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I am seeing more and more customers coming into the shop with their own parts or wanting us to estimate labor and they will bring the part. We had a car in the shop today with an overheating complaint. We found the cooling system low and pressure tested the system finding a leaking part. We have had a bad experience replacing this part with aftermarket in the past and now only use OEM. We priced this repair to the customer on the phone and they agreed to the repair. They called back a few minutes later and said they had called a parts supplier (I wont mention the company) 25 miles away and could get the part for almost 1/2 of my price and wanted to know what the labor would be. My wife explained to the customer that we had previous problems installing this part aftermarket and only installed OEM with a 1 yr parts and labor warranty. She advised her that sh could bring her own part but their would be no labor warranty. The lady was upset but stated that she wanted the labor warranty and to go ahead with the repair. How do you guys handle this type situation? Customers supplying their own parts (usually wrong) are killing me. Thoughts and comments?

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I almost never use a customer supplied part unless I know what they have (example: I installed the customer supplies AC Delco plugs since this is what I would have used in the vehicle anyway). One of the things that I am learning the hard way is if you install a customer supplied part, you lose all the way around. If they bring you the wrong part, you are waiting on them to provide the correct part. You lose money on the parts markup which means you lose on the payment of your overhead. I don't give the customer the option. I tell them I would rather get the part then I know its correct, especially since most people don't have any idea things like engine size, year, trim level, and ect.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well said! I only wish more shop owners felt this way. Many shop owners do not realize the hit they are taking by not charging what they are worth. Many think that a job is a job, especially when they are slow. That's not true. Doing work that is not profiable is a sure way to go out of business.

 

 

Some very good points in this blog. One point that wasn't covered is the customer... the customer "type" that feels it's necessary to go to the internet or find the cheapest part. These folks are the kind of customers I'd soon never see. You can never be profitable if your customer is bring his own steak to the resturaunt.

 

I'm always amazed at the lack of respect and professionalism that the "customer" brings to the front counter. We, as the shop owners and mechanics/techs are expected to be professional, but when the customer seems to think that we are incompetent and can't figure out which part is cheaper or the fact that futher testing is needed we... as the "independent automotive industry" take a back seat to the customers problems. They... the customer... become the problem.

 

I think our years of experience and knowledge in our field makes us more aware of which parts are better, which car may need additional labor time over and above book time... which diagnostic procedure may require more labor hours. But that all falls on deaf ears when you're talking to this type of customer... their mind is already made up... long before they ever got to the front door.

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We are running into this more and more , We tell the customer up front that the labor will be increased by 40% if they supply the part , we also tell them that our hoist time is $2.00 per minute if the part is wrong and they have to go and get another part. Also there is absolutely NO warranty for any labor. This stops most people from wanting to supply their own parts. There is a few exceptions like someone that broke off a spark plug or stripped the threads out then we will install their spark plugs. I do not like supplying or installing used engines but due to the economic situation I install a few of them , I give the customer a list of which wrecking yards have an engine and let them buy it from them. I also still charge 30-40% more for the labor with no warranty. By us not supplying the engine the ball is in their court if it does not work.

 

 

I won't raise the labor to them, but I will explain the "ropin = a - steer" approach... No warranty, no redus... when I put the last bolt on I throw my hands in the air and say "TIME" I'm done... I couldn't care less if it works or not... the customer became the tech and parts buyer at that point I'm just two hands and a box of wrenches... If, it doesn't work and it needs redone... well, we start all over with a new invoice and treat it like a brand new job. Diagnostics and all.... Oh, when it comes to used parts... I make them get them... not me... Sooner or later they'll get tired of driving back and forth to the scrap yard trying to find a good part or the correct part. And, reliaze they should have let me handle the whole thing in the first place.

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We are running into this more and more , We tell the customer up front that the labor will be increased by 40% if they supply the part , we also tell them that our hoist time is $2.00 per minute if the part is wrong and they have to go and get another part. Also there is absolutely NO warranty for any labor. This stops most people from wanting to supply their own parts. There is a few exceptions like someone that broke off a spark plug or stripped the threads out then we will install their spark plugs. I do not like supplying or installing used engines but due to the economic situation I install a few of them , I give the customer a list of which wrecking yards have an engine and let them buy it from them. I also still charge 30-40% more for the labor with no warranty. By us not supplying the engine the ball is in their court if it does not work.

I havent raised my labor rate for used parts but may look into that. The hoist or bay time is a big issue with us if we tear it down and it is stuck in our bay while they take their time looking for the right part. I learned the hard way to never supply a used engine or tranny. I will install them but no warranty and the price quoted is done when the engine is installed. if it doesnt run, has a problem we stop call the customer and advise them additional time is required

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      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
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