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Equipment Purchasing
We embarked on this research
survey to explore the key factors
influencing buying decisions of
professionals who utilize shop tools
and equipment for automotive
repairs. The survey culminates in
publishing the Purchasing Trends
Study - Tools and Equipment 2018.
This report is intended to collect
and benchmark data on tools and
equipment purchasing decisions
made by those who use them in
their repair shops. This report’s
findings can help buyers make
choices when buying products.
Key influential factors for equipment
include: “warranty”, “made in USA”,
“equipment” and “brand preference.”
This is a two-segment report
where the first section analyzes
“Tools Purchasing Decision,” while
the second segment focuses on
“Equipment Purchasing Decision.”
Equipment Report
Of the surveyed individuals who
made equipment purchasing
decisions, more than four out of five
respondents (81.8 percent) reported
that they were the owner of their
repair shop. The breakdown for the
respondents’ primary businesses
includes the following: 67.9 percent
are general automotive repair shops,
8.9 percent are specialty repair
shops and other shops account
for 8 of the remaining percent.
Over one-third of shops
(35.4 percent) have between one
and three bays in the shop. By
contrast, 14.1 percent of shops
have 10 or more bays. More than
half (50.5 percent) owned shops
that had between four and nine
service bays.
Most respondents (35.1 percent)
used the internet to seek equipment
information prior to making their
purchase. While the respondents
routinely used automotive-related
websites to research product
technical specifications, warranty
and price information, they ultimately
purchased their equipment from
mobile vendors, full line parts
jobbers and independent equipment
suppliers. This is because of
uncertainties about internet
suppliers’ return policies, warranty,
fast delivery and other concerns.
Of the times that they purchased
equipment online, their research
was predicated on the dollar value
of the equipment they purchased.
Interestingly, when equipment
prices resulted in a large financial
commitment, respondents’ interest
in r
esearching information on that
piece of equipment was minimal.
A significantly small proportion of
respondents sought web-based
information on equipment priced
over $10,000, compared to
more than half who researched
information on equipment priced
under $1,000.
The survey found that people
shopped online because they found
it (1) convenient, (2) increased their
choices and (3) helped them to hunt
for lower prices. Cost saving and
the ability to compare prices were
the driving impetus for shopping
online. However, due to concerns
about an internet supplier’s ability
to deliver the equipment in a timely
fashion, their policies on returning
equipment and warranty issues,
all these tended to taper the online
shopping experience.
Mobile vendors (sometimes
referred to as “wagon jobbers”)
have consistently remained the
most frequently used suppliers of
equipment to repair shops in this
and previous surveys. However, an
increasing number of respondents
are beginning to buy their equipment
through the internet at the expense
of the traditional brick-and-mortar
retail shops. Four in five respondents
(87 percent) reported they are
purchasing more equipment online
today than they had in the previous
two to three years.
Regardless of where the equip-
ment was purchased, warranty,
USA-made equipment and strong
brand name formed the top
three influential factors driving
the purchasing decision process.
Furthermore, these factors differed
significantly among the respondents’
job titles and shop size.
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