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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/14/2018 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    A few online resources to create coupons and are relatively easy to use: https://spark.adobe.com/make/coupon-maker/ https://www.canva.com/create/coupons/ https://www.couponler.com/ * Moved to Marketing, Advertising, & Promoting Forum
  2. 1 point
    What are you guys using to create coupons and deals for your shop ? Is there a software that can be bought to create automotive specific coupons ? Also looking to see how to make professional looking pictures with shop logo and what not on them. Thank you!
  3. 1 point
    Would you believe that we removed this from a tire this week. The wrench end was inside the tire and the broke end was sticking out.
  4. 1 point
    I think a lot of shops are falling behind very quickly. I will take the difficult cars, if they have symptoms we will figure it out. Yes, I might loose a few dollars along the way but I would rather do that and show the customer I am the shop to go to and keep my guys sharp. I am also getting in most cases paid along the way. The most important part of this is to let the customer decide how they wish to proceed and keep them in control of the dollars they spend. Stop, get more money until they don't wish to proceed. Keep in mind my shop is viewed as more of an upscale place, we do not quote prices over the phone and have no menu pricing of any kind, we run no specials so we get very few shoppers though our doors. They are usually scared off by the up front testing/inspection fees. If someone has a problem they truly want to figure out we will certainly help them try to accomplish that.
  5. 1 point
    I've talked about this multiple times in the past on this forum. I come from the heavy duty industry at a dealership, and this is the industry standard. Shop rates are in the $130-150 range, and most shops make 0-10% on parts. Dealer shop rates are $160-180. The HD industry is a bit different than automotive, there is less aftermarket available, and OEM parts are generally priced somewhat competitive with the aftermarket anyways (in many cases cheaper), so there is not a huge amount to be gained by shopping around. It's a bit of a running joke among us that so many customers still think the dealer is "too expensive" when in reality the OEM part is much higher quality, but still on par or less money than the aftermarket. Because many HD customers have fleets rather than single trucks, they generally buy a lot from the dealership, and they get volume discounts, while repair shops buy less from dealerships and get weaker discounts and in many cases pay retail prices. This is why many repair shops don't/can't markup their parts. A common markup is 1% on parts to cover administrative costs of ordering the parts. Even bigger shops that get volume discounts still only do a 10% markup in many cases. 20% markup on parts in the HD industry is pretty much unheard of. Yes, part of the situation is that HD parts cost a lot more than automotive parts, but at the same time, HD repair shops have realized that what you are truly charging for is your EXPERTISE to fix problems, not selling parts. This is reflected in the higher labour rates.
  6. 1 point
    mechanic's pay at best is $35 an hour. A $20 diagnostic over 5 minutes is more than enough for that and even overhead. yes, $35 an hour is pretty good. And yes, $20 over 5 minutes ain't bad, if a diag. actually only took 5 minutes, most diags can take 30 to 60 minutes at best. This includes all the research time and equipment use. Let's do the math, at $20 per 5 minutes, diag. comes to $240 per hour. hmm, I'm pretty sure the labor rate ain't that high.... yet. Meaning, an average diag. should fall somewhere between $120 and $240... depending on the amount of time it took to diag. the average problem. (If it took 20 minutes .... it must have been super easy... like.... what was it a loose hose? a bad tooth? Seriously... how long does it take to look at a horseshoe?) I guess, the way he is explaining things, a diag. should only take a few minutes and can't be compared to the involved tests and xrays he's got to do in order to properly diag. a problem. Maybe, I should suggest to him that I'm only going to pay him for the actual 20 minutes he was in the room and not count the hour and a half that I've spent there.
