Auto Repair Bait And Switch Tactics

Auto Repair Bait And Switch Tactics

Oil Changes, Brake Service, Cooling System Service And Air Conditioner Service

Oil Changes: We’ve all seen advertisements for very low priced oil changes. I’ve seen them as low as $9.00 but they tend to average between $15.00 and $20.00. Some shops even have an “every day low price” for their oil changes so that every oil change is sold at a loss. I have often wondered how they can do this. Are they doing this as a public service? Do they consider this a charitable cause? Are they a non-profit organization? Or is this a bait and switch tactic? How can they make a fair profit on a $20.00 oil change? The answer of course is: they can’t.

If it takes about a half hour to change oil, filter, lube and perform a 20 point inspection, and the shop’s labor rate is $68.00 per hour, then the labor alone on the oil change should be $34.00. Add the price of parts and you are up to nearly $50.00. In order for them to break even or make a slight profit on a “loss leader” oil change, they need to sell you more stuff while you are in there or upgrade you to a more expensive product such as synthetic oil or a “premium” oil filter. And since they are losing money on the oil change, they will need to sell the additional parts and service at an inflated rate to make up for the loss. Of course most people are defenseless against the scripted mind control tactics a good salesman uses. Selling the extra items are almost guaranteed. Air filters, pcv valves, breather filters, transmission fluid changes, differential fluid changes, cooling system flushes, wiper blades, fan belts, radiator hose, light bulbs… .

These up-sell items are where they are really making their profits. Granted these are valuable and sometimes necessary services but why use these hook and reel or bait and switch tactics to get the work? Why not just be up front and honest with people? Why not just charge a fair price for everything instead of lowering the cost of one job as a hook then inflating the cost of other jobs to make up for it?