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Repairmen find booming business in weak economy

Consumers' desire to pinch pennies is paying off at local repair shops, where business has ticked up as the economy has turned down.

Jose Matute's Gables Shoe Repair shop saw 50 percent more service requests in the past year. Last week, he made $5,870 from repairs compared to $4,348 in the same week last year.

"It's been a major change," Matute said. "Almost everyday I get a client talking about the economy and how it's not time to waste money. Because of the economy, the clients rather repair than buy."

The financial boost has given Matute the means to replace aging machines in the 47-year-old business.

He, like most repair-shop owners, is also saving for slower times. "It's an investment for the future," Matute said.

Whether they're fixing shoes, computers or dresses, the people who do repair work are finding that money can be made on consumers who are opting to fix damaged goods rather than purchase new ones.

If there's a rip in your pants, a seamstress can sew it. The washing machine has stopped working? Call an appliance repairman. The hard drive crashed? The computer repairman can exchange it for $100 rather than spending a few hundred on a new computer.

To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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