Question for all you Brass Techs.... Price check on aisle one please---

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Osren, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Well, I learned the hard way to not do work without a price AND authorization. If you asked for a quote before the work was to be done, you could argue that you never authorized the work! You'd have to probably find a new tech though.
  2. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Sorry Mason I missed the "to save money" bit in you post.

    However if I need wiper blades I can get them over the counter if I prefer to install them myself. I don't know how easy it is to get felts over there but I know where I can get them easily and do the job myself if I want so the siituation doesn't arise. In actual fact my two techs who I use most either give me bits and peices like felts and corks because we have become friends in one case and the other has a pretty standard charge for any work which can seem pricey for some jobs and damned cheap for others.

    I agree with you and I am sorry for missing a bit of your post there was no insult intended I just did not see your saving money reference
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    As an aside, most autoparts stores will install batteries and wiperblades for free! I let them do it. Doesn't make me feel inferior in the least.
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Ain't no way I quote except in a competitive bid where I've the opportunity for a complete actual inspection. Otherwise such is an estimate with nor legal binding that I'll perform the work ... but if you want me to estimate, it is still going to cost you a minimum of $60.00 (my hourly rate) and perhaps much more depending on how much time it will take, and additionally there is mileage and per diem expenses. One of my good friends was (now deceased) was a major contractor and after looking at the plans and inspecting the property would not bid. Another contactor did and went "belly up" finding the additional expense that he'd have to sub-contract the excavation to an explosive expert and then construct a massive retaining wall simply because he had not had a geology report prior to his bid, which my friend had done. The notice of this is that I do nothing for others without thorough inspection and I don't expect others to neglect to do so either. When I send an instrument for service, cleaning is always first phase of any work that is be done. Follow that with thorough inspection.
  5. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    That sort of work can be time consuming, but most of the time is in waiting, soaking, heating (avoid burning lacquer) soaking, waiting. Corks and felts are not real expensive... but one must buy 100 at a time to get them that way. I would think a minimum charge for the shop should cover it whatever that is....
  6. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011

    I used to have a retail sign shop in Queen Creek. I would get people all the time wanting a quote over the phone and I would refuse since there are far too many variables. Additionally, the kind of customer that calls for a "price check" is usually a cheap bastard that ALWAYS ends up being a huge pain in the a$$.
    It's hard to close a deal on the phone with a tire kicker, so I only give estimates to people actually I actually meet.

    So, how much do YOU charge for a ultrasonic cleaning?

    If I had a trumpet shop I would just tell you the shop rate... $75/hr billed in 15 minute blocks. I would then say that a stuck slide could take 3 days or 30 seconds. Gotta see it. It may have to soak for a day in penetrating oil, then heat, then pull, then repeat 3-4 times. Cheap Yamaha student horns may need a part replacement. Ya gotta see it.

    I would seriously mark up just parts for a DIY guy (the corks and felts). The guys is running a business. He has to pay rent and overhead from the PROFIT he makes... and if there is any money left he can buy groceries and take a salary. What's in it for him to sell you his parts so you can do it yourself??

    People used to come into my store and want to buy blank 24x18 coroplast yard signs so they can make their own. They thought I would charge them 99¢ or something. Bzzzzt... no way. Yes, a sheet (4x8 feet) costs $10 and yields 10 pieces of 18x24. But that is just the cost of the materials. I have a minimum quantity to buy. No one buys ONE sheet. 25-100 pieces is more the normal. It takes time to buy them. Gotta call supplier, place the order, make payment... then deal with the delivery guy (or, god forbid... I have to pick it up!).. then arrange for storing the material. Now I have to cut it into pieces. I need a huge table, knives, rulers (or a $5000 CNC cutter!). It costs me $30 an hour just to stay open. How long can I mess with your 99¢ order and make a profit.

    Get to know your brass guy. Find out what he likes. Maybe it is pizza or single malt scotch. Who knows. Then hook him up now and then out of the blue. He'll then be alot more willing to help you putz with low margin jobs now and then.

    Just remember, he is trying to make a living, and you are the guy that wants to take his high margin work from him (the cleanings) and buy his parts to DIY. He will generally not like seeing you pull into the parking lot.

    Quit trying to make money flipping cheap horns. When you try and flip a $150 horn then a $50 repair is a tough sell. When it is a $800 horn you can swing some little things alot easier.

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