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not listening

#1  – They don’t listen to me.

They forget that I’ve been repairing appliances for over fifty years and they still ignore my advice.

I fervently try to keep them out of trouble but they defy me and continue to do stupid things that cost them time and money. If they would just listen things would be so much better, so the number one mistake is not being a good listener.

#2  – They don’t charge enough for their services.

Guys have the mistaken idea that by being cheap they’re going to have a lot of business, well they’re half right; by being cheap they’ll have a lot of business but by being cheap they’re quickly going to go out of business because they won’t make any money.

This business is not about how much you charge, it’s about how fast you can get there and how accurately you can repair appliances.

You must charge full price for your services.

#3 – They repair appliances that should not be repaired.

The most important thing in this business is knowing when to fold your cards and walk away from a job.

Guys get all caught up in the concept of ‘I can fix anything, just let me at it!’ Well they’re completely foolish because proving that you can fix anything doesn’t prove that you can make money. It just proves that you’ve got a big ego that’s getting in your way.

Learn to say no.

Samsung Warranty

#4 – Soliciting factory work, warranty work and insurance work.

This is work that falls on you, they think that if they hook up with Sears or Lowe’s or Samsung that they’re gonna get a ton of work and make a ton of money. Well again they are half right; they certainly will get a ton of work but they will make no money.

They will chase their tails running all over the county for half of what they should make and then on top of that they are gonna have one heck of a problem collecting the money that they have sorely earned.

Stay away from warranty work; it’s a loser!

#5 – I want to get my EPA Certification so I can do system work.

What a huge mistake, only super specialists do system work and even then they only do high end brands like Subzero.

You will lose your fanny trying to make money doing system work on typical five hundred dollar or eight hundred dollar refrigerators; your call backs are going to be fifty percent (50%) of the work you do and you will make no money. Leave system work to the specialist; collect your service charge and walk away from the job.

Don’t do system work!

Feedback Welcome!

Who agrees or disagrees with me on these five mistakes that newbies and some pros (believe it or not) make when starting and operating an appliance repair business. Surely one of you has a nightmare story about never getting paid on warranty work by the factory. Or regretting that you ever started what turned into a nightmare job.

3 comments on “5 Biggest Mistakes When Starting Your Repair Business”

  1. Real Dude says:

    Uncle Harry,
    If I overcharge my customers, I’ll never get customers asking for a 2nd or 3rd service call. How can I determine a reasonable charge for my customers if I’ve never operated an appliance repair business before, and I don’t know anyone in the business? Wouldn’t I be better off low-balling the charges until I gain a bunch of experience? Then, I can start charging top dollar because I will be able to complete the calls quickly.
    Real Dude

  2. Uncle Harry says:

    Real dude,
    The pattern is guys in small town succeed much more easily than those in big cities. The competition in small-town is usually fat and lazy. Competitors often turn away a huge amount of work because they don’t want to be bothered. Small-town customers are forced to wait several days to a week and pay for a large company to come for many miles away and pay high prices. Operating a professional responsive business in a small town gradually closes up any competitors. I have seen this happen numerous times. It is very easy and revealing for a guy in a small town to Google appliance repair in his area and check the reviews. Most of the time the competitors have poor to mediocre reviews (or no website at all). Consequently a class act quickly grows with referrals. This business is seldom about pricing, it is all about good service. As to being conceited, perhaps, but I have been doing this for 50 years and have learned a few things. If you followed a few of my suggestions you might make a lot more money.

  3. Could Be Anybody says:

    I just read this page and it really struck note.

    My business is relatively new and I signed up for warranty work from one of the large manufacturers and you’re exactly right. I’ve been busy, but it’s always a half hour drive out of town, then a second (unpaid) trip with parts, since it’s not possible to stock parts anymore.

    There is such a huge number of different fan motors and igniters and any other part you can name, and the claim will be denied unless you have purchased the exact correct part number. There’s no such thing as putting in an evaporator fan motor that fits and works well, since without the right part number, I don’t get paid.

    This means that a 20 mile drive is actually 100 miles, since it’s 2 round trips to the customer and another to the parts distributor.

    I’m seriously considering cancelling my warranty agreement. It’s just not profitable.

    Thanks for the eye-opener.

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