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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/30/2017 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Got my own branded flashlight, ordered 500 of them from Alibaba.com - talked to a bunch of suppliers and bought 500 for a good deal. I got my own branded long double box end wrenches as well being manufactured right now. Also ordered magnetic phone holders (1000 of them) and 200 OBDII wifi code readers. Spent about $10k, trying to get my name out there and earn some extra money on the side. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carmedix-Super-Bright-Rechargeable-LED-Water-Resistant-Flashlight-for-Mechanics-/272713331814?epid=16002924438&hash=item3f7efb3466:g:JzIAAOSwrfVZPg0r https://www.amazon.com/Carmedix-Rechargeable-Resistant-Flashlight-Mechanics/dp/B072MPMQ5P/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501210798&sr=8-1&keywords=carmedix I am new to listing products and advertising, what do you guys think? I took all the pictures myself. Thinking about giving away the magnetic phone holders with oil changes. Has a nice big logo on it and customers will see it when phone is removed. I like the idea of arming my loyal customers with code readers. I know it's controversial but for my loyal customers, it'll be good. When making a appointment, they can tell me the code in which I can tell them it's a emergency or schedule them my next available. I will also know if I need to schedule for a smoke test or diagnosing a misfire.
  2. 1 point
    HOME Hoarders Watching television these days you’ll find a lot of so called reality shows on the air waves. I sat thru one of these hoarding shows, and quite frankly I wasn’t surprised at all. I’ve seen this same thing in cars, trucks, and vans. Junk, trash, and just about anything you could think of piled up inside the car and/or in the bed of the truck. The one thing that seems to be common with every one of them is the mess. It’s not so much the piles of crap that they keep in their vehicles, but how they keep their stuff. It’s always a disorganized mess with no rhyme or reason of organization. I can’t work like that myself. Now, I’m not all that neat with my tool box. But it’s at least it’s an organized chaos. Sockets and extensions of the same ratchet size in one area, cutting tools in another, screw drivers and pliers all have their own place. I actually use several tool boxes to store my 30+ years of variety of tools. Even with the tool boxes, I still have to have other tools that come in their own protective plastic molded boxes on shelves neatly labeled as to what is in each box, in order to retrieve them when needed. Older, out of date tools seem to always end up in lower and lower drawers. I can’t even tell you where my dwell meters are these days… haven’t seen them in years. Now I see the same trend in old scanners. The pile is getting larger and larger. I still have an old MatCo 4000E and a few other ones on one of the lower shelves. I don’t think I’ve turned them on in years, but all the cards and cords are there. It’s almost funny, (in a weird way) that each time you update a scanner, the new scanner generally will do all the older systems. So instead of pulling out your old scanner I’ll reach for the new one every time. So what happens to that old scanner? It will end up with that old dwell meter somewhere out of sight and forgotten. These days I find myself “hoarding” some of these new tools, and wait for a chance to use some of them. Now, I’ve got a collection of so called “new” tools that I haven’t found much use for yet. Special headlamp assembly removal tools, belt tools, shocks wrenches, front end disassembly tools, suspension tools, and so much more. Most of which I may only see use for only once in a great while. For example, I’ve done several of the water pumps on the “North Star” engines, and with the right tool it’s an easy job. I wouldn’t even begin to think of doing it without it. The tool wasn’t cheap, but I’m sure at some point in time it too will end up in the bottom of the box. I don’t think of myself as a tool hoarder, or a collector… I just want the right tool for the right job. As a tech the expense of these tools can be costly, keeping them clean and well kept helps me maintain them for a long time. Without the right tool, the job isn’t as easy as it could be. So anytime I can get the correct tool I will. Then there are those homemade tools that I have a tougher time sending to the deep dark pockets of the lower drawers. At the time I needed that certain cut down tool or a socket I ground an edge off of… they made sense. Looking in the drawer at some of these old handmade marvels I have to wonder… why I did do “that” to this tool? Obviously, I’ve forgotten what it was for… so it now becomes the next tool that will get “re-made” into the next handmade tool. These