Don’t be fooled, a local number does not always mean a local company

17 Jul

Another client story that is worth sharing:  A man comes in to Brucar Locksmith’s store today to make a copy of a key.  He tells us how happy he is to have found a local locksmith that has a store that is real!

He has some rental properties in the Conejo Valley and a few weeks ago, while on vacation, he got a call from a tenant who was locked out of an inside door in one of the properties.  The owner called a “local” locksmith and when the “locksmith” arrived, he told them it would be over $400.00.  This was on a weekday at 5:30 pm.  Luckily, they had more sense than to fall for such a price.  After doing some research, the client found that the company was NOT local, but they were in Michigan!

He then asked me, ” what would you charge for this?”  Our quote for a lockout is about $65.00.  Depending on the situation (time of night, condition of door lock) the price should not have gotten over $120.00.

Moral of the story?  Just because a service company you find online has a local phone number, does not mean they are in the area.  And if they claim $15-$19 to come out, beware of how quickly the price will go up past that initial quote. Especially when dealing with your security, find a company BEFORE you need it.

For your locksmith needs, Brucar Locksmith is based out of Thousand Oaks and has a storefront near your local Trader Joe’s.  You know us.  Put our number in your phone, give it to a neighbor, put it in your kids or parents cell phone.  Our promise to you is that we will always give the best service for the best prices.   24 hours a day 7 days a week!

Happy Anniversary to Brucar Locksmith!

2 Jul

One year ago on July 1, 2011, Brucar Locksmith opened it’s first storefront location at 355 E. Avenida de los Arboles in Thousand Oaks.  We still have mobile service 24/7, yet it was time to give our customers somewhere to go to get keys professionally made (and they work!!).   Our storefront also serves to build trust with our neighbors, and to make sure that they know they are dealing with a true local company, one who lives and works in their community.  At the store, we make all kinds of car and house keys, mailbox keys, safe deposit keys and painted keys. We also sell safes and have a small safe showroom.  Thank you for your support and we look forward to being your trusted lock and key shop for generations to come!  Like us on Facebook for information about our first annual customer appreciation shindig.


There is a locksmith shop in Thousand Oaks!

Transponder car keys: what are they and what do they do?

4 May

The general definition* of a transponder is ‘a type of radio or radar transmitter-receiver that transmits signals automatically when it receives predetermined signals. ‘  (Transponder  + responder  = Transponder)

A transponder can be as small as a grain of rice

Actual size of a transponder

When a car key is called a transponder key, that means there is a chip (a transponder) in the plastic top of the key which sends and receives a signal from the cars computer, and allows the ignition to be turned on, ONLY if the transponder matches the car.  They have been used by some car companies for over 15 years, but most likely within the past 10.  Each car manufacturer has different years they began using transponder keys, if at all.

Standard transponder car key blank

What does this mean for you?  Are you unsure if your key has a transponder?  Our technicians can instantly tell you if your key has a transponder if you bring it into our storefront in Thousand Oaks.  We had a customer bring his key in to make a copy, telling us ‘it has a chip in it’.   We took his word for it and ordered him the key blank with transponder.  The next day he came back to get the copy made.  When our locksmith put his key into the machine to make the copy, it read as ‘no transponder found’.  We explained to the customer that he in fact did NOT have a transponder key and we could make him a copy for much cheaper.  He would not believe us!  He said ‘ the Home Depot  told me there was a chip in it.’  We knew right then that the customer had gotten misinformation about his key and had been over charged on more than one occasion, unnecessarily.  This is one of the reasons that we encourage you to use a professional locksmith for your key needs.  You will get the correct information from the beginning and will save time and money.  Since he had no transponder in his key, we were able to make a key for a fraction of the cost of a transponder key.  I know he appreciated our knowledge and honesty.

