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Getting Paid for Not-Included Labor Items

Reader’s Choice Question – “How do you get paid for rust, fused, pinched and fudge time factors that aren’t listed in the regular new parts on and off sections of the P-pages and estimating guides? When will true reality begin so that the time necessary to cut, heat up, unscrew, unfuse or unclip two different kinds of metals without burning up or exploding the rest of the car will be included?” – Rosemarie Seppala, office manager, Seppala’s Body Shop & Restoration

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Writer Mike West, a contributing editor to BodyShop Business, retired and closed his shop in Seattle, Wash., on July 1, 2011, after more than 40 years in collision repair. The mayor of Tukwila declared that day “Mike West Day” to honor West for his 39 years as a businessman in the city. He is keeping active by restoring a 1933 Rockne Sedan Delivery and a 1934 Pierce-Arrow Rumble Seat Coupe. He plans to continue administering the I-CAR in-shop welding series in the Western Washington area.

time, and if you take photos and do your own time study, you’ll have documentation of what’s necessary. Document everything. Get photos of different coatings. Be creative…it’s yours. Punch them and put them in your three-ring binder under the tab for Protective Coatings.

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5. You might want to add other examples of not-included items such as part number label removal, since almost every new part has a part number label that should be removed. Heat or a release agent must be employed. Remember, we don’t want anybody to know we repaired a car. We want it to be an invisible repair. That’s our job, and those part number labels can be a dead giveaway.

6. Your binder is assembled and it’s professionally done and thorough. You’ve affixed the necessary time to your repair estimate to do the jobs we’ve discussed. You’re like a lion in wait as you see the appraiser parking the car in your lot. You’re confident because you’re extremely well-prepared. Be calm, be self-assured and prove every point with your excellent documentation.

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7. Go to the bank and make the deposit.

Best wishes and good luck.

Writer Mike West, a contributing editor to BodyShop Business, has been a shop owner for more than 30 years and a technician for more than 40 years. His shop in Seattle, Wash., has attained the I-CAR Gold Class distinction and the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence.Rosemarie Seppala, office manager, Seppala’s Body Shop & Restoration

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