Truth About Shop Supplies

These days supply costs are inflating and the dollar is depreciating, so naturally the cost of doing business has went up as well. One thing that is popular these days is for shops to charge an expense on shop supplies to help aid their falling profit margins. In todays topic, we will explain why this charge is needed, what it covers, and why it is legitimate in some cases.

The first thing to understand is that shop supplies are technically considered a pure profit items on your invoices, as all those supplies are bought in bulk and can't be directly associated with the charge. So always keep in mind that it may be a negotiable charge.

All those items needed to actually work on your vehicle add up to a pretty hefty amount of expense at the end of the month. Depending on what service you actually get on your car will determine what stuff and how much is needed. Here is a list of some possible items or extra services that may be used on your car for any particular job:

Spill Containment Bench Lubricants Chassis Grease Gasket Sealant
Solder Drill Bits Sandpaper Drivetrain Grease
Welding Rods Polishing Discs Grinding Discs Glass Cleaner
Sanding Discs Dielectric Grease Parts Cleaners Saw Blades
Chassis Shims Abrasive Stones Mechanics Wire Permatex Products
Emery Cloth Oxygen Acetylene Carb Cleaner
BrakeKleen Propane Silicon Sprays Special Adhesives
Wiping Cloth Degreasers Hand Cleaner Towels
 Paper  Ink  Trash  Water

As you can see, just using a little bit of everything on every car could quickly add up to a whole lot of money. But just how much of a charge should you expect? How much is too much?

Most shops have decided to adopt a method of computing this charge. Generally, they will take about 12 percent of your total workorder and add that to the total. The best practice is to also put a maximum cap on shop supplies so the customer can not be overcharged. I would say that you should never pay over $40 for these 'fees'. If they try to charge you more, it is a blatent rip-off and I would advise you to leave immediately.

Overall, shop supplies are a legit item to charge you for as long as it stays resonably affordable. Like I mentioned above, you could always try to bargain with the sales person and get them to waive or discount the fee.

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