Brakes Plus price gouging, vs fair markup

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High all,

I had new rear shoes installed on my 2005 Dodge Neon three months. They recently started making a clacking noise when i stepped on the brakes. I figured there was something loose. Aftter I dropped it off Brakes plus called and said the rear wheel cylinder was "blown out". Now the brakes have been soft but no leaks that I could see. They turned the drums three months back and installed new shoes. They Also said the drums were shot. After 3 months? Now I looked up the parts and retail was $55 for new shoes and a wheel cylinder, calculate a half hour to hour for labor. They quoted me $485 I told them forget it. My dad took ne to pick it up. The store manager apologized and said "My guy thought you were getting all new install" then he quoted $375. I said try again then it was $285. I purchased the parts mext door at Advance Auto and am going to do it myself. I know the price is probably skewed somewhat as the market in Colorado is crazy. See my post about insane heating and a/c prices. What's typical markup on parts and labor? Any mechanics here chime in. I'm shocked at how much they wanted. When they installed new shoes three months ago i had a $30 off coupon that made it $130.
 
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As you said you are going to do the job yourself, why didn't you do that in the first place?? You will be lucky to find a competent shop charge below $100/ hour. They will charge list price on parts and go by the "book" multiplied by their hourly rate. If you have a problem with a shop's price and trying to make a profit, go somewhere else or do it yourself..
 
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Lubener is correct, they’re charging you book rate as well as markup on the parts. Operating a shop with multiple employees ain’t cheap. As for how much they’re charging per hour and what the mark up is, that varies by shop. In my area $100-$150 an hour is the average going rate it seems, markup I’ve seen range from $10% to 100%, just depends.

The brakes I paid to have done on my Durango had a higher markup than the fuel pump I had to replace.
 
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As you said you are going to do the job yourself, why didn't you do that in the first place?? You will be lucky to find a competent shop charge below $100/ hour. They will charge list price on parts and go by the "book" multiplied by their hourly rate. If you have a problem with a shop's price and trying to make a profit, go somewhere else or do it yourself..

$375 originally and then down to $285 like it’s some sort of bartering transaction seems odd.

I’ll be nice and use the $285 number. $100 an hour then $185 (thereabouts) for parts doesn’t seem high?

The original $485 for all 4 wheels vs the corrected quote of $375 for just the rear seems a bit odd too. The math just doesn’t add up.
 

97prizm

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Originally I was going to have them look at the issue, and perform the repair, but $485 seems awfully high for a replacement brake cylinder new shoes, and supposedly new drums. As I asked previously what is the percentage of mark-up on parts, and what are these places billing per hour i.e. what are the mechanics taking home out of the price.
 
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Chock it up to experience. I tend to avoid chain-type service centers and seek out a good independent shop that I can trust for fair prices and trustful work. The past ten years I have been fortunate to make acquaintance with a professional Mopar mechanic that does work at home. He charges about $40 an hour and lets me get the parts (unless OEM is required). I don't take advantage of him and always tip him more. Win-win for both of us.

I do quite a bit of my own work.
 
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As you said you are going to do the job yourself, why didn't you do that in the first place?? You will be lucky to find a competent shop charge below $100/ hour. They will charge list price on parts and go by the "book" multiplied by their hourly rate. If you have a problem with a shop's price and trying to make a profit, go somewhere else or do it yourself..

My indy shop charges me $100 just to walk in the door, then adds that to the overall bill in the end. We've gotten to know each other in the past year since I began going there, and they're now giving me discounts and doing things (like greasing my propeller shaft on the 4Runner) without charging.
Worth every penny for quality, honest service.
 
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I just noticed the last time I had my car in my mech raised his rates to $60, I guess one of the benefits of living in a small town.
 
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The retail price you obtained was for an online delivery of the lowest priced parts, or was it the price paid by the shop of the quality specified by the shop with with the parts being delivered to the shop later that morning, and if for some reason they aren't the right parts replacements would be delivered in a few hours time. Those two prices can be quite a bit different.
 
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The retail price you obtained was for an online delivery of the lowest priced parts, or was it the price paid by the shop of the quality specified by the shop with with the parts being delivered to the shop later that morning, and if for some reason they aren't the right parts replacements would be delivered in a few hours time. Those two prices can be quite a bit different.
Yes...the shop will usually pay LESS.
 
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Yes...the shop will usually pay LESS.
FWIW When I buy parts from Autozone or OReillys we get charged the same as if someone walking in off the street to them. They just put an arbitrary list price on there to make it look like we are getting a discount. Maybe we might get 10% off of the normal door rate. Now if it is a part from a dedicated wholesale jobber that does not sell to the public it will be less. Also note that a shop generally will not install the cheapest parts, they will usually go mid grade or higher to keep down on the come backs.
 
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We replace cylinders with every drum brake job. They usually leak if you push them back. For premium shoes, 2 drums, 2 wheel cylinders and a hardware kit I come up with 381.81. I would also add that on those Neons the rear brake hose is often seized into the wheel cylinder. If it needed hoses that would add about 80 bucks to the price. I always check those fittings on Neons before I quote the job.
 
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and what are these places billing per hour i.e. what are the mechanics taking home out of the price.
It's not relevant at all what the mechanic makes per hour. I'm afraid you aren't familiar with how "business" works. Same with looking up parts cost and comparing to what they charged you. That's not how it works when you have someone else do the work.
 
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Originally I was going to have them look at the issue, and perform the repair, but $485 seems awfully high for a replacement brake cylinder new shoes, and supposedly new drums. As I asked previously what is the percentage of mark-up on parts, and what are these places billing per hour i.e. what are the mechanics taking home out of the price.

Hourly rate the shop charges varies from region to region as does what a technician makes, As a general rule.....25-30% of the hourly rate will go to the mechanic if they pay flat rate.

Part mark-up varies shop to shop.....I do 20%. Up to 100% isn't unheard of.

Automotive repair shops have a ton of overhead & most would be surprised how thin the profit margins are.
 
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Hourly rate the shop charges varies from region to region as does what a technician makes, As a general rule.....25-30% of the hourly rate will go to the mechanic if they pay flat rate.

Part mark-up varies shop to shop.....I do 20%. Up to 100% isn't unheard of.

Automotive repair shops have a ton of overhead & most would be surprised how thin the profit margins are.

Most would cry if they knew how much we spend per year on tools, information, training and insurance. I just added a Micropod 2 to have full coverage for Chrysler to add to my DRB III, 5k for the first year for the pod, Witech 2 and Techauthority plus now I get to pay per vin if I need to program a module. 3200 bucks per year for every year after
 

JTK

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Be lucky to find any shop in my area to do any brake job for much less than $400 per axle if new drums or rotors are needed.
 
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Being surprised that the quote amount is higher than expected is one thing, but to call it price gouging without knowing the breakdown of the costs involved is completely out of line IMO.

Price gouging is charging $10/gal for gasoline in the middle of a hurricane evacuation.
Price gouging is raising the price of bathroom tissue 1000% in the early stages of a pandemic stay-at-home order.

Charging average labor rates and utilizing an average mark-up on parts is NOT price gouging.
 
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