Volume 9, Issue 5 - October 2007

Field of Vision
from the editor

Price Points Revisited
by Penny Stacey

Price Points has always been one of AGRR’s most popular sections. We try to make sure it runs in every issue and it seems to generate more discussion and questions than any other section. 

When you turn to page 29 of this issue, though, you’ll notice some changes to this section. There are a few more columns on the charts than there have been in the past and a lot of new calculations. This month, instead of just calling around to get prices on having the windshield replaced on a fictional 2007 Honda Accord, I asked each shop to give me a total cost, then to tell me how much of the cost was parts, how much was labor.

As I started out on this venture, I actually expected to be denied answers to this request; surprisingly, however, shops were willing to provide this information. Most not only told me the cost of the glass and the cost of the labor, but went so far as to break it down and tell me the cost of the clip kit, mouldings, urethane, etc.

Unfortunately, since I call as a “consumer,” when a shop didn’t provide the price of the mouldings, urethane, etc., I didn’t ask for it—in an effort to make the section authentic. I don’t think most consumers would think about anything other than the glass and the labor. Of course, if this information was volunteered, it’s noted within.

One shop gave me the breakdown, but left out labor—when I checked the math and added it up and realized it matched the total, I asked about it. “I don’t charge for labor,” one said. This was one of the more surprising answers I received—in very few industries or business sectors do you find a company that doesn’t charge for labor, or even the time it takes to do a job.

A couple shops I called wouldn’t provide this information at all.

“I don’t give that information—you’re not going to find many shops that will tell you how much parts cost and what their profit is,” one said. I almost shared how many others had given me this information, but resisted.

As you read this month’s Price Points, please think about whether you find it helpful. Do you like the additional information? Is there more information you’d like us to include?

In the future, we’re looking to add even more statistics to the section—such as imports, exports of windshields, etc.—but first, we want to know what will be most beneficial to you. Please e-mail me at pstacey@glass.com with your ideas. 

I’m hoping the rest of this issue will be beneficial to you as well. On page 32, contributing writer Les Shaver takes a long, hard look at the issue of corrosion and who is responsible for the cost of correcting it. Is it the insurer? Is it you? Is it your customer?

In addition, you’ll find a look at a possible new standard that could require modifications to automotive glass be etched on the glass on page 50.

Also, be sure to check out our preview of the upcoming Auto Glass Week in Las Vegas on page 40. This is the only week of the year dedicated to your industry. We’ll be in booth #E9126 at the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE, sponsored by AGRR magazine. I hope to see you there. .

Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.comTM

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.