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Cone_Junky
Cone_Junky HalfDork
9/26/11 6:03 p.m.
audifan wrote: As a shop owner in the Northeast. I try to go for a total profit margin of about 60% Usually it winds up splitting into about 35/25% ratio in favor of the parts. i would rather have it the other way but hey. One thing everyone has to remember is that these local guys that alot of people have come to rely on are struggling to survive in the current economy and the fact that alot of people start shopping things around to whittle out the last penny from anyone makes life really tough. I for one will not give any one an estimate over the phone, what if the car is 10 years old has been parked on dirt its whole life and they want some fuel lines replaced? I would rather chew my own leg off than do that for book time. I do not let anyone bring in their own parts. If I did then my labor rate would double TO START..... Also keep in mind that you as the consumer expect that the part and the labor should carry at least a 1 year 12k miles warranty correct? well guess what we factor that in to our profit margin. Keep in mind the average pro mechanic has well over $100K in tools and boxes, yet a plumber can keep all his tool needs in a hand carried box generally speaking yet he can make 3-5 times as much as an auto tech. And the Auto tech needs to be a plumber, electrician, HVAC, computer, and mechanical repair guy all wrapped in one.. 5 guys in one I guess that means he should get 5 times the salary right? Sign me up for the $500k per year salary!!!! As for price matching/price hunting customers sorry I am too busy (i dont care if they see me sit on my fat ass and cruise GRM online all day and not pick up a wrench, I am still too busy :-) )

As a professional auto tech, I really like the way you think

wbjones
wbjones SuperDork
9/26/11 7:22 p.m.

don't really have any problems with your business sense/model other than that about bringing my own parts... if I let you select the parts I'm at the mercy of your likes/dislikes... ( and yeah I've had to argue with a shop in the past to get the parts I wanted) I don't bring in ElCheepo parts... but I do bring in the parts I want on my car.. if I can't get you to do the work that I can't do, with the parts I want, then some other shop will get my business no matter how great the reputation you have...

'course not everyone feels the same way I do ...

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
9/26/11 8:05 p.m.
Jensenman said: So what does a reputable shop do? Stick with quality stuff and mark it up so they can keep the doors open and don't listen to the whiners who shopped it around somewhere else not realizing they weren't truly comparing apples and apples.

Right_berkeleying_on. I don't know how many times I've had this conversation with my customers. Yes, the guy down the road charges slightly less than I do - he is also using E36 M3 materials and generally doesn't know what the hell he's doing....oh wait, he's not around anymore! And neither are the 8 other shops in a 40 mile radius that have closed over the last 2 years. I fix their work all the time.

I am in no way in the automotive industry, btw.

Wally
Wally SuperDork
9/26/11 9:13 p.m.
wbjones wrote: don't really have any problems with your business sense/model other than that about bringing my own parts... if I let you select the parts I'm at the mercy of your likes/dislikes... ( and yeah I've had to argue with a shop in the past to get the parts I wanted) I don't bring in ElCheepo parts... but I do bring in the parts I want on my car.. if I can't get you to do the work that I can't do, with the parts I want, then some other shop will get my business no matter how great the reputation you have... 'course not everyone feels the same way I do ...

If I asked for a brand of part for whatever reason I've never had a shop tell me no, but when I worked in a shop I've had people bring me the wrong piece or a E36 M3 low dollar part and then whine when we would touch it. I completely understand a shop that won't allow outside parts.

One thing I learned working in repair shops and parts stores is that the average car person knows nothing about cars, even their own. Just stand next to a muscle car at a car show and listen to the comments. "I had a Charger just like it but it had the 442 inch straight 8 and a 4 speed powerglide. It used to do an easy 170-180 on the parkway. It was so fast they couldn't race it in Nascar." I actually heard that a few weeks ago while I was standing next to my friend's Chevelle. i wish I had the whole thing on tape.

audifan
audifan Reader
9/27/11 9:54 a.m.
poopshovel wrote:
Jensenman said: So what does a reputable shop do? Stick with quality stuff and mark it up so they can keep the doors open and don't listen to the whiners who shopped it around somewhere else not realizing they weren't truly comparing apples and apples.
Right_berkeleying_on. I don't know how many times I've had this conversation with my customers. Yes, the guy down the road charges slightly less than I do - he is also using E36 M3 materials and generally doesn't know what the hell he's doing....oh wait, he's not around anymore! And neither are the 8 other shops in a 40 mile radius that have closed over the last 2 years. I fix their work all the time. I am in no way in the automotive industry, btw.

OOOOH I love fixing other peoples screw ups I use the PITA factor when figuring out the price.

Long and the short of it, like most things in life, if you want it done correctly with no concerns for reliability cleanliness of work etc etc. its gonna cost you.... And if you pay the cheap guy to do a half assed job and then come to me to fix it, IT'S GONNA COST YOU A LOT MORE than if you had just paid me the first time......

As for the parts you choose versus what I choose, generally speaking I will almost always choose a factory supplier ex. if Pagid makes the brake pads for your porsche and they brand them for porsche to sell as porsche brake pads, then I will usually get them directly from my pagid distributor. The only time I will make an exception is if the car is not a street car, and or there is a clear gain in quality/useability/performance with the aftermarket part. And for the performance oriented client that says there is a huge difference between X and Y brake pads then I beg you to show me that difference and how that difference cant be made up by fixing the loose nut behind the wheel?................. Because here is the upside to that last statement being a better driver is a modification that works with every car, you brake pad "upgrade" only works on the car you currently own. A brake pad example: Hey I can get these for $XYZ.00 from pagid or we can buy the same exact thing from porsche for %WXYZ.00 which would you like to use? Mr Customer says well whats the difference? Well if you have a warranty problem with the pads you while you are in bumscrew no where with the porsche sourced pads you can go to a dealer and the *parts would be covered (with some paperwork exchanging this is possible) if you choose the pagid units then you are E36 M3 out of luck unless you can find a pagid dealer (HAHAHAHA GOOD LUCK) So you have two choices. The total cost for these repairs may be $275.00 and $350.00 respectively. If you bring your own pads in (say hawks or EBC green, pick one ) and ask me to put them on (which I wont) it is still gonna cost you 275-350.00 depending on how close you want to watch me (cause chances are you are one of those types) and because it doesn't pay for me to whore myself out and do your brought in brake pads for a total profit level of 25% when I could do two other jobs in the same time frame and make a clear 60% profit on both of those jobs. (cause remember you are watching me and asking me questions and we are gabbing about what you saw on the "dumbest stuff on wheels" last night, slowing me down and distracting me

So two jobs @ 60% profit lets say they are $300 jobs that is $180 x 2 = $360 VS. your labor only book time job that takes up the same amount of time @ 25% profit 1.5 hrs @ $75 per hour = A WHOPPING $28.12 in profit HMMMM that is a hard decision for me especially when I factor in all the previously mentioned pitfalls the transaction has already encountered.

PLEASE THIS IS NOT DIRECTED AT ANYONE JUST A GENERAL APPROACH I HAVE TO THIS VERY SITUATION Sorry for the rant

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