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Everything posted by alfredauto

  1. I've been working by myself since this all started. My main tech has underlying health issues so he's collecting and happy and I'm busy as a bee doing repair work. The auctions aren't running normally so the car sales are in the tank I literally have one vehicle on the lot for sale.
  2. During the 1918 Flu pandemic historians said it took people 3-4 years to get back to "normal". I am staying positive but I'm concerned. I think if everyone goes back to work in a few months it will be a miracle. I'm thinking 12-18 months minimum. I'm hoping that there will be school in September but I'm not even too sure about that at this point.
  3. I'm glad you kept him. I understand what running a business is about but people aren't tools that can be thrown away when they become obsolete. I'm sure your customers notice the same mechanic there for 20 years how would you explain it to them he stopped making you rich so you let him go.
  4. A few days makes a difference. We got all our work done that was here and I closed the shop today. It hurts me, I enjoy working. I enjoy talking to people. I like steady income. But I couldn't sleep the last couple nights worrying what if? So that's that I paid my help a couple weeks time off and I got enough groceries for a couple weeks so I'm just going to chill out and do nothing and just hope we get this thing under control quickly.
  5. We charge by the job but we do breakdown parts and labor on the ro. Once in a while someone will question the markup I reply "the Amazon price is if you do it yourself" end of story we don't put in your parts I need to buy groceries like everyone else. Some people complain about the 8.5% sales tax i tell them to call Albany it's not up for discussion. I suppose we could just raise the labor rate to compensate but I'm afraid its going to be a race to the bottom once everyone starts wholesaling parts
  6. Read my negative fb or Google reviews they are all because I charged someone to "just look" at their car. That's why people are shy to do it. I charge for diagnosis. My doctor charges me for it. My dentist charges me for it. My electrician charges me for it. Every professional on earth charges for their expertise. I do the same. Toughen up folks.
  7. The people that ask the labor rate are not normally good customers. We price by the job brake pads and rotors $335 plus tax for most cars just an Example but that's all they want to know how much to get my car fixed. Tell someone its $90/hr next thing you know they show up with half the bolts taken out and parts in the trunk "imma pay you 30 mins to put it together right now quick" so I just price the job so we can pay everyone to work another day.
  8. With everything closed some folks take advantage of the extra time to get their car fixed. We've been busy the last couple weeks but I expect everyone will stop spending money and going out very soon. I must say that this year has been the slowest on record since we opened in 2010. I just paid the lowest tire bill I've ever had in 10 years. Maybe it was fear of the virus in January and February who knows but we didnt sell very many tires this quarter that's for sure.
  9. Thank you Joe for the well written post. I have weighed the option to close as I'm sure many of you have. Here are my thoughts; I am fortunate enough to be able to go a few months without worrying about the financial repercussions but I do worry about my customers. My shop is in a rural isolated area and I would feel terrible not helping people that need emergency services. We fix flat tires and broken cars every day. We aren't doing upgrades we are getting cars back on the road. I certainly clean the counter more frequently but life goes on for us.
  10. Carfax lies and says they are calling from Mitchell they need to update your system. Liars. Once you catch them in that lie they go over the benefits of being affiliated with carfax. I an very clear with them that if I'm supplying them with saleable information I want a discount on carfax reports. Like a co-op system. Carfax doesn't see it that way, they want to take from us and give back nothing. They give me nothing I give them nothing, that's how it works in my world.
  11. I like to say online parts are for do it yourselfers. You can do it yourself cheaper than we charge. There's no sense in denying it.
  12. alfredauto


  13. We use the cheapest autel code readers and plug into identifix or sure trac then test the old fashioned way. I own a Maxisys elite and it works well for bidirectional testing and the coding. We’ve used about every scanner out there these tool trucks try to sell magic but there’s no avoiding hands on component testing.
  14. We had a good local company, then they sold us to a bigger chain that showed up 3 weeks then fired us because we don't spend enough. Now we DIY.
  15. I bought one when it first came out for mechanics (it's been around the auto body scene forever I guess) and after wearing it out I bought another one. It doesn't replace the torch, your not cutting bolts off with it but to loosen up sway bar nuts and gas tank straps it's perfect.
  16. One tech can do over 90% no problem if given the space. One tech one lift not happening. My guy has 4 lifts so there's no waiting or putting back together. Last year I ran with just myself and one tech and my stress went way down, our numbers went up, and we are both happier. Appointments are stretching out farther than I'd like but it's working.
  17. In NY the dmv rejected my request for a transport plate. I had to get dealer plates. Worked out good because I'm a dealer now and that generates more income than the plate costs. A lot more.
  18. Sometimes small claims is bad for you. The local judge is trained to be on the consumers side. Consumer paid for repair, car still broke, you are a thief that stole their money. That's how it works in my town I'm happy never to set foot in that circus again. I'd try to reason with the customer and maybe give back the mc money you may come out ahead with losing a little.
  19. Our labor guide marks up the standard labor by 30%, so a starters that pays 1 hour becomes 1.3. Some jobs take longer some less but it all pretty much works out. Some jobs like a starter on a 5.3 trailblazer require bending the tranny lines out of the way. We quote new lines on a job like this because you just aren't bending them without a leak. Remember an estimate is just that, as soon as you realize your going to lose stop and call the customer. It's a balance between too many conversations and just getting the job done, so by starting out with a bit of a cushion your life gets easier.
  20. I make an invoice for the parts at cost and pay it plus tax. ny is pretty funny about their sales tax so I'm paranoid. I could just buy the parts and pay sales tax on the spot and not write a r.o. But it's easier this way. My techs are hourly so they don't care or I just do it myself.
  21. We rotate free if they bought the tires from us. It allows us to upsell alignments, check the brakes, and generally keep our customers happy and coming back regularly. If they bought at Walmart it's $20 and up. A couple years ago I went to a ride and drive and we tested 2 cars with 2 good tires on the front/back back to back on a circle track that had one spot hosed down. It mimicked an off ramp. The car with crappy front tires under steered but regained control. The car with crappy back tired went into a spin. Nobody could maintain control with the car that had bald (2/32") rear tires, not even the pro driver. Trouble is putting snows on the rear on a fwd car is useless hence the all 4 recommendations.
  22. My daughters boyfriend works at a factory. He lifted over 150,000 lbs during his last shift. $21/HR no stress no brain needed except to lift fast and consistent and sweat for 8 hours. I'm ready to buff myself out and work there. I pay my help very good, overpay maybe. They get tons of time off and flexibility. Some people think I'm nuts but I don't want my tech to quit to go work at a plant somewhere where he's not worried about comebacks.
  23. $875 was my quote no thanks. Maybe before the Internet they offered a valuable service but now I'm just not seeing it.
  24. Google me lol I can only laugh about it. I put in the guys part during my lunch break and it didn't fix his problem so I'm worse than the devil himself. It taught me a lesson; if the guy doesn't want to pay me diag time I don't want his business. End of story. We all get negatives it's part of owning a business.
  25. We can't compete with Walmart or SAMs club on price. They win every time. We offer free rotations free flat repair and all that but I simply ask my customers to support local business. I explain that I pay my tire guy over $20 an hour compared to walmarts $9.75 so they are supporting a sustainable business that pays a living wage not a sweat shop. Most of my customers are die hard liberals. Hard choices are required to put your money where your mouth is. Does it work? We sell our share of tires so it seems to be. Wally has 195/60-15 tires for $45 we aren't wearing out our lift for that.

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