Originally Posted by Nick V.
From the customer side, Topys are easier and cheaper to replace than soles.
Originally Posted by tgt465
From the cobbler side, Topys yield more profit.
That's not the way I run my shop. Fortunately, we stay busy enough that I don't need to use this approach.
Just as I do, the customer works hard for their money. I don't feel that have the right to advise them for my gain. Rather, my value to them is to advise them on what's best for their particular situation.
Many that have dealt with me know that I often talk them out of something that would have netted me a higher gain because it's not necessary or, not good for the shoe.
Here are some examples.
All cobblers know that the profit margin is greater on half soles than full soles. For that reason they prefer doing half soles. In fact, I have been ridiculed and called stupid by people in the industry for insisting on doing full soles rather than half on high-grades. When I ask them what they put on their "own" shoes they tell me full. What's that tell ya?
When a customer comes in with a pair of AS's, Lobbs, AE's, Green's, Aldens or, any other high-grade and requests a half sole I'd rather send them down the block than do the job and I explain why. For those "in the know" half soles disrupt the integrity of a well made shoe. So the question is profit or, doing the right job? A true tradesman in any industry would prefer maybe insist on doing the right job. By taking this approach, they also know that profits will follow.
Another example is, often customers will request JR soles and sole guards. Even though I would make more money I advise against it. I explain, if you are going to use a sole guard there will be virtually no wear on the leather. So why spend the extra money for JR? Use our standard super-prime grade leather and add the sole guard. This way, when the sole guard wears out, just replace it. Net, net the customer gets twice the wear for the same money. Who gains? In my view both parties. The customer saved money, he's happy about that and appreciates your honesty. No doubt he will return and it's likely he will refer his friends.
Bottom line is, some view things as profit first. I consider them as "hunters" that take advantage. We have all been in that situation. Nobody likes the outcome dealing with that sort of mentality.
Others see it as integrity first, profits follow. A true tradesman in any field, sees a naive or knowledgeable customer and does their best to help them.
There are plenty of true tradesmen out there, you just got to find them. When you do, you can bet they'll watch your back and, become your friend.
Thanks to all for your kind comments.