Craig Truglia, assistant editor
This blog might not apply to you if you live where it's nice all year, but for the rest of us that have four seasons, we're preparing for our last busy spurt of the season. No, we're not talking about a "Shocktober" promotion. It's the "pre-Christmas, get my car ready for winter" spending spree. Customers come in for batteries and tires and walk out with brakes, front-end work and whatever else their vehicle needs.
November has historically been my second or third best month sales-wise, depending upon how my July is. My observation has been that customers spend on their vehicles for psychological reasons other than perceived necessity. After all, why does my shop become a ghost town in February? The old logic is that people are just getting caught up from their Christmas spending. It is interesting that a necessity, a safe car, can take a back seat to the balance on a credit card.
It's not for me to figure out the logic of it. Customers have some money to spend, no big holidays where they take extended vacations, the kids are securely in town for school, and the cars have to be "winterized" as the customers put it. I'm not sure what "winterized" exactly means, but it usually has something to do with making sure the battery is okay and that the antifreeze won't become a block of ice.
Once the pre-Christmas spending spree ends we have a long dark winter, with cold wet tires and melting snow to look forward to. So, it's time to work like crazy, sell the preventative maintenance, and now that the cars are back in the shop, catch all the things our customers were neglecting to fix. It's our last chance to make money this year!