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Some people just have to be dumb.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Cliffy, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Lil' Toot
    Joined: Sep 25, 2002
    Posts: 185

    Lil' Toot
    from Tulsa, OK

    This is something that always drives me nuts. As a pinstriper, I don't maintain a shop other than my home shop, because most shops need me to be able to come to them. I spend at least 70% of my time in others shops. When I'm there, it's not unusual for people to want to talk to me about what I do and how I do it. Pinstriping really is a spectator sport. And I dont' mind talking shop, I'm very giving with my knowledge, because I was lucky enough to find people willing to educate me when I was learning. And I always figure if I'm on my game, there will always be work out there. But some guys just push it too far. I've got one jackass at one of my bodyshops (one of the few I do that isn't a custom shop) that without fail, will corner me up when I show up and just pump me for information, not just how it's done but where to get every little supply I use and how much it costs. And he usually says outright that he figures if he can learn how to do it, then they won't have to call me out to do these "little jobs" You've got to be kidding me, this is how I make my living! I figured out that he was mostly smoke, cause he seems to repeat the episode everytime I show up cause he forgot whatever B.S. story I gave him last time (I rarely give him truely useful info) I've realized that he will never follow through, but it still annoys me. Every few months I run into somebody else like this. I love to teach to those who really want to learn, but the ones who make no secret that they want to learn in particular so they don't have to pay me, that just ticks me off. If you love the art and want to learn it, great, pull up a chair. If you just don't want to have to pay for it and figure how hard could it really be? Piss off.

    On the other hand, as a professional shop visitor, I will admitt to developing a sense of familiarity with my shops were I tend to feel more like one of the employees and will just wonder right in, but then again I'm there to work, and have been there enough hours, I know how things run. But I never take liberty's with cars that I'm not there to work on, and will even go so far as to attend to walk in customers (keeping them busy and greeting them, not actually conducting business) if everybody is busy until a real employee gets free. It's just basic repect for THEIR shop, not my shop. And if it's a new shop for me, or one I've done little work for, I treat it just like a customer, enter through the main door, wait to be attended to, don't just roll into areas I'm not supposed to be in. It sounds simplistic, but ask customers that violate the posted signs (a good idea) if they would appreciate it if you rolled into their home garage or house even and just started opening things up and diggin around. It really is the same thing. Common sense and respect just isn't that common anymore.

    Don't get me started on the liberties I've had people take with my hot rod and others at car shows, thats a whole other thread.....

  2. NO Cob, he is NOT in business to buy and sell. I have a quarter million in commercial property and equipment, pay taxes, INSURANCE, and have to disclose everything with risk of loosing my dealer's permit if I miss something....does he? HELL NO. He works out of his house, jumps titles, hides problems....get the drift. He is not in business, he is doing it as a hobby, and illegally most of the time.

    By the way, I am good friends with more than one other dealer in town. There are a bunch of us that get together for lunch few times a month and we share rides and drive cars to and from the auctions for each other all the time. The repair shop(my direct competition) two blocks up and I trade work back and forth. Competition is good, we all have our own markets and most of us like having other dealers around for support. We work off each other and trade stuff back and forth. There is more than enough business to go around and we all know it. We don't worry about the other guys because they usually are rude, overpriced and do crappy work. I get LOTS of exhaust business because the other two guys in town who have benders do crappy work and their prices are almost double mine.

    May be different in your area, but here we work together well.
  3. RODMAN58
    Joined: Jan 1, 2006
    Posts: 272

    from VIRGINIA

    Well the pit bulls help at the bike shop. We just keep all three bay doors closed now. One way in and there is a big ole NO ONE allowed
    sign on the door. Mostly we get good respectful people. Sometimes
    we get "visitor" and we real laid back but don't mind saying "DON'T
    touch that". Most people are pretty cool and not that stupid. Always the exception though. Still, the pit bulls help (till the kids figure out you can pet them)......
  4. I guess the lesson should be that it is not that you can't kick tires, it is how you do it.

    I never turn someone away if they want to kick tires, feel free. At least a hour of every day goes to customer relations around here. Anyone who has something cool has it to show off, not to sit in the garage under cover where nobody can see it. Again, it is touching stuff that is not yours, without permission and intentionally looking for free advice with no intention of ever returning the favor in any way.
  5. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,647

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    We all started out somewhere dude... I remember not that long ago you were still selling cars and parts but were 2 steps from being a legit dealer...

