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ScottSpec last won the day on January 2 2020

ScottSpec had the most liked content!

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About ScottSpec

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    Experienced Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Scott's Automotive
  • Business Address
    11804 Coakley Circle, North Bethesda, Maryland, 20852
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
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  1. I sold my shop after 31 years this past year. Here is a few of my experiences with selling used cars, and we never officially sold used cars, just one here and there, and they were usually older cars 10 - 15 years that were well cared for, in good condition . Usually in the $4-$10,000 range. The first challenge we ran into a lot, is that because we had a great reputation for high quality work, people expected the cars we sold to somehow magically be better than a new car. The other issue that came up a lot is that at some point these cars will have an issue, or issues. When they bring the car
  2. I added a Hard Drive to mine as well. I wanted the max I could get, which is about 3 weeks with 2nd HD and constant recording. I too have thought about having it store to a PC to extend the history, but have not had a need to go back farther than 3 weeks yet.
  3. I upgraded an older system a few years ago. I went with a system from Lorex https://www.lorextechnology.com/. I think my system was around $1500. I wanted the highest resolution cameras I could get and I would never go wireless. I wanted to be able to capture as much detail as possible, so we had the best chance of capturing tag numbers and possible damage to vehicles. The system has paid for itself many times over. First, there have been several hit and runs in our parking lot that the cameras have captured. This alone has saved me thousands of dollars. If a customer makes a claim, that damag
  4. This has not been much of a problem for us over the last 30 years, but right now I have 3 cars sitting on my lot that have essentially been abandoned. One of the customers passed away unfortunately while the car was here. After about 9 months, I filed for mechanics liens. The first thing the lien companies do is send out a certified letter. Quite often, this alone will motivate people to come get their car. If they don't, the car becomes yours to do with as you please. I don't necessarily like doing this, but there has to be a limit to how long I will keep a car around. I make sure I hav
  5. It's been 20 years since I did mine. It was beautiful for several years. Slowly over time wear and tear do get to the paint. It was a 2 part epoxy I believe made by Devcon. I recommend staying away from the water base stuff. I did my waiting room with it a few years ago and it didn't last very long, and the clear coat bubbled up. Here is what I can tell you. If you do any welding or cutting with a torch, it will burn holes. It will chip if heavy things are dropped on it. If you drag things across it, it will scratch, and it will yellow, and stain over time. For some reason washer solvent
  6. Ricardo, I believe you and I have exchanged a number of thoughts over a period of time, and I always thought our philosophies were similar. I hope I didn't come across as adversarial. Scott
  7. This may not make me the most popular here, but I get so tired of hearing shop owners complain that they can't find good techs, and that the industry is facing a tech shortage, or that the ones they hired turned out to be crooks selling unnecessary work, and then go on to talk about how all their techs are on commission, and if they don't work, they don't eat. Wow, that sounds so appealing. I can't understand why people aren't knocking down the door to take advantage of that opportunity, and why techs sell unnecessary work. This industry does not have a tech shortage, this industry has a techn
  8. Ricardo, The part I shared from that article was just to shed some light on the role law has on dictating warranties, and the fact that you can't just write a disclaimer on the invoice and think you have no liability. I'm sure if we dig through Maryland's consumer laws, we will find a more in depth explanation, that is if we don't fall asleep first. An implied warranty is essentially what a consumer can reasonably expect (yes, pretty vague, and I'm sure is different for everyone). There is a pretty good description here: https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/what-is-an-impli
  9. Car, You are correct that you can refuse service to anyone you choose, and warranty different types of parts for different periods of time, but you are incorrect about the law not being able to dictate how long you warranty something. See https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/OCP/Resources/Files/Licensing_Forms/Auto_Repair_Shop Introductory Letter.pdf It specifically states "Maryland law does not allow implied warranties to be disclaimed or limited in any sale of goods or service to a consumer, so an invoice you give to a consumer should not contain language like “seller disclaims all warran
  10. We don't see it a lot, but when we do, we keep it simple. We tell them that we cannot install customer supplied parts, that my insurance company will not allow it, and that would put my business licenses, as well as a number of my relationships with outside organizations that require insurance, at risk. It completely eliminates the steak and potatoes conversation, or it's variations like bringing your own needles or stitches to the hospital. It also eliminates the I have to make money conversation. None of those usually go very well. It shows you are open to discussing it, and the customer wil
  11. ScottSpec


  12. I recommend you talk to you insurance company, and your lawyer. There is nothing you can do to limit your liability. You are just as liable for a customer's part, as you are for a part you purchased and installed. I think you might also find it difficult to offer different warranties for the same part. These are not just my opinions, they have been tested in court. Scott
  13. Yes, customers will always find something to complain about, and the approach I am thinking about is not without its risks. In fact, what you just asked was the first thing my service manager said to me when we discussed it. We have been moving away from having a posted "labor rate" for a while. We have a "labor rate" that we use to calculate the labor for a given job, but we always present the the total labor for each job to the customer. This makes it a bit more difficult to make an easy comparison. I also find it much easier to address higher labor, then trying to get a customer to understa
  14. For about 20 years, I would get those money cards, and put $20's in some and $100's in others. I would give the mailman, UPS driver, FedEx driver, Parts drivers, etc. the $20's. The $100's would go the the main parts guys we ordered from. There was always a lot of appreciation. For me, the Auto Repair business had been less and less profitable over the last decade. I had to cut this practice from the budget as well as Christmas bonuses, a yearly company event, and a number of other expenses. I agree, if you can afford it, these gestures go along way toward building loyalty. Scott
  15. Newport5, I know your question was meant for someone else, but I thought I would throw in my comments. I think selling and advising are 2 very subjective terms. We are all always selling customers on ideas and beliefs. We sell customers everyday on why they should chose our shop over others, why they should trust us, the value of quality parts, and maybe why are prices are higher than the shop next door. We sell these ideas by the appearance of our shops, the certificates on our walls, our websites, our online presence, and our words. I think quite often when we think of "selling"

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