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topic 1304

High cost of chrome plating of my motorcycle & auto parts


So far the only quotes that I have received for chrome plating are 2-3 times the cost of new parts (ridiculous isn't it). If anyone has any info they can pass along to me about this please reply. thanks much!

Tracy P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
USAF - Patrick AFB FL


Hi Tracy,

We in the plating industry understand and apologize for your frustration! But the unfortunate reality is that getting parts replated will sometimes cost 2-3 times the cost of new parts even if you are dealing with scrupulously honest people operating on thin margins.

The main cost for almost anything you buy is labor. When your parts were originally made, hundreds of identical parts were plated each hour with automated equipment built specifically for the purpose, and hundreds of parts were produced with one hour's labor.

Chrome plating involves a dozen steps or more [please see our FAQ: Intro to Chrome Plating], and for your rework parts none of the steps will be automated. Even if you have just a couple of parts, they are easily going to cost a few hours labor, maybe more. What would your mechanic or plumber charge you for the same amount of time? -- and s/he doesn't have the onerous environmental/disposal issues that plating shops face.

If you have a heirloom, an item that you cherish, or an irreplaceable part of special dimensions, it can certainly be replated. But if you have an easily replaceable mass produced item, it often doesn't make economic sense to have an old one replated! Sorry.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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