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CAR_AutoReports last won the day on October 21

CAR_AutoReports had the most liked content!

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About CAR_AutoReports

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    Experienced Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Complete Auto Reports, LLC
  • Business Address
    701 North Stiles Street, Linden, New Jersey, 07036
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
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  • Banner Program
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  • Your Mission Statement
    To provide the auto repair facilities with a simple and mobile way to work.

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  1. Not in the least. Really intrigued by your tenacity to jump into different areas of the business and execute.
  2. Scott, We're more alike than each of us probably realizes. Everything you wrote up there is close to what we do here. No 401K at the moment and we are working on the health insurance initiatives... but very similar in everything else. From being able to go on vacation and having them actually do more... to having them know they can make more money elsewhere and won't leave. Team building is the most critical element for any business to survive. Ricardo
  3. Scott, A lot of insight in your post, as usual. I think the one thing that worries me is, when a junk yard will give someone a different warranty than they will give you. We've seen it happen, we call up and get a 30 day warranty. Customer or another shop calls up 1-2 days later and gets the same price (sometimes even cheaper with the same sales rep) with a better warranty offered to them. The law is assuming that all business is conducted above board and with standards... when this industry is far from that, especially with second hand parts. Sh*tty scenarios that constantly have us adjusting and sometimes making harsh decisions just to protect ourselves. It's really just a sad state of affairs that we have to be the adults to protect other adults from themselves. I recently had a scenario where someone brought me a 1997 F Super Duty to have the brakes checked. The driver that dropped it off, noted several other concerns that made him feel unsafe. The standard procedure here is, new customer.... full inspection from bumper to bumper. Which we did and uncovered several unsafe items in addition to the other items that the owner had mentioned. His total estimate was around $6,000 for a really neglected vehicle. He wasn't interested in fixing anything, he wanted to have working brakes, so I should just "put pads and rotors on the truck and lower my price significantly." This guy flipped his lid and insisted he was right and I had to do what he wanted to do, because he would assume all liability anyway. I tried to get him to understand that it doesn't work like that... and this is a guy who owns a business in town. He eventually found a butcher to do things his way and made sure to reach out and throw it in my face that he got what he wanted at this other shop and I was just trying to rip him off. This individual went as far as threatening me with bad reviews because we charged him for our full inspection and estimate. He has since pretty much told anyone he can in town that I was trying to rip him off, essentially trying to tarnish the reputation I have spent over a decade to build. Our technician has 2 hours and 8 minutes of time into his inspection, he left that disaster of a vehicle on my property for nearly 4 days (it filled our entire warehouse with smoke when trying to start it) and it took us well over 2 hours to find correct parts, part numbers and sources for these parts. An estimate that he brings to the butcher... which orders all of the parts that we told him were for the vehicle... and looks like a hero for doing what the owner wanted. But I've gotten used to being the bad guy. My business. My insurance policy. My rules. The moral here? I got paid for my time. Probably not enough to deal with the aggravation this guy caused... But we provided an exemplary service and we got paid for it. Ricardo
  4. This is such a double edged sword. I can definitely see it's value after some of the discussions we have here. But I just don't see it as a fit for what we do here and how we do it. My guys give 100% nearly every day and changing the dynamic would change the culture we've worked so hard to build. I also feel like there is incentive to oversell and see how much they "can get away with" in an effort to make money. Which is the complete opposite of what we do here. We explicitly don't sell and if you I catch you selling something someone doesn't need or worse yet, selling someone on undue fear... It's grounds for dismissal. I got my guys to do exactly what I need them to, just by talking to them. They are appreciative of the respect we all have for each other and the team approach to what we do. It makes it challenging to find people to fit into our mold when hiring, but I don't know anyone who easily hires employees.
  5. We also provide full digital inspections, mandatory with ever service performed. If it is not done, the technician or service advisor must physically bypass it. Forcing everyone to really inspect vehicles consistently. If you're interested in an organized approach to processing vehicles and customers, we would be happy to help you get setup and give you several month of free use. You can learn more @ www.completeautoreports.com
