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Fair mark up?

We all know repair shops mark up costs,and should,we all have to make a living,but what is a fair percentage? My guy just charged me $193(plus labor)for a window regulator that’s listed on the NAPA website for $114…fair ? Inquiring minds want to know…

Don’t like it? Do it yourself next time. If you have the mechanical ability and time, you can save a ton of money. If not, you are paying for the mechanic’s time and overhead at his shop, which as they say “ain’t cheap”!

Is it the EXACT part you are comparing or a similar part from a different supplier?

Is it a NAPA part? If so, I’d say that $114 to $193 (69.3%) is too high of a markup. Generally I see markups of 20% or so… so if they used that same NAPA part, bought from NAPA, it should be $136.80 or so.

But that’s the rub - there are numerous options for many parts, at numerous prices, from numerous sources.

For example, a quick search for a window regulator for my old Taurus (which I knew would have multiple options) found the following price points for the driver’s side window alone (at just NAPA and rockauto):

$28.99, $39.79, $48.97, $79.79, $107.79, $112.44

The first three come without a motor, the second three come with one…

Sounds like a high markup. It is possible the shop paid for delivery of the part so there might be other factor(s) to consider.

May be a bit high, but not unusual. That % was pretty common at the gas station I worked at years ago, until the owner decreed that all parts get a markup of 100%! Now THAT was HIGH!

Your precious “internet” price will also add frieght.
Your mechanic did not buy the one you see on the internet.
Neither did you.
For correct comparison, do you know what he actually paid the Napa store he got it from ?

The math you need to look at here will be call “retained gross profit”, not “mark up”.
Of the total money from the customer , how much is kept by the business ?
The numbers I see aren’t too far out of line for the parts business as a whole and looks like a dealer’s full list price.

– IF – your mechanic paid $ 114.00 and sold for $ 193 he only got to keep about 40% of your money.
The rest went to Napa.

40% r.g.p.

My mechanic of 18 years charges about 100% markup, however his labor costs are fairly low. For example, $80 for brake pads and $20 for installation. Last winter, my Blazer needed a new tailpipe and muffler, the parts were around $270 and the labor was only $30.

Ed B.

This question always means, what is fair to me, not what is fair for the mechanic. If you are just in the market for a window regulator by all means buy it from NAPA. If you want to have it installed you need to ask if the price for the job reasonable. Mechanics make their profit on the combination of parts and labor. Your mechanic could reduce his parts markup and raise his labor charge. You would pay the same. Good mechanics are hard to come by, but even good ones get it wrong sometimes. Ask about the price for the job. If your mechanic is one of the good ones, he deserves your business.

It pays to be on friendly terms with the mechanics in your neighborhood and to know their policies. For example, I know two shops that will allow me to bring in my own parts and they will install them for me. One fellow in particular, who runs a one-man business, hates to order parts.

Many shops will not do this. If you’re not sure, ask in advance.

It’s possible the mechanic used a more expensive part. He probably doesn’t want you to come back complaining that the part he installed doesn’t work, so he may be more likely to buy from a supplier he’s learned to trust rather than whichever discount parts house offers the lowest price.

I’ve NEVER seen a markup by any mechanic I’ve ever used.

By markup I mean from what I can buy it for.

Most of the auto-parts stores around here will give the mechanic a discount (usually 20%) on any parts they buy…They then may mark it up. Their markup is about what I could buy it for if I went to the parts store and bought it.

I don’t really understand why the markup for mechanic. I can understand a retail store marking it up…but they need to keep inventory, pay sales and stocking clerks and maintain a building. But a mechanic has very little inventory (maybe belts, tires, hoses, filters, batteries and in some cases tires). I know of now mechanic that stocks alternators or starters or anything like that. When they work on a car…if they find they need a part…they call up the parts store…and it’s usually delivered to them in less then an hour.

But it really comes down the final price. If you’re satisfied with that…then it’s OK.

The markup is fair and any shop that does not mark up parts is:
A. Going to go out of business.
B. Add any parts profit loss into labor charges.

Around here that 114 dollar part as listed would not include about 12 dollars or so in taxes.

Speaking of markups, next time you get a bill after a hospital visit look at what they charge you for a single band-aid or plain old Tylenol.

Something I haven’t seen anyone touch is who pays the mechanic when the part has to be warranteed? The mechanic gets paid to replace the part again but the shop owner, you know the one who just charged a sixty percent markup gets to take it in the shorts. Labor claims are a farce and anybody that works in this industry knows that. Parts might be guaranteed for life but that just means you’ll spend the rest of the cars life replacing them. So if you don’t want to pay a markup then supply your own parts, and when those parts break pay the shop again.

You guys must be doing it differently where you live then here in NH or when I lived in NY. Mechanics usually have accounts with several of the local suppliers. We have a couple local chains(Robins and Sanel Brothers) that pretty much all the mechanics around here deal with.

The parts store warranties ANY AND ALL parts a mechanic buys from them. For new mechanics they usually require receipts on all warranty work…But for some mechanics that have been doing business with for years and have a good re-pore with…there’s no need for receipts.

As for markup…Yup…you either pay for it though the labor costs or the parts. Either way the mechanic is going to charge you. Just the way it’s itemized. Mechanics around here charge anywhere from $70 - $120/hr…Maybe that’s why they only charge about 25% markup to the customer. And their markup price is what I can buy it for from the same parts supplier they have. I’ve NEVER seen a mechanic charge the customer $200 for a part when the customer can buy the exact same part for $100.

There’s a lot more to the scenario that a mechanic gets paid again if an installed part fails and this is especially true at the new car dealer level.

Maybe he gets paid and maybe he doesn’t. Therein lies the rub.

The shop has an overhead that must be paid and it is often a great deal more than a customer’s wildest guess. My garage keepers liability insurance was nearly $7,000. The tool trucks annually took in excess of $6,000. Those parts cleaners cost $600 per year. Rent and utilities totalled over $25,000. The total might seem outrageous to those who have never operated a business considering my location in rural Mississippi. But my mark up was cost plus 40% on most parts, more on the more questionable brands and less on factory OE parts based on my guess on the failure rate. And if a part failed in warranty it was replaced totally free of charge and the mechanic was paid his normal rate and I usually ate it all. Very few warranties are worth the paper they are written on. If a part was defective out of the box or failed within a week the parts house would replace it free but after that the parts were sent to the factory for inspection and you can guess how often they found them defective.

When I worked parts our standard markup was 40%.

Markup is figured differently than what some people think, 40% markup is figured by taking the original price and multiplying by 1.667. In this case the price you paid is almost exactly at 40% markup and is what I would expect it to be.

Central MD does it the same way as NH. The shop gets a discount off list price. If you prefer to work in mark-up terms, the mark-up for a sale to me would be 25%.

It could also have to do with taxing purposes. You’ll likely see a charge of a few bucks for “shop supplies” on the invoice as well. You’re paying for the shop supplies regardless, it just gets taxed differently come April 15th.

In todays retail marketplace, 100% mark-up is normal for everything other than high-volume, fast moving items or where there is a lot of price completion…In some lines, drugs for instance, the mark-up can be 1000% or more…