I have just acquired a bass clarinet, because the horn is 25 yeas of age, has a few leaks and smells a bit musty I would like to have it overhauled so, I proceeded to enquire at several places and I discovered even wilder variation of the asking prices for an that you can find with Saxophones overhaul.
I have limited my search in an area 100 km from where I live and prices vary incredibly. An overhaul (whatever that means....... ) goes from a Minimum of 300 to a maximum of 1000 (someone also mentioned a price of 1500 as a possibility!).
Let alone that some people do it in a week and some others take up to 3 months!
Also the amount of labour hours mentioned vary wildly.
So it is obvious that:
1) not everyone means the same thing when it comes to the term overhaul( and that happens with saxophones too)
2) some people value they labour at 3 or 4 times the price that other charge.
Besides, yes, like for almost anything else done by an artisan, word of mouth is the only thing that can be used to evaluate one repairer against another but there is no objective comparative method.