  6. To provide real world numbers for this discussion... our sales this year compared on a Jan 1 to Oct 21 date range in 2018 vs 2019. Total revenue is up 35% compared to YoY. As of right now, I'm over 2018's numbers as of last month. Our average ticket is hovering around $600, even though last month, credit card sales averaged $780 per ticket. We do 0 mailers. We have tried to implement a "special" to draw customers in, but it fell flat. We are trying it again this winter to see what happens, albeit with a different advertising and marketing approach. We have raised our labor rate this year, but our costs have also risen due to hiring one permanent employee and we had a part time employee with us for several months that recently left. If I stripped away all of the variables that may have caused for a "rougher" year last year in addition to the revenue generators we added this year (ADAS)... I'm pretty sure we'd still be well over 10%+ YoY growth. My advertising budget grew from last year to this year, but it's still a rounding error considering what I know some places spend on advertising. While my advertising is really effective and has drawn in over 10 new customers a month most months, I attribute A LOT of our success to "building" over the last 7 years and now we are finally seeing the fruits of all of our hard work paying off.
  7. We really have the same approach. I can count on one hand the customers we install supplied parts for. Even then... that already tiny list is dwindling down. We make very few exceptions and none of them are for new customers.
  8. Scott, You forgot the front half of that statement that starts with" In addition to express warranties, there are implied warranties. In Maryland, whenever you sell a part to a consumer – even a used one – there is an implied (unstated) warranty that it is fit for ordinary use and will last a reasonable length of time. " So what exactly is an implied warranty and what is the reasonable length of time? Seems like something that is designed to allow the court to use their own discretion to determine what is fair and what is not. Which basically means... when it's up to courts to decide your fate.... you should always prepare to be on the losing end of each equation. You're also citing state law, not federal law. Which would vary greatly from state to state. Based on the numerous attorneys we've had speak to us... we're basically told that anything you put on that vehicle is explicitly your responsibility. Thus why we don't make it common practice to install customer parts. It seems like that really vague law in Marylands books is designed to help customers pull frivolous claims against a shop. So maybe you should reach out to your representatives and speak to them about the problems and loopholes left in that law. Because what happens when you buy something from a junk yard that comes with a 90 day warranty and it blows up 180 days later. Are you still forced to warranty it for longer than the warranty was granted to you? A lot more questions left to ask than answered here. In addition to that fact that if we can't replicate a problem, we've learned that it's likely not a sensor problem and we rarely replace sensors with intermittent issues we would even be less likely to replace them "at a customer request". Even more so now after reading your post. I would rather diagnose, document my diagnosis, get paid for what I did and let the customer that is trying to dictate their terms... do so elsewhere. Also, I was clearly wrong in stating that the law can't tell you how long to warranty items. Which is ok, now I've learned and now I have my own homework to do. Ricardo
  9. Taking care of your employees is the most underrated asset in this business. Most guys will follow you anywhere, if you've treated them right. We discuss all big decisions and changes. Because when everyone is on board... it's just a free flowing process to get things in and out. That being said, the business should be making enough to expand and grow as well as having well paid employees. A delicate balance that takes some time to figure out and coordination from everyone to keep going.
  10. We've been busy working on several specific features and enhancements over the last month. We have a few items that will be released between now and Mid-November. Looking forward to sharing that with everyone. We are also removing the free plan. If you signed up for the free plan, it will still be available to you. However we will not be allowing new accounts to use the free plan. We are working with a few members on getting their accounts setup and moving into the platform. With that has come months of use and product training that we have provided to them. So anyone who is seriously interested, we are able to provide you with several months for free as we prepare you to switch over. We are grateful for the members that have given us a chance here, even if you didn't sign on. Every relationship has proven invaluable in fine tuning our product for the better.
  11. It's the old, trust but verify. Once you show them why to trust you... they no longer need more verification. We attach all of these items and many more to the service request and that way the customer can see everything.
  12. There are several shop programs that offer some hidden benefits with Identifix. AC Delco PSC and Motorcraft PSN are the two that immediately come to mind.
  13. I've been using Interstate for 3 years, no warranty issues although we do see more warranties than one would expect for the prices they charge for their batteries. Had Delco batteries for a long time, but due to poor business decisions on the Delco part we stopped carrying their line altogether. With all of these crazy specs on batteries these days, we are finding we use OE on more applications than we ever thought we would. Proving to sometimes be the better decision for the customer, vehicle and our profit.

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