• July 20, 2016 at 12:04 pm #64904

      I am seeing this problem occuring more and more often . Its very frustrating watching the customer leave and get nothing done  . Any thoughts on how to deal with this and save the job while still making the proper markups ?    Thanks . 

    July 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm #74454
    Tom Ham

    Lots of different approaches to this – hopefully some shops will reply with good plans that work for them.

    One thing we all can do is to ask ourselves why are we attracting that type of customer. In the population overall they are a fairly small minority. Is it our location? Our advertising? Our shop? Our staff? Or, a few dozen other reasons. 
    I do know that there are quite a few shops who have figured out what works in their town and they don’t hear that from their customers very often. If you can figure out who those shops are in your area, do what they do.

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    July 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm #74455
    Omar Martin

    We have a very hard and fast rule:

    We DO NOT install client supplied parts for these reasons:
    Warranty Purposes
    NO Control over quality
    Our Insuranace will NOT cover ANY repairs performed by us if we have installed parts NOT supplied by us
    We have very little push bac
    WE have actually had people make an appointment, then tell us the parts are on the seat, or whereveer, and once we explain to them that we do not install client supplied parts, they have us perform the repair with OUR parts, and then they send their parts back
    July 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm #74456

    We try focus on labor – up your labor – What is your EPA – Hazard / Shop supply charges set at.

    Some of the issue today is what features  &  benefits  along with warranty do you offer over and above parts store pricing. You may have to give on one side but take on the other side.

    If your  location is that parts pricing is sensitive more then labor , Warranty is more important , courtesy cars etc. Adjust especially if it is a difficult non DYI Job.

    In closing : Price shoppers are just that and have to fire them when it is not worth it. Focus on offer your good base clients more.

    July 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm #74460

     I  thought it was a small minority too Tom . But , I  am in a town where the average income is 135k a year . Sometimes I feel the people with good income are the worst to deal with because even though they make top dollar at their job these types of people often have a bad habit of spending everything they have ……. million dollar homes , 100k cars , and then they cannot spend properly on necessities .

    July 28, 2016 at 12:20 pm #74461

    I explain the benefits of our warranty for parts and labor program and most of our customers accept that. That being said, we are located in a low income area and accommodate that small section of our customer base. I add the parts markup profit to the labor charge and if the customer doesn’t accept that, thanks for coming in. While most shop owners may disagree with our shop philosophy, one size does not fit all.

    July 28, 2016 at 12:36 pm #74462
    Andrew Tobias

    We treat it on a case by case basis.  First, when the client calls you can determine who it is (usually a younger person, car enthusiast, or just someone who’s looking to get a deal).  Once you find out who you’re talking to you can educate them on your policy and why you do what you do.  We let some of our clients buy their parts, especially hard to find parts, engines (which have a small markup and a higher chance for warranty) and then explain there is no warranty expressed or implied on their parts.

    Right now I’m doing an engine for the 2nd time for a guy and he’s paying full boat.  Plus anytime you install an engine there are lots of ancillary parts that you can mark up 50-60% or more.
    We won’t install inferior parts period.  Most of the time I find you do this once and if it’s a good experience for both parties they stop buying their parts online and just have you do it, especially if they’ve had to go down the wrong part rat hole a few times and their car is tied up for days on end.
    I charge storage too when waiting on client supplied parts.

    Andrew Tobias

    July 28, 2016 at 12:38 pm #74463
    andy remillard

    My explanation goes something like this;

    ” The profit I make is about 40% of the profit for the job. The law says that I am responsible for that part whether I sold it or not.Why should I accept responsibility for something I didn’t sell or make money on.”

    about 85% of the people will agree to let me use my parts when presented this way. It stops all arguments about wanting a certain brand or that they will go buy the part from the same supplier I use {Napa}. The other 15% aren’t customers and I don’t want them.

