Help Wanted – Cobblers Needed During A Recession

by Debt Destroyer on March 12, 2009

cobbler-shoe-repair-guyLast November I made a post about how I decided to save some money by not replacing my shoes.

Well as my luck would have it, I instantly broke the thingie-ma-bobber which holds the shoe laces in.  So over the holiday break I took my shoe in to the shop in town that fixes shoes.  They said they’d call me when they were done. A month went by and I’ve heard nothing.

So I stopped in today just to check-up up on how things were going (I really needed my shoes).

They were done! The clerk apologized for not calling, but she said that they only have one guy who fixes shoes and he’s a college student and he is really busy. She pointed to a sign(as if I didn’t believe her).

Due to high demand, shoe repairs will take a minimum of two weeks.

I paid my $5 and left. But I was struck by two things:

  1. That there is a high demand for shoe repair.
  2. That my local cobbler is a college student.

But I shouldn’t be too surprised because at about the same time I was bragging that I decided to not replace my shoes, US News & World Report was telling us all about how Cobbler was becoming a hot job in a recession.

So if the teaching thing doesn’t work out for me, maybe I’ll look into being an apprentice cobbler.

Until next time,


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill McCollam March 15, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Great post. I was most struck by the fact that any kind of manual service like this was only $5!! I’ve basically resigned myself to the thought that it’s a use, break, and replace world. Nice to see some thought given to actually fixing things (hmmm… I think I have an old toaster somewhere).


Golfer March 16, 2009 at 12:42 pm

The world is changing and it would be great to see some of these old trades return to success. They must have been struggling in recent years but it could be cobblers will be a great business to be running in the next few years.


St. Paul Mover March 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I had no idea that cobblers were in demand these days. The trouble is, though, that they barely make any money. $5 does not go a long way these days. So that makes me doubt the resurgence of this trade. And they can’t raise prises too much (due to high demand) because if it costs too much to repair your shoes you’ll probably just get new shoes.


Kristy @ Master Your Card March 18, 2009 at 4:11 am

I’ve always been the type to use and replace items like shoes and clothes, but I’m beginning to discover this whole world of people who can actually repair things. It’s quite neat.

I just recently bought a dress for a wedding that I’m in. The people who ordered the dress ordered it way too big and so I had to have it altered because they wouldn’t send it back, saying I had signed the form (won’t be using this store ever again!). At any rate, I found an alterations place that was cheap, quick, and did a darn good job. I tried the newly fitted dress on and was amazed by the whole process, especially since I didn’t understand how her sticking safety pins in the dress was going to help.

But, in frugal times, we keep what we have and pay to have it fixed when it’s of clear benefit for us to do so. I’m not surprised professions like this are in high demand!


frugal living March 18, 2009 at 7:52 am

I’ve broken my best pair of court shoes and am in need of Cobblers?
Can someone tell me where to look for Cobblers. Many thanks!


Debt Destroyer March 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Thanks for all the comments!

@ Bill – I too think we are in a disposable society, but I think that will change.

@ Golfer – I agree. If the economy stays on the same path for a long time, I think a lot of people will look to repair shops in stead of replace shops.

@ St Paul Mover – My repair only cost $5, but I’m guessing that it was a simple fix that only took minutes. I’m sure more complicated repairs cost more.

I agree with you about people not spending much to fix cheap shoes, but I do think they will spend money to make more expensive shoes last longer.

@ Kristy – Excellent example!

@ frugal living – To find a cobbler I’d check your local yellow pages under “Shoe Repair” or ask a shoe store if they know of any.


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