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Ben's Lawn Mower Repair
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431 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yet people still call and leave messages about their riding mowers.

Is it bad that I just ignore (never return) their messages or should I call them back and say that I don't fix 'em.

What is the right thing to do? Should I bother to call them back?
 

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300 Posts
I doubt most consumers understand the difference between a push or self propelled mower and a riding mower, its just a mower.

My vote? You never know when this person could be a customer or even refer you to a friend in the future because you followed-up. In a day and age where 'service with a sneer' is more common than kindness and information, those who show kindness and communicate with potential customers really stand out, in a good way.
 

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459 Posts
Whats the add? Lets see it
 

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Registered
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34 Posts
I've been a self employed PC repair tech for a very long time and run
ads in several local small papers every week. Also repair mowers
when in season, and do residential snowplowing in winter.
I run a lot of ads and get a lot of calls. Sometimes more than I'm
able to handle. People almost always read the first three words or
so of an ad and that's it. I call back people as I'm able but sometimes
they have to wait awhile for a call back. If I am not hammered
with work I will call someone back to let them know I don't handle
what they called about. Most of the time I get voicemail or
nobody answers. I'll leave a message but if no vm I won't call again.
 

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459 Posts
After looking at the add i have come to the conclusion that some people just cant comprehend what they read.

Maybe expand to riders as well? Must be a market for it if people are asking
 

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Certified Technician
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8,420 Posts
just me...id fix the riding mowers and bath in the stash of cash that will surely roll in...

Ive had more riders than ever before, so far this past 6 weeks, and im averaging 1200 bucks profit per week, riders = $$$$
 

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Ben's Lawn Mower Repair
Joined
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431 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
the problem i have is...

1. i don't have the room since i work out of my garage. most people who own ridings do not own a truck/trailer to bring it to me. neither do I. they want me to do a pickup or do a housecall.

2. there isn't enough universality in the parts for me to stock. for example, with walk-behind mowers, I can buy the air filter in bulk (briggs 491588 or something...the flat kind) and not sit on the parts for long.

3. i hate waiting for parts to come in the mail.

4. lastly, with ridings, it isn't enough to just get the motor running. if the tranny or deck or some minor thing is broken, the riding mower is still useless. with walk-behinds, if the motor runs, you are pretty much done.

I guess you can say I 'specialize'.
 

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Certified Technician
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8,420 Posts
oh.

i pretty much stock the flat panel filters, the foam filters, 20, 21 and 22" blades in Murray, MTD and AYP..and 1 common Toro blade.

For riders, I stock 42" AYP, 46" AYP, 42" MTD blades...upper and lower bearings for common ayp, mtd...like 3 bearings.

Then common fuel line, and the 2 common filters.

For carbs, I stock the common briggs 3.5 style diaphragm and gasket set, needle and seat sets for most small inteks and quantum engines...a 5hp Briggs carb overhaul kit, a briggs small 2pc flo-jet overhaul kit...

Briggs and Kohler oil filters (2 part numbers)

Briggs intek short and long style rider air filters, Kohler Courage twin and single air filters, Kohler command twin and single air filters...

RB21 carb kit, K20WAT carb kit...covers most common carbs for 2 strokes.

6616 and 6617 fuel lines, and ROT4996 filters...fits MOST 2 stroke equipment

All told, Id bet I dont have over 300 dollars in inventory....and I can store it all on a small desk in rubbermaid containers, and a few nails in the wall for blades to hang on.

I make 1 order a week from STENS and 1 order a week from parts tree, this covers replenishing my stock, and special ordering stuff...if people cant wait up to 1 week for their parts, they can go elsewhere and wait a month...

Service a rider...lets say a LT1000 sears..with an intek Twin...
Change the oil, oil filter, fuel filter, plugs, air filter, blades (46"), clean it, level the deck, and out the door.

Parts cost about..35 dollars, or less...and it takes about 45 minutes tops to do it all, charge is $65 labor plus about $70 for parts, total with tax...about 145 dollars...

Thats the sweet spot....

PLUS..if it needs belts, you put em on your order pad, and lets say, every monday you order...so you order a PTO belt, pay 7 bucks for it + shipping (break up shipping over xx parts) and charge 20 for it, charge 20 to put it on, etc. etc...

Its good money and honestly not alot of parts, and not alot of work....but the beauty is, when it becomes "work"...like..Doing upper and lower drive belts on an MTD rider, you charge for it, heavily. People will pay it, because most shops back-burner those jobs because that dont have the patience for it.
 

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187 Posts
I doubt most consumers understand the difference between a push or self propelled mower and a riding mower, its just a mower.

My vote? You never know when this person could be a customer or even refer you to a friend in the future because you followed-up. In a day and age where 'service with a sneer' is more common than kindness and information, those who show kindness and communicate with potential customers really stand out, in a good way.
:ditto:
 

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Keeper of the bees
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2,409 Posts
We are on a bunch of honey bee swarm removal list in many different places like county aminal control, county extention office and USDA office plus regional clubs listings.

Every year we get calls to remove bees from buildings. Most times they are wasps(yellow Jackets) I make a bunch of money off those calls and If it really is Honey bees in a house We refur them to a friend who does homes.
We charge a $25.00 service call to check out what they really have. It is refunded in the charge to remove the yellow jackets. Honey bees we do free and refund the service charge.

