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| | |-+  vinyl/leather repair franchise or classes
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: vinyl/leather repair franchise or classes  ( 4568 )
n01945
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« : June 24, 2012, 10:38:31 AM »

Hi everyone,

I am thinking about adding vinyl/leather repair to my uph biz. Has anyone considered a franchise or would finding classes on repair be enough? I have never repaired vinyl/leather and I think it would be a nice niche to add. Worried about the cost of a franchise vs. will I get enough out of a training course on repair from, say a non franchised company. Thoughts?
Thanks!
Nora
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #1 : June 24, 2012, 11:31:15 AM »

I get calls all the time for vinyl/leather repair. But the general public (at least around here)has the wrong perception.
Probably because of those stupid  "As seen on TV"  products that make a hole or tear vanish right before your eyes......all for just $19.99. Most of them don't understand that a true professional leather repair is fairly expensive.
They expect you to come to their home, make a torn piece of furniture look like new again, all for less than 50 bucks.
And they don't understand that the process doesn't work on leather/vinyl that is brittle or rotten.

But if you can attract the right clientele, it should be profitable.

How many "full upholstery" jobs do you think you'll lose by offering repair as a cheaper alternative? Or is it work that you wouldn't have got anyway?

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
kodydog
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« #2 : June 24, 2012, 12:17:17 PM »

Sitting here thinking of names of franchises for leather and vinyl repair and can't think of one. When you buy a franchise your buying name recognition and often national advertising. What will the franchise do for you besides sell you products and give you some training. And you said you could get training without buying into a franchise.

I think repair would be a good complement to an upholstery business as long as you can find a good  teacher and as long as the customer doesn't expect to much for to little.

I don't do repairs like this. My solution is usually to replace the piece in question.

There are people on the forum who are into this. I'd also like to hear their take and if its a money maker.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
byhammerandhand
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« #3 : June 24, 2012, 12:17:52 PM »

I used to do leather work, got the kit, etc.

The problem I has was that I was only doing a couple a month and never got fast enough.   You have to have a great color eye and be able to mix colors for a fairly exact color match.   And that color match has to be on the dried color coat, not the wet color coat, so all your trials have to be dried and tested.  

I remember one job I did where I struggled for an hour to get a color match (using the leather wrapped underneath the dust cover).   Still didn't look good on the cushion!    I found out later, she had had it under a skylight on a prior home (sun faded) AND it had been recolored previously and that match was not super close, or did not remain super close after usage/exposure.   Another job looked good when I did it, but the next day when the sun came in the window, changing the lighting, it was not a close match.   I had to go back between 10 am and 1 pm to get the correct color match.   All in all, pretty frustrating for me.  

Then I found a  guy in town who only does leather.   His other half of the business is portrait painting so over the last 30 years, he has color matching pretty well down.  His normal service call usually starts about $150.  I refer customers to him or sub-contract with him on big jobs like moving claims.

Mohawk does a training class that travels around the country.   It would be worthwhile trying that out to see how you like it and to get some training prior to jumping  in.  YMMV.

http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/training/leather-touch-up-repair-workshop.aspx

I found though, that the heat cure for leather was not real durable for high use areas.

You may also have to deal with "bonded leather" that is to real hides what particle board is to lumber.  Poorly done, it can be quite weak and if your repair doesn't hold, be prepared for a callback.

Also around here is a Dr. Vinyl.   I've seen some of that work and was not real impressed.  Could be the system or just the local franchisee.  http://www.drvinyl.com/

There are a few franchises available.   Looking at the cost, though, I think you'd need to have or be a full-time leather tech.
http://www.google.com/search?q=leather+repair+franchise
« : June 24, 2012, 12:23:02 PM byhammerandhand »

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
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« #4 : June 30, 2012, 11:43:53 AM »

Nora,

I have done vinyl and leather repairs for going on 26 years.  Over the years we have moved mostly to upholstering, but I still do enough to keep the skill level up.  Was involved in a franchise for the first 19 of the years and unless you are planning on making it the main part of your business, or having employees do it full time, it is not the way to go.  To purchase a franchise will cost you a 5 figure sum, and the monthly franchise fees can be confiscatory.

There are companies that sell the repair products and have training seminars.  Fitzgerald's Restoration has been around for a long time, and sells every product you would need to do vinyl, leather and cloth repairs.

http://www.fitzgeraldsrestoration.com/

Probably the best product that I have found over the years to do leather and vinyl is produced by Refinish Coating.

http://www.refinishcoatings.com/aboutus.html

They are probably the priciest product out there, but hands down the best.  The owner of the company and the distributor both bend over backwards to help the customer in the use of the product.

