Seat re-upholstery problems

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by DaHose, Feb 12, 2018 at 6:46 PM.

  1. DaHose

    DaHose Active Member

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    The top side vinyl of my Sargent seat is cracking, so I spoke with Dane at Sargent about having it re-covered. Cost is $109, and shipping it back to me is $20. Ok, so I figure it could be $140 - $150 to have it re-covered. That seems reasonable.

    Then I priced shipping to Florida to have the work done, in a basic box large enough, and it is $90 with USPS!!! HOLY SHIT BALLS!!!! Shipping is STUPID expensive if you don't have a company account. Even re-stacking and thinking about the smallest box I could try and find, it is still $40 in shipping, plus another $20 back. Looks like I have to find a local shop to get it taken care of.

    Jose
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018 at 7:04 PM
  2. OOTV

    OOTV Well-Known Member

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    I went to a local shop to have my 01 seat recovered and it cost me $100 flat fee, that included the material, a simple vinyl.
     
  3. DaHose

    DaHose Active Member

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    That is a really good price in my book, OOTV. Lowest possible shipping still puts it at about $180 for a basic re-cover. Hopefully I can find someone local for that same amount or less. Hmmm........ Establishing a relationship with a local upholsterer could pay additional dividends, since I have a set of Recaro seats I need re-done as well.

    Jose
     
    tinkerinWstuff likes this.
  4. OOTV

    OOTV Well-Known Member

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    Yep, worth checking out. Maybe they'll give you a "package" deal.
     
  5. DaHose

    DaHose Active Member

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    Oy ...... The cost of good upholstery work is just not "cheap". The three local shops I talked to are at around the $500 mark to re-do the seat for me. The two piece, and multi-panel design just makes for a higher labor cost. So I can get away with $200 for sending it to Sargent and get a basic re-cover, or I can have someone local to a better than OEM fit/finish, with some customization for double that. I must admit that the basic upholstery did have some fit issues, and I really do need to establish a relationship with a local upholsterer, to get my Recaro's done. One of my local shops does really nice work, and they have experience doing car dashes, which is important because I have a leather dash on my M6 that needs re-doing as well. I decided to have them do the seat so I can live with some of their work and see how it pans out. It's rough to eat that kind of cost, but I have to find someone local who can do all the other custom work I need. Blah .... I save thousands on all the mechanical work I do on the 8 vehicles in our family, so I suppose paying for the custom stuff I can't do is a karmic trade-off.

    On the up-side, I get to see the finished work of this local shop, and knowing their work is critical to deciding if I will have them do the bigger projects I have waiting in the wings. Like you said OOTV, the bigger projects might also allow for a better haggle on a "package" deal. I suppose the alternative is buying an industrial sewing machine and teaching myself upholstery.

    Jose
     
  6. VFR4Lee

    VFR4Lee Active Member

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    A little old motorcycle seat?

    I'd be buying a staple gun from Harbor Fright, a leather or vinyl remnant from some fabric store, and going to DIY town!
    That's ridiculous. :chaingun:
     
  7. DaHose

    DaHose Active Member

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    Yeah Lee .... Don't think that didn't occur to me. I remember fondly that living in the L.A. area you have a TON of shops competing, which results in lower estimates than what I am getting in my area. We just don't have the kind of resources other folks do in lower cost of living, or major metropolitan areas. With shop lease costs in our area, pretty much any shop of any kind auto/motorcycle/furniture lands at $400+ an hour. The one place I had found in town that seemed to do decent work on upholstery, actually left me less than satisfied with the seats they did for my M6.

    I would be hip to taking my stuff somewhere else nearby to get better pricing, but I have asked all around for a reputable shop, and nobody has any suggestions or information. With my luck, I will hunt down a shop, take a couple days dropping off/picking up the item, only to be dis-satisfied with their work. How much good is it to save a couple hundred bucks, and piss away a couple days worth of my time? On a small project like a motorcycle seat, the cost hurts. On a big project like car seats and a dash, the extra cost to keep it local, with a shop I trust, and that I can keep an eye on is peace of mind I can't have when sending stuff somewhere else.

    If we are all honest about it, really experienced hobbyists are probably least likely to consider any labor charge reasonable. The higher our level of ability and skill, the more frustrated and resistant we are to take stuff to someone else. Then there's all those TV custom shows always showing these great results, but then you see in-person close-up pictures from enthusiasts that get to see those cars at meets, and the reality is that they are not all-that great.

    I have been in the IT field for 20 years, and one axiom I carried over from my previous life as a diesel mechanic in the Marine Corps was that getting any shop work done can turn out fast, cheap, or good. Problem is, you only get to pick any two of those things.

    Jose
     
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