tools I’ll “hoard” for a long time, just can’t part with them so easily. I’ve also seen guys who have huge boxes of tools that have every single socket and screw driver so perfectly placed in their tool boxes that they resemble museum pieces. I’ve even seen a guy who had a huge, and I mean huge, selection of hammers… of various sizes and lengths. All these hammers were lined up on overhead racks equally spaced apart, and put into a pattern from small to large, and by handle length. A thing of beauty to a tool guy like myself. Not that practical in my point of view though. I mean, really, how many hammers do ya need? A hoarder? No not really. I think it actually falls under the category of collector. Collectors take pride in what they have, and are proud to display them in an orderly fashion. One thing that goes along with those hoarders’ cars and trucks is the stench… OMG… always, always, always it smells like something died in there. I’ll bet doctors could tell some horror stories dealing with people and their hygiene, and I’m sure I’m not the only tech who has dealt with the smelly car from hell. Nasty, is the only way to say it… putrid, awful, and disgusting. YUK! Well, then again, it’s work… not pleasant work, but it is work. I think the worst one that I can remember getting into was a Chevy van with a heater core leak. The van was stacked level with the windows front to back with the most horrendous conglomeration of junk I’ve ever had to deal with. There was only enough room for the driver and barely any room to move the gear shift lever. Totally disgusting, and even more to the point that smell, that awful unforgettable smell! Papers, fast food bags, clothes, shoes, and anything else you can think of. I always try to put things back in order that I take things out of a glove box or trunk, but, there was no way to “re-stack” everything back in on this “hoarder-mobile”… it was an intertwined hap-hazard pile of putrid junk. All I could do was grab handfuls of this stuff and throw it on the shop floor. In fact, I gave the lady the estimate based on book time… then I crossed out the book time, and told her that the book time doesn’t apply due to the conditions I’m working in. She still said go for it… so I did. With an aspirator, plastic gloves and a long sleeve jacket that I planned to throw out as soon as I was done. I “dove” right into my work on this reeking pile of refuse, and finished it as quickly as I could. You know, I really should have done this job outside, because the stench lingered in the shop for weeks. These people have a serious mental problem, but most of them don’t see it as a problem. I’m no doctor, so I probably shouldn’t make diagnostic claims on things I know nothing about, I’m just a mechanic. I’ll try to deal with junk and the smell, get the job done, and move on to the next one. (Hopefully a more pleasant one). When you finish with one of these jobs, don’t forget to wipe your tools down before you neatly place them back into your tool box. Messy tools and a messy shop aren’t very presentable, but for some customers it’s not a concern of theirs how their vehicle looks or smells, they just want the car fixed. Even though I’ll fix the car, the smell and the sight of these trash cans on 4 wheels sure does get to me. Yuk! View full article
  3. 1 point
    The flashlight adds look great. My wife/English Teacher would smack my knuckles with a ruler if I didn't advise you that 'does' should be 'do' in the following sentences. Long lasting 18650 rechargeable battery INCLUDED- many flashlights in this price range does do not include a battery! Convenient hidden micro USB charging port - a lot of other flashlights in this price range does do not have a direct charge port!
  4. 1 point
    Nice stuff! Who doesn't need a "High Quality Aluminum Alloy Super Bright CREE LED BULB" flashlight! Honestly... not picking on you - I promise. Strictly from a "business" point of view, the problem I have with all that stuff (typically referred to as specialty advertising - stuff with your name on it) is that you can't track any type of ROI. One of the things I constantly reminder shop owners of is that "if you can't track it - don't do it" So what would have happened if you purchased $10k in postage stamps - and turned each postage stamp into a 10x return? Again - I am not here to pick on you - but when I can take a postage stamp, a well crafted direct response letter - send out a few hundred and turn that one mailing into thousands... I can't get excited about a flash light that will do... uh... well... nothing - but maybe light up your bank account when it's empty! Again - not trying to p*** you off - and value is ALWAYS in the eyes of the beholder... but I would have stopped long before the 10K mark Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  5. 1 point
    I agree. Thanks for making me smile.
