Auto Parts Markup?

Recently, I had needed front and rear brake pads and a rear rotor. The auto repair shop used Napa parts which are OKAY with me, but when I compared the price the auto repair shop charged for the parts vs the Napaonline website, the auto shop was 40% higher. Of course I called them back and when questioned, they stated that they provide a parts & labor warranty - even though that is not anywhere on the bill for 12-18 months. The auto repair shop said that if the brakes fail, they will replace the parts include the labor for free.

The other thing the auto repair store stated is that they charged ‘list price’ and the price I am seeing online is the ‘over the counter’ price.

Am I being ripped off? Do all repair shops increase parts costs by 40%? FOr example, online the front brake pads cost $48.19, but I was charged $82.96.

Thank you

You weren’t ripped off. Many or most auto repair shops sell the parts to you at a mark up. Each shop sets their own mark up, and many use the “list price” as one you are charged. Pretty much a standard practice.

Look at the total price, not just the parts mark up, and quality of service rendered. I am surprised that the shop doesn’t print their warranty information somewhere on their invoice, however.

It is normal for a shop to mark up prices. It can be anywhere from 20% to 100% depending on the shop.

If they quoted you a price for parts/labor and you approved it, you have no recourse. You were not ripped off. You should have questioned the price before not after the repairs were completed.

This is normal. All shops do it. And, while I haven’t checked into it, I imagine that the internet has forced Napa to cut it’s on-line prices to stay competitive, so that the repair shop may not get the substantial discount it used to, resulting in the large apparent markup.

Yes, they did call with the price and I approved it. But the price provided was for the overall work, not a breakdown between labor and parts. Is this something that should be asked?

I understand that there is no recourse, I am just trying to understand the comment about the warranty. On the NAPA site, it states as long as the parts are installed by a Napa Auto Care Center, then the 12 month warranty applies. It does not state that I have to pay a different price.

Thank you. It is interesting to note that the repair shop did state that they paid less for the parts than listed online. I am just trying to get my hands around this warranty thing…

All parts are marked up for resale reletive to what what the SHOP paid for them. You did not buy your parts from napa , they did. And if they paid to napa the same price you could have they still will mark it up. Basic business practice.
Ford parts are marked up to reflect a 40% Retained Gross Profit and when outside parts are procured they are marked up only 30% r.g.p.

I don’t know what business you’re in nor how you make profit for your paycheck, but even if the dollars spent are high, no one stays in business at 0% retained profit.

DO NOT attempt to rebut that you could have got them for less elsewhere. You didn’t ! If that’s where you wish to get your car repaired then go there, it’s a free enterprise country. At the end of the day , mechanics cannot go to the grocery store nor pay their rent with a hand shake and a pat on the back.

The way it worked some 30+ years ago was…A independent would buy the part from NAPA (or who-ever) at a DISCOUNTED price you and I could NOT get. Then they’d mark up the price and the final price usually was close to what you and I would pay if we walked in off the street to buy. I know many independents still get this discount…but from what I’ve seen recently in this forum…either

A) The discount is no where near what it use to be…OR
B) Some independents are now marking up the price some 50 to 100%…

Many independents will let you supply the parts. They won’t guarantee the part, but they’ll guarantee the labor.

Thank you all for your replies. I must not have been very clear in my question and apologize for that, but I was really just trying to understand the warranty vs ‘list price’ vs ‘over the counter’ statement.

Based on what you said, the parts warranty is there, per the NAPA site. If there is a parts issue, then you may need to remind the mechanic that the warranty is still in effect, to gain the needed warranty satisfaction. The labor warranty is whatever the shop’s policy is. Sometimes it varies; some offer a strict 90 day warranty on all their repairs; others offer longer terms.

just had new rotors and ceramic brake pads installed.
last week.the markup was 20%.
this paticular mechanic usually charges 30% mark up.he

Last mechanic I used marked up the parts around 75%. Along with the $90/hr labor rate, I was paying him over $200/hr. I solved this problem by buying tools and a repair manual.

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That’s what I do when I have to have work done that is beyond my skill level. I’ve always had suspicion that some shops use cheap/inferior parts whenever they can and then mark them up to make a few extra bucks. My reasoning for this is that I’ve noticed that several shops that friends and family take their cars to for service will use no-name/genetic oil filters, plug wires, etc. Yet charge higher-than-you-might expect prices for them. On one invoice, a recall seeing a $7.95 charge for an oil filter (some generic brand) for a Crown Vic. At the time an OEM Motorcraft oil filter was going for around $3.50 at most parts stores before any discount.

Realize on an oil filter charge it is all sort of made up for an oil change. Most places charge $24-$40 for an oil change. No matter what way you look at it, if the car is in for an oil change only the shop is not making any money. However they are getting a great opportunity to check vehicle and get potential work hopefully for mutual benefit.

I think a mechanic is going to be a job that has the potential to make a lot of money in…When I was growing up…there were very very few kids I grew up with who didn’t know how to do a brake job, or even change a spark-plug and oil…Nowadays…MOST kids barely know how to open the hood…whats going to happen when they become adults???

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I’m not debating that at all. All I’m saying that some shops seem to use the cheapest parts they can find, but mark them up so much that they charge as much for higher quality parts that the customer could’ve bought himself. I had my Mustang in the shop to have some emissions part replaced, I forget what it was, but it was about 6 or 7 inches in length and mounted vertically in the engine, anyway it was pain to get to so I decided to have the Ford place handle it. At the time the car had about 75k on the clock so I decided to have them change the spark plugs while they were at it. The spark plugs on the 4.6L in a Mustang are nigh impossible to get to. I asked the service advisor how much extra it would be, he said that it would be $129.95 with the price of the plugs included. I already had the spark plugs with me, since my car has a supercharger and I need to use a colder spark plug for better drivability. I told him I already had the plugs, the price then dropped to $89.95 for the labor only. I don’t think a set of OEM Motorcraft spark plugs costs a Ford dealer $40. I know for a fact I can get a set of 8 at Advance Auto for about $25.

Their profit that they pay for their meals and rent comes from labor, not from jacking up prices on parts. If I noticed a company doing this to me, and they have tried, I get them to lower it to something reasonable, or I pay the price and then send in a price gouging report to the state attorney general and any profit they would have thought they could make, would be spent on defending themselves from stealing from customers.

Before you go on about the free market system and the American way, remember the American way is through a court room as well.

Exactly Chris Truck I quoted out 3 shops for struts all the way around and front rotors and pads at no less that $1898 for my car last week, I went and picked up everything myself at Advanced auto with lifetime warranty installed everything myself in less than 3 hours total shopping and installing time for less than $450 total. Paying someone else $1500 to do something for 3 hours any idiot with a basic tool set can do is idiotic.

@basicbosch, 1) Why in the world did you respond to a 7 year old post?

  1. More importantly do not insult folks on this forum with your baseless statements. If you want to have a mature and friendly discussion you are most welcome, but do not start with insults, you do not want to go down that road with us.

  2. Business do mark up the products they buy and resell, they are not charities. They have costs they have to cover and they have to make a profit to continue providing the service they do provide. The beauty of the free market system is you can negotiate prices and if you do not like a price you can go down the street, or if you have the skill set you can do the work your self. There are many things I fix on my car myself, many that I pay the shop to do. Same with they house. I do not expect the service shops to give me the parts or do the work for free.