DingIT.com, a website where consumers post photos and descriptions of their damaged cars so body shops can bid on the jobs, has unveiled a new iPhone application that DingIT says makes its service more convenient.
The new app allows the user to submit a request for estimates from nearby body shops by providing the car information and several photos of the damage.
“The DingIT iPhone app was designed to simplify the process of taking photos and submitting a request for estimates,” says Sagi Smolarski, co-founder and head of technology at DingIT.com. “It literally takes about 30 seconds to submit a case. The user doesn’t even have to specify the areas from which estimates are sought. The app uses the iPhone’s geo-location to know where you’re at and submit the request to body shops in your vicinity.”
Added Eyal Golan, co-founder and head of global marketing, “The benefits of getting estimates online include significant time saving, the cost of gas and the actual saving on the cost of the repair, which can reach hundreds of dollars. But there is no doubt that making this service available via smartphones is a major leap as it makes this service simpler, quicker and much easier to use.”
To ensure the quality of the body shops in the DingIT network, shops are first asked to submit a “request for application,” and only once the shop’s credentials are screened is the shop added to the network. Also, DingIT employs a rating system that’s based on users’ feedback, so when new users receive estimates, they can also see how the shop was rated by previous car owners.
This service is currently free of charge to both body shops and car owners.
DingIT started operating in 2003, initially in the Greater Los Angeles area and gradually in other major cities.
Collision repairers have mixed feelings about sites like DingIT. Consumers look at the sites as a great convenience, but some repairers feel that body shops trying to become the lowest bidder and then having to pay a percentage of the estimate (which is the case with BodyShopBids.com) with profit margins as tight as they are today is bad business.
"We’re here to help [body shops] and work with them, but they also have to work
with us and adapt to a changing world and a changing consumer," said Brad Weisberg of BodyShopBids.com. "We’re helping the small mom-and-pop shops that can’t afford to do digital marketing, but have tremendous pride in their business and service."