    -maybe someone needs to give you a little red star or a pat on the back... your doing a good job Cliff lets not take it over the edge... I'm not being sarcastic- well... a little... I know how hard it is to keep everything in the up and up with a bizz... but the HAMB isn't really the place to be dumping business woes... I though we focused on Hot Rods here...

    HOT RODS RULE ALL AND EVERYTHING ELSE CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL... IN A HOT ROD... or KUSTOM like the HIROHATA, if I were going to hell I sure would like to be behind the wheel of the HIROHATA... or the EMPEROR...

    I have all kinds of stories... but I learned from each one and its made me a better businessman... seriously and I'm not being a preachy fag-

    We all learn the hard way starting out dealing with customers in one form or another... its learning from that and moving on... learning and adapting what you picked up to deal with it the next time that guy starts kicking your tire...

    Dealing with it is all part of being a DEALER... I ask whats yer point? The worlds full of idots... if it makes yourself feel better point each one out... I think its lame.

    A salesman's outlook and attitude is something else entirely... hopefully you'll find the right combination of the two to keep from burning bridges... you never know what one dumb tire kicker could bring you in business down the road...

    Good Luck- and Cheers to your Dealership... Youve been working hard it bro lets just keep it in 'perspective' around here cool?

  6. 52pickup
    Joined: Aug 11, 2004
    Posts: 833

    from Tucson, Az

    Doesn't work. I work in a shop that specializes in european sports car restoration, although we do other stuff, too. We don't have a sign in front. We don't advertise. We are several blocks down a side street. We still have at least one guy a week come up and ask if something is for sale, or whats it worth, or will you work on my 86 cavalier...
  7. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016


    The dispatcher at one shop I worked at was bad about letting customers come into the shop to watch or ask questions.

    One of the mechanics got fed up one day and when he caught the customer not looking he 'accidentally' squirted grease all over the guys shoes.

    That particular guy never came into the shop again.
  8. Hell, it ain't always customers, either.

    There was an general-line independent shop 1/2 mile from the shop I was at; started sending a guy over every week or two to ask how to fix something.

    One day as I'm trying to close out a couple customers' orders who were waiting to pick up their cars, this clown comes in. He wants to buy a part (we had a real strong Honda inventory for an independant shop). So I make him wait his turn, look up a part for him, and go get it. Then he wants a discount; "professional courtesy" he calls it - and starts bitching in front of the other customers who've come in to pick up their cars. I just asked if he wanted the part or not, and said that the people behind him were all wating for their cars.

    Probably been ten years, and I'm still amazed at that incident.

  9. What I am looking for is a good one liner that is not offensive and gets the point across when people come into the shop wanting to just shoot the breeze and not conduct business. Something that will get rid of them so I can get back to work. Something that won't piss them off and make them leave happy. I don't mind talking for under 5 minutes, but sometimes they want to have a long drawn out conversation about the car their dad had when they were a kid or the car they should have never sold.
    I can't just come out and say, get lost, I have a paying customer's ride to work on, come back when you are going to spend some $$.
    Anyone have any good ideas for me?
  10. A good friend of mine builds racecar chassis.After constant interuptions from dreamers,wanting to discuss their"project",he implemented a policy of $100 for consultations.Some good potential customers were offended,till he pointed out that when their project is in the shop,he wouldn't be stopping to talk to all those other people,and the fee was then applied as a deposit.everyone quickly so the benifit if they were a"serious"customer!:D
  11. hoof
    Joined: Jul 14, 2006
    Posts: 620


    Yeah, the local "son and pop" garage down my road hasn't given me a bill for anything they have done for me in like 2 years. I started just giving him some money once in a while and now he tells me we are even. I still think I owe him. Now when I pick up the car I make him take a guess at what I owe and pay him cash before I leave. still really cheap.
  12. Junkyard Jan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2005
    Posts: 739

    Junkyard Jan
    Member Emeritus

    Yep, you're going to have every asshole or mouthbreather stop by your car lots or shops, be asked every dumbassed question on the planet, have your cars screwed with and you have to figure out a way to cope. Because if you start running too many jerks off, you have the potential for losing business from the few jerks that might have money. It's Hobson's Choice. I was in the used car biz from 1980-'86 and had every dumbass in Ohio stop at my two lots at least twice. I hired a mechanic at Lot #2 so I'd be free to strictly run the sales/auction end and hopefully make some bux from repair work. He was bugged enough by the same dickheads that it started cutting into his commission, which was how he got paid. I finally had to schedule the repair work myself, which cut way back on potential jobs and have him lock the doors. I had enough parts theft from the lot cars that I couldn't get insurance unless I fenced the lot. I was a nickle-dime operation on leased property and couldn't afford that. Eventually, all of this pent up shit got to me and I gave it up. I may start another car related business, dealing through eBay on a bigger scale than I do now and with the circle track crowd because they don't play games. But it'll be VERY small and I'll live at the business.

