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How should I handle this?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by kwelz, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. kwelz

    kwelz Well-Known Member

    There is a local dealer who has done some work on my guns in the past. We have always had a good relationship but now there is a problem.

    I asked him to cut 5 Uzi Mags for use in an AR15. This was back in late May. He finally got them done this last week and I went by to get them on Friday. He was not in but the guy that worked for him was. He called the owner to find out the total and was told $75.00. :eek:

    His reasoning is that he had to buy new Cutting dies. My thoughts on this is that
    A: if he did not have the tools to do the work he should not have taken the job.
    B: He should have let me know he was going to have to purchase new tools and informed me this would increase the cost.

    Am I being unreasonable here? 15 bucks per mags seems like a Lot for the machining work that needs to be done.
  2. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Did you get an estimate from him before turning over your items for him to work on? He should stick by his estimate or inform you before the price increase, but only if you got an estimate first.

    It is normal practice for a company to roll the price of specially made tools into the first order requiring those tools. Companies who make custom coins, etc do this. In your first order they include a price hike for the dies, then subsequent orders after that are cheaper.
  3. ambidextrous1

    ambidextrous1 Well-Known Member

    Buying cutting tools is the "cost of doing business" for a 'smith. Over the long term, he'll (hopefully) turn a profit, and the tools of his trade will be purchased with the money he receives from his clents.

    If he's trying to recoup his tooling costs from this one job, that's unreasonable, because those tools will be useful for future jobs. If your job price includes purchase of tooling, then the purchased tooling should be delivered to you upon completion of the job.

    I'd suggest that you ask him for an itemized description of the pricing for your job - just to see what you're paying for.
  4. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    I'm also curious if you had an agreed-upon price before you shook on the deal. If so, he needs to man up and honor the original price.

    If you didn't have a set price before handing over the mags, well, shame on you. But, he should have explained that he didn't have the correct tooling to do the work before he accepted the mags.

    Even if it is standard procedure to include the price of purchasing specialty tooling in the price of the first order done with that tooling, if the customer isn't notfied of that first, it's bad business IMHO.
  5. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    No. The need to purchase the tool definitely should have been disclosed. And if he is charging you fulll price for the tool, then that tool belongs to you when the job is completed.

    I turn wrenches for a living. I don't bill my customers when I have to buy a special too to complete the job. It is my responsibilty to be properly equipped. I have many expensive tools that have only been used once or twice and will never pay for themselves. That is offset by the ones that are used with great frequency.

    If they do intend to charge him for the special tool, they need to disclose that and turn over the tool to him after the job is completed so that he may have the opportunity to recoup some of the cost. That, or come to an agreement about him paying a certain percentage of the tool cost based on the potential for that tool to be used in the future.
  6. kwelz

    kwelz Well-Known Member

    No we did not have an agreed upon price when I dropped the mags off. Yes I should have however he has always treated me very fairly and I had no reason to think this case would be any different. I am going in there Tuesday to speak to him in person in the hopes that we can come to an agreement. I didn't once complain to him that it took 3 month to do the work, and I really do feel a bit betrayed that he is trying to charge me so much for it.
  7. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 Well-Known Member

    If you didn't get an agreed upon price before hand, I'd say you have learned a lesson. While it may b high to you, you have said he always treats you fairly and have no reason to think otherwise this time yet still dispute the cost. ??? You're paying for his time and if new tools are needed some of the cost for that as well. Raise to big of a stink and you might just pay for it later on on something else. To me $15 per doesn't sound that bad.
  8. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Well-Known Member

    I'd pay the $75, move on and learn from the experience. The time wasted trying to fight it would not be worth it to me. Well, I'd briefly argue with the guy, but I wouldn't waste too much time. You should have gotten a written agreement that indicated the price, a description of the work and an estimated time of completion. The good news is that it's only $75, and you will be getting magazines out of the deal. For comparison, I bought some OEM 10-round magazines for my Saiga 308 for over $15 each.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  9. kwelz

    kwelz Well-Known Member

    I guess it just goes to show you can't trust anyone. The part that makes me mad is that I am not "getting" the mags out of this. I already own the Mags. He was just supposed to cut them. I guess I should have spent an hour months ago to do it myself.
  10. kd7nqb

    kd7nqb Well-Known Member

    I think its certainly worth a conversation with him. I would be willing to bet he works with you a little bit.

