Independent Locksmiths v National Locksmiths: Advertising and Securing Work


The 1st in a 4 part series comparing the way Independent Locksmiths and National Locksmiths operate.

My company is IKS Locksmiths and we are local independent Barnet locksmith approved by the Master Locksmiths Association.

As a general rule I like to support local independent businesses. This may be partly because I run a small business myself and I know what it’s like but it is also because I generally experience higher levels of service, quality and enthusiasm. In many cases I also feel that I get better value for money. For example; my family and I use Barnet Market, The Court House Cafe in the park, Bel Gelato in the Spires and Julian’s Hardware on the High Street. We always try to choose local independent businesses where possible.

Being a Locksmith I am well aware that there are many hidden reasons why it is preferable to choose an independent locksmith over national locksmiths. Many people are unaware of the differences and I would like to share them with you so that you can choose a locksmith with a full understanding of what you are getting for your money. The differences are notable from the point of searching for a locksmith to the point of payment and aftercare. It is important to know just what you are paying for.

Here we aim to compare and contrast the customer experience when choosing an Independent Locksmith versus a National Locksmith Company based on our experience of the business and how IKS Locksmiths operate as a company.

Independent Locksmith V National Locksmiths

Part 1: Advertising and Securing Work

Advertising and Promotion

Independents tend to rely on online reviews, word of mouth and genuine organic search engine results as opposed to paid adverts. For an independent to survive in this competitive market we need to keep advertising costs low and pass the benefits to the customer.

Nationals tend to use expensive forms of advertising such as pay per click adverts which appear at the top of the page on the search engine results. Paid adverts for locksmiths can cost the company £10+ per click and often don’t even amount to a job! These high costs must be recouped from somewhere in order for a company to survive.

Taking Phone Calls

IndependentsOur calls are answered by an experienced Master Locksmith ready with all the information you need and ready to respond to your call.

Nationals – Calls are usually answered by a call centre and passed down the line. Having to go through a lengthy process of communication where key details can be misinterpreted or lost is not ideal. Speaking to a locksmith will give you the most accurate pricing. Not only does this add to the lead time and communication issues, it also incurs a cost which must be recouped in order for the business to survive.


Independents – There will be no need for a call back as you will already have spoken to the locksmith and will have a direct line to the locksmith should you have any concerns. There is no need to go through a communication chain and wait for call backs.

Nationals It is likely that you will have to wait for a call back for an accurate time slot and information and should you need to ask any questions you may find the process longer than if you have a direct line to the locksmith

Quotes on the phone

IndependentsNo call out charge and a fixed labour rate + parts is the way we operate. We stick to the price quoted on the phone and will not increase the rate on the job. We quote a fair competitive price for labour and parts.

Nationals – It is not uncommon for a locksmith to quote a low price to secure the work. On completion of the job the prices can mount up in a ridiculous way. I’ve been shocked by invoices some of my customers have shown me. This is a trick that I encounter customers falling for all the time. I try to warn them but the lure of a low quote is too tempting to resist! Realistically the company needs to cover their high operating costs somehow. Unfortunately there is now law against doing this. This is definitely a case where if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

In summary if you are looking for a locksmith in Finchley or Camden or anywhere is North London you will get better value for money and service by choosing a genuine local independent locksmith based on reviews and recommendations. Why pay for a large company’s expensive advertising and operating costs when you can pay for high quality products and workmanship?

Top Tip: Beware of Locksmiths quoting low prices and arrival times to secure work using dishonest measures!

Find the number of a local locksmith you can trust and save their number. A good place to start is by searching the MLA website, using your postcode, for your local MLA approved locksmiths.

If you want to get an idea about how much you should be paying for a locksmith read here.

Our next post will be Independent Locksmith V National Locksmiths Part 2: At the Job. We will point out further differences between Independent and National Locksmiths that affect the customer. We will reveal locksmith tricks of the trade to be wary of.

In the meantime if you find yourself in an emergency situation and need a quick locksmith  who is MLA approved in the Barnet area we would be delighted to assist you. Equally we would be pleased to discuss any security issues or questions you may have.

How can we help you?

For professional security advice and information call to speak directly to Martin, our Master Locksmith and security specialist.

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Master Locksmiths Association

Master Locksmiths Association



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  • IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    Unit E2,
    Queens Rd,
    Barnet EN5 4DJ
  • Our Totteridge Address:
    IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    44 Greenway
    North London
    N20 8ED
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