local repair shop gouging on repair costs. owner's mental health in question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by saxophonist56, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    I used to own and operate a retail sign shop... My rent was $3000 a month, plus all the overhead stuff like electricity, insurance, computers, software, equipment, consumables. I had to clear on average about $6500-7000 a month just for the honor of running a business. If my average profit margin on a job was 40% then I had to have $17000 in sales to clear enough profit to cover those fixed expenses. Running a business is a ball buster of a responsibility!

    If it weren't for school and institutional bulk jobs I don't see how an instrument repair guy can make a living off walk in retail customers. Especially the the kind that want to yelp him for charging $5 for something! That guy could be PAYING $50+ an hour to keep the lights on, so what does spending 15 minutes on your $5 job cost him? He LOST money!

    Go to your car mechanic and see what THEY charge. Those guys have the repair shop business model figured out. They even whack you for "shop supplies" and "waste disposal" based on a percentage of your total bill. It's just a pure markup disguised as a fake fee.

    If you want an instrument guy available in your community then you woudl be smark to support them so they can stay in business.
  2. gbshelbymi

    gbshelbymi Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 3, 2013
    Travelers Rest, SC
    You're really complaining about a business that you voluntarily went to for help actually charging you for that service? And $5.00 at that? Wow...
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Am curious what Ivan might have to say.
  4. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    I've a feeling I can guess the gist of it.
  5. eviln3d

    eviln3d Pianissimo User

    Jun 5, 2013
    Could it be that your town only has one music store? I know where I grew up prices went up dramatically when the only other music store closed down... it took a few years but eventually someone opened another one and the prices slowly started to come back to reality.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    This sounds like what Garrison Keiller describes as "small town socialism." One buys local, although Walmart is way cheaper, because nobody from Walmart is in the Volunteer Fire Department or teaches Sunday School. The rule of thumb seems to be that if we buy our horns locally, we'll find that the local owner/technician will give us tremendous discounts on repair costs.

    Keep in mind all that technicians can produce only 2/3rds of "fast" "good" and "cheap."
  7. saxophonist56

    saxophonist56 Piano User

    Apr 12, 2013
    modesto ca 95350

    actually there's a better repair shop just around the corner.....
    he didn't even see the guitar in question. obviously he just works on horns.
  8. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I can relate to this post. Running a legitimate business (and not just operating out a basement) is brutally expensive.
  9. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    BTW ....... I should announce that the area that I live in (Southern Oregon) has just lost the only two band instrument techs that worked for the schools and the music stores. Actually, another tech, just north of here in Grants Pass also is no longer working. The owner of the music store here in town is desperate for a tech .... and asked me if I knew of anyone who might want to move here and fill this void (I don't know why he'd think that I would know).

    In any event, there is one fairly sizeable void in Southern Oregon for this service. Luckily for me, I know the guy who just retired (Doug, he's great .... fixed my Severinsen to perfection), and he's still fixing things for a few certain clients around the valley (a few of the teachers). He's recorking my saxes for me as I type, because he's still working for my teacher. Anyone even remotely interested could send me a PM and I can give you more info.

  10. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Think of what it took to get your felts.

    1. The repair tech has to order them and pay for shipping.
    2. The tech has to have them in stock for when you want them (or you'll complain about turn around times)
    3. The tech has to know what kind of felt to use. Too thick or thin and it is out of alignment. Some people also care about colour matching.
    4. The tech has to stop working on someone elses horn to do your quick fix. This costs him money. He likely gets paid by the horn, and doing your felts won't net him any money.
    5. Like people above have said, he has to pay wages, utilities, rent etc. If he just charged every customer for parts he would be out of business so fast that you would be posting here asking where to find a repair shop.

    Repair techs are not getting rich. This is not gouging. They need to eat and feed their families.
    Would you play a gig for $5 if you had to rehearse, drive to the gig, and supply the pa?

    Why on earth would you bring in just a piston? I get customers like that every other week, and I always have to send them home to get the instrument unless I know exactly what they need. It isn't worth my reputation to sell them a part that they can't install, or doesn't fit because they didn't tell me exactly what they had, or show me what they needed.

    In regards to the 3rd valve cost. You don't know what they did to fix it. It could have required unsoldering, which then would require the time to prep the parts and then clean that area of the horn after it was finished. They could have also flexed the slide back in to alignment, in which case they may have also had to tweak the 3rd valve casing to deal with any distortions there.

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