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AMA with PJ on Locksmithing & More! - #Lockboss Show & Giveaway

pj Another week means another post of the week, comment of the week, AMA, and of course, another Topo Chico. Cheers to all of you out there! For the month of April, we've had some of you sent some pictures of your free van life lockboss hat. Get yours for free on any order for $380 and less.


This one is from Leo. Leo, it's a great deck. I can see in there about how much stuff you order from us. Thank you and that is awesome to see so much of the stuff! One of the coolest things for us here at CLK is seeing the products that we sell and talk about in use like that. Thank you for sending that in. Very cool.


Dogs keeping people who do lockouts busy. Well, since cars and dogs have started, people started going in him. Our dog is an Australian Shepherd. He gets too scared to ride in the car. He ends up usually peeing in it so we don't take him very much in the car.

The next we got is from Dustin. He sent in some stuff that he won; looks like the lab tray and then the mini DUR-X 3-in-1. Thanks for sending that in.


That's good. Stock those small ones and the large ones cause all of a sudden you get a customer in your area that has the small one per se. It goes from thinking they don't exist out in the wild to using them all the time. Check my videos about duplicating and cutting by code and how it all works. Those videos will give you the progression as well as help you. But for the most part when you're going to duplicate a tubular key right now, I'm really sitting on the ILCO machine to 009. I think it's really the best bang for the buck. At the moment.



Here are questions that we get ask either a lot or pretty specifically what I want to address:

Why do we ship FedEx?

So what I know, is we have some people that really don't like FedEx. And so what I did this morning for fun is I went to Facebook and I went to UPS's Facebook page, and the first comment that that popped up right there highlighted, ‘You guys are completely and utterly horrible with your delivery. The conflicting emails, the customer service; shame on you.’ How would you like to be the social media person to answer questions like that on Facebook for either FedEx or UPS? We shipped UPS as our primary carrier that we shipped for man. I mean, I've been doing this for 18 years, and at least the first 10 were UPS. And this is the most truthful answer that I can. First of all, we get just as many complaints when we were shipping with UPS as we do with FedEx, or the USPS service, which is, you know, another one we'll use from time to time. And the truth is ever since 2020, our shipping system is like broken. It's tough for all of us waiting to get packages here or there, and it's a bummer. But what made us eventually switch to FedEx, besides just people calling and complaining. For using FedEx, some people don't like it, other people want to use UPS. And the question is, ‘why don't you just ship both?’ And the truth is we could. We contemplate it from time to time, I honestly contemplate it. But it's one of those things that to get the best deal from a carrier like they want you to go all in. And a few years ago the Amazon and FedEx breakup. They had that public breakup; they started dating other people at that point. And when that happened, FedEx offered the deal they were giving to Amazon to small businesses out there. So now, of course, we didn't get quite as good rates as what Amazon was getting, but they're very good and they were very quick. So, that's the main reason why we switched. And we use FedEx especially with our $99 free shipping. What $99 was worth 5 to 10 years ago, compared to today. It's tough when 7 to 10% of the gross about the order is going to shipping. So that's honestly as true as I could possibly be on that. So, of course, we value and like your feedback, and continue giving it to us. And who knows, maybe they'll come a time where we can do FedEx, UPS, as well as the USPS. So that's sort of the one we always use. But yeah, so hopefully, that answers that question too as truthful as I possibly can be on that.

Those are just rebranded xtool scanners like the x100 pad2 or xtool D8/ D9 scanners with a larger one having a different interface.

I think that's actually a pretty good question so I decided to dive a little deeper. That’s why I ended up talking with Lock Labs and found two main differences between the AutoProPad and the Xtool scanners.

  • with the AutoProPad, you're going to get that support. You have the yearly subscription to get the support.
  • And the other big difference especially here in the US market is those softwares are licensed to the AutoProPad.

But when it comes to an actual machine, when it comes to supporting and key programming, we all need support. It’s best to have tech support when you run into some weird situation while doing your job. And so having that support and having that licensed software to the AutoProPad machine, that's what the difference is. So hopefully, that helps.