  6. 1 point
    The service advisor in a busy shop already has too much on their plate, and it's a challenge to stay focused on the important, productive tasks. To me, you're adding more stuff to distract from what will actually make you money and develop loyal customers, like consistent inspections and routine maintenance. You're creating more things to have to discuss with the customers. You'd see much more ROI if you spent that $10k on Google Adwords or a retention and follow up system like Myshopmanager.com. JMHO
  7. 1 point
    There are several ways to go. I think the RAP reflash technology is a bit young and they're having trouble with it. I got the DrewTech RAP box a while ago, and it's pretty limited on what it can do. They also bricked a PCM on a ford van. They stood behind it and bought a new PCM, but it put my customer out for a couple days waiting for the new PCM and for DrewTech to send us the Rotunda tool to program it. I'm confident they'll fix this issue, but it's not fixed yet. You can get a Snap On j-box for reasonable money, and a cheap laptop will run it. I think my laptop still has a "Made for Windows XP" sticker on it. The real problem is that you need to figure out how many flashes you do, and what the vehicle mix is. I've found that even though we see 400+ vehicles a month, we only do about 5-6 flashes a month. Spread that among lots of makes, and 6 technicians, and none of the techs will get any good at doing any of them, resulting in spending way too much time on them. Plus it seems that the software always needs to be updated, wasting another half hour before the flash can start. In short, it's a PITA. But, much like having an alignment rack, it's more convenience for the shop than taking (or towing) the car to another shop to get it done. BTW, yes, we charge full boat for it no matter what else we do.
  8. 1 point
    Ron, Your post is a bit confusing. You titled it "Are Better Made Cars Drowning Car Counts?" You went on to state "That's not the reason why car count is down in shops." Then in your response to my post, you included "Cars made better." as one of the reason for lower car count. So hopefully you can see how this may create some confusion and distract from your intended main point. Scott
  9. 1 point
    When I bought my partner out a few years ago, he said it was time to raise our labor rate. Because I lost his customer base, and he was the expert mechanic, I was afraid to raise the rate. I worked my butt off and struggled. I finally got over my fear, and challenged by other shop owners I raised my rates. Nothing happened. So I raised them again. I don't recommend this, but I can tell you what I did and what happened. I ended up raising our labor rate from $89 to $125 in a period of 18 months. Nothing happened. Except I started being profitable. I know I am the highest labor rate in town. The shop across the street, a very good shop, is at $90, we're both very busy. The big difference between me and the owner across the street is that he's the main guy and can't leave, and I don't work in my shop in daily operations and have taken up to a month off at a time. I know this is not recommended, but I ended up not caring what any other shop in town did. I concentrated on giving great service. Besides, if any shop works towards a 60% GP you have to get it somewhere. There is less push back on labor rates (rarely comes up) than there is on parts pricing. BTW, I'm just sharing experience here. We've had lot's of issues to overcome. I found out last year that we were not charging nearly enough on parts compared to other shops, and getting that pricing correct has really helped our profitability. Also, we try to stay comparable by quoting an opening estimate for testing at $98. If we really get pinned down on labor rate we quote our average labor rate, which is 110-115, and we say it's our average rate. Not recommending thus stuff, just saying what we do. Richard G
  10. 1 point
    I see. To me, I think it's almost impossible to run a shop alone. I was there less than 2 years ago and I remember thinking that I'll never hire anyone bc of the overhead. But now, even on a slow day I have to have a minimum of 3 people in the store. One busy day makes up for a the week of being slow. When its busy, you can't turn away business but if you're a one man shop, then that becomes the reality. I would hire help at minimum wage and offer to train them as a mechanic. There's a lot of kids looking for jobs like this. Have him help with phones and train him to do the simple stuff. I wasn't looking to hire but a kid came and begged me for a job. He was swapping out motors and heads since he was 12 and no one was giving him a chance. He promised me to be the best employee at minimum wage. Having that extra hand changed EVERYTHING If the going rate is $65, advertise $60. Hell I'd do $50 and get my car count up. Once they see who you are and trust you, raise the price then. Looks like car count is the problem as ARO is great. I'm cheaper than all my neighbors and they come to me. Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart wondered if people would drive a little more, come and shop at a place that wasn't as flashy or nice to save a few dollars. People will do more than you think to save a couple dollars. In the auto repair business, I notice that people will go the cheap route and once burned they will look for a reputable shop and stick with them. I've only been doing this 2 years so I'm not an expert but that's my philosophy and so far it's working. I'm not making a killing but definitely a living

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