    On the other hand I am NEVER surprised by what gun smithing costs.
  11. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    Did you get an estimate from him before turning over your items for him to work on?

    If you said "do this" and didn't ask what it costs I feel you just have to pay up and move on.
  12. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Just how many requests to cut UZI magazines to fit an AR-15 do you suppose a gunsmith will get? The OP didn't get an estimate, the gunsmith charged him what it would cost him to do the job in materials. Seems perfectly acceptable to me.
  13. Kindrox

    Kindrox Well-Known Member

    If your job required him to buy something and he wants to charge you for it, then you own it. Get it from him and take it with you.
  14. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Well-Known Member

    Personally, I'd have had him give me an estimate BEFORE the work was done, and then I'd have expected him to stick by the estimate he originally gave me. I can't honestly say what it would cost to do such work, so I'd settle on a price prior to asking someone to do it for me. Just my thoughts.
  15. PandaBearBG

    PandaBearBG Well-Known Member

    Agreed with the guys above, get a detailed itemized list and if he factored in the total cost of the tools then you should get the tools too. I do think it a bit shady that he didn't have the hardware to do it and did not inform you and that it took so long too.
  16. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    Short version:

    Ask for an explanation.
    Negotiate down, citing the undisclosed price of tooling. Even let him know that, without having known it up front, you feel you thought it safe to assume he had that, and don't feel you should pay for them.
    Pay the negotiated price.
    Keep that in mind next time.

    If he won't let you negotiate down, pay it, let him know you're unhappy, and go somewhere else after this.

    If he's been good to you so far, and you enjoy a good relationship with him, he'll probably let you talk him down anyway, but I, personally, might return to him, with the explicit demand of an itemized and written estimate up front.
  17. peyton

    peyton Well-Known Member

    Yep, you bought the cutting tool, take your tool, your magazines and find another gunsmith. Or, pay the bill and live with it, in my mind I would smile pay the bill, keep your friend and gunsmith. Relationships are few and far between, I would not throw a friendship away over $75.00.
  18. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Well-Known Member

    Trouble is...the Gunsmith would throw-away-a-friendship for "$75.00" though...

    So...there's a rub...

    Anyway...I've made my Living in my Workshop for a long time...I've never charged a Customer for New Tools I felt I wanted or needed to do their Job.

    If I spent $300.00 for Tools to do a "$35.00 Job" I wanted to do right...the 'Bill' would be "$35.00".

    Tooling is my look-out, not my Customer's problem or liability.

  19. loop

    loop Well-Known Member

    I spent many years turning a wrench so I do most of my own smithing.

    When something is beyond my ability or equipment I have a smith I use. We've built a good relationship and while most people wait 30 days or more for their work, mine is usually done within 48 hours and at a very reasonable price.

    One time he did really poor work and charged me far too much.

    I paid what he asked, but now I am a little more specific about what I want done and how much he will charge.

    He knows I wasn't pleased with the one job because I've mentioned it wasn't up to HIS usual standards.

    But, I still get my guns back in 24 to 48 hours and now pay even more reasonable prices - not mention many little freebies (I just installed this extended safety and it hits the grip and I just don't have the right equipment to take this little edge off - done while I wait free of charge).

    It is better to have friends than enemies - even of your friends cost you a bit from time to time...

    That said, I never charged a customer for the tools to do the job. If I had to buy tools I spent my own money and they were my tools.

    IMHO, I'd pay the price and complain about the time frame. I would compliment the work and ask it it isn't possible I could get service work done a bit more promptly in the future.

  20. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    I am also a tradesman (automotive technician) who purchases his own tools. Sometimes to do a job I or the shop have to buy a SFT (Special _ Tool; you guess the rest:evil:). It may delay getting the job done for a short time and may seldom or never be used again, but the customer does not get billed for it.

    Perhaps in the future you (and the gunsmith) should take another page from the auto repair trade: get an estimate first, and if for some reason - and things do go wrong - the price is to be exceeded, he must inform you first before proceeding.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009

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