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Maybe it's the virtue of the fact that the people that needed it, didn't qualify. I had GE Capital, and had about 15 declines, and then stopped bothering... had the program for 6 months too, and kept paying the monthly fee.

 

 

I was considering the check guarantee program, although the rates were a little bit high, and most also wanted to become the credit card processor, on top of leasing their $1500-$3000 check machine.

 

So it didn't happen, although I even have good customers asking if we finance so they can just do all the work right now, so I am still on the lookout for good solutions.

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The article also covered a woman I think who was using some form of credit card from a 3rd party (I'm assuming that's what you were referring to in your original post). I did like the fact that the cards allowed you to put your business logo on them!

 

Yes, the guy doing it in house is probably making a good bit of extra money charging 10%. Remember, I think he had them pay half up front, then financed the remainder... That should be covering your parts I would think, so essentially you're not taking money our of your own pocket (just labor at that point, which is free if you're the one doing the work). I don't recall that article mentioning what company he used to see if the person had ever written bad checks before though.

 

A strict diet of hot pockets, hungry man tv dinners, and no sodas will help line those pockets with some extra money... Only speaking from experience ;)

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Yes, the guy doing it in house is probably making a good bit of extra money charging 10%. Remember, I think he had them pay half up front, then financed the remainder...

 

Good gracious ... I cannot imagine running an in-house credit card. Tracking down the no-payers has A&E reality show written all over it.

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Wes, in short, the guy would present a customer with a $1000 estimate. To qualify for his credit program, he would require half down ($500), then take 3 checks from the person that day. All the checks would be dated 1 month apart, all amounts being 1/3 of the remaining balance = $200 each. Thus the $500 down + $600 in checks = $1100. Before he would take the checks, he would simply need the customers full name, a pay stub, and one other piece of information (I can't recall), and he was able to see if they had ever written any bad checks in the past or had overdrawn bank accounts. Once he had a current pay stub and saw that they had never written a bad check, he would take the 50% down and 3 checks and perform the repair... Key word here is 'HE'. It's all up to him! If he didn't feel like he was going to get his money, he doesn't have to bother.

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I use a company called EPS90 that basically does the same as the in-house financing that mmotley is describing but I get paid whether the checks bounce or not.(In theory) Of course I have yet to find anyone that wants to pay 10% more than their repair to finance for 90 days so I haven't personally seen it work but the concept and presentation was promising. Luckily I have found that most of my customers either want to pay cash or with their own cards and I have a great processing company that leaves my legs attached and only takes my right arm for a fee. I can put you in touch with the company if you are interested. They were based in Colorado if I remember correctly.

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I used to be on the Board of directors of a small credit union while I owned a shop. The credit union had too much money and needed a way to find new borrowing customers. We ended up doing exactly what is being discussed here, we approached small business that could use our services, loans. The shop customer in need of money to fix a big repair in that shop could contact us and come in for a loan. We had staff that could evaluate the persons credit history and within 1 hour approve or deny the loan. It helped the credit union gain customers and helped the shops we had signed up as approved shops. Over the years we did this, I suspect we loaned many thousands of dollars and also gain many new customers we never would have got. That credit union was taken over by a big credit union and I lost my seat on the board, so have no idea if it is still doing anything like that or not. It would cost zero to the shop to have this system in place with a local close by credit union. Might be worth a try.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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