    July 28, 2016 at 2:48 pm #74464
    Linc Lewis

    At our shop, in the event of a request for the installation of customer supplied parts and or customer supplied aftermarket accessories our service advisors are instructed to determine the gross profit lost on the part sale which is then added to the normal retail labor charge.
    If the request is for an aftermarket accessory part whose retail price we are unsure of, the service advisor can apply our shop’s parts to labor ratio of approx. 90%-95% to the installation labor charge and then to apply our average GP % of 48-50% thereby computing the added retail charge for this part sale loss.
    Of course, the RO contains a standard statement advising the customer that in the event the part fails on the road test there is no labor warranty.
    In the event that the customer supplied part is the incorrect part, the customer will be charged the original charges quoted to reassemble the vehicle so our shop bay and or lift is not decommissioned.

    July 28, 2016 at 3:28 pm #74465
    Joseph Van syoc

    Went through this again yesterday for about the millionth time in my career.  No good answer other than do NOT install customer supplied parts.  Got called everything but a white man for having the audacity to charge a customer list price for a top quality belt.  Funny thing is, the parts houses they called actually quoted them list price too, but for the competitive line part………….I suppose that is progress, because most stores usually quoted at my cost or slightly above with no regards to margins.  As far as internet parts, all you can hope for is that these people have to experience the hassle and expense of trying to get a part warrantied.  Remember, that supplier will not install the part, or pay the labor.  Nor will they pay for the shipping.  Most will require the customer to return the part for inspection before they even agree to replace it.  So the question you need to ask your customer is: would you rather drive your car or stare at it sitting in the driveway?  Thankfully this is only an issue a handful of times per year, and most customers just approve the estimate.  Life is just too short to get worked up over the few who think they are smarter than you, move on to the next customer

    July 28, 2016 at 3:38 pm #74466
    Joseph Van syoc

    One argument I make is that ” You do want me to stand behind my work don’t you?”   Um well sure.  Well how do you expect me to do that if you are going to supply me parts of dubious quality from unknown suppliers? Parts that I didn’t sell you or make nickle one on? If a part I sell you fails, I am going to replace it, even if my supplier refuses to warranty it to me.  How do you suppose I can afford to do that?  Its because I select quality parts, and I make a profit on them so that I can afford to replace it if need be, Say you leave here and have a problem, are you going to call that internet guy or me?  I will bet you the price of the part that you are going to call me. (my cell# is on my card) Then I am going to have to charge you to remove that part, ship it back to where ever you got it, hope they replace it, wait for it, push your car out then back in, then reinstall it.  Hopefully the replacement will last longer than that first one. 

    July 28, 2016 at 3:38 pm #74467
    Frank Scandura III

    try to change you sales presentation to include something like:

    … there are a couple of options for this repair, we did find a less expensive part and can do it for $1.00, but that part is not very reliable, we have tried them before. in fact we wont even warranty it more than 6 months – the premium part for your car is only $5.00, it will last longer, and comes with our 3 year 36,000 mile warranty, if it were my car, this is the one I would use. …

    What you have done is given the customer knowledge there are cheaper parts available and a good reason not to use them.

    Frank M Scandura III

    July 28, 2016 at 4:49 pm #74468
    Tom Ham

    Try this…(just kidding…kinda)

    “Well, sir – you can select option A or option B:

    Option A – You supply the parts. If it goes bad:

    You handle the towing when applicable.
    You handle alternate transportation because you aren’t getting a free loaner from me for your defective part.
    You make a trip to the parts store to buy another part since they aren’t going to warranty it until you give them the defective one – and I’m not going to remove the defective one until I have the replacement in my hands.
    Make a trip to my shop and bring me the part.
    Make a trip to may shop to pick up the defective part.
    Now, see if you can find the receipt from several months ago from the parts store.
    You take the defective part to the parts store and see if you can convince them that it really is defective (lots of fine print today, you know).
    They may or may not agree.
    They may want to “send it in first” – in which case you can continue to stop at the parts store every few days in hopes of a positive reply (we all know how this one ends).
    Note: If you bought the part on line, add a few days to a few weeks to this process. You can keep the car at your house or pay me storage by the day.

