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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Among other things I had a shop replace my cam with Edelbrock (2122, $207 on the Edel site) with timing chain (7820 $55 on Edel site). Upon looking at the breakdown of the bill I saw that they charged $425.56 for the cam and $124.46 for the timing set.

I expected a markup on them buying the parts but 118% markup seems excessive? BTW, they refuse to install 'customer parts'.

Whats your take on this amount of markup?
 

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I can't help you on this one. The only mechanic I've used in the last 20 years has only charged me his cost and will often ask me to purchase the parts myself. He makes his money on the labor. I think your guy is way out of line on those markups! It also depends on where he is purchasing the parts from.
 

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My take.

Work was not performed by a professional “speed shop” that had those parts in stock and would have charged you retail price + labor.

Not installing customer supplied parts is the mark of a corporate automotive repair “chain” whose aim is to take advantage of unknowing customers.
Most independent shops will install customer supplied parts but won’t warranty the work.
 

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Yeah, Just bend over and submit...


 

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That is an excessive markup . I sell parts to shops and mechanics and nobody i sell to
would have markup the parts that much . Did you not get an estimate before work was started?
 
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Generally, all it takes is one good raping at an auto repair shop to realize that you're better off investing those dollars in quality tools and supplies. Installation of customer supplied parts is entirely at the discretion of the shop. Some will, some will not. I don't blame the ones that don't, as sometimes you have no idea where those parts came from. If that part fails, the customer will badmouth the shop, so sometimes it just not worth it.

FWIW, if you do take it to anyone else, get a written estimate. By most state laws, they cannot exceed that estimate without your permission.
 

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Not to justify their prices, but

If they would have bought it, installed it, marked it up a bit, etc. and 561 miles down the road, the cam snapped, would you expect them to replace everything for free, including other stuff that was broken?

Where would that cost be covered in their business "model"?

When I used to work for a large company that did some work, less than $2 billion a year, with the US and foreign military, I saw some of the contracts that came through. Every contract had "base" amounts that were charged. For example $50 to route the contract for review to all required departments, $250 for legal to review the contract, $100 for the military specification person to review any changes or exceptions or odd specifications called out in the contract, $100 (IIRC) for the required packaging and copies of all specifications, work orders, etc. that had to be submitted with the contract, and it went on and on, minimum charges associated with a contract. Now sometimes the contract was for $250,000,000 of a product spread over 5 years. Sometimes it was for the proverbial 1 specific bolt, or electrical component, or whatever. But when the Government submitted a 230 page contract to supply 1 bolt, it was NOT Home Depot time, and that is the type of item that showed up "PENTAGON SPENDS $1200 FOR A BOLT!!!"
 

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I understand the business model, but that markup, which I've seen all over the place BTW, is just a way to get around the taxes and give the shop additional income. Not every job will require replacement. In fact, very few. And the shop will be able to return a defective part for credit. I had a transmission guy give me an estimate where he added $1k to a purchased rebuilt transmission price. I told him 'how can I buy one for $1k less than you?' He said, 'Hey, I have to make money.' I thought that's what the labor charge was for. Needless to say he didn't get the job. Also turned out to be two broke wires in the wonderful harness by Chrysler. And I had two transmission guys tell me the tranny needed rebuilding. Another nail in the coffin for not trusting other mechanics.
 

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Did the cost of the cam include lifters that the shop installed?
 

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Actually, the markup on the cam is 55% and the intake is a little shy of 52%. STILL a tad excessive over the "norm" which would be 40-50% of wholesale cost, not what the public can buy it for.

On the other side of the coin, had you purchased and supplied the parts they may have declined to DO the work or charged a premium labor rate.

Now, some folks who have never owned or run a business that deals with sales of both products and services may not understand markups, margins, overhead and other such terms but let me just say this.... if you can't make about the same dollar amount in GROSS profit from parts AND labor then you need to re-think doing the job. When you have to pay salaries, benefits, workers comp, unemployment insurance, 7.65% of the employees social security contribution, property and casualty insurance, garagekeepers liability insurance, utilities, capital improvements, repairs, subscription services, tool costs, refuse, recycling, environmental, government fees, permits and licenses, it's not like you can charge fifty bucks an hour and call it "good".
 
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