Watch Repair Prices

How much should a watch repair cost is a hard thing to judge.

There are many factors you need to take into consideration that another business like a clothes shop would not think about. Here are just a few.

The obvious first which applies to all businesses

  • Rent / Mortgage on your shop
  • Taxes
  • Cost of the parts
  • Time taken to do the repair
  • The amount of money you need to live on

Now for some less obvious

  • Time spent doing the quote (quotes are often free of charge but all the time the shop is costing you money)
  • Time spent with the customer. When doing a repair you generally have to speak to them at least twice, often 3 or more times, and each time you are loosing valuable repair time
  • The cost of the watch. Is it is fair to charge more for an expensive watch? YES as these have a risk to you. If something goes wrong while it is in your care you could end up seriously out of pocket. Even if your insurance pays you will end up paying higher premiums in the future.
  • Is the repair going to work. Sometimes you cannot be certain that the repair is going to be successful before you start the job. If it is not going to work then you loose hours which no-one pays for except yourself
  • The chance of the watch becoming a Return. Watch parts are guaranteed by the warehouses but actually getting them to accept that it is not the customers fault or your own is nigh on impossible. Always have enough profit to cover this eventually.
  • How many years are you going to be able to keep repairing. I have noticed my eyesight is changing (37 years old) and if i have to retire early because i can’t do the job anymore I have to be able to live afterwards.
  • Time is precious. It doesn’t physically cost you but time wasted will hurt your business

Now the most important

  • You are doing this as a business not a charity so you must make a profit

Saying all that you need to get a balance ( a very fine line ) between being too cheep and too expensive.

  • Charge too little and you just get the really cheap watches which are more problematic and you don’t make much money
  • Charge too much and you limit you customer base and you loose all the normal everyday watches which outnumber the expensive ones

I have personally worked in places which have charged their customers at both extremes (from 6 up to 30 pounds a battery to another place with a flat rate of 1.50 pounds) and the owners of both businesses lived a very similar and comfortable lifestyle.

A sliding scale depending on the cost of the watch does work except if you don’t charge the same the next time they bring the same watch back you may upset the customer. Currently we charge for the type of watch back. Clip off backs one price, Screw off and watches with 4 screws another and another price for watches with lots of screws. This seams to work well and is easy to explain.
Always a little on the cheep side I feel is best as this way you still make good profit yet get a desirable reputation for being fair and professional.

You are not just selling something like clothing so a set markup is not applicable also you are providing a service that is quite special. In a large town there maybe 10 car repair garages employing a total of 50 to 80 mechanics while in the same town there maybe only 2 or 3 proper watch repairers. This guide on its own will not teach you enough to class yourself as a horologist but will put you in a different league to the battery fitters and high street jewellers. What I am trying to say is value the knowledge you have and always try to do the best job that you can and you can create a good profitable business providing you get your pricing right.

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