  7. 1 point
    yuck !!! These kinds of people make my blood boil. That being said he fits the majority of the common sector out there.. We have been and probably always will be looked down on , as the guy that couldn't make it so he settled on being a mechanic , an easy mindless job... I turn purple in the face daily at work trying to explain to people about diagnostic charges and why I don't go off of others diagnostics and why I don't like to use their parts.. The funny thing is most honest good mechanics live a basic life where most dentists live a lavish life , hmmm go figure
  8. 1 point
    The real problem is your haggler is comparing apples to oranges. He talks about how much of a professional he is in comparison to you, and then uses the most ridiculous job to do it with. Cleanings. Cleanings for the automotive industry is the equivalent to getting your car washed and vacuumed, not even a detail wash and vacuum. To truly compare apples to apples, he should compare when someone comes in and says their tooth hurts. Then, diagnosing has to be done. Albeit, light in most circumstances. Xrays have to be done. Patient has to go in the chair and physically get inspected. Sometimes it's not easily visible on the Xray or in the visual inspection and he has to actually do something else. A professional in this field has to start with the basics each and every time. Interview the customer about the problem. Perform all the basic checks on the vehicle. Then perform basic checks based on the symptom. Then check for codes stored. Evaluate all of the above. Formulate a test plan. Execute said test plan. Mind you.... we haven't even started testing yet and at least 30 minutes have gone by, our non disposable scan tool was used, along with years of experience.
  9. 1 point
    That's a result of doctors going to school, they learn everything about being in their profession, and don't know anything else! They have to hire other professionals to do just about everything, even if they have time to do it themselves. Unfortunately, some don't realize this, such as in the case of your dentist story!
  10. 1 point
    There is at least one very successful shop I know of who marks up parts minimally and charges for actual labor times taken. I would assume the rate is higher than the traditional model. The problem with allowing customers to bring in their own parts is parts quality period. They dont know what is good and what is not. If it becomes that big a problem offer to supply parts at near cost (obviously you could negotiate a little back end money) and just raise the labor rate to account for it. In the end, same dollars, same level of service just different model.
  11. 1 point
    `Scott This has been discussed and there are better ways to go about it. First off, sell tests not diagnosis. When you go to a Dr they test things...they evaluate the results of a test or tests and may come to a diagnosis or if the tests come back negative they dont....but they still charge. We, like you hold ourselves to a pretty high standard and sometimes will spend more than the allotted time...like you we are trying to figure out better ways to charge and present it so the customer gets value. When we present the customer with the initial testing fee we state we will stop and contact them with the results. A sample of what we might report would be we've scanned the computer for codes, we retrieved a poxxx code which relates to this system. We've performed multiple tests to the components of this system and all tests have passed. At this time we do not have a direction to go in. We can clear the codes, return the vehicle to you and when symptoms arise we will then be able to proceed with further testing -OR- we can attempt to get the symptoms to occur while the vehicle is in the shop. This will require driving blah blah blah and so forth and so on......and the cost to proceed with that will be $xxxx. At this point you should advise them what you think is the best route to take. To me it can be like tracing a shorted wire. We don't know how long it will take but we will go about it in the most logical order and you (the customer) will control the process by setting the dollar limit (with our suggesting a range) that we will not exceed. Let them decide how important it is. In my early years I used to allow customers to control things (they will let you donate hour upon hour to find their problem) but realized if is is not important to them (they are willing to pay me to find the issue) it is not important to me. As much as we try to control the loss of time there are still situations where a little leaks out....
