New York City area locksmiths discuss the keys to successful business
As a locksmith, what are some of the services you provide?
Who we talked to
Steven Thau, owner
Gramatan Lock Key
27 W. Grand St.
Rich Vurke, manager
508 S. Livingston Ave.
Seth Hecht, vice president
Able Locksmith Inc.
769 Deer Park Ave.
Steven Thau: "We do lock installation, door installation and lockout service."
Rich Vurke: "We do rekeying, installations, door closures and dead bolts. We do a lot of stuff."
Seth Hecht: "We work on alarm systems, safes, doors and anything having to do with locking systems."
What's the most common request you get from customers?
Steven Thau: "It varies."
Rich Vurke: "To change the key on a lock."
Seth Hecht: "Rekeying."
How do you charge?
Steven Thau: "It's by the work involved."
Rich Vurke: "Usually per hour, but it depends on the job."
Seth Hecht: "It's based on the service call and whatever work is being done."
What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?
Steven Thau: "If they're locked out of a house or car, it would be between $75 and $100. Safe work is $150 an hour."
Rich Vurke: "If we did a house lockout, it would be about $100."
Seth Hecht: "For a house or car, it depends on the time of day. I can't give a set price. Safes are based on an hourly rate, and they can take one to four hours to open."
Before you start a job, do you require some type of identification?
Steven Thau: "For a lockout, they have to show ID, but for a general job, they don't."
Rich Vurke: "Yes. If someone gets locked out, we have to make sure it's their property."
Seth Hecht: "If I'm opening a house or car, yes, but if they're in the house, I'm not required to see ID."
What happens if the customer's ID is locked up and they can't get to it?
Steven Thau: "They can show it to us when we get the door open, or we have to call the police."
Rich Vurke: "If they don't have their ID, we don't do the work."
Seth Hecht: "I'd find another way to get it, but if that's the only ID available, I'd open it unless the situation seems shady. Then I'll refuse service."
What makes you stand out from your competition?
Steven Thau: "Years of service and good work."
Rich Vurke: "We've been here for a long time."
Seth Hecht: "The quality we provide far surpasses others."