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How to Make Money in Wheel Repair

by Tim Gowens

Engage techs to increase wheel repair revenues.

If you’re in the wheel repair business, you could be walking away from thousands of dollars in additional revenue every year – without even knowing it. Luckily, I’m willing to share an easy fix to this problem with you: Train your shop techs to look for the opportunity.

That's it. It all depends on your shop techs being trained to look for damaged wheels. After more than 2 decades in the wheel repair business, I have learned that giving your techs a reason to look for damage – an incentive – makes all the difference.

Show your techs how to spot:

1. Cosmetic damage: The tech can show the salesperson or customer how cosmetically refinishing the wheels could enhance the car’s overall appearance.

2. Structural damage: If a vehicle is riding roughly or has irregular tire wear, the best solution is straightening the wheels. We have been straightening wheels for many years with great success – and safety.

3. Both cosmetic and structural damage: When it is completely obvious that there is a major problem with the wheel, your techs are obligated to speak up; this situation will also yield the most revenue.

How does this look in practice? The typical mark-up from our cost structure is 30%. We set aside 5% (of the mark-up) as incentive for the shop techs. This allows techs to "share the wealth" while still holding enough margin so that everyone benefits.

Even minimal effort could pay well for your business (and your techs):

Average wheel repair + extra tire work and possible alignment opportunity

1. Average mark-up above the 3 most common repairs at 30%: $46.00

2. The opportunity to sell an alignment (every damaged wheel needs an alignment): $55.00

3. Additional tire work: $15.00

Total opportunity for one wheel repair: $116.00

Wheel repair incentive to the tire tech: $2.30

One wheel repair – incentive = $113.70

Now do this twice a week for a year: $11,824.80

All work is done in our professional wheel machine shop – never from the back of a truck or some guy’s Blazer.

It is amazing to me that many high-level used car dealerships use "on the curb/mobile wheel repair" companies. Many times each week, we see wheels that have been damaged cosmetically, leaving structural damaged that must be professionally repaired. These companies do not address the structural aspects, assuming they’re OK. Many cars are rolling around with vibrations – and owners who don’t know why. But we do, and we can fix it right. You simply can’t compare mobile wheel repair to our fixed-based professional wheel repair plant.


Written on Thursday, January 16, 2014 by
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