LAS VEGAS — If the current rate of inflation has taught the automotive aftermarket anything, it's that consumers will continue to buy food and gasoline despite the higher prices.
So why aren't tire dealerships and auto repair shops increasing their prices to offset rising business expenses?
That was the question on the minds of four "shop coaches" during two Shop Coach sessions at the AAPEX 2021 in Las Vegas. Shop coaches advise repair shop owners on how to better run their businesses and improve profits and sales.
The shop coaches noted that consumers are accepting — and paying — higher prices for food, gasoline, hotels and more due to inflation.
"And yet we have shop owners that still, this year, haven't raised their prices in two to three years," Cecil Bullard, CEO of The Institute for Automotive Business Excellence, said.
"We've seen inflation and our bills have gone up. So where are they getting the money from if they haven't raised their prices at this point? And if they don't raise their prices, where are they going to be?
"If you can't raise your prices right now, then you'll never raise your prices."
Bullard said a shop doesn't need to advertise that it raised prices, just as grocery stores or gas stations don't announce increases in their prices.
Everybody in this business should be making money, Vic Tarasik, founder and managing partner of Shop Owner Coach, said. He added that value, convenience and trust are more important to customers than price increases.