  12. 1 point
    I just wanted to share a quick tip that I think is easily overlooked... invest in your community! And not just one. I have to say a lot of our success comes from the local community who have seen our name at the local booster clubs, fundraisers, sponsorships, etc. Don't count out your local chamber or commerce either. Host get-togethers/business functions at our shop, get a little league banner, run a "contest" if you will that will benefit the local food bank. Get involved! You will be better known around the community if you do. It has helped us grow so quickly these last couple of years. I rarely say no to a sponsorship and it has paid off in the end. Here is one of the last community sponsorships we did. We tied it into our local "best of" contest that we have in town: Best Auto Body Shop in Orangevale
  13. 1 point
    Poking it with a Sharp Stick It's not so much that I work with the general public in my daily business, it's more of what kind of 'public' gives me the business. I'm not talking about people who can think and reason like most educated, knowledgeable people. It's that ever present cave man mentality. You know the type, the guy who's elevator doesn't go to the top floor, or the couple who can't seem to keep both oars in the water. The all seem to lack one simple characteristic, common sense. The very quality that every halfwit adventure I've either seen, (or been a part of) have in common. (I can't leave myself out of this one... guilty as charged) It stands to reason if some of these mental giants were among the intrepid pioneers who crossed the great divide in a Conestoga wagon, they probably would be the ones that never made it. But, with so many modern conveniences like diet, clean water, and modern medical care, these half-wit trail blazers roam freely throughout every part of the countryside. There was a comedian some years ago who told a story about his ancestors from the Stone Age. He commented on how some people felt it necessary to leave the safety of the cave to take on some huge beast with nothing more than a sharpened stick, only to be trampled to death by the same prehistoric behemoth. He went on to say, “My relatives were the ones who stayed in the cave... how else can explain my being here?! If my ancestors were the ones who got killed off, how would it be possible for me to be standing here telling you all about them? My relatives had the good sense to stay out of harm’s way. Were my ancestors brave? Sure they’re brave, they’re just not stupid.” “Oh look, large man eating beast outside the cave, I’ll stay here… you can go out there. I’ve gotta sharpen my stick, and while you’re gone I'll paint your picture on these cave walls. Our ancestors will think you’re great hunters that way.” (“Right, when in fact they’re running for your lives…!”) Funny, yes, true... I guess so, and in similar ways, it’s how some people tackle car repair. In most states there’s no regulation to keep someone from poking their pointed stick under the hood of their car, or hanging a shingle on a shop door and call themselves a “mechanic”. The unsuspecting consumer is at the mercy of the phone book (and other sources) to find a shop that can actually make the appropriate repairs on their car. It's like the car has turned into a huge mammoth, and the person attempting the repair is just taking stabs at it with a sharp stick. No training, no experience, and more than likely no clue what they are doing. This is but one of the many reasons why the automotive field gets such low marks in the consumers’ eyes. As one of my customers told me, “It's getting harder and harder to find a good mechanic these days”. And, from what I can tell, it hasn’t been much better in previous decades either. A typical example of this was last week. An older gentleman came into the shop with an air conditioning problem on his 1967 Thunderbird. Sweet ride, entirely original... just the way he liked it. He had been to several shops trying to get the air conditioning working. This car was factory equipped with the old style compressor and A/C lines that didn't use a Schrader valve, but instead had the hand shut off valves that you moved (in the correct direction) to recharge or change the compressor. The owner’s story was that every place he went to, no one knew how to use the hand valves correctly to refill the system. They were all good at replacing parts, but had no clue as to how the system worked. I'm old enough to have worked on these when they were very common. All the previous shops could have figured out how they operated, if they would have just put down their pointy stick, and did a little research. (FYI - There's only 3 positions to be concerned about: Front seated blocks off the compressor, Mid-position is used to allow flow between entire system, compressor, and the gauge port, and the most important one, back seated, which allows the entire system to work normally.) Turned into an easy job for me; all in all, the A/C system was blowing cold air in no time. All it took was a little basic knowledge rather than guessing at it. (No telling what parts actually needed replaced, by the time I saw the car everything was new, oiled, and mounted correctly.) Too bad for the owner though, he paid each and every one of them to do what I just did... make cold air. The T-bird owner was overjoyed to finally have his air conditioning back in working order. (He did tell me he wasn't about to use those other guys ever again.) I guess after so many pokes with that sharp stick the T-Bird owner had had enough. Then there’s the DIY'r trying to repair the car in the family cave. First it’s a jab with the pointed end of their stick, then two, then another, until they either figure it out, or they find the information they need to make the repairs. There's been a lot of talk lately about the factory information not being available... really?? What Neanderthal told you that? I've been working professionally in the car repair business for a long time and I've never had any problem obtaining factory information. The hard part is getting the right scanners (at reasonable prices) and education these days. It's out there; it just may take a little poking around to find it. (Pun intended) The big thing is, it’s not free, never has been. Poking the sharp end of your stick at the manufacturer and expecting him to roll over like a wounded mammoth and hand you the information for free … just ain't happening… ever. I have this mental image of a DIY'r and their protégé the “untrained mechanic” as the cave men portrayed in the painting with the great mammoth in center. The cave men are throwing their spears into the beast, but the huge behemoth of prehistoric times still isn't quite finished off. It's not a futile effort, if they keep stabbing at it they’ll eventually get the job done. Gee, doesn’t that sound just like a couple of guys trying to figure out what’s wrong with the car by throwing part after part at it? It does to me. Poking around with that Stone Age sharpened stick method of diagnostics is a slow and unproductive way of making any kind of automotive repair. But, I still see the same kind of poor workmanship even today. Working on modern cars, and even one from a few decades ago requires the right tools, the right information, and some good old fashion common sense. If you’ve got all that, you’ve got half the battle won. That common sense and good repair practices goes a long way. One thing’s for sure… it beats poking it with a sharp stick.