I got into Lock sport about a year and a half ago. Since then my thirst for knowledge about the business has just kept growing. I've talked to every local locksmith in my area about learning/apprenticeships, and only one would take my information. Other than YouTube, what other resources can I use to further my knowledge? One day, I plan on being a #lockboss.

Steven, it is absolutely awesome that you're interested in the industry. That's great. Okay. The next step that shows how serious you are is the fact that you went around to a bunch of local locksmiths and talk to him about an apprenticeship. The best advice that the community will give you. First of all, congrats. It takes a lot of courage to do that; to walk in and have those conversations. That's awesome. Besides YouTube, the best advice is going to be to find someone who is willing to at least have some phone conversations with you. Jenkins and Odom's lock, those guys, they've definitely talked about how they're willing to help others. And I would just say, try to take advantage of that. It might not look exactly the way you were hoping it to look, but being able to talk to people in the industry who have that experience is so valuable. How cool is that?

How many years of experience do you think you should have before starting up your own business?

Gary, I would say that if it comes to doing a locksmithing business, start by finding whatever type of service that you plan to offer, whether that's automotive key programming, access control type stuff, or standard rekeys and lockouts. Whatever service you plan to offer, you want to have a pretty good grip of how to do that work. So, I don't know if there's like a year mark besides feeling like you can competently serve your customer base. Outside of that when it comes to how many years’ experience when I started the doing the businesses, I don't have any experience and I just stumbled hard trying to figure it out.

I have a used hurdy gurdy machine and I need some parts for it. Any ideas on where to find?

That's from Kenneth Johnson. From what I've been told, when A1 went out of business, they threw all their stuff away. So if that's even remotely true, you're not going to find any replacement parts for that. So it's a bummer. I know that's not helpful, but that's the best I know.

Any career or auxiliary careers for people who can't drive due to medical issues?

That's from Evil Ark conservative. You know, I'm trying to think quick on that one. I don't know if see anyone has any comments on that one. I should say that when it comes to the locking key industry, that person could like work at a shop or something. And to do that type of stuff as far as the industry goes, I think that's probably the best I could think of; who knows, maybe a remote. If they already know the business, maybe a remote CLK employee. I don't know. But, yeah, that's probably the best I can give you there.

Should I buy a 3000s kit, or should I buy a 3000s kit or buy pins and keep them in pill bottles as a startup?

Iceman, I would say that if you can't afford a universal kit, get it. I think they're around $100. It's one of those one-time investments that if you take care of it, it will outlive you. So, if that's not out of the budget, then I'd probably start buying the universal pin sizes for Schlage and Kwikset. Make sure you do you buy the 003 and get by a little bit until you can get one of the actual kits. But, I don't think buying a 3000 kit ever regretted that when it comes to starting to buy supplies for your business.

PJ, are you and CLK going to ALOA in lost wages? Ken, I'm guessing you know that from experience, most likely, right? Oh, absolutely. Yes, we are going to the ALOA show in lost wages, also known as Las Vegas. So yeah, we will definitely be there. We've been planning we've we actually voted started are our meetings, planning on what we're going to do. And I'd say they have some pretty good ideas this year. So a few of them, we've actually had the call. I know we're calling ALOA to see if they're going to allow us. So that kind of gives you an insight into how good it'll be if we can get permission. So hopefully all of you guys are coming there be fun to hang out.

What about the Yankee trade show in Massachusetts?

I went there a few years ago just to walk it and see. Its pretty cool show. Yeah, maybe. I'd probably give that a little more thought; that'd be a fun one to go. I believe it's happening this year. As a matter of fact, I think I got something in the mail from them. exhibitor packets, I didn't look at that, but that's good.

PJ, what did you or the Lockfather do at ALOA last year that you need to seek permission?

Well, it's not what we want to do or it's not what we did last year that we need to seek permission for, but the crazy ideas that everyone has come up with this year for ALOA. A little on the crazy end of the street, but hopefully. We'll see.

Thanks for hanging out. I appreciate all of your comments and feedback. I really hope that we can be helpful to all of you; take care!

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