Electronic Head style transponder car key

But what if your key does have a transponder in it?  First of all, getting another transponder key made that will work in your car will be more expensive than a regular car key.  You can go to the dealer, but we recommend spending less money for the same thing by using us, your local locksmith.  Brucar Locksmith has many transponder keys in stock and has the technology in the store to make your key on the spot.

Did you lose your key all together?  Don’t worry, we can also originate a key for most cars directly from the vehicle.

Don’t forget: we will always charge less than the dealer and less than any of the competition in the field.  If you only have one working key for your car, we recommend getting a second one.  Making a copy is much less expensive than originating a key, by a lot.  Planning ahead and making sure you have 2 working keys for your car is a simple way to be sure you are covered if anything ever happens to your keys.  But nothing ever happens to keys, right????

For any key, lock or safe needs, visit Brucar Locksmith at 355 E. Avenida de los Arboles in Thousand Oaks at Moorpark Road.  Or call 805-241-0777 to schedule service or ask questions.  We are available 24/7.


Trust your gut instincts, they are probably right! (and you might save time and money)

14 Apr

By offering great pricing and staffing knowledgeable locksmiths, saving our customers money is a daily occurrence.  But recently, when we saved a client minimum $100.00, we knew we had to share the story.

We got a call from a woman who needed a locksmith to re-key her house.  She called a few locksmith companies including Brucar Locksmith and chose a different company due to their $19 service call (Brucar Locksmith’s service call starts at $35).  As I said in earlier blogs, we take this opportunity to tell the client that no matter what locksmith company they use, make sure to check ID and ask for an estimate BEFORE work begins.  Bottom line, go with your gut instincts.  Do you feel comfortable letting this person work on the keys and locks on your home/car/office??

The locksmith she chose due to the low service call charge did not make her feel comfortable, but what made her not go through with the transaction was the fact that the total cost for the service call plus two re keys was now starting at $175!  She was shocked that the price had risen so drastically.  So they sent him away and called Brucar Locksmith to ask if we can come do the job.

When our uniformed locksmith arrived, one of the two women said to her friend, “look at the van! it says locksmith all over it!  and this guy even looks like a locksmith”.  Apparently, the other technician who arrived was in an unmarked van and had nothing relating to a locksmith company on his person.   Brucar Locksmith’s technician finished the job quickly and the invoice came out to exactly what was quoted on the phone as well as on site before the work was done.

Brucar Locksmith will always give our true prices upfront so there is no guessing.  If something does comes up, our technicians will discuss in detail with the client, and offer educated suggestions. But never will they do any work without the clients approval.  And most likely, as mentioned at the start of this post, we will save the clients money due to our experience and ability with troubleshooting, and vast knowledge of how locks work.

We are available to give advice on lock or safe issues no matter where you are.   You always have access to an honest professional locksmith on the other end of the line.  805-241-0777 or toll free 866-7171-KEY (539) .

“Put our number in your phone, and in an emergency, you won’t be alone”

Think twice before you bite some cheap bait. You might end up paying much more in the end.

23 Feb

Locksmithing is a competitive industry.  But that does not mean all of the competition is worth your time, effort and hard earned money.  We often get phone calls asking for prices, and many times our quote is met with, “I found a locksmith online that advertises service for $15.00”.   We take this opportunity to try and educate our potential clients, sharing with them tips to choosing a quality, professional locksmith company.  The best way for you to filter the duds from the professionals is by asking a few questions:   Is the company  licensed?  Are they bonded and insured? Can they give you a written estimate before any work is done?  Where are they located?  Do they have a storefront**?  Who do you speak to if there are any issues after the service?  Is that $15.00 just to come out?

Most likely, when a company quotes $15-$20 to come to your home or office, they will make up the difference…… by a lot.  We found this article from the BBB in St. Louis  about a nationwide company based in Michigan,  who we often see pop up on local search engines advertising $15.oo service calls.   Click here to read how they are being accused of Bait and Switch tactics.

