For anyone shopping for refurbished Apple products or looking to have them repaired, there is now a local option based in Leesburg. Experimax, a franchise with locations around the globe, recently opened at 521 E. Market St. in the Bellewood Commons shopping center. Here’s what franchise owner Allen Brown had to say about the venture.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I consider myself “almost native.” I’ve met a lot of people here in Loudoun County who were born and raised here, but most of us were transplants at one time or another. I grew up next door in Fairfax County and graduated from West Springfield High School. My wife and I met and were married in Burke before moving to Loudoun County back in 2000. Did many of the local things — undergraduate degree at George Washington University, master’s degree at Virginia Tech. I’ve been in the technology sector since the mid-1990s, but almost all of that time was spent traveling, whether just to D.C. or hopping on airplanes and flying all over the United States.
Why did you decide to open Experimax and why Leesburg?
Let me answer that backwards: Why Leesburg? I’ve lived in Loudoun County for 20 years now, but I’ve been something of a ghost here in my hometown, because I was always traveling, or at least commuting to Washington, D.C. I’ve never really been a part of the community here and have been anxious to do so. We’ve raised our kids here, and my wife has been integrated into the community for many years now — it was way past time for me to be a part of LoCo! Why Experimax? Well — it’s a combination of a couple of factors: First and foremost, I’ve been a big fan and advocate of Apple products for many years. Their innovation, design and manufacturing quality is just second to none. Second: Well, I’ve been explaining to people that Experimax, while unrelated, is doing to the certified pre-owned computing market what Carmax did to the used car market. In both cases — Experimax and Carmax — they are setting a standard for quality, customer service, reliability and warranty, service accessibility, etc. Everybody else has to sort of raise their standards. So, for used cars — if you want to buy a used car on eBay Motors, those dealers need to match Carmax for price, quality, reliability, etc. For computers, tablets, and smartphones — if you want to buy a MacBook on CraigsList from an individual or even a “mom and pop shop,” those folks need to raise their standards.
What services do you offer?
Obviously we buy, sell, and trade computers, tablets, smartphones and accessories. We focus mostly on Apple, again, because of the quality of the product and the way Apple products hold their value, far better than HP, Toshiba, Dell, etc. But we also service those devices, from cracked iPhone screens, to memory upgrades for an old MacBook and many other things. We also offer pickup and drop-off services for businesses, individuals with health concerns or anybody just looking for that added convenience. For folks that buy their computers from us, we offer a loaner pool, so they can borrow one of ours while theirs is being upgraded or repaired. Finally, we offer proper disposal and recycling of older devices that are cluttering up people’s homes and home offices.
Do you also sell refurbished and new products?
We sell new accessories, but all of our computer devices are certified pre-owned. If you want a brand-new iMac, buy it from Apple. If you want to save about 60% versus new prices, and still have a warranty and a reliable place to bring it back for service and upgrades, buy it from us.
Why do you recommend buying certified pre-owned Apple products?
For starters, Apple has innovated just about every device on the market right now: The iPhone in 2007 was a game-changer, just when everybody thought Motorola would never be toppled. The iPad was a game-changer in 2010 — now, just try checking in at your doctor or dentist’s office without touching an iPad. iMacs and MacBooks are of significantly higher quality than computers manufactured by Dell, Toshiba, and all the other brands. Naturally, these devices all hold their value really well, and their durability ensures that they last for a very long time. Heck, I still have a 2009 MacBook Pro that serves as my backup computer whenever I need a second one, or when I accidentally leave my laptop at the office. Buying certified pre-owned is just smart — you save lots of money, but you still get a high-quality product with years of service still remaining along with a warranty. With many homes having multiple computers for mom, dad and multiple kids, it’s a no-brainer to save thousands by going certified pre-owned.
Any other information to share about Experimax and what you offer to the community?
There is so much we do and do well, but a lot of it is on hold due to COVID-19. For example, we love to set up temporary computer labs as tutoring centers for kids and resume workshops for adults, but those are sort of a no-no during COVID. We’re trying to become something of a community center for typical Mac users, like photographers and artists, musicians, graphic designers and many others. Our showroom closes at 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but we’re trying to use our showroom after-hours to serve the community in other ways. We are good at technology, and we want to use our strengths to serve the community as best we can.