How to Avoid Being Overcharged by a Locksmith

When searching for a locksmith, it is important to do a bit of research to ensure that you are not being scammed. The best way to do this is to call around to several commercial locksmith in your area to comparison shop and to be sure that the quotes you receive are all in the same price range.

Opt for a certified locksmith

It is important to remember that the purpose of calling a locksmith in the first place is to bring you added safety and security, so the best advice is to be ready to pay a bit more upfront for peace of mind later.

You should always opt for a certified locksmith, rather than a general contractor. General contractors do not possess the same skills and training as licensed locksmiths. You may find it helpful to consult the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA).

Prices will vary based upon not only the types of locks you choose, but also according to each individual locksmith’s hourly rate. It is helpful to request a breakdown of charges prior to entering into an agreement with the locksmith.

Important questions to ask your locksmith include the following:

 What type of lock do I need? Am I purchasing a deadbolt that will go through the door or will the lock be attached to the back of the door? Deadbolt locks that go through the door offer a much greater level of security.

 What type of door do I have? Does it require any special equipment or extra time for the locksmith to drill through the door and frame?
 Does the lock that I chose require that I send away to the manufacturer for a key or can I have my key duplicated by any locksmith? While special security keys do offer a greater deal of protection, they are certainly more expensive and may require time for duplication and shipping back to you. It is important to consider your options.
 How many keys are included with the lock purchase? How much will each duplicate key cost?
 If I can save a few dollars by purchasing the lock through a third-party supplier, will the locksmith install this lock or do I need to purchase directly from the locksmith?
 Can the locksmith provide references of customers that they have worked with before?
 Does the locksmith foresee any challenges to your security needs or is this a standard job?
 Does the locksmith offer free home inspection, in order to help you best understand your specific security needs? Are there any potential hidden challenges or charges involved?
 How long will the job take? Can you negotiate them down a bit on the quoted hourly rate?

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Once you have decided which locksmith to use, always request a written contract up-front. Be sure to have the locksmith outline the answers to your questions in writing. This will ensure that you receive quality service for your home security and the right price within the allotted timeframe.

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