Use Your Talents Well..Custom Lube Shop?

Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
That's one of my "what would I do if I hit the lottery" type things. I doubt that it would make any money ..but it would be nice to have one in operation for the discriminating customer. You can see this, from time to time, integrated with a higher end shop. I think that it would be difficult in a "stand alone" operation from a money making stand point. I guess the neighborhood would have a lot to do with it. You need lots of excess cash moving around.
 
Messages
1,088
Location
Baltimore, MD
I always thought it would be good to have a garage with lifts and specialty tools that you can rent by the hour and work on the car yourself. Could be attached to an auto parts store and have mechanics that you could consult with. But I know it cannot work in the good ol' US of A. Somebody would do something stupid on the third day in business and sue the place right into oblivion.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,958
Location
The Motor City
A few of those shops opened up in the Detroit area in the late 70s. They charged $3.50 per hour! I just couldn't see the savings to DIY at that rate. They didn't last long. Heck, we all know that we spend all afternoon on some jobs. What happens if you run into trouble, like a broken fastener?
 
Messages
1,088
Location
Baltimore, MD
That's where the on site parts store and mechanic would come into play. Probably that's how the place would make the most money: let the customer get into trouble by himself, then the mechanic has to finish the job for him at a higher labor rate than if the cust took it to a full-service shop to begin with. [Big Grin]
 

Gary Allan

Thread starter
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
I worked part-time at a rent a bay in 1976. It folded in about 9 months. We had a "you do it ..we do it ..they do it" price chart hanging up on the wall. I don't know how they figured out that we could even do it at all [I dont know] I also worked at a Mobil (pre) Gas & Go that they hadn't figured out how to convert the bays into anything usefull (yet). They did okay on the lift rentals ..but it was a real waste of retail space.
 
Messages
1,241
Location
Glenshaw, PA
How about another twist on this concept, at least in the oil products part of it. How's about having online ordering of all the desired oils, specialty, botique, synthetic, petroleum, and everything in between by making a deal with the manufacturers if you carry them as a dealer?
 
Messages
43,667
Location
'Stralia
It's always been my "lottery win dream" to have an outlet for amsoil, redline, mobil, etc. etc., and engage the services of someone like Terry to advise particular customers on the best lube for their vehicle, and back it up with used oil analysis. After doing a quick survey of even the most anally retentive car maintenance types at work, I realised that I'd be broke before I saw my first customer. However, if I were to open a boutique store specialising in polishes and polish rags, I'd be set.
 
Messages
50
Location
Saskatchewan
I'd love to do something like that too, but I think it's going to have to wait to the lottery win as well! I think that it would hard to have a business like that succeed. For the most part, people are looking for the fastest, quickest, and most importantly, cheapest oil, atf, coolant, etc. change. We're the strange minority who actually care about our cars and would actually spend more for quality products and work.
 
Messages
9,365
Location
USA
this idea has been kicked around before, but like others mentioned I don't see anyone paying 60 bucks for a syn oil change.
 

Gary Allan

Thread starter
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
I do, but not at a dedicated lube shop. Not too many would balk at that price at a higher end dealer. It may not be $60 ..but close enough to make it pay. You figure $8-10 for a filter (higher level stuff). You're gonna get a fair premium for your oils ..but I think much above $6-7/quart is going to be a stretch (except at the dealer). Like most, you would have to rely on the accessory line to make the profits. Stuff like UOA, adding Magnefine (like) quick add trans filters, etc. The main problem is to get enough customers on the synth path ..since you won't see them as often as the 3k/3m crowd. The easiest way to do this would be to have your "franchise" contained within an already established enterprise. Sorta like some name brand process ..like the trans fluid transfer machinery. They're already setup to perform the service ..it's just swapping fluids and adding a few features for the service writer to sell.
 

salesrep

$100 Site Donor
Messages
3,630
Location
lllinois
I have begun to have great success with smaller (2-4 man shops) offering a 6ooo mile schaeffers oil change. The owners know they are losing money on a $22 oil change while they make about $15 on a $44 dollar 6k change. the guy that wants the old fashioned 3k change gets it . Guys like us or the guy that puts a lot of miles on are very receptive to the 6k (though the schaeffers can go much further that is too much for the avg. consumer to swallow) change. Premium fuel treatments and premium trans fluids are also moving in these garages. Some are beginning to offer uoa's.
 
Messages
632
Location
Idaho
Very Cool...think about it? Offer a 7,500 mile and behond oil change with an analysis during the period to ease the customers mind. Engine oil and Filter changes. Transmission oil and filter changes and flushes. Rear end oil changes. Extra services like custom.... magnetic engine oil and transmission gagets/wraps,Oilpan and Transmission pan heaters, drain valves for oil pans so an analysis can be done,Air filters,inline transmission filters, Pvc valves and filters,custom rearend and transmission pans with drains and extra capacity. Engine cleaning products and services....like internal engine and fuel injector cleaning. If every trick BITOG'ers used is offered THE BIG CAR Manufactures might put out a hit on that person/firm [Smile]
 

Gary Allan

Thread starter
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
quote:
I have begun to have great success with smaller (2-4 man shops) offering a 6ooo mile schaeffers oil change. The owners know they are losing money on a $22 oil change while they make about $15 on a $44 dollar 6k change. the guy that wants the old fashioned 3k change gets it . Guys like us or the guy that puts a lot of miles on are very receptive to the 6k (though the schaeffers can go much further that is too much for the avg. consumer to swallow) change. Premium fuel treatments and premium trans fluids are also moving in these garages. Some are beginning to offer uoa's.
That's sorta what I'm talking about. You get a banner made up "Schaeffers 6k center" (or something like that) that can be identified (I'd start with cheap 3 fold intro brochures - something for the tech to hand the customer). Good work, btw, on making new inroads of market penetration in a most challenging environment. [Cheers!]
 

salesrep

$100 Site Donor
Messages
3,630
Location
lllinois
Gary, That is exactly what I do. Schaeffers has a great 2 or 3 x 6 ft. banner and great brochures. I make up a desktop or wall display saying . Ask Joe about 6k oil change. With 6 or 7 bullet advantages to doing a 6k schaeffers change. Further I won't make the offer to anyone else in the area.
 
Messages
632
Location
Idaho
Has anyone thought of or opened a custom lube shop? Lot's of folk's on this site love to service the car's drivetrain. How about a custom (full-line) of different oils, filters, bypass filters, and drivetrain oils. To do this right services would need to be scheduled like a repair shop. Any thoughts?
 
Top