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oh400ex

Cost of Independent Mechanic Work

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Hello everyone!

 

Take a look at the invoice below and tell me your thoughts.

 

I am curious what you all think of the rates and overall opinion.

Personally, I've seen people pay much more and much less but I'm curious where this would stack up elsewhere.

 

Thank you for looking!

 

 
  • BILL TO

  • Customer

DESCRIPTION RATE QTY AMOUNT
Seat Cover (Black) (Parts) $40.00 1 $40.00
Battery (Parts) $50.00 1 $50.00
Air Filter (UNI) (Parts) $30.00 1 $30.00
Headlights (LED) (Parts) $30.00 1 $30.00
Spark Plug (NGK) (Parts) $10.00 1 $10.00
Oil Filter (OEM) (Parts) $25.00 1 $25.00
Hand Grips (Parts) $20.00 1 $20.00
Oil / Coolant / Lubrication (Parts) $25.00 1 $25.00
Electrical Connections / Heatshrink (Parts) $10.00 1 $10.00
Wire and Harness Wrap (Parts) $10.00 1 $10.00
Solder Connections x24 (Labor)
24+ solder joints to reconnect main harness, choke and temperature monitor
$5.00 24 $120.00
Wire Harness Repair (Labor)
Re-wrapping the harness where frame had rubbed away original protective wrap
$20.00 1 $20.00
Front End Alignment (Labor)
Bent front right a-arm and front bumper
$20.00 1 $20.00
Parts Replacement (Labor)
Hand Grips, Oil Filter, Air Filter, Seat Cover, Battery, Spark Plug, Headlights, Assembly
$20.00 3 $60.00
Painting / Rust Prevention (Labor)
Multiple parts on visible surfaces of bike / Stripping and repainting of side covers
$15.00 2 $30.00
Paint (Parts)
Engine primer, engine black and frame black.
$10.00 1 $10.00
Detail (Labor)
Wash / remove grease / treatment / protection
$15.00 2 $30.00
Detail (Parts)
Plastic, aluminum and painted surface treatments, cleaner and protection coating.
$10.00 1 $10.00
 
SUBTOTAL $550.00
TAX (9%) $49.50
TOTAL $599.50
BALANCE DUE USD $599.50
Edited by oh400ex
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Sound reasonable to me .... do I see different labor rates for different jobs ?  -----  something $15 some $20 

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3 minutes ago, Fishfiles said:

Sound reasonable to me .... do I see different labor rates for different jobs ?  -----  something $15 some $20 

 

Correct.

Depending on difficulty of work.

$15 for general cleaning/painting and $20 for any work that Honda normally charges $70/hr

 

Some see these rates as completely unreasonable and some the deal-of-a-lifetime / one of their best kept secrets

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These labor and parts rates look like a bargain to me.  I would be happy with this bill and return the next time my ATV needed work

 

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The dealerships for atvs  here are $ 90-100 per hour ---- the small guy shops are $50 up 

 

 

 

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Work I had done when rebuilding my engine last year was $85/hour.  Seems about normal for here, those rates you showed would be a bargain here...

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Ya that’s crazy cheap compared to where I live. To have that all done here would be more like $1500cnd..

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90 bucks or more an hour here at my local dealership.

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I charge close friends more then that. 75-100 per hour around here. I charge half at the minimum. If it gets real crazy like a full engine rebuild it can be alittle more. But never near what a dealer costs and its done right the first time lol

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Thank you everyone for your input!

 

$70-$90 at Honda (depending on which shop) and $50+ for indys is about standard here.

 

The customer was so unhappy with this invoice that they may not pay.

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$100 an hour at my local Honda shop, along with full MSRP retail on the parts.

 

This kind of thing is why I've never started doing this on the side.  People think your time isn't worth anything.

 

We had a guy come in an redo our kitchen right after the wife and I got married (she paid for it).  He charged $20/ hour for stripping/painting/hardware installation and carpentry work.  He was a close friend of my father in law, so he cut us a deal.

 

The total was a big amount, but there was a lot of work involved.    It's easy to balk at the bottom line, but when looking at what someone else is charging you, would YOU accept less? 

 

Then I look at the amount of time involved in a lot of these "simple" jobs that get complicated real fast. 

 

I'd say that's extremely reasonable.  If they wanted to do it cheaper, they should have done it themselves.

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Spot on Jeep!

 

I don't do paid computer work anymore for that exact reason. 

