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Unfair competition, it's just not fair!

You invest lots o money on tolls,equipment and training.

You create an excellent environment for the customer,work hard every day to have an excellent customer service and then comes the statement:

The guy down the street can do it for less!

I have 25 shops around me and at least 20 of them it's unfair competition. I'm always redoing their work, but people still goes back because of the price. They don't do any mark up on parts and only charge 35 dollars in labor to replace brake pads on any vehicle.


I did the math many times and it does not add up. How can they survive?



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I face it every day. Have complained to the state, county and local govt. Unlicensed shops working under the radar.


I'm sure I'll come off as being rude, but seriously? Complained to the state, county, and local govt? Did you try your parents too? I guess that attitude comes with living in a state that 'licenses' repair shops. <_<


Much like XRAC said, just outlast them. If you are fixing other shop's screw ups, you should be earning customers at that point. I don't have any customers that like getting something fixed twice, so most come to me to get it fixed right the first time. With that reputation, you can charge what you want (within reason). I would make sure to tell every customer 'This is what you get for price shopping'. Being nice and cutting them a break doesn't educate them at all on choosing a quality repair center over the 'shade tree mechanic' down the road.

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Build value, build value, build value in your service and sales presentation. Sell the benefits of your service. Charge a fair price for your level of service and if they won't let you make a profit be glad they went somewhere else.

Your webpage and shop look good. I can tell you are doing a lot of things right. If you are having trouble closing sales, my advise would be customer service / sales training. Customers focus on price because that's all they know to ask. You have to point out the advantages for them doing business with you. If it was easy everybody would do it. We have to work hard at it every day. Also Marketing to the right demographic helps. I understand the frustration. I wish some shops would close and eventually they will.

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when I first opened I had the same problem. Eventually I stopped caring what the mobile guys and backyard scam artists were doing and just focused on my own shop. The screw-ups the cheap guys made I was able to fix and that slowly is building my customer base. And the customers who just want a deal and spend no money, well let the cheap guys have them. Let them be someone elses headache. Just keep your head and spirits up :)

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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