An unfortunate event took place on my way to work on a recent Friday morning. I make my usual stroll to my car about two blocks away from my apartment building and that’s when I saw the travesty right in front of my eyes. My 1999 Camry was hit and my driver side mirror was shattered in pieces and hanging for dear life. Well you know, what was my first thought when I sat down in my car? How much is this going to cost me? See picture below for your viewing pleasure.
During my lunchtime chat with a co-worker I reveal my recent incident and he quickly tells me a story of a similar situation he went through several years ago. It cost him about 200 bucks back then to fix. Now my mind is checking off the dollar signs to the tune of $400-500 because:
1. His accident was a few years ago and Inflation will get the best of me.
2. His car is a newer Camry and I figured newer parts should be cheaper to find.
3. His mirror didn’t need a complete replacement with some body work / painting involved.
NOW I am freaking out because as you already know I am not fond of spending money on miscellaneous transportation costs. It’s the next day and now I have a plan to get at least three estimates from local body shops and go with the best price and customer service I receive. It’s more important to me for the work to be done quickly and efficiently than the overall price.
Now for the Details:
Estimate 1: Body Shop closest to my house- $225 to order part, paint and Install.
Estimate 2: Body Shop about a mile away- $210 to order part, paint and Install.
What did I actually Spend: $35 for a driver’s side mirror found at a local junk yard, 55 to paint and Install part at body shop number 2. $90 dollars total.
So there you have it folks I saved about $120 because I took matters into my own hands and tracked down the exact auto part I needed and hustled my way to getting some huge savings. I stopped at the second body shop because the owner was cool and very open and honest about the details of the job. Because of this I gave him my business.
These tactics can be used by anybody if you just take the time and make a plan to negotiate and save some dollars. I could have just given in to the first body shop estimate, and been happy with the first quote given. But luckily for me that I am never 100% trusting with service quotes, plus I love to shop around for better deals. Never ever forget to get a second opinion in anything you need to get done service wise. Because different people charge different prices at different times, and it may help you tremendously if one of those individuals is in a good mood.
Examples of Price Quotes/Estimates to save a buck:
Mortgage Loans (Good Faith Estimate Docs)
Any type of tutoring / lessons
Financial Advisor Fees
Cable / Cell / Internet Services
Now is the time to Comment if you have a cool story on how you saved a buck by taking matters into your hands.
Watch your Money!
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