  14. 1 point
    System is the answer, always the same. We tag the car when it comes in and placed on the top left of the key rack. When the car is worked on, immediately roll down the window. When the car is finished the key goes on the other side of the key rack. If the car stays overnight and the car is inside, the key goes on the seat or ignition. Does this stop losing the key at least 99% Every once in a while a key goes home or ?????? It doesn't happen very often.
  15. 1 point
    The best run businesses are those that know what they do best. I am not opposed to adding services, just be sure you it's in line with your business model. Also, trying to be everything to everyone will back fire. So, my advice is to sit down and determine what services and repairs fit your business model and make sure that what ever you offer, you do efficiently. You added oil changes a few years back; that's great. One suggestion I would make is to also add preventive maintenance services. People keep their cars longer these days and offering services that protect and extend the life of their cars is well worth considering. Best of luck!
  16. 1 point
    I have not attended any Napa classes and only 1 Snapon class, wasn't impressed. But Worldpac training is really good as well as Carquest CTI. But also checkout BWD training through Orielly's. It is pretty good, especially for those that haven't had much training. Also ATG has awesome classes, atgtraining.com You can sign up to be notified of any upcoming classes that aren't on there website yet. Also for a multi day training expo there is Automechanika in Atlanta August 8-10. ASTE in Cary, NC the last Fraiday and Saturday in September. You should also check out scannerdanner.com You can get his book for $100 and his premium content for $11/month. His premium content with his book is worth so much more than he charges. His premium channel used to be on YouTube but it is now on his website. I can't recommend that enough.
  17. 1 point
    We refuse to work with any of these "companies". Yes, in quotes because I think they're just thieves preying on the hard work of others. I'm not lowering my profit margin for a price shopping customer who will just move on to the next cheapest shop for future repairs.
  18. 1 point
    skm, you're correct and I agree with you on a couple of points. You said... "a lot of people that go for the cheap oil change are there just for that." Yes, you're 100% correct. That's the same for Groupon type offers and coupons - and they are hard to convert to "good customers". Secondly, you said "One other thing that will play a role in things is demographics". Correct! Just because these 1,000 people live close to your shop doesn't mean that they are the type of customer you want. Cheap oil changes can work, but they should be promoted to YOUR CUSTOMERS to get them back in. Then, if you do it right, you don't even have to discount those oil changes. How? Send them a text message and fix your car count. When I speak with shop owners and they tell me that "their customers are cheap", or "they would never go for that", I reply by asking one simple question. "Who attracted those customers?" You get what you promote. Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" Fix Your Car Count in 17 Minutes... Guaranteed! The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  19. 1 point
    000ooo - we are in the statistically poorest county in NY. Low income people can't afford to pay twice to repair their car. They benefit from quality parts because its cheaper for them in the long run. You can definitly have a successful business in a low income area, it takes a little more work. Educate your customers on the value of quality, don't keep them down. Speaking of quality, I suggest reading "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" by Robert Persig. It is not an automotive business novel by any means, but provides a good insight on "quality"
  20. 1 point
    We can't install customer supplied parts. As the professional, we become liable. There are tons of articles about this subject. Shops have gotten sued after installing customer parts that fail and they lose. We as the professionals are liable for the work we do, parts do not matter. I do not allow in our shop not only for this reason, but because parts & labor are how we profit in order to stay in business. We only use certain brands for certain jobs. We over time have come to find what good brands are and what bad brands to stay away from. Why? Because we are the professional! How many brakes, ball joints, calipers, Mass Air Flow Sensors, etc have we installed in our careers? We know what fails and what doesn't. Stand up, be proud of your profession and let them know exactly why we can't adhere to this practice. We deserve to make a profit and make a living for the work we do. Still haven't even thought about taking my own steak to a restaurant. I feel great to pay others for the services they provide for me that I know nothing about. Home HVAC, not my thing, but I know who to call. Plumber!!! Got a company for that too.
