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What if the CUstomer Brings His own parts


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I have started my own shop and recently I have had a number of customers bring in their own parts. I need to know what you guys do in these situations. At first it was one or two and it really didn't seem to make a difference. Now I am seeing it more often and on bigger jobs. I tell the customer there is no warranty if they supply the parts but should I charge more labor? I live in a small community in central Indiana. If it were a bigger Metro area I would charge more labor and not think twice. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks

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I charge more labor because I don't make any money on the mark up of the parts sale. I don't charge a higher labor rate, I just charge more than the posted time. I don't have this happen much myself because I discourage it. Have had to deal with wrong part, doesn't work, didn't fix the problem, ect. This ends up being wasted time on your part.

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I invite the customer in and we give the vehicle/part a quick look over. If i use customer supplied parts there is NO WARRANTY WHATSOEVER unless i approve otherwise. A customers wrong parts or poor choice of parts can help you educate a customer on how to appreciate your parts finding service. If i don't like the brand of part or feel that we are not a good fit i will refer customer to a newer shop down the street that is struggling to stay open. B)

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We had a long standing rule about people bringing in their own parts, but now have a different outlook. Economies change and business models change. We all read how the DIY market is shrinking, but I still see a lot of people trying to do a lot of work themselves, so we have changed our way of thinking…somewhat…

 

First, we do not accept the customer’s diagnosis or a part’s house diagnosis. If they bring us the alternator, I insist on testing the charging system and will charge for that. If they will not allow us to test it, I shake their hand and say, “Have a nice day, goodbye”.

 

Second, I tell the customer up front that we are not in the business of accepting parts from the consumer and installing them, this is not what we do. You can’t bring your steak to Outback and ask them to cook it for you. So, please let us build a relationship where we take care of your car.

 

Third, if we think that we are helping someone, we will give the person a price for the job. We calculate the job with parts and labor markup and charge them the gross profit dollars we would normally make on that job if we supplied the part. This way we still get our money, but with no warranty. So, if we normally make $60.00 on the alternator part, we add that to the labor. We have been very successful with this approach and it keeps our margins in line.

 

I don’t like it, but I am tired of trying to win every battle and change the mindset of some consumers. I just hope I am no diluting my brand.

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wow... a lot of good comments for you.

Here's my take on the whole thing.

 

No#1 --- The evalution of the DIY'r has come to the point that it is only effective as parts swappers. Since a lot of parts swapping isn't as easy as unbolt and install (programming, tear down time...etc..) The next thing for most of them to do is buy cheap parts and have a shop install them.

Keep in mind... the whole concept of DIY is to do it cheaper than it would be if you had a professional do it.

With internet sources such as RockAuto.com and others getting parts cheaper (good parts too!) is getting a lot easier.

 

No#2 --- What to do, or at least what I tend to do.

I won't generally charge more labor. I feel that I'm already one step ahead of my competition because I at least have the job in the door... they don't. If I raise the labor I might actually be sending that work right back to my competition.

But, I'll tell them about the warranty aspects of doing it this way.

 

The conversation goes something like this;

"Even though it may look like a good part, be a good part, and sound like a good part... I am NOT doing the job twice if this part fails without charging you a second time."

 

I call it "Ropin' a steer" (this explanation works good in my area) "When I get that steer down, grab the rope, swing the rope around its legs ... throw my hands up... I'M DONE... call "TIME"!!!" and that's how I work their parts replacements. Once I put the last bolt in I'm done. If I diagnosed it correctly and performed my job correctly the only thing left is if that part does it's job. Hey, if it doesn't... it's a whole new ticket...and I'm going to collect a second labor charge for the same job I just did.

 

Believe it or not.... that little statement almost always gets the customer to allow me to buy the part for them.

 

Well there's my two cents... hope it helps.

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I pretty much follow the same things posted here, don't like it when the customer wants to suppy there parts and tell them the same things, wrong diag, warranty problems, fit and quialty etc. Of corse we have all heard the same thing "I thought I could do the job but." One time a customer came in and said her husband bought the brakes 2 months ago and still hasn't got toinstalling them, can we help? Her rear pads were metal to metal so long the fins in the rotors were showing. Also one thing that no one has address here is state laws on parts we install, some states have a min gaurenty on all parts and labor installed on a car.

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