I can relate to this thread quite a bit. I am in a heavy union
industry city about 1 hr N of Indianapolis, IN. Crap is King here!!
But I have made a fortune repairing crap! I used to put in 80+ hours
a week, for years and years. I had a reputation as the best deal in
town for price and skill level. But I found that I was becoming less
and less profitable, the more I tried to compete with the Wallyworld
and Service Merch. type places, in sales of finished goods. Little
guys can’t get past the ‘percieved value’ mindset that the big
companies have instilled in todays consumer. And, you can’t afford to
advertise enough to change their mind , even if you have the absolute
best price in town on everything in your store and shop.
Here are a few things to consider.
(1) I capitalized on the very thing that makes jewelry what it
is-emotion, sentiment,romance,etc… Everytime someone walks in your
door with another piece of ‘modern junk’ thats sold as ‘FINE
JEWELRY’, always remember that the likelyhood of it being a gift to
them is very high, so don’t be afraid to
(2) charge enough for your time, including the time it takes to sell
them on the repair, process the paperwork, and deliver the job back
to them when they come in to pickup, besides the time it takes to
actually do the repair job.
(3) Leave ‘repairman’s pride’ out of your menu of repairs that you
do.Unprofitable, difficult jobs are just that- UNPROFITABLE AND
DIFFICULT. If you give your time away, doing unprofitable jobs, you
won’t have time to think straight when the good jobs come your
way.'Problem jobs=problem customers=problem profits!
(4) Don’t hesitate to send problem customers, or unprofitable
situations, to your competitor. Believe me, Wallyworld sends them
out the door everyday, after their ‘highly skilled teenager’ tells
the customer it cant be repaired.
(5) Never throw ‘mud’ at your competitors via the customer, such as
Wally or the mall type chain stores, because he is who will send alot
of people your way, and then you can pick and choose the profitable
jobs you want.
(6) Other than the simplest of repairs, i.e. batteries,
jumprings,etc… try to take items in for repair, as much as
possible, because a repair customer will pay drastically more if
they think it took more time by the ‘highly skilled’ jeweler,than if
you walked over to the bench, gave it a twist with a tool and handed
it back. Remember, what is simple and normal to you is 'mysterious’
and emotional to them.
By keeping these simple little concepts in mind, I have managed to
create so much profitable repair business, that I haven’t spent a
dime on advertising in over 10 years, I am only open 4 days a week,
so that I have enough time to handle all of the jobs that Wally and
the mall send my way. I’m backlogged minimum 2 weeks or more year
round. I get ‘premo’ price out of nearly every job that passes in
front of me. And I am still considered the ‘the best deal in town’!
And best of all, I still love the jewelry business that I have been
in since I was 12 years old. I’m the luckiest guy in the world,
because everyday, I get to do what I love, and send the bad stuff