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Apparently, auto body shops are abundant over there. However, when a car collision occurs, you may find out that choosing a good repair facility is a real challenge. The first parameter people tend to take into consideration is pricing. In fact, quotations can vary widely from one auto body shop to another. What is the reason for it? Are more expensive facilities really worth to be selected?
To be on the safe side, a car owner should apply a system approach. Let’s consider several tips that can be helpful for people trying to find out an optimum solution on the local market and select a good though affordable auto body shop.
Know what others say
The first and foremost advice is to consider word-of-mouth. Don’t rely on a business’s ads and claims only. What people say is certainly a superior reason to choose or avoid the shop. Listen to people who have already tried it out or read their reviews on the Internet. Base your decision on that information.
Remember also that small enterprises cannot afford that amount of advertising that their big competitors have, but in most cases, they offer lower prices to their clients. Along with that, small and especially family businesses will usually be friendlier to you. This is particularly true when you see the shop owner works on cars himself.
When trying to select a good body repair shop in Los Angeles, pay attention to its operational expenses. If you see there are too many front-office employees, you may expect they will charge extra rates as they need to pay all that stuff. Front-office people certainly can improve the quality of services a client receives. At the same time, you can hardly expect their prices will be at the same level as with small facilities. This kind of personnel also adds to labor hours that you will be charged for, so time expenses can be a bit higher than reference values commonly used in this industry to estimate the time required to complete a certain job. For example, if you need to get repaired your car’s fender, bumper or headlight, you should be charged for the time standing in the reference book only, no matter how much time they spent in reality.
To make up their expenses for the additional staff, higher-end shops may decide to charge for some auxiliary or front-end operations.
Another good advice to make the right choice is getting estimates from several auto body shops you are considering. Knowing and comparing their quotes makes it possible to avoid overcharges. However, it absolutely does not mean you should simply select the lowest offer and bring them your car. First of all, exclude outliers who claim to do the job at significantly below-the-average rates. Then, it is advisable to discuss the price with the shop you like the most. Chances are they will give you a special discount just to retain a client.
The art of negotiation
Discussing what you need to do and prices they can offer is a bit a kind of the art and requires certain experience and skills. So if you are not competent enough, consider getting involved another person who could speak on your behalf or stand by you during the discussion.
Asking right questions is a very important part of the conversation. Does the shop provide a written guarantee? If yes, for how long? A one-year warranty is must, while some shops provide lifetime warranties for certain operations they perform. Guarantee is a matter of special concern when it comes to repairs involving paint procedures.
Ask about how long the business works on the market and if your car is safeguarded while it is at their territory.
What kind of parts and materials are they going to use – new, aftermarket or used? Do they offer you an opportunity to choose between the options? Choosing a cheaper option can save you money, and sometimes significantly. Nonetheless, you should expect this will affect the warranty you get from the auto body shop.
Take an informed decision
Once considered a number of parameters that you believe to be important for you, it’s time to apply your intuition to take the final decision. Select the option that you trust the most. This is when you need to find a balance between the budget you are ready to invest, your impression of what you have seen and heard visiting an auto body shop in Los Angeles and reviews from the shop’s former and current clients. Each of those parts can be deceptive if considered separately. However, all those factors taken together and enhanced by your life experience and intuition can show you the right way to go that you will not regret afterwards.