  21. 1 point
    We are a full service shop. We install customer supplied parts ALL the time. We have a few polices with it. We guarantee to install the part correctly, but there is NO warranty. Also, people who order these parts half the time bring the WRONG parts or they dont fit. Can be anything, brakes or cats. If we take apart your car and the parts you brought dont FIT you have 2 options. Buy our part, or we put your car back together with your original part on it and still charge you the labor. We wont wait for a customer to order more parts for them to "save" $
  22. 1 point
    I have the same way of doing it as all you guys but I don't like to make it cut & dry, yes or no to their own parts installation. So this guy calls and asks me if I will install his own exhaust pipe, he already had a good used part & clamps. We are very busy at this time and I think it over, "what kind of car is it ask", a 2005 Audi A4 1.8T with 100000+ miles, I think, this car is a $$$$ money making pit. I say to him I will look at it and I only let a customer to bring his parts one time. I want to try to get them as a regular. He comes in & we look at it and he has the wrong pipe!! He states he is tired of trying to save money on this job & for me to give him a price to fix it. We do our 27 point check & come back to him with a price for a new Audi center pipe & rear calipers, pads & rotors. He just spent $1500.00 here that we never would have seen if I said " we do not install customers parts". Another guy this week couldn't get his Audi caliper bolts loose so he could replace pads. We turned that into a $500.00 job for a couple hours on the lift & I know he will return for other work, maybe even to do the brakes correctly. I'm not saying I do this all the time, many times they are such a pain to deal with, I'm just saying I try not to just blow them off because I know if I do, we will never get another chance to see their car $$$$$$. By the way, in NY we as a shop cannot work on a car without guaranteeing the job doesn't matter where the parts come from, part of repair shop law. Doesn't mean if I put a used muffler on I am on the hook to make it new, only that I did the job correctly. Party on. Dave
  23. 1 point
    I also own a brake shop and in my first year I did install customer supplied parts on occasion. Over time I noticed a pattern with these people, they rarely showed up! Most likely they found some backyard guy to do it for $20 and a 12 pack, but didn't have the decency to call the shop to cancel. I quit doing it, no exceptions, and it doesn't bother me one bit if they don't like our policy. Let them go, they are not going to hurt you and only cause you grief. Focus on doing top notch work with quality parts and charging a fair price and you'll do just fine. After 4 years now I'm the go to brake guy in town and can barely keep up with the work. Oh and if they need a reason I tell them it's a liability issue with our insurance company, that if their parts fail the insurance company has no recourse. They usually understand that. I even get one now and then that'll bring his parts back and let me do my job.
  24. 1 point
    I to have been struggling with customer supplied parts. I always inform them that there is absolutely no warranty on customer supplied parts. Had a pickup in here last week that needed a transfer case. Quoted him a price to rebuild as well as a price to buy a reman. Money was an issue, so he called a friend that has a friend with the perfect transfer case for his pickup. He let me know he was bringing it in Friday morning, but had plans he needed his truck for Saturday. We pulled the t-case before he got here, and I had a bad feeling about the whole deal. Sure enough, he shows up with the wrong transfer case. I explained that there would be additional time billed because the truck couldn't stay in my shop all weekend and it takes time to shove it out and pull it in and everything. Customers that supply their own parts are usually to cheap to buy quality parts. I've decided to put an end to it and yesterday put signs up in the shop stating we do NOT install customer supplied parts for any reason. If they are buying the parts themselves, they can install them as well.
  25. 1 point
    I have gone to one if Ati's boot camp classes but I just cat seem to pull the trigger on the system.