Q: Is there a better way to get a deal on shop equipment? I'm in the market to purchase a new brake lathe. The local rep said that he can't get parts for my old lathe and the prices he's asking are ridiculous.
A: Where have you been the past 20 years? You have dozens if not hundreds of options on the Internet! Brand name tools with warranties are all over the Web just waiting for purchase. Sometimes local reps get greedy and take advantage of a situation. Other reps have difficulty purchasing a tool for their own inventory as cheap as you can purchase online. Then, there's the third option: A second opinion from another area sales rep. You want the best price? You have to work for it.
Q: There is one particular tool truck that stopped coming to the shop. He said that there wasn't enough business to make it count. Well, I have a couple of tools that need warranty and I can't find the guy to get them fixed. Any suggestions?
A: Go straight to the source. Contact the tool company's corporate headquarters. Tell them that you use their product every day and there are a couple of items that need attention. Explain to corporate that their local rep told you he wasn't interested in stopping at your shop because there wasn't enough business. Tell the home office that you want to be assigned to a new tool truck route for service. I'm sure that headquarters will be more than helpful with your request. They don't want to miss out on any future sales—no matter how big or small.
Have an automotive service-related question for Pam Oakes? Email it to Tire Business reporter William Schertz at [email protected].
ASE-certified technician Pam Oakes is the owner of Pam's Motor City Auto & Tire Center, an award-winning automotive service business in Fort Myers, Fla. She also is the author of the book series Car Care for the Clueless and hosts a daily radio talk show by the same name airing on various CBS Radio stations.