The days of checking out a dent and throwing out a number are quickly coming to an end. Customers want to know what they are paying for and lack of consumer education can make this difficult. Competition means you need to up your game and present your pricing structure in a professional and concise manner. So, how do you come up with your Paintless Dent Repair pricing? Does Paintless Dent Repair pricing matter? What factors need to be considered? What are some guidelines and resources that you can utilize?
The Only Standard is There is No Standard
We are not a regulated industry and if you follow any social media sites you will quickly see that we are too divided for that to happen any time soon. As a result, you will see a great disparity when it comes to pricing. You will have your high rollers, the middlemen as well as the low ballers. Added to that we have insurance and warranty companies also in the mix trying to dictate our pricing. It doesn’t leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. But read on and see how you can set yourself apart, close the deal and maintain a good reputation not only with your customers but within the PDR industry as well.
PDR Lowballers…..Go AWAY!!
So where do you factor in? Obviously, if you are a low baller you might as well stop reading. Get out of our industry and move on. I am not talking about the tech that is few bucks cheaper than everyone else, I am talking about Mr. Kijiji add, I will do it for $25.00, results not guaranteed. Okay, rant over. For the rest of you who are serious about the trade and want to see a return on investment i.e. training, tools and time, there are several main factors to consider when developing your pricing.
Know Your Retail PDR Customer Base
What is the median household income in your area? What type of car are you working on? Current market value?
Why do I ask this? Well, there is a school of thought that we can and should demand a premium at all times. While there is nothing wrong with this, you should get paid according to your ability as well as the level of the repair. However, there are limiting factors. If you live in an area that has a median household income of $65,000.00 and everyone is driving Mazdas and Hyundais, good luck trying to convince that person on an amount above their deductible. Let’s face it, they won’t care about their factory paint or maintaining the vehicle’s value especially if it’s a bit older. If you live in a higher earning area then, and the average car has a higher market value then, by all means, go for it. There is a huge difference in the level of risk and liability when working on a Mercedes versus a KIA as well as the demand for perfection. Now that you have established this baseline, you will need to consider the following.
What is the competition charging? Where will your prices start for basic repairs? Creases? At what increment will your prices go up? What will you upcharge for things like aluminum, limited access, size, R&I etc?
Okay, now it’s time to crunch numbers. Sit down and create your price list. Walk away, think about it. Go back and adjust. Now memorize it! Nothing will kill a deal faster then if you vacillate. Be flexible but know your numbers, be able to coherently express your reasons. If you are confident then your customers will be at ease. If this does not come easily to you (I know this sounds corny)practice! You’ve got a mirror, use it. Practice on the dog, who cares, just become precise and efficient. As your confidence grows so will your bottom line. Know your value and don’t be afraid to express that in a confident professional manner.
Know Your Wholesale PDR Customer Base
Your pricing here should again reflect the average car that you will be working on as well as the level of expectations. Let’s be honest most large volume wholesale accounts are about making the vehicle sellable and getting it on the lot. You will also most likely be faced with same old dribble from managers, “do me right on the price and I will keep you busy” or “take the good with the bad” for the same price. These are slippery slopes that you will want to avoid. Have a set base price list that clearly states that any repair that is above customary damage will be quoted accordingly. For larger accounts, you could offer a sliding scale discount based on the volume that you were given to work. This way you can quickly weed out the accounts that will do nothing but waste your time. Once again you need to know your numbers and be able to discuss them without skipping a beat to set a precedent.
For both retail and wholesale having pricing guidelines available that a manager or customer can reference will be extremely helpful when closing a deal. So what are your options?
Mobile Matrix Programs
These are great tools to help you determine your price, especially for retail work as well as if it is an insurance job. Some have the option for you to see what it would cost to do the repair conventionally, therefore, setting the stage for your pricing. They allow you to account for things like limited access, R&I, aluminum and so on. This ensures that you are accounting for everything and not left saying “I should have charged more”. Here are links to just two of the more popular ones available.
These are especially helpful with tougher customers or managers. Something about seeing a well-prepared pricing tool that clearly presents all the involved charges makes for an easier process. There are many pre-made ones available that you can order with your specifics added to them. Or if you are feeling crafty you can easily make your own. Check out the one I whipped up in a few minutes. Pitiful I know, but if this can be done in a few minutes imagine what you can create with a little time and effort!
Where Do You See Yourself?
In summary, there are many things to consider with regards to pricing, but perhaps most importantly, what do you want your reputation to be in the industry?
The lowballer that has no respect for the trade. The middleman that does quality work and whose prices are fair and equal to the job expectation. Or perhaps the high roller who has the experience and skills to work on high-end vehicles or complicated repairs and make them shine so has every right to demand top dollar. Whatever your career goals may be, taking the time to value yourself and your work properly will set you apart and lay the foundation for a profitable future.