Refrigerator Repair Question

I noticed 6 months ago a guy up the street opened an appliance repair place. He has bringing in tons of refrigerators and washers. It also appears he has been hauling away tons of them. Then, after several months, he went out of business.
Can anyone tell me...what in the world he was doing? Why so much hopeful activity, what generated all that, and then...POOF why suddenly go out of business?
I'm wondering if...he was selling the used washers for scrap steel as the price has skyrocketed? Also, I wonder if he bootlegged the R-Whatever refrigerant out of the old refrigerators and sold the refrigerant on the gray market as new?
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TonishaWallace wrote:

moved in from another junk business location... he probably was selling parts from old refrigerators/washers/dryers... these guys go out and pick up junk appliances and then keep them and when a customer comes over and needs a motor or some other item they strip it off a free washer they got and sell it for like $50 or so and its all profit.. the only trouble is if no one comes over to them they still have to pay rent on the place and if they dont get enough customers they have to leave the business.. i dont think that they recycle any freon as its too much trouble... and in most cases they can get an appliance for free and then work on it and the parts from the other units are fee, so if they know what they are doing they can make a pretty good profit from this no overhead business, alot of labor.. also the problem of most startup new businesses: the owner thinks that he is gonna make a fortune, and does not make any money and then gets out of the business to get a job to feed his family....
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the owner thinks that he is gonna make a fortune, and does

This is Turtle.
I think you got it there. You can't expect to make good money on second hand stuff for only 1 in 10 peoples will buy second hand anything in today's way of thinking.
Years ago with a big S on years I would rebuild refrigerators, Window units, and Central Condenser units during the slow time in the winter here. We don't have any real cold weather and things get real slow. Over the winter I would rebuild maybe 30 window units, 35 refrigerators & freezers , and maybe 20 condenser units and keep them till April 1 , Or April Fools day and sell them. All the units was left at the shop for the customer did not want to fix it and would just leave them there. When I sold them -- Everything was $100.00 Refrigerator little and big, Window units Little and big , and condenser units little and big but I got paid to install the condensers. I probley got $10K out of all winter but $10K for slow times was $10K more than i had before. This guy probley figured out they AIN't no money in second hand stuff. It looks like it should be but it is not and got a lesson in Second Hand Refrigeration 101.
TURTLE
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A guy I use to work with use to take home a wheel-barrel full of sand from castings a couple times a week. The boss didn't mind, since it was hauled away anyway. I always wondered what he was doing with all that sand. Bagging it and selling it for kids sand boxes? making concrete? Finally one day I asked him. "Aw, hell, I just dump it in the ditch along the road!" was his reply. "But say, wanna buy a good wheel-barrel?!
He'll be out in 5-10.
Moral of the story - maybe the guy's "appliance repair" business wasn't exactly on the up-and-up!

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On 26 May 2004 01:51:21 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@wmconnect.com (TonishaWallace) wrote:

Its a very clear case of "there's no money in consumer appliance repairs." If you can't charge at least $75 an hour and have more than enough repair business that there is never a slack moment in the shop then you don't have a viable business. Consumer appliances are so inexpensive these days its just not worth fixing. Furthermore the latest models are almost always better, cheaper, have more features and are more reliable than last year's model. If it has any electronics, its unrepairable (large sacle integration, no schematics and teensy unidentifiable irreplaceable components.)
If this guy received tons of fridges I have a feeling his "customers" used him as a convenient dump rather than have to cart them all the way to the city dump.
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TonishaWallace writes:

Not enough value-added for the brains and effort required.
The real way to make money is a *non*-repair shop. You charge a $75 "diagnosis fee" to fix X, where X = VCRs, DVDs, TVs, etc. Many problems are trivial, but you make it sound hard, and you have a happy customer. Otherwise, the diagnosis is some horrific price for parts and labor that will be declined. These always seem to do well.
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Because, he didnt understand what it took to STAY in business. He probably did not take into consideration the overhead, insurance, licences, etc that it takes to do this, didnt set his prices high enough to satisfy those with a hand out and folded. It happens several thousand times a year.

LOL...as cheap as 134a is, there is NO gray market for it, and since R12 has several cheaper replacements, the answer is still no.
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