    I agree that most dealers get along well and I still have a few buddies that will "lend" me their license so I can go to an occasional sale..:)

    Sorry for venting but I relate very well to those of you trying to make a living doing what you enjoy most.

  13. kennedy
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 693

    from TN

    Best thing to do is close your shop up like your closed then know one knows your their.
  14. Doesn't work. I did that almost all of last year. They know your there and bug you even more since they think your closed and not really running a business.
  15. ephotrod
    Joined: Jun 30, 2006
    Posts: 31


    I have been around shops from the time i was 15 now I’m 23. The best line that I have heard a mechanic used was that he was busy giving quality service to his customer and would love to talk to the guy when he’s a customer. At this point he would turn around and get back to his work. If the guy kept going on he would ask for his info and the keys and will call him with a price and problem.
  16. pigpen
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,624

    from TX USA

    I had that happen with a '37coupe that I had, the one that had my blood in it after a frame up rebuild. Now, I'm getting to where I don't trust anybody, especially the so called "buddy" who is looking for the car that he always dreamed of! :mad:

  17. rixrex
    Joined: Jun 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,433


    Haggling over a car or work to a car can be very complicated, sometimes, hopefully quickly, you can reach a point where you don't want anything to do with the car or the person. In the shop, with a potential customer, I am part craftsman,part salesman,part psychotherapist, craftsman being the only role I am comfortable tell them, if you are telling your wife, or banker,or yourself, that it makes sense to put 20K into this car because you'll be able to sell it for a profit later, you are on the wrong track buddy..Or the guy that is looking at a car you have for sale, and asks "what is the least amount of money you will take?" you make the mistake of answering. And then he starts walking around the car with a critical eye pointing out this and that, hoping to drive the price down even further, Ggrrrrrrr
  18. ScapeGoat
    Joined: Jan 8, 2007
    Posts: 129

    from Canada

    It sounds like some are taking their 'how to become a millionaire in real estate' seminar and applying it to cars now. They think they are the first person to ever come up with the idea and crap on some greaser's head figuring because they have tatoos or run a shop on the bad side of the tracks they surely would not understand the complexity of the financial world. These same guys think that any car older than pre1980 is rare and valuable regardless of condition but thats when the knowledge is not in their favor. Its an example of sheer greed and stupidity in lieu of common courtesy and respect for those who know what they're actually talking about.
  19. bigdreamsnobux
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 222


    Just gotta chime in since this reminds me of my work in a wierd way...

    I am in IT/Software consulting, worked for some of the big boys (fortune 500) over the last 14 years and although I only see a small fraction of it, my bill rate is let's say, 'impactful'. So, if time = money, then my time is quite important to someone, just like a business owner's.

    So to keep sane and happy in my line of work, you eventually learn how to politely 'run' a conversation. In the elevator, phone, wherever. I never know if 2 minutes of my sharing my experience is a call back 6 months later for a 2 comma deal for my employer, so I gotta participate right?, but I do it as efficiently as possible. So, I run the conversation by: get the definition of what they want immediately, find out whether it is actionable immediately, and finally make them committ on thier end immediately. If I got those, then I will devote time to it, if not, you get 2 minutes, and then 'sorry, I am tied up right now, here is my number/email, let's set up an appointment'. Even afterwards, I am still in a position to run the interaction, call them back or not.

    There are some good suggestions earlier that allude to this. It takes practice, but man, does it make life easier and stress free.

