Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The economics of small repairs

Our upstairs bathroom fan died a couple of weeks ago.

We did the right things. We asked our neighbour to recommend an electrician and she supplied two names. We phoned: the first never showed up; the second never called back.

You sometime see ads for self-employed tradespeople: 'No job too small'. Perhaps not so much these days. The ads point to a problem - for an electrician, replacing an awkward-to-get-at fan over a shower is a lot of work for not much cash. With houses being built, there are better opportunities.

We finally went to the local electrical shop in Wells:
"Do you install fans?"

"Yes, I'll get our electrician to give you a call."
The shop exists to sell components and that's the main profit-generating business. Installation (which undoubtedly also contributes to the bottom line) is a necessary add-on. An interesting example where vertical integration allows a market opportunity to be addressed.

The electrician called us back and is due next Wednesday.

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