Every time you interact with the public it becomes a cost/benefit (like anything else) 

In my experience, people were unable to fairly evaluate computer work in general. It usually included travel and hours of waiting on updates but people think it should pay minimum wage rates. If someone was fair to me before, I now just do whatever they need for free. Small circle of people and as time goes on they need me less and less.

 

I am wondering whether the independent mechanic thing will suffer from the same setbacks.

 

Going forward, I think that I'll estimate even higher. I'm already shooting at 150% but I think I'll double it and hopefully give them a happy surprise every time. Even though this customer knew ahead of time how much they would be in for it came time and they weren't happy.

Extremely happy with the work but basically thinks that I should take $100 for all the work and just charge for parts. Also giving me grief about rounding up the cost of parts by ~$2 (while not accounting for the time it takes to order and receive)

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We all need to just look around, the whole world is out of WHACK....most of us remember when coffee was a nickle, now 350 is normal ?????? what is the world coming to ? WE pay to play...

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10 minutes ago, Derf40 said:

We all need to just look around, the whole world is out of WHACK....most of us remember when coffee was a nickle, now 350 is normal ?????? what is the world coming to ? WE pay to play...

 

Heck look at Honda parts now.  A knuckle used to be $75-80.  They're twice that now in about a 5 year span.

 

The govt printing press is not without consequence.

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Those prices seem very reasonable to me. I've had my shop for 37 years now and wouldn't work that for that. No disrespect intended........just saying your customer should be ashamed of himself!

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That customer should be happy with that much work done at that price. Our local Honda dealer is over $100 I believe. If they don't pay, they don't get the atv. Start storage after 10 days and make that a cash only bill. Not sure how the shop would do it but I had to do this with a non payment of a truck I fixed. 9 year later it is still in the woods behind my house rotting away. Even put a mechanics lien on it.

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22 minutes ago, Chevymec said:

That customer should be happy with that much work done at that price. Our local Honda dealer is over $100 I believe. If they don't pay, they don't get the atv. Start storage after 10 days and make that a cash only bill. Not sure how the shop would do it but I had to do this with a non payment of a truck I fixed. 9 year later it is still in the woods behind my house rotting away. Even put a mechanics lien on it.

 

Happy ending. They paid begrudgingly and then called later (twice) to tell me how good a job I did and how much they can see that I went over it so well 😂

 

I have only had to do a lien in a technology context. I would fix someone's laptop and they wouldn't pay so I'd keep it and sell or bin after 90? days.

Only ever had to do that a handful of times but more often someone would know what the work I quoted them would cost but there would end up being more wrong and they decide they don't want to pay anything now as they are already looking at a new one. Even that didn't happen very often.

 

Our local Honda shops are getting backed up in the service department so I'm basically booked for the next few weeks straight.

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I think you are too cheap on labor , $35 to $50 per hour would be more in line ---- now your itemized parts bill makes me go > hmmmm , $10 for a spark plug , is that a Platinum, Double Tipped Uranium Core High Perform plug as it is  4 x's the cost of a NGK , $25 for a oil filter is a little more than  5x's what I pay for a Donaldson filter  ,  $50 for a battery , was that a used battery  

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1 hour ago, Fishfiles said:

I think you are too cheap on labor , $35 to $50 per hour would be more in line ---- now your itemized parts bill makes me go > hmmmm , $10 for a spark plug , is that a Platinum, Double Tipped Uranium Core High Perform plug as it is  4 x's the cost of a NGK , $25 for a oil filter is a little more than  5x's what I pay for a Donaldson filter  ,  $50 for a battery , was that a used battery  

 

haha well spotted! It was gold plated everything!

 

Spark plug (I believe) was a two pack with the extra being in the bike's tool box. Cost shipped was around 8 dollars and I rounded up.

25 for an oil filter??? I know... Arctic Cat OEM brand is the reason for that one basically. No other cheaper option if they wanted OEM and it was like 24 and change shipped.

The battery is a cheap one from eBay or Amazon and I think was a mighty max brand. Super cheap and crap but that is what they wanted. I usually suggest LifePo4 now for anyone who's bike is going to sit for any amount of time.

 

I totally agree the labor rates are too cheap. I will sometimes charge someone two hours for something Honda would likely only charge 1 hour for. This is/was only a side project for me and was never intended to actually make any money. I just wanted to help people and occupy some time while not losing out myself. Working for completely free has burned me with the exception of a handful of people lol. My thought is if they can't pay < half price then they don't value my work at all.