    As for buying cars and reselling, free enterprise. I could care less if I get lied to from someone off the street since I refine how much time or energy I invest. I barely have enough time for those who need my attention, let alone 'tire kickers'.
  20. 47 Tudor Guy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2006
    Posts: 345

    47 Tudor Guy

    If they are asking tech questions, answer them, then hand them a bill at shop labor rate per hour. If I call my lawyer with a question, I automatically get a bill in the mail. Put up a sign that clearly says something like "Information is NOT free and you will be charged.$xx.xx per hour" They may not pay the bill, but I doubt they will be back to bother you again.
  21. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,896

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    I run a part time custom shop in my backyard...used to be fulltime, but that's another story. I have WAY more work than I can handle, a long waiting list, etc.
    Anyhow, I had painted a few things for this guy over the course of about 5-6 years, a Sportster, some wheels, touch up on his car, he was refered by a friend. The guy knows the score how I work, time and material. He also knows that I usually have any number of friends, who hang out at the shop, bring coffee, help out, some I work out a deal to pay them to work on customer cars. I also have some close friends, that I trade off work for work on customer cars. Or charge tham a token amount, as I know they'll help me with MY projects. Or we build cars together, each putting in time on each other's cars (this is only guys who have worked for me for some time). I also have guys I am teaching to do the work, welding, mechanical, bodywork, paint. I either pay them a small amount per hour, or they just volunteer to work until they are good enough to be paid.
    So this guy calls me up one day, telling me he's getting a divorce. He wants to know how he can join our "club". I question him as to what he is talking about. His conception is that there is a secret club in my shop, where we all work on each other's cars for free, and he wants in on it. Since he is going to have so much more time, without a wife, he wants to build up an old car, and wants us to do it for him for free! Now mind you, I've done a bit of work for him, and I know he doesn't know jack shit about working on cars, but he likes them.

    What a set of balls!
    I sent him on his way.
  22. DeepSouthRick
    Joined: May 29, 2006
    Posts: 325


    Damn... you have more self control than I do!

  23. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    Shop rate $35 per hour
    If you watch $40 per hour
    If you help $50 per hour
  24. wanna-b
    Joined: Jun 2, 2006
    Posts: 160


    $150/wk for 3 hrs of hands on labwork? Sounds good to me. :)

    I have never gone onto a lot, called on a seller or gone into a workshop w/o having green in my pocket to cover whatever I found.
  25. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,407

    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    My personal favorite.

    we work on pre '73 vehicles here. while we get our stuff accomplished fairly quick by comparison to other shops, it's still a hell of alot slower than Jiffy Lube. you let someone talk you into working on thier shitbox 85 chevy, and now you are beholden to them to knock it out in 20 minutes. you know, cast aside all else, all of the other customers cars that have been in line for a long damn time, and slap that ratty used chrome tranny pan on thier daily peice of shit.

    or when you tell someone you aren't interested in working on thier car, and they try to talk you into it. they will go on and on, then finally get you to spit out a dollar figure. then try to get you to cut the price! by the time that conversation is over, they typically leave with thier tail between thier legs.

    I am not opposed to haggling on price, but if you just have to have me work on it, and I really don't want to...don't ask me to do it on the cheap. what a pisser.
  26. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    :D LOL :D

    Flip this house ... and the Get rich quick seminars
    are ruining the real estate business ... :)

    Folks want to buy a 250 thousand dollar place for 100 grand ... like us folks with a real estate license do not know what the market brings ...

    There are no free rides ...
  27. MIKE-3137
    Joined: Feb 19, 2003
    Posts: 1,578


    Be thankful you're not in the computer sales/service business. Every other phone call is someone who bought a computer online, or ebay, and wants me to spend an hour on the phone talking them though setting it up, or removing a virus, or installing a hard drive, all for free of course. And then there are the people who just want to "hang around" to learn from you so they can work out of their house, while I pay a note on a building, sales taxes, insurance and all the other joys of self employment. Another favorite is "I know exactly whats wrong with it, but I don't have time to fix it" and of course usually they're not even close, so then you have to argue with them. I'm still amazed i've survived 18 years of this business...
  28. Appleseed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 1,053


    Dude I HATE those shows. I do construction, and I don't have the balls to call myself a carpenter. But those twits on those shows make me feel like brilliant. If I ever gutted a house the way they do, I'd have my Old Man's Redwing boot so far up my ass I would have tasted the leather. It's not that easy. ("Whats a load barring wall?"
  29. Man,

    I'd worry if I was you, I work in IT also and I see your starting to sound like a geek. Last time I looked most people will meet and have a conversation with someone, not run the interaction LOL

    I've seen this sort of thing happen in the past, its not always terminal, but if you like to "blue sky", "consider issues whilst moving forward", "think outside the box" or "explore synergies whilst employing the new paradigm" you might be in trouble. I suggest working on a carb to get you back in touch with the common man and his technology :D :D :D

  30. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford

    Judging people by thier daily wheels is a mistake. I know guys that are worth Millions that drive an old beat up truck and wear worn out jeans, etc.
    At least the guy was up front about looking for something to resell.

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