From: Kansas, USA
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I think I'm officially getting old, now - at least, some of the things my Dad says are starting to come out of *my* mouth.
I was somewhat taken aback the other day when I saw it was now $25 to get a car tire patched.
When I worked at Sears back in the '80s, we charged (IIRC) $8.50 if a customer carried in their tire to dismount, patch, and remount a the tire, and another $1.50 if we had to remove and replace the wheel from the car.
Now, apparently, there is only one button on the computer for "fix a flat", so it costs $25 if you carry in a wheel, $25 if you drive in with a leak, $25 if you bring in a separate tire and rim, etc. (See, a "computer" connection, so it's OK to put into this thread...)
So, first I thought "$25? Ouch!". Then I started thinking about paying someone to fix flats. If they are good, *maybe* a motivated "flat-fixer" could average 3 repairs, or $75 an hour. For that $75, you have to pay the tire-monkey's full benefit load (even if it's just salary plus Social Security, it can't be negligible), pay the depreciation on all the equipment involved, pay for the bay and lift (in the case the car is there), pay for the consumables, and (hopefully) make a bit of profit. If that's the case, I wonder how they can even *justify* the trouble of fixing flats?!!
All I can say is, flat repair must be a "loss-leader" - if they can get customers coming through, maybe they'll buy their next set of tires / get alignments / pay for rotations / etc. at the shop.
And then my Dad said he remembered when patching a (tube-type) tire only cost $1, so I didn't feel *quite* so old, then.