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I thought some of the part prices were steep, but your explanation certainly cleared that up.  Honda parts are cheap compared to other brands.  Arctic Cat parts are stupid high.  So are Polaris.  Dang air filter for the RZR 170 I got for the kids was about $30, and it was a paper/ non cleanable filter if I got OEM.  I got a UNI instead so i can at least clean it and reuse it.  Was still $30!

 

Labor I'd do at least 1/2 of what your local Honda shop charges. 

 

The tricky part on this is if you twist off a bolt, you spend hours and $$$ fixing it, but do you put that on the bill or not?  I would say no, but then again, how many times has something like that happened because a prior owner overtightened a little 6MM bolt?

 

Doing it right to keep the customer happy without shorting yourself is a tight rope I don't really want to walk, so for now I'll keep working for beer. LOL

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I don't do anything for free. A broken bolt is more work than estimated. On all jobs i give a price range not an actual price. If the range is big enough then no problem if everything else works out as planned.

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3 hours ago, Misterclean said:

I don't do anything for free. A broken bolt is more work than estimated. On all jobs i give a price range not an actual price. If the range is big enough then no problem if everything else works out as planned.

 

I will never  do estimates , I will give a "pre-hands on" guess'timate , it comes with an advance notice of  don't hold me to that price , could be less if things go well ------  once I start working on it , the clock is running ,  much of what I do is troubleshooting , so to give someone an estimate to fix their machine ,  takes time and work to find the problem ----- and that ain't free ---- Caterpillar here for road service work on site is $190-$225 per hour depending how far you are from their shop , road time to the job and back to shop   

 

You can do the same exact job , on the exact same type of machine , 5 times  and there will be a problem here and there on this one and not that one , never fails  , so many times the job that you feel is going to be hard turns out to be  easy and it is the easy job that turns into a nightmare because of unforeseen events 

 

I understand why the dealerships don't want to work on machines 10 years or older , I am not that bad with 10 years  , but I turn away a lot work on the 1970-80s model equipment that you can see  are junk that was never taken care , that is a nightmare every time , turns into a restoration project cause everything you touch is  messed up 

 

Another thing is friends and relatives , it is best to not work for them , believe me , what I do is use the barter system with friends and it works out better that way -------   if I really don't want to do the job and a friend is persistant and says what you want , usually asking for his truck , boat or wife for the weekend ends the deal quick , LOL 

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3 hours ago, Fishfiles said:

if I really don't want to do the job and a friend is persistent and says what you want , usually asking for his truck , boat or wife for the weekend ends the deal quick , LOL 

 

😂

 

Not the wife part but I do have some great friends who are trustworthy and would let me borrow a truck, boat or trailer. Same for them.

If someone calls your bluff on the borrow their wife deal you got real trouble on your hands now lol

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14 hours ago, Fishfiles said:

 

I will never  do estimates , I will give a "pre-hands on" guess'timate , it comes with an advance notice of  don't hold me to that price , could be less if things go well ------  once I start working on it , the clock is running ,  much of what I do is troubleshooting , so to give someone an estimate to fix their machine ,  takes time and work to find the problem ----- and that ain't free ---- Caterpillar here for road service work on site is $190-$225 per hour depending how far you are from their shop , road time to the job and back to shop   

 

You can do the same exact job , on the exact same type of machine , 5 times  and there will be a problem here and there on this one and not that one , never fails  , so many times the job that you feel is going to be hard turns out to be  easy and it is the easy job that turns into a nightmare because of unforeseen events 

 

I understand why the dealerships don't want to work on machines 10 years or older , I am not that bad with 10 years  , but I turn away a lot work on the 1970-80s model equipment that you can see  are junk that was never taken care , that is a nightmare every time , turns into a restoration project cause everything you touch is  messed up 

 

Another thing is friends and relatives , it is best to not work for them , believe me , what I do is use the barter system with friends and it works out better that way -------   if I really don't want to do the job and a friend is persistant and says what you want , usually asking for his truck , boat or wife for the weekend ends the deal quick , LOL 

I agree with you Fish.......if it a job that is too complicated to estimate then I explain how it works. In my business the repairs are easily diagnosed and easily estimated.....with a range that is comfortable. I found that if the customer knows something about the price and how i came to that price then they understand and trust me. This process also helps me "Weed  out" the customers that dont have the money or are just looking for some kind of a deal.

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