• July 10, 2018 at 9:06 am#65613
    Tom Ham

    What would happen to labor rates and technician pay if techs stopped operating illegal, underground shops (side work is the polite PC term)?

    Does black market auto repair have any effect on what shops can charge and how much they can pay employees?

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    March 31, 2019 at 5:24 pm#87382
    Adam Warmuth

    So far in my experience, yes. It certainly does affect our market rates. We’re in the diesel specialty and the whenever the price of oil goes belly up in Alberta (Canada), we see a lot of backyard fly-by-night garages open up, both ticketed and not. These guys charging $60-80CAD per hour while having virtually no overhead are both a blessing and a curse. We start losing customers due to the budget side of things but we also gain some after they learn of the back end support (none). Had a few customers spend a few thousand at backyard shops to end up coming to us for major related work after. They arent happy to pay twice but I see it as penance for taking the cheap way out. 

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    May 10, 2019 at 6:53 pm#88964
    Sherman Bird

    People will always devalue our profession through perpetuation of urban legends that the shops are only out there to screw customers and by seeking the services of unqualified individuals who are dangerous with tools, thinking they are beating the system, among other factors. 

    Keep your eye on the ball. Make your shop the best it can be and you’ll be too busy to fret over the insignificant home garage monkeys. There will always be these guys… always have been. Next.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    May 16, 2019 at 11:13 am#89152
    Joe Mazur

    This type of thing happens in all the trades. However, I would say the risk to the consumer is far greater with auto repair, than having someone install a water heater on the side. For that reason, i dont think we as an industry need to worry about it. Focus on delivering a high quality experience backed up by a great warranty, and let the backyard guys do what they do. Comparing a professional shop to shadetree automotive is an apples-to-oranges comparison. Different skill level, different experience, different clientele.

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