Money Makes The Car Wheels Go Round

, , , , , | | Right | June 1, 2018

(A customer comes in looking for a quick check for a noise his car is making. It’s a Saturday and normally we are very busy, but today I have time to talk to the customer about his interest in buying a luxury car and the cost for upkeep on them. The mechanic checks it out and tells me what’s wrong. I price it up and give him about $80 in discounts.)

Me: “Well, sir, I have it all written up for you. It needs tie rods and sway bar links for the noise. It’s going to be $570 for everything, but I was able to apply some discounts and get the price down to $490. That’s the lowest I can go for the work.”

Customer: “This is too much money for me; I can’t afford it.”

Me: “I understand, sir, but unfortunately I cannot go any cheaper; I’ve applied all the discounts that I have to give. I’m not even charging you labor for one part.”

Customer: “Let me see your pen. I’m going to write a price down on this sheet, and you are going to do it at this price because I’m a good customer and its the price I feel is right for the work.”

Me: “No, sir, that’s not how it works.”

(He writes down $400.)

Me: “Sir, it’s $490 or nothing.”

Customer: “But I come here all the time! Look at my history!”

Me: “Sir, you’ve come in four times in four years: one for a bearing for which you ended up making us return your money and put the old part back on, then we didn’t see you again for two years, then you did two oil changes and one battery. You just spent thirty minutes talking to me about buying a Mercedes or a BMW. Honestly, if you can’t afford a $500 part on your Nissan, how do you plan on affording a $600 brake job?”

(The customer ended up taking his estimate and leaving.)

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