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Hope everyone is staying safe and keeping busy. With the abundance of free time due to the corona virus lock down, I've acquired a few new repair projects. The question is, with the hyper competitive bidding of sites like ebay, the high fees on many instrument auction houses, and the endless sifting through listings of garbage German or Chinese factory instruments. How do most individual luthiers or shops go about acquiring "profitable" repair projects? I'm sure having a store front and the occasional trade in provides some source of decent instruments in need of some TLC. Any personal stories of interesting instrument acquisitions are welcome, I'm aware most traders or luthiers are not keen on idea of sharing their mystical instrument source
Hi All! I’m at a largish shop, lots of customers coming through, lots of sales. What I have been running into is sales staff giving away workshop services as perks to clients. This in and of itself is not a problem, the luthiers get paid regardless, the problem is that front staff are: 1 desciding what the customer needs without asking the workshop. 2. Selling customers repair jobs based on the sales persons opinion, or what the customers thinks they need. Workshop staff is then expected to conform to what the sales staff promised the customer. I understand that sales is the department that is most “money adjacent” and therefore has their needs prioritized. I also understand that pleasing a customer, even if their request is a little bonkers, is of paramount importance. But isn’t this a little like a car salesperson talking about engine repair? “No problem! We can totally swap your Prius’ engine with a Ferrari!” ”What’s that? You have a flat tire? Well I’m gonna have the boys replace the axels, wheels, tires, and wiper blades. That will definitely fix it!” My actual questions would be: What has been people’s experience concerning who has the last word in situations like this? Has anyone had to deal with a similar situation with sales staff diagnosing instruments? Is this power structure common? Verboten? How could one convince the higher ups to put a stop to this? Needless to say I think anyone who doesn’t have a LOT of the right kind of training should ever try to determine what repairs would be appropriate. And “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” is at play here. Thanks in advance.
I'll be traveling to an event out of state and will have some instruments displayed for sale, and am wondering about best practices for handling sales under these circumstances. This will be the first time for me offering instruments for sale as a maker rather than through a shop. I've heard of issues of difficulty recovering property across some state's borders when someone doesn't pay. I'm also concerned about how best to deal with money without getting swindled with a bad check or something. I'm just more concerned overall about working with strangers out of state as opposed to dealing with locals. Any suggestions on best practices on the financial end of the transaction?