At the end of the article are some good tips for choosing a locksmith that I will repeat here:

  • Research locksmith companies before you need them. Keep that information in your purse or wallet in the event you need such services in the future.
  • Get an estimate from the locksmith for all work and replacement parts before work begins.  Do not trust estimates given over the phone.
  • Ask for identification. Make sure you have a locksmith’s full name, the company name and contact information before agreeing to work. Reputable locksmiths should ask for your identification before accessing a vehicle or building.
  • Make sure the locksmith has insurance coverage in case there is damage to your home or vehicle.
  • Pay by credit card in the event you want to challenge the charge.

The Better Business Bureau that Brucar Locksmith is proud to be a member of is the BBB of the Tri-Counties


**Some mobile locksmiths are legitimate, just do your research.

Painted keys make a great gift! Inexpensive and personal?…….WIN!

16 Dec

Great Gift Idea:  Choose one of the keys pictured below and the gift recipient can bring it to our shop to have it cut to their key.  While at the lock shop, they can also exchange the key for a different one if they so desire.  Keys range from $4.99-$6.99 and are available in either Schlage or Kwikset.   We can also order specific NHL, NBA, NFL keys for you!

Click on a picture to enlarge

The Today Show airs investigation into “local” locksmiths

16 Nov

Brucar Locksmith is always trying to help people be smart when choosing a locksmith.  The key is to seek out a local licensed professional locksmith company before you need them.  Check out this investigative report on locksmiths,  from The Today Show.  Thanks to them for repeating what we tell all our customers and everyone we meet.  We would rather sound like a broken record, than have our neighbors, friends and family get ripped off.

After you watch, will you take their advice?

Brucar Locksmith's storefront is your Conejo Valley resource for locks, keys, safes and beyond

1. Brucar Locksmith is located at 355 B. East Avenida de los Arboles in Thousand Oaks, CA at the cross street of Moorpark Road.  We are in the Trader Joe’s shopping center near Rite Aid.

2. Come in today! We have business cards, magnets for the fridge, a large variety of keys that can be made on site, a showroom for safes and various locksets and padlocks, fun painted keys.

3. We accept all forms of payment, not just cash. Check, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and we are always happy to set you or your business up with a billing account.

4. We have set prices that will not skyrocket once we get to your home or office.  We will be happy to provide you a written estimate before any work has been done.

5. Put our number in your phone, and in an emergency, you will not be alone! We offer 24/7 mobile emergency service.  805-241-0777 or toll free 866-7171-KEY (539).

6. We guarantee excellent, professional customer service in the field and in the shop.


Local lock and Safe shop



Locksmith Shop in Thousand Oaks

8 Jul

If you have been having trouble finding a lock, key, and safe shop in Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Westlake and the vicinity, look no further!  Brucar Locksmith is now conveniently located in the heart of Thousand Oaks at 355B East Ave. de los Arboles, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.

Brucar Locksmith Showroom window

 We officially opened our doors on July 1, 2011 in the University Shopping Center and are happy to be neighbors with Trader Joe’s, Rite Aid, 3 Amigo’s Mexican and Prism Dental Group to name a few. 

On display, we have a variety of safes as well as door fixtures, locks and accessories, and many keys.  Most any key can be duplicated on the spot.

American Security Gun Safe 1200 degrees Fire Resistant

We are your local locksmith

25 Apr

A friend of mine gave me the coolest gift for my birthday recently.  This Jingle!  It really surprised us and  were really happy with the outcome.  It is definitely “on your nerves” memorable.  Put our number in your phone and in an emergency, you will not be alone!

Brucar Locksmith is proud to serve Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Oak Park, Camarillo, Oxnard, Moorpark, Simi and beyond.   Full service locksmith ; excellent customer service.

Key art

25 Mar

We always try to make a job site  look exactly the way it did when we arrived to it…or better.  

 This local New York City locksmith took his own shop to a new level.    Check it out here.  Towns and cities from New York to Thousand Oaks change. But the need for a good locksmith will never go out of style.