View Full Version : Parts is parts...

05-14-2007, 02:51 PM
Not sure if this isn't more of a service question actually, but here goes...

Say you get an oil pan replaced at a local independent repair shop: You get a quote over the phone for X hours labor plus parts (no parts quote). You get the bill and labor matches the estimate, but there's a BIG parts bill. The repair was successful, but as you're driving home, you start to think that the price of the parts was a bit high. So you call the dealer and get a quote for the same parts and find out you paid 70% above the retail price for the parts. (It's even more outrageous if you think what it would have been with the CCA discount for parts...) Do shops routinely mark-up repair parts?

Is there anything such as a generally accepted business practice when it comes to how much an independent auto repair shop should charge customer for repair parts?

What, if anything can/should I do about it?

a.) Nothing. You didn't ask how much the part would be so it's your fault. They can charge anything they want for parts. (Can they?)

b.) Demand a refund. That's just not right. You should be charged more or less cost for repair parts. If you had to pay a courier fee or something, that's one thing, but this is outrageous. It's un-American....

c.) Talk to the shop. Tell them the facts. Maybe the pricing was wrong and they’ll give you some money back. (And maybe monkeys will fly out of my ...)

d.) Other: _____________

Oh, and no, it was not one of the fine shops you normally hear mentioned here or that normally is associated with the club (perhaps my first mistake….)

1996 328ti
05-14-2007, 03:23 PM
That sucks. I guess the mistake was not asking how much the part was and I fault the shop for not telling you. I suppose I would speak with the shop and explain that they are entitled to make a profit on a part, but not a boat payment.

05-14-2007, 03:56 PM
Shops (in my experience) normally sell parts at almost dealer retail. That already includes a mark up for them since they dont buy at that price. That is a Standard operating procedure (SOP).

If you wish to get parts from outside at a CCA discounted price (as I used to through Bill), the shops normally charge a slightly higher labor rate and you wouldnt get the same guarantees that the shops supposedly provide.

But charging retail + 70% - RIP OFF!

I would go with option C. Then B. And then worst case scenarion D.- Never go back again and please tell us who this shop is.

05-14-2007, 05:36 PM
It depends on your relationship with the shop. I would suspect they underestimated the labor and recouped on the parts mark up.

I dont mind paying good money to have the repair or service done right the first time with the correct parts. Shop has to make enough money to stay in business. And there are jobs were they give you estimate and it takes longer but they honor thier original estimate. My suggestion is find a quality shop that you have a good feeling about and take all your business there. i know a number of CCA a members that drive a 1.5 to 2 hrs to use a shop in NOVA because they know the work will be done right and they trust the owner.

Establishing a long term relationship with a shop moves you to the head of line if you should have an unexpected problem etc. My family has been using the same independent BMW shop for 25+ years now and gave this shop over $30k of our hard earned money.

If your are doing schools you need to able to trust and depend on your mechanic and shop to keep you alive.

Dave Apker

05-15-2007, 12:09 PM
The discount most independent shops get is 10-25% off list, depending on how much businees they do with the dealer. The bigger discounts (20 & 25% off) were reservd for body shops and larger indy shops that did $15,000+ per month. Some body shops could easily do $30,000 per month.

Sorry I left the BMW Parts biz :(
.....but feel free to contact me if anybody needs a custom painted helmet or decals. (sorry for the shamless plug :P, but I have a family, and a new little one on the way to support.)

05-17-2007, 03:38 PM
Tell me about it. I got quoted almost 2K to do my clutch at an indy I usually go to. Needless to say I bought the clutch kit myself and miraculously found a friend who knows a friend who does good BMW work at a shop.