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LeeWardle

Domestic machine repeairs.....

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Hi all,

 

As some of you may know I'm a coffee machine engineer. I've been lucky enough to work with most types of commercial espresso machine/beans to cup (authourised Jura technichian) /grinders and domestic espresso/beans to cup machines. (ranginf from Gaggia's/Silvias/Solis/Krups/Francis-Francis etc. etc.

 

My question is this:

 

If I were to start my own business repairing domestic kit is there a market for it? I wouldn't be charging loads and loads, and certainly cheaper than Gaggia. How comfortable are people with sending their machines via courier/Mail to be repaired?

 

I'd love to do this as a P/T business but as I'd need a small amount of capital for spares & insurence I'd like to get an idea if it would work!

 

Discuss! ;):)


Coffee consultant, barista trainer & technician based in North Devon!

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Yes there is a market for it.

 

The keys to success (as I see them) are;

Being able to source parts for most popular machines - but having access to parts for a machine other service agents cannot readily access

Having a good, cheap, reliable courier service

Having a track and trace online service (so people can see what stage their service is at)

Offering a warranty for the machine post-service (eg a 3 month return to base warranty)

 

Just a few points to consider. Hope this helps


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Before joining this forum I would have either sent a broken machine to the shop/manufacturers or scrapped it. With our throwaway culture, the repairs can exceed the purchase of a new machine.

 

My perception is now different and would consider such a service as yourselves, but I'm not sure about the general public.


Still learning on... Gaggia TS, Cunill Tauro, PTM Tamper, Motta Tamping Stand and Knock Box, Gaggia Milk Jug and fresh beans!

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Thanks both. Parts are easy. I have lots of contact with many manufacturers/distributers. Glad you mentioned a warrenty. Of course any works would be warrented for 3 months, purchased parts come with a warrently anyway. It does get sticky somethimes because it's quite easy for a customer who has no real knowlege to attribute any further unrelated faults to you because you were the last to fix it! I'm confident enough in my abilitly to offer one anyway. Courier service is a struglle, although I know business post offer about £7 for upto 20k (any size) so thats pretty good. I'm not sure whether to have a customer organise for the machine to be delivered or I organise a 3rd party collection/re-delivery and include this in the final invoice?

 

Not sure where to stary with a track and trace service...I suppose a simple website and then give them a login which takes them to a dedicated page on their repair, including a schedule of work and costs etc. including a PayPal link?

 

I suppose I could just buy a bit of banner space on here and test the water? Might be good to get a few satisfied testimonials? I can gather some commercial tesimonials eitherway for previous customers.

 

The truth of the matter is I have repaired more domestic machines than I can count and generally there are really simple fixes and charging loads is simply not on!

 

Lee


Coffee consultant, barista trainer & technician based in North Devon!

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Call me! 07455 188935

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Lee, purely from a consumer point of view, the biggest hassle of sending anything away for repair is packing it and arranging courier delivery. That said, I don't think that there's any real alternative to what you have suggested - customer gets the machine to you - you arrange for return. If you arrange the collection from customer - who packs it so poorly that the machine gets damaged in transit - who is responsible? If the customer has the responsibility to get the machine to you safely, you don't get involved in any negotiations between him and the courier if things go wrong.

Once your business takes off, whatever carrier you use should be offering you discounts, and if you recommend their services on your site, this may even lead to an increase in discount! As a client, I would welcome a page on the website with advice on how to pack, and links to appropriate couriers with prices, and possibly even a reference number for the job before I send in the machine.

For some of your lighter repairs, you might like to check out myhermes.com, who offer tracked door to door, with a price of £8.21 (inc VAT) for up to 15Kg (their max) - but start at around £4. I've used them very successfully recently.

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Thank you vintagecigarman! Some interesting suggestions. Good idea on listing carriers and packing advice. I suppose anything to take the pain away is good thing! Work is scarily busy at the mo but I will start making some progress with these ideas!

Lee


Coffee consultant, barista trainer & technician based in North Devon!

Email me! Tweet me!

Call me! 07455 188935

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