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Everything posted by alfredauto

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. alfredauto


  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. $875 was my quote no thanks. Maybe before the Internet they offered a valuable service but now I'm just not seeing it.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. I had to pay a penalty this year because NYS made and error and cancelled a couple of my kids. Their website was broken so they couldn't fix it for a few months. The state got it corrected finally but we still had a gap. How can 6 people be on the same plan, all dependents of me, all signed up at the same time and 2 get dropped mid year? Computer error. Now I have to file another form to get a refund of the penalty, I'm still working on getting reimbursed for some Dr visits. Not to be one of those guys but when I was self insured everybody made more money. The providers and me both. By a LOT! My employees have other halves with family plans thank god because I can't afford to provide health care for them no matter how I figure it.
  18. We take checks, 99% are from locals I know. Old school types. When someone calls and asks if we take checks I'm suspicious I say we do no problem but they get run through the machine. Eliminates confusion.
  19. Like AndersonAuto we run the same ads every week, regardless of what's happening in the bays. Consistency is key in marketing. Adding in a few Blitz advertising campaigns for holidays, vacation travel, season changes will help push some more cars into your shop, maybe. One shot ad wonders at random are a waste of money IMO. The trouble with percentages is a new shop with $500k sales needs to spend 10% to reach out effectively. A $5m shop can spend 1% to get the same exact coverage, and it is highly dependent on location. Most shops can't possibly buy ads for what I can in my rural area. A radio spot for $5 here costs $500 in some markets. But then again I'm advertising to 5,000 listeners vs 500,000.
  20. $500/month is the sweet spot for us on adwords express. We are in a low competition area, and that level keeps us plenty busy. I ran 6 catchy ads with $500 budget each for a couple months. The phone rang non stop, but more than 50% time wasters and wrong number calls looking for other shops so I cut back.
  21. The retail car sales side is even worse. The companies selling leads for cars are the same ones promoting fear, doubt, and distrust. Everyone knows that all used cars are lemons and you will get scammed unless you pay XX to prove you are a smart shopper with the report. We as an industry would be better off without most of it.
  22. Focus on efficiency. Do 1.3 with 4 employees, then do it with 2 employees. 8 employees should produce 4m+
  23. I ran an online Ebay business for over a decade, random assortment of stuff I sold. No matter what, I could bet 1 in 50 will complain about something, 1 in 100 will really complain and cause anxiety, 1 in 1,000 will leave a negative and death threats no matter what. No different in the repair shop.
  24. How can they offer the impossible? Magic? Someone has to pay the interchange fees. Our processor marks up the interchange a fraction like most. Here's a partial list of what Visa charges, so a way to get around it completely is not real. Current Visa USA Interchange Rates Card-Type Interchange Rate Visa CPS Retail 1.510 % + 10¢ Visa Rewards Traditional 1.650 % + 10¢ Visa Rewards Signature 2.300 % + 10¢ Visa Rewards Signature Preferred 2.100 % + 10¢
  25. If you've ever witnessed a lift failure or accident you would definitely not allow customers in the shop. We had a strut come apart not too long ago put a dent in the garage door if the guy was standing there his child rearing abilities would have been diminished. I like chatting with customers, they provide me with a good living. I appreciate them, and I don't want them to get hurt. Sometimes there's hot metal pieces on the floor, oil or water on the floor, you name it. Customers in the bay slow down production and increase the likelihood of accidents. No no and no I lure them out of the shop.

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