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237 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 189262 22-Dec-2015 09:38
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Hey Guys,

I'm putting the finishing touches on a site I've been tinkering away on for a while now, which I hope to launch early next year. I reckon it'll benefit the crowd in this forum a bit one day!

It's more or less a 'no cowboys' type site for mechanics and automotive repair companies. 
If you have a repair or maintenance job you want carried out on your car, you post the job to the website, and mechanics who have registered in your area will reply with their proposal and a price estimate. 
You pick who you want to give the work to, and then once the work is done you can leave feedback. (So only actual customers who have worked with the company can leave feedback, not any Joe Bloggs)


So to the market research bit... if anyone could reply that would be much appreciated. Also open to general feedback re: the concept as well as any suggestions you think could make it work - I'm all eyes!

1) How did you find your current go-to mechanic?
2) Would you be willing to change mechanic: a) never b) for a better price c) for a better location (more convenient for you to access) d) other reason
3) Assuming the above described website charged a 'finders fee' commission to the mechanics, what do you think would be a fair % to charge the mechanic (Based off the original estimate for the job)?
4) Would you use the above described website next time you needed work done on your car?

Really appreciate it guys. :D








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5987 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1455049 22-Dec-2015 09:53
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1. I'm pretty happy with my regular mechanic.
2. I believe in loyalty unless there is a compelling reason to change. I have a limited income and live a long way from town and might be tempted by price or location, but the difference would have to be pretty big.
3. I have no idea. 2 or 3%?
4. Probably not because I am not really unhappy at present.

General feedback: What really matters to me is a good relationship with my mechanic. What I have now has been built up over years and it would take a lot to break that bond. My mechanic is not cheap but he is straight as an arrow and doesn't cut corners. I know I can trust him and that is what really matters. He doesn't charge for work he doesn't do, and the work he does is always first class. If I didn't already have a mechanic and was looking for one, a site like yours would be valuable to me, but it would not be likely to make me want to give up the known value of what I already have in order to experiment with an unknown one.





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


536 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1455103 22-Dec-2015 10:27
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1) Dealer closest to work - as have found other mechanics don't do what I want in a "service". (I do the smaller ones myself, so only take it to the dealer for the larger servicing/repairs)
2) A combination of B) and C) (ie location and price, but also contingent on ensuring the service level is where I want it to be as per #1 above)
3) Probably a couple of percent - but I would ensure it is capped so after a certain amount if becomes a flat rate.
4) Probably not as what I do now works for what I need.

 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1455154 22-Dec-2015 10:58
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1) Word of mouth - recommendation from work colleague
2) Not really. Would have to be significantly better price/location/service to cause me to shift
3) Hard to say, perhaps 2%.  It would have to be capped for big jobs
4) Probably not, prefer to go by referrals from people I know and trust rather than complete strangers (which can be easily faked or influenced by an unreasonable customer)

Relationship with mechanic has been built over a long period.  I know and trust them to give me straight advice, and not charge me for unnecessary work or trimmings.   They also know my expectations and my vehicles so can better 'manage' any ongoing issues.  It would take something pretty sweet to change from that, and I certainly would not bother even looking.




Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman



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  Reply # 1455181 22-Dec-2015 11:36
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Jeeves: 
1) How did you find your current go-to mechanic?
2) Would you be willing to change mechanic: a) never b) for a better price c) for a better location (more convenient for you to access) d) other reason
3) Assuming the above described website charged a 'finders fee' commission to the mechanics, what do you think would be a fair % to charge the mechanic (Based off the original estimate for the job)?
4) Would you use the above described website next time you needed work done on your car?


1 - the dealership
2 - prefer the dealership - they tend to look after you well (loan cars, good waiting room, after service support etc)
3 - 1-2%
4 - no, i prefer convenience rather than 'cheaper' deal





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  Reply # 1455208 22-Dec-2015 12:11
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Somehow managed to misread the first question. My mechanic was recommended by a friend.





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


gzt

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  Reply # 1455224 22-Dec-2015 12:38
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1) How did you find your current go-to mechanic?

I tend towards doing it myself but use a mechanical service for routine work like brakes etc where the labour component of the cost is not a biggie.

2) Would you be willing to change mechanic: a) never b) for a better price c) for a better location (more convenient for you to access) d) other reason

All of the above.

3) Assuming the above described website charged a 'finders fee' commission to the mechanics, what do you think would be a fair % to charge the mechanic (Based off the original estimate for the job)?

No idea.

4) Would you use the above described website next time you needed work done on your car?

Yes.



237 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1455426 22-Dec-2015 16:10
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Thanks for the feedback so far guys - really helpful!

Completely agree and acknowledge that a large proportion, probably the majority of car owners, go to the same mechanic again and again because they have already built a relationship with them - me included!
I guess where my site would assist with someone who has built up a relationship is when they move house, or perhaps change jobs so that their regular mechanic isn't convenient any more. 
Of course there are also other jobs which your mechanic may not be able to do - such as electrical, panel beating or air conditioning work. 

Interesting that most seem to feel that 2-3% is a fair commission. This is lower than what I have based my numbers on - Finder's fees/commission can often range anywhere from 10-50% in other industries. In saying that though, it is a startup and I'll be sure to be listening to the people and the songs they sing!

If anyone else would like to add their thoughts - they really would be welcome!



237 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1455432 22-Dec-2015 16:17
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Oh - I also agree that cheapest is often not best. I'll be sure to add content to the website to highlight to drivers that they shouldn't always go for the lowest offer.

In saying that though - I've been battling with myself over if I should have mechanics either submit a :

A) Price estimate - "My best guess is $500"
B) A price range "My best guess is $300 - $800"
C) No price estimate at all - but they can mention an estimated price in their 'proposal' if they choose to.

I'm personally not so keen on C - reason being is that while price isn't and shouldn't be everything -  it is something

Perhaps a confidence indicator to go with the price? "My best guess is $500 and my confidence of getting close to that is 90%". Or is that too complicated?

(sorry for the ranting...I'm thinking aloud a little here!)

Cheers

gzt

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  Reply # 1455454 22-Dec-2015 16:48
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My relationships with mechanical services are based on trust, price is secondary.

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