    Option B

    You stop by the shop and hand me the keys, hop in a free loaner and go about your normal routine with no interruptions’.

    Now, which one would you like, sir?”

    Personal note: Many (not all) bring your own parts folks are “D” level customers. “D” level customers berating me ruins my day – in some cases two. I’ve had enough of that, and I’m too old to take it anymore. For that reason, we smile and politely say: “I’m sorry sir, but all the parts that we install are ones that we supply.” 

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    August 4, 2016 at 5:53 pm #74473

    I don’t own the store I work at, but have been here 18 years and after so many examples of installing customer parts gone wrong, I personally will not agree to it. If the owner over rides me, so be it, he can deal with it. Although we are a family owned business, we sell Goodyear tires, so the easiest response with the least push-back is “I’m sorry, we don’t install customer supplied parts as per our agreement with Goodyear’s nationwide warranty program..”. Quite literally almost every time I had made an exception, it back fired in one way or another, the most aggravating being when they complain about the labor price after the fact. As someone stated here, they are generally a “special” type of customer, not one that I want. Look, I’ll still install an established customer’s light bulb or wiper blade that they thought they could do themselves, but that’s about it.


    August 25, 2017 at 6:54 pm #74823
    Joseph Van syoc

    Ok I will confess, I have done this from time to time.  If I know I have a few days to complete the work and see the IDENTICAL part on Amazon for much less it is sure tempting to order it there and make a little extra margin.  Ditto if I can save a job I might otherwise lose by buying a cheaper part (headlights tailights) on Ebay.  But like they say, there is no free lunch, there is a trade off.  Time for one, and the hassle of returning the item should it prove to be wrong or defective, or the customer cancels the job (none of which ever happens right?) is much more involved than just returning it to your local jobber.  My parts store isn’t likely to hit my up for return shipping or a restocking fee, or worse tell me I bought it I own it.  What happens if you need to warranty the part?  THAT can be a real hassle.  SO I found myself doing this less and less, but man I sure understand the temptation……..

    February 24, 2019 at 9:31 am #75416

    Why do we let customers dictate how we run our business. This business is becoming more and more involved. We ALL need to stick together when it comes to customer supplied parts, don’t accept them period. Charge a proper percentage on parts so you are profitable using a matrix. This also goes for labor, we all know it’s impossible to find good techs, Why because they don’t get paid enough to do it. We ALL need to raise labor rates so we can entice young adults to become auto technicians. Paying them $15-$25 is not enough. The knowledge, schooling, tools the stress bloody knuckles should bring premium pay checks. If the industry would stand together like Dr. and lawyers we all would benefit.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    April 25, 2019 at 6:44 pm #88436
    Joseph Van syoc

    You can talk until you are blue in the face.  Did this again just the other day.  Alternator from my local jobber cost 143 and lists at 309.  Customer tells me Amazon sells it for 69.  No matter what you tell them about quality and warranty, two facts remain.  Amazon has it for $69, AND Amazon DOES NOT REPAIR CARS.  Sometimes I think we fail to emphasize that last part enough.

    1 user liked this post.
    August 23, 2019 at 3:33 am #92206
    Akash Rashtogi

    You can easily buy spare parts and tires online at a much cheaper cost.

    August 23, 2019 at 10:07 am #92222

    I have also broken my rule about installing customer parts. I recently designed a form for them to sign if they wanted to bring a part in. The form states NO warranty.

    But the one deciding factor for them is that we will charge them $1.50 per minute if the part is wrong and this STARTS from the minute I make a phone call or text or email to them regardless if they answer until we have the right part in our hands this usually stops any further discussion about them supplying the part.

    This has made the customer more aware that we cannot tie up a bay.  We also add 50-100 % to the labor charge to make up the part difference.

    Since we do a lot of classic cars into the 1920’s this does not apply to very hard to find trim parts or complete housings etc.  – These customers are well aware of the costs they are going to incur for their repair anyway and never try and talk our labor  or parts down

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