Pricing your product

Here’s a little David Geller-like thing to think about when you
think you are charging too much for your repair services. My wife’s
Volvo developed a problem with the ignition which my regular
mechanic couldn’t fix as the ignition had to come from Volvo in
Sweden. We brought the car into the dealer we had originally
purchased it from. They ordered the part (cost $115.00) and told us
to come back a week later to have it put in. We dropped the car off
the following Wednesday night (after they were closed). On Thursday
morning at 9 am I got a call from them telling me that the work was
done. When I got there they handed me the bill: $270.00!! That
was for, at the most, two hours of work (they start at 7 am). So I
paid $135.00/hour for a car mechanic to work on my car!!! Do any
of you honestly think that a car mechanic has more education about
his field than most of you do? Do any of you honestly think that
what a car mechanic does is worth more than say working on a family
heirloom? Do any of you think that you can produce enough high
quality ring sizings in one hour to get back $135.00 in labor costs
alone (don’t forget we have material costs, too)? Personally, I
went into my store the next day and raised all of our repair charges
(which, mind you, are already much higher than most of you charge)
by another 10-20%.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Daniel & all, Your post really made me smile. I recently had a
plumber fit off my bathroom (fitting taps shower rose, wc etc). He
charged me over $900.00 and it took him less than a day! Why should
we highly skilled artisans be ashamed/afraid to charge the proper
price for our service. I am in the process of setting up a retail
store again (after 5 years of semi-retirement) and have ordered
David Geller’s repair price book. You can bet I won’t be doing any
more cheap repairs!

McLeod’s Jewellers-Goldsmith-Designer
Specialist in hand made jewellery & corporate gifts,
made to order in gold, silver and platinum.

Dear Dan–

of you honestly think that a car mechanic has more education about
his field than most of you do?  Do any of you honestly think that
what a car mechanic does is worth more than say working on a

Heh, well, I doubt anyone’s been killed in a rush hour necklace
crash before. ;D

Seriously though, I doubt the mechanic who’s actually working on the
cars gets anywhere near that much (worked as a tutor once for a
company, got paid $18/hr…thought it was a good deal till I found
out the parents of the teenagers I was tutoring were paying $100+/hr
for me to be there…where did the rest of the money go?). In a way,
that’s a lot like the jewelry thing too, having to consider overhead
costs that get factored into your bill. Rent alone for some
gas/repair places here can hit $10-20,000 a month, though I couldn’t
know what the car dealerships are paying (and I’m not sure if they
have the same degree of liability since they’re not sitting on huge
underground tanks of gasoline). But (like the jewelry thing) for any
business to turn a profit, it’s gotta factor in expenses accordingly
somewhere. And, some businesses like to try to turn more of a profit
than others by taking advantage of people’s lack of knowledge about a
situation (who hasn’t seen discount jewelry ads with unbelieviably
low discounts? that turn out to have shoddy materials, or dull
overvalued stones, etc…).

Honestly, having a bit of secondhand knowledge in in the car repair
biz, it’s a lot better if you can find a mechanic you can trust and
go to regularly than to take your car back to the dealership. Their
prices are insane! And they don’t always fix the problem, either (but
they won’t admit they haven’t until the problem crops up again). :confused:
One of my friends had a car that kept breaking in the exact same way
despite numerous expensive trips to the dealer to get it fixed… :frowning:

Quality workmanship and good customer association are worth it in
any case. :slight_smile: Raise your prices if you’re undercutting yourself, I
say…but you can’t really blame the small potatoes for the hidden
costs of running a business, either. :confused:

–M. Osedo