A small business has to find a niche, in order to compete with the big names in their market - and an auto repair shop is no different. Costs of labor are high, and parts are expensive, so how can a small auto shop stand out from the crowd? In the case of Noe's Auto Repair Shop in the Coachella Valley, their success can be summed up in one word: Honesty.
Auto Repair Ripoff Report
Everyone's experienced this: Your car is making a funny noise, or something just isn't working right. You take it into the dealer, and walk out with a car that is working again, but it cost hundreds of dollars to fix, and you have the awful feeling that it just shouldn't have cost that much. In car repair, just as in medical care, a second opinion is always a good idea. In my case, a local dealership quoted me $500.00 for a repair that ended up costing 40$ at a local repair shop, Noe's Auto Repair.
Small Auto Repair vs. Local Dealership
The business model of the service department of a large dealership, just like a small service shop, hinges on the amount of money they can earn by fixing cars. Dealerships have customers built-in, since most people are convinced that they'll get better service at a dealership. A small business, however, has to work for those extra customers. They can't depend on built-in customers, trying to stay in-warranty, so they have to provide something a little different - like a lower-cost more customer-oriented service.
Noe's Auto Repair Shop
At Noe's Auto Repair shop in Cathedral City, California, I spoke with Sergio and Chris - who were able to diagnose the problem with my car in half an hour, and fix it for 40$, in contrast with an hour and a half without a diagnosis at the local dealership, and an open-ended quote of 500$ or more. Chris told me that he has been working at Noe's for about a year, and that he hears the same story all the time - people come in, at a loss, just looking for someone who will give them an honest answer - and just like I did, they find that honest answer at Noe's.