Sticker Shock at the SEMA Show

Sticker Shock at the SEMA Show

This year's SEMA Show held a new surprise for me — a secret drop-off at our booth in the form of a mysterious sticker.

There are always surprises at the SEMA Show, which is one reason why it’s such a special event. New faces to meet, old faces that you haven’t seen in a long time with which to reunite, new technological wonders … the list goes on and on.

This year held a new surprise for me, however — a secret drop-off at our booth. Visiting the booth one day to make sure the magazines on display were still neat and tidy, I noticed a roll of stickers on the table. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the stickers read: “Collision Repair Equal To Mechanical Repair Rates: Why Not?” And there was also a mysterious symbol that my wild imagination took to be the logo of some secret society. But it wasn’t so mysterious after all; the letter “Y” and the drawing of a knot was a visual representation of: Why + Not. Haha, very clever!

The fact that mechanical repairers make $80 to $100 an hour to change oil and do other mechanical procedures while collision repairers make $50 per hour to pound out dents has always burned the collision industry. We know why the collision labor rate is so low, and the debate as to whose fault it is — insurers or repairers or both — reminds one a little of the old Miller Lite “Tastes Great, Less Filling” commercials. The industry is divided on that.

But the fact that someone went to the length of creating stickers to voice their opinion told me the issue is not going away anytime soon. I’d like to say I’ve never seen such industriousness on the part of a collision repairer, but I’d be lying. Years ago, someone made up a button that said “I’m The Only One” to save adjusters the hassle of saying it when they told you that you were the only one in your area that charged for feather, prime and block or that tacked on a gas surcharge for your spraybooth or whatever. These sort of situations make us angry enough to act.

So, what sayeth thou, mystery person? Who are you? Out with your identity! Shoot me an email or call me and tell me a little of the back story behind this little sticker. I’m curious to know!

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