If you are serious about adding this facet to your business, the best place to find the added work is by marketing to furniture stores and moving companies.

Remember one thing though, like anything else you will only become good at it the more you do it.

Hope this helps.



n01945
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« #5 : July 02, 2012, 05:45:19 AM »

Wow, thanks - I will check out these links!
lilsuz
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« #6 : June 05, 2016, 10:35:51 AM »

Great information! Just what I needed today. I have a friend asking me to repair damaged vinyl. I told her the best thing to do would just replace the entire piece. But I will point her in the direction of the product mentioned here for repairing vinyl and let her do the research and make the choice to repair it herself or pay a pro to upholster the piece.
Love this forum!

Nora,

I have done vinyl and leather repairs for going on 26 years..........

Probably the best product that I have found over the years to do leather and vinyl is produced by Refinish Coating.

http://www.refinishcoatings.com/aboutus.html
gene
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« #7 : June 05, 2016, 09:25:23 PM »

I made a cornice board covered in vinyl that fell off the stand and got a 3" tear in it. It cost $170.00 to repair the tear.

Folks that spend $299.00 on a leather or vinyl recliner are probably not going to pay to repair a tear, unless it's well under $50 like sofaD said.

I am convinced that it requires a lot of work and many years to get good at it. This is why I did not get into this type of work.

Best of luck. Remember to give discounts to fellow upholsterers. You'll be the first one to do so.  :)

gene

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
baileyuph
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« #8 : August 28, 2016, 08:10:33 AM »

Anything we do in business there is a perceived value.  Upholstery is a good example, leather/vinyl repair is another. 

Quick repair sounds good to someone in need, but what that repair is on will have a lot of bearing on what the consumer will pay.  In their mind, it is quick and dirty therefore the value or price they are willing to pay will correlate.  If it is pricey then it becomes a hard sell.

We can't forget that time drives cost, it is hard to get compensated for anything that requires a lot of time spent to repair.  As cheap as the "anything" produced off shore is a big deterrent to repairing those items.

If there was a big dollar to repair, the crowd of people offering to do the service would also be big.

I am in upholstery of almost anything, often I refer a tear to a vinyl doctor type and he won't even take the job because he said he ends up fretting over the repair and it usually isn't perfect.  Instead, he will do a quick and dirty vinyl repair on a restaurant seat because he essentially just fills the tear and goes - doesn't have to worry about it not being perfect.  He says that business is shrinking because those type of establishments are going to hard plastic seating (stuff that looks like that).  In the wash, two or three who got into the business (this area), dropped the service.

It all depends on whose grass you get to mow, something that demands perfection in a good market could yield a different outcome.  Lot have tried, it seems??

Doyle
SteveA
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« #9 : August 28, 2016, 09:06:25 AM »

Vinyl and leather repair can be a life saver but it depends on the place that's damaged and the amount of damage.  Nicks and small tears can be heat filled or cold filled and touched up with a brush or sponge successfully.  The higher skill involves the air brush spraying finishes,  pigments and dyes. There are water based and solvent based finishes The preferred colors are water based.  There are different size air brush nozzles including ones for texture.  It is art and experience that gets you to the right color and sheen.  Some tears have to be patched from underneath.  Don't think you're going to fix a tear in the center of a cushion without spraying the whole top of the cushion unless the manufacturer or supplier identifies the color.  Mohawk products are good but I'm going to check out the links from Upholstery Clinic - thanks for posting those.  Finally working in homes with these products can be very time consuming. Therefore what you need to bill may not correlate to the size of the repair.  The amount of stuff you carry will take three tool boxes.  On site the risk of spilling pigment or over spray is high - you must be willing to take the time to be careful - spread drop cloths , and move other furnishings out of your way.  Doyle it's worth learning just know your limits vs what vinyl doctor can do.
SA
baileyuph
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« #10 : September 04, 2016, 09:00:43 AM »

Worth knowing or understanding, I suppose.  This newer furniture termed "process leather", that I have encountered isn't worth the trip.  The stuff isn't lasting very long any way.

It isn't hard to stay busy in this trade and hiring an additional employee to perform the task, 
is not my judgement.
Doyle
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« #11 : September 08, 2016, 08:20:49 PM »

I noticed that the link to Refinish Coatings does not work anymore.  The new link is http://refinishcoatings.net/
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