnosis. “It’s like a shunting yard, a one-stop shop. The exchange with our chatbot is free and allows the user to be redirected to the required section and dedicated video tutorial. For those who do not dare to work alone, we offer a ten-minute video with a technician identifying the cause of the malfunction. If this is very important, the professional will refer the customer to the arrival of a mechanic at home., explains the CEO. Average basket of coins: 40 euros. The site is not only about household appliances, it is also about electronics: changing the screen or the battery of a smartphone… In short, useful for all the glitches of everyday life!

The same observation for Olivier Demontlivault who, after ten years at Darty, established in the central purchasing of accessories and spare parts SOS accessory. On the program of the site there are also: tutorials and diagnostics online, to help the user identify the source of the problem. “My main competitor is the bad reflex we all have to buy and replace, rather than try to fix. This reflex stems from ignorance: we judge it to be too complicated, too long, risky, uncertain, we are afraid of failing. While with a little elbow grease, and in the worst case a 20 euro part, we can extend the life of the machine by several years”raises Olivier who has also designed his tableware for all non-do-it-yourselfers.

In addition to the economy for his wallet and the planet, the person is also proud that he solved the problem himself. And that is priceless!

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