Grin and Bearing it

I get that everyone is out to make a buck but what I don’t get is why people need to take advantage to make one.

Case in point: I made a mistake yesterday that I rarely make. I was looking for a very hard to find bearing for a classic 60’s Mustang. I got a couple of leads online and then followed it up with a phone call because when dealing with this type of obscure part, getting a photo and confirmation that they actually have the part in stock, is key. After continually striking out, I hit pay dirt when I was told that someone had a used one. Now a used bearing is not really optimal but sometimes you have no choice. This is where my mistake came into play, I actually uttered those words and thereby revealed my desperation. Shortly after an email arrived with the photo:

bearing

It’s hard to tell from this pic but this bearing is about 1” in diameter. The photo came with text: “Used bearing $75”. HUH??!!! Now some of you might be nodding your heads saying, well that’s what it’s worth since there are none, and I guess in a greedy creepy universe you would be right, but not in mine. I deal with old cars all the time and anyone who does knows full well that we aren’t in this just to make money, we’re also preserving the classic beauty of our American vintage car culture. Gouging each other just shouldn’t be in the cards. Well at least I thought we knew that, or I hoped we did, or I’m living in a fantasy (possible) and at least I know.

Sure I could overcharge people all day long since we work on a ton of these classic cars but why would I? We enjoy doing it and we love to see them arrive on a tow truck and then drive back out the door. Many of them not even looking great but still driving good. We treat it like all the rest of our repairs, basing the pricing on labor time and parts cost…period, not adding a premium because it’s special.

The followup to the story…I know you’re dying to know if I bought that bearing.. the answer is NO. I have the best mechanics here and one of them was able to get another old bearing to work…for free.

I guess this is simply just another one of my rants about greed in this industry and again I’ll receive emails about why I’m wrong…fine….have at it.

 

Questions: dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

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About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, www.ZPAUTO.com. Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses. www.projectsunlimitedinc.com
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One Response to Grin and Bearing it

  1. Donna says:

    Oh no! My comment is that I *knew* you weren’t going to go for the ‘shakedown’ and pay the outrageous price. No Way.

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