The Infamous Two-Man Shop
In the 1970’s, the number of shops continued to grow, fueled by younger techs who did not want to conform to the rules of an existing shop, or didn’t like the work they were getting, and decided to start their own shop. Angry, and determined to “get back” at their former employer they found a small garage, hung out a sign, and opened for business.
Industry veteran Tony Lombardozzi explains, “When these guys left, they either took someone with them, or very quickly realized they needed some help, and became a two-man shop. Then they went to all the former shop’s insurance contacts to tell them, to get their business, they would charge $2 per hour less than their previous shop. So the work started to roll in, but in the days before job-costing, those two guys never knew if they were making any profit or not. Subsequently, many of them didn’t last.”
Some of these shops exist today (in 2017) operating on a shoe-string and “flying under the radar.” Lombardozzi explains, “There is always someone looking for a cheap and fast collision repair, not caring if OE procedures are observed or not. And there is always a small, out-of-the-way shop that is willing to provide it, and maybe even save their deductible for them. But the cost of doing business is now so high, and in the wake of the John Eagle Decision, the liability is so high, it’s only a matter of time before these little shops disappear.”