As a shop owner I make sure our policies are fair, ethical, and every patron is treated with the same respect and guidelines when quoting the cost of an auto repair and writing the initial estimate. It is difficult and time consuming to write and accurate repair estimate and track down the proper parts and their numbers, especially with European and German cars (Audi and Volkswagen being the worst). We have noticed a direct correlation between the sexes and the amount of time spent preparing the initial estimate. We find that helping women resolve the problems with their cars is much easier than men. Women just want the repairs done right and to not feel taken advantage of in the process, they tend to not get mired in the details and to micro manage us right out the starting gate. Men on the other hand, tend to think they already have all the answers and their hard-heads get in the way and often make it difficult and more time consuming to write a repair estimate. When it comes to service writing, my staff and I, find it often easier to consult with women, because they often make our lives easier and allow us to spend much less time getting hassled and focusing on writing the repair order for what is properly needed. Remember, time is money spent, and the service writer needs to be paid for his time. Because, we are saving time at the desk, and can quickly move on and resolve the customer’s complaint on their car’s issue. We are more inclined to give a discount for making our lives easier.
So, I thought it was funny and somewhat relevant when my sister e-mailed me the following article discussing gender differences and discount in the auto repair industry.
Women Can get Steep Discounts at Repair Shops
by Dan X. McGraw, Houston Chronicle Updated 11:26 am, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Women may think mechanics are charging them more for routine car repairs, but a new study is punching some holes into
According to a study by the Kellogg School of Business, female drivers get steep discounts at auto repairs stores more often than men.
The study found women who asked for a cheaper price got it 35 percent of the time.
Men, on the other hand, only got the lower price 25 percent of the time. Researchers said the disparity is likely due to cultural and
“If on average women don’t ask [for a lower price], but this woman is asking, that’s quite different from what’s normally expected,”
researcher Florian Zettelmeyer said.
The study does find women have one major disadvantage when it comes to car repairs.
Women who claim to have no idea on the price of a repair are often given a higher price than a man making the same statement.
Researchers said the study found repair shops generally believe women know less about cars than men do.
“If you say ‘I have no idea’ and you’re a woman, you really have no idea,” Zettelmeyer said.
Men who claim to have no idea are generally given a cheaper price than women. Researchers say that’s true because of the mechanic’s
preconceived notion about men.
If you are a man, “maybe you’re being really strategic,” researcher Meghan Busse said in the study.
The inequalities in prices aren’t universal. Men and women are charged virtually the same price if they call a shop armed with information
about the cost of the repair.
Researchers say that information can help drivers get the best price.
Women should call several shops about the repair and ask for a discount. Men should try not to sound stupid.
“You would be wise to avoid engaging in any behavior that reveals” that you don’t know what you are talking about, the researchers wrote.