Survey Says Most Small Shops Undercharge for Work - BodyShop Business
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Survey Says Most Small Shops Undercharge for Work


In a recent survey of small- to mid-size collision repair shops, results showed most shops don’t charge all of the industry-accepted fees for their work. The survey was conducted by Web-Est, LLC, a provider of collision repair estimating software, from Dec. 4 to Dec. 11.

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Results from the survey showed that the majority of small- to mid-size body shops were not consistently charging for acceptable labor-related tasks as a direct result of not having their collision estimating software fully configured. The most common error was in not having their estimating software’s “Pre-Set” charges turned on and/or set up properly. Pre-set fees are various, associated repair charges and can include items such as hazardous waste removal, car covering for over-spray and flex additives. Many other common labor charges and other common tasks or costs associated with most collision repair jobs should be considered by shops and added to the estimate as they generally reflect additional cost in repairing the vehicle.


“The survey results demonstrated the need for body shop owners to set aside more time to ensure their estimates include these real expenses,” said Eric Seidel, CEO and president of Web-Est, LLC. “We know adding normal pre-set charges in their estimating software can add thousands of dollars in revenue to an auto body shop, when using collision repair estimating software. This can be done very quickly and generally means estimating software pays for itself and will make the shop owner a profit on their software investment.”

Web-Est and survey participants say the following are often not included on estimates:

Color, sand and buff
Hazardous waste removal
Car cover
Front end alignment
Mask jambs
Clean & re-tape emblems/moldings
Seam sealer
Bag for overspray
Flex additive
Corrosion resistant material
Chip guardon
Specials – promotions such as “Bumper Day”
Protect undercoating
Tire mount and balance
Rack and measure frame
Clean vehicle from repairs
Color spray-out card for color match
Used part clean-up
Broken glass clean-up
Wheel alignment
Shop materials
Let-down panel
Adhesive removal
Clips and hardware
Prime and block
Set back truck bed


The online survey was sent to over 1,000 auto collision repair shops; nearly 80 percent of the shops had identified themselves as having three or less employees.

More information:

Web-Est’s Shop Profit Training Blog

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