Ziptide, May 2014

May 2, 2014

Third Party Vendors

Editor’s Note: The following letters are responses to our March 20 Notes from the Editor enewsletter, online at

I hear all the problems with the third party vendors. What I would like to share is what we have learned over the years doing business with them. Two of them are on my top 10 customers list, which does surprise me, but numbers do not lie. You do have to "jump thru a few hoops" I admit. There are phone calls and even pictures and paper work but that is true with all customers to some extent.

When they call and give you a low ball not to exceed amount, it is just a STARTING POINT.  We give them a price, and then if we run into a problem, we call and get it increased. They NEVER say no to an increase. I believe if you do not ask for an increase, you will be leaving money on the table. They are paying you to make the phone calls while charging full boat prices for labor and trip charges. The jobs are in places you go to anyway the work is easy and steady and it adds up. Working for multiple vendors means many times you go to the same mall for two different vendors so two trip charges on one trip. Like any other customer if they get behind put them on hold they will pay up to keep from losing your services.

I am sure third party work is not for everyone but for us it has put all most a million dollars in the bank over the last 12 years that I have on record.  It is worth considering.

John A Boatright Jr

President  CEO

Dedge's Lock and Key Shop Inc

Jacksonville, FL

Very well stated.  I am from a non union background I have over my life seen both sides of the Union non-Union picture. Either side of this power struggle becomes inappropriate after they gain too much power. This is what our founding fathers were attempting to accomplish. They knew that good morals were essential.  They knew that a good religious background was a great place to start but if the religious people get to much power it's the same picture.

Tom Smith

I have been in the locksmith business for 39 years in Pennsylvania.  My business has always been strictly mobile. It will be a cold day in hell before I let a vendor tell me how much he will pay me for my services.

My business has been COD for the last 30 of those 39 years. You can pay me with a check, credit card or cash but unless you are a church, courthouse or bank and pay within 14 DAYS, yes 14 DAYS, I will not take your work. They understand this going in. The reason they call me is they know they will get a professional job and do not mind paying for my services. Over 80 percent of my business is referral. This is why I stay in business when so many others have gone in my area.

If you are the lowest bidder on these jobs and need the work so badly that you have to put up with customers setting your rate of pay, either suck it up or get out of the business.

The reason I work on a COD basis is that most large apartment complexes or chains take their time about paying and have so many excuses as to why they can’t understand that I have not received their check.  I got tired of that in the 1980s. Even when I had all 109 branches of a major bank in the tri-county area, they got my bill Friday night or Saturday morning and I was paid by Tuesday.

Don't let these customers jerk you around. If these customers want your services bad enough, then it must be by your rules

Robert Martschin

Subscribe To ENewsletters

Want monthly updates delivered right into your Inbox? Subscribe to Locksmith Ledger’s four monthly enewsletters.

  • Our issue promo enewsletter gives readers an online preview of each new issue.
  • ProductWatch showcases the newest products being marketed to locksmiths.
  • EventWatch notifies are readers of upcoming trade shows and educational opportunities.
  • Notes from the Editor is a timely, interesting monthly report from Editor-In-Chief Gale Johnson.

Just visit and type in your email address, and soon these monthly updates will arrive in your Inbox.