Buying honey bees today is expencive. I have a different color print of the ads that says we don't do homes. People call cause they don't have a clue where to find some one that can help them. Which we do.

Moral I guess is to get the name of some one good and refur the person with the rider to them. I'm sure some days the phone will ring all day long.
 

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Premium Member
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5,415 Posts
Maybe change your name to Ben's Push Mower Repair Service: Specializing in walk behind lawn mowers? Well most people still wouldn't read it probably LOL

I like your system Red :fing32:
 

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Registered
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1,112 Posts
oh.

i pretty much stock the flat panel filters, the foam filters, 20, 21 and 22" blades in Murray, MTD and AYP..and 1 common Toro blade.

For riders, I stock 42" AYP, 46" AYP, 42" MTD blades...upper and lower bearings for common ayp, mtd...like 3 bearings.

Then common fuel line, and the 2 common filters.

For carbs, I stock the common briggs 3.5 style diaphragm and gasket set, needle and seat sets for most small inteks and quantum engines...a 5hp Briggs carb overhaul kit, a briggs small 2pc flo-jet overhaul kit...

Briggs and Kohler oil filters (2 part numbers)

Briggs intek short and long style rider air filters, Kohler Courage twin and single air filters, Kohler command twin and single air filters...

RB21 carb kit, K20WAT carb kit...covers most common carbs for 2 strokes.

6616 and 6617 fuel lines, and ROT4996 filters...fits MOST 2 stroke equipment

All told, Id bet I dont have over 300 dollars in inventory....and I can store it all on a small desk in rubbermaid containers, and a few nails in the wall for blades to hang on.

I make 1 order a week from STENS and 1 order a week from parts tree, this covers replenishing my stock, and special ordering stuff...if people cant wait up to 1 week for their parts, they can go elsewhere and wait a month...

Service a rider...lets say a LT1000 sears..with an intek Twin...
Change the oil, oil filter, fuel filter, plugs, air filter, blades (46"), clean it, level the deck, and out the door.

Parts cost about..35 dollars, or less...and it takes about 45 minutes tops to do it all, charge is $65 labor plus about $70 for parts, total with tax...about 145 dollars...

Thats the sweet spot....

PLUS..if it needs belts, you put em on your order pad, and lets say, every monday you order...so you order a PTO belt, pay 7 bucks for it + shipping (break up shipping over xx parts) and charge 20 for it, charge 20 to put it on, etc. etc...

Its good money and honestly not alot of parts, and not alot of work....but the beauty is, when it becomes "work"...like..Doing upper and lower drive belts on an MTD rider, you charge for it, heavily. People will pay it, because most shops back-burner those jobs because that dont have the patience for it.
I knew a guy who used to own a small engine repair place. When he first started out, whenever he ordered something, he would order about 5-10 extra, depending on the price. You go to his shop and he had a back room full of almost any part you could imagine. The first year or so it made him broke, but in the long run he made out pretty good being able to get repairs done quickly.
 

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Registered
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6,980 Posts
1. People are lazy and are used to instant gratification.
2. People are often on some form of caffeine and read through an ad too fast.
3. Like said above they just read the top of the ad.
I have some long detailed ads on CL for mower parts. Say for example I list parts from Briggs 22&24hp Intek engines I'm taking apart. I clearly list that one block is cracked and the other block has a large chunk out of one cylinder wall. I still get calls asking how much I want for the running 24hp Intek engine. Sometimes I will tell them well the block is cracked. Other times I have tried stating "well the ad says the engine block is cracked" and sometimes the caller will take a reply like that as me being a smartalek stating something they could have read themselves if they read the entire ad. Some days you never win no matter what you do.
 

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Premium Member
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3,081 Posts
Maybe change your name to Ben's Push Mower Repair Service: Specializing in walk behind lawn mowers? Well most people still wouldn't read it probably LOL

I like your system Red :fing32:
Makes me think of a store I saw last year. I presume they must have gotten enough requests over time to justify the "adjustment".

Store name, in big letters:

JUST OIL

And below that, in smaller letters:

And Propane
 

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Super Moderator
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13,360 Posts
All I can say about space is that you get more creative over time to use more space as you get more stuff. The more space you use the more organization that you have to have a continue to use the space and in your case make more money because you have more space.

Now I am certainly not in the mower repair business but I do have lots of stuff. In a single car garage you can comfortably fit up to 4 riding mowers..... and 6 for storage believing it or not :) that is in conjunction with tools, tool boxes, and three benches and two sets of shelving and a fold up table saw....

I will agree with everyone else no body reads squat anymore..... I had a craigslist ad for 318 parts and it clearly stated I did not have a hood, seat, or tail lights.... what do you think most people are looking for... a hood, seat and tail lights. I had one dude email me three times in a month looking for tail lights. I thought about going down to Deere buying a whole set up and selling them to him.... (at a nice profit of course, he always said he had money, haha)
 

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Certified Technician
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8,420 Posts
My whole shop is 16X20...I had 4 saws apart, a simplicity broadmoor with the rear fender and tank out, a yard machine rider for service, and 2 Echo Augers...and I had loads of room to move around and get things done this morning..and thats with a 15 foot bench thats 3 feet deep, 3 tool boxes, a racing kart up against one way, a smaller bench for inventory, a WH 702, a table saw, oxy/ace outfit, a mig welder, 20ton press...and a roll cart...lol
 
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