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Question DetailsAsked on 5/12/2011

Paper Shredder Repair in Chicago?

I am looking or someone to repair my paper shredders for my office. I have quite a large collection and can't find someone. Plenty of other have told me they need shredders repaired too, so if anyone is interested in this business, there's a built in market.

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3 Answers


This looks like an oppportunity for someone in the mess kit repair business to diversify!

Answered 9 years ago by harry


Actually, the reason you can't find someone to repair your paper shredder is simple economics. There's no money in it. If I were to come to your office to fix your shredder and I told you what I needed to fix it, you'd say "forget it, I can get a new one for that!"

Answered 9 years ago by harry


Harry is absolutely right - it started with shoes, then toasters and hot plates and microwaves and small power tools, then home and small office equipment and electronics, and now beginning with washers and dryers, dishwashers, tablets, cell phones, etc - as labor becomes a larger and larger portion of the cost of an item, the more expensive a repair becomes relative to the purchase cost of a largely automated production line product, quickly making the repair shop obsolete. This is particularly true of "consumer" type items - those costing less than about $300-500, as stocking the parts for so many brands is impossible for the average repair service, so it means doing a diagnosis (which in itself means $45-100 labor), then waiting for parts to come in (and many places ONLY ship expedited so that is another $15-25 MINIMUM regardless of part cost), then the labor of going back to install the part and test the item, hoping that the one failure did not take something else out - which it commonly does on elecrtronic items. Also, in the old days eerybody took their item to the shoe or appliance or whatever repair shop - now people want the repair to come to them, so more labor cost for travel time, missed appointments, etc.

Some companies like HP and Apple tried to fight this with swap out programs - where they immediately swap out your failed but otherwise usable device overnight or second day with a rebuilt one, and later rebuild yours after they receive it and provide it to another person, etc - but that involves worn but working replacing parts that otherwise would not have been replaced yet, and very high shipping costs. I have an HP Laserjet that has been swapped out 4 times for warranty covered defects or failures - at $150 per round trip in shipping cost ALONE to HP, so $600 in shipping alone, plus probably about $300-500 in parts and labor total (they fix them in Calexico) - all on warranties that I think cost me $200 total. Great deal for me, terrible business for them.

You see this on cars too - hardly anyone rebuilds alternators, starter motors, water pumps, etc in town any more - they ship the dead one to Mexico or somewhere similar to be rebuilt and sell you a rebuilt one - and then you find that what used to last 5-10 year or more now last maybe 1-3 years at best and commonly way less, so you give up on the rebuilds and just buy new ones. I have one warranty starter motor on a vehicle that was warrantied for life - has been replaced for free with rebuilds 7 times over about 20 years - again, good for me but a losing business proposition. Philosophy ditto for shredders.

If you have commercial duty shredders that need repair (replacement cost about $500 or more) some office equipment stores do both sales and service - check local commercial office equipoment stores, or manufacturer's website for authorized repair centers. Otherwise, download the manual if you are a bit tech handy, and fix it yourself - they are extremely simple, and you can commonly buy the parts from the company or on the web or at radio shack - though if the motor is shot usually cheaper to get a new one on salel at OfficeMax or such. Usually the problem is merely some wadded or gummy paper holding the trigger switch on, mangled trigger switch, or failed overtemp sensor.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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