The tool world according to Alfredo

Sept. 2, 2016
Alfredo Velasco shares his insights on different aspects of the business.

On skips … 

“I don’t go after them. I keep in touch with them. I text them once in a while, and that’s it. Why am I going to stress over $200 or $300? You can’t go and force money out of a guy. If they don’t have it, they don’t have it. So I write it down as a loss and on to the next one. Just keep a positive attitude and keep selling. It’s not the end of the world.” 

On selling tool storage … 

With his flag, Velasco says he used to sell more toolboxes. Now he focuses more on carts.  

“I sell a lot of carts. Everyone’s downsizing. Just like that, the manufacturers are innovative. I think as a tool salesman you have to be innovative as well. You have to mold yourself to the geography. Wages change, people are budgeting a little more. They’re holding on to their pennies, if another recession were to come.  

“I think a lot of guys realize they don’t need these monster $10,000 to $20,000 toolboxes to hold their tools. They can work out of a $1,500 or $2,000 cart. That, and the manufacturers are getting more aggressive with the price point.” 

On new customers … 

When Velasco is vetting new prospects, he’ll first talk with the technician’s supervisor to first get a sense how he or she will be as a customer.  

“I’ll approach the shop owner and whoever it is in charge of him, with him [the potential customer] there as well. I’ll ask him [the supervisor] if he’s good for it. 'Can he afford $20 a week?'” 

On running a business in California … 

I honestly think, if you can run a successful business here, you can go to any part of the world and be just as good, if not better. In California, you pay your sales tax, you pay your income tax. Then the worst part about California is I get taxed at the end of the year from the sales tax, the income tax and inventory tax.” 

Veslasco explains the inventory tax is paid at the end of the year.

“The worst part is, the stuff just sitting on the truck, you get charged sales tax on the items you sold the last quarter, even though you haven’t collected it yet. It’s tough, you know.” 

“You pay the price for the weather, I guess. The cost of living is ridiculous.”

About the Author

Erica Schueller | Editorial Director | Commercial Vehicle Group

Erica Schueller is the Editorial Director of the Endeavor Commercial Vehicle Group. The commercial vehicle group includes the following brands: American Trucker, Bulk Transporter, Fleet Maintenance, FleetOwner, Refrigerated Transporter, and Trailer/Body Builders brands.

An award-winning journalist, Schueller has reported and written about the vehicle maintenance and repair industry her entire career. She has received accolades for her reporting and editing in the commercial and automotive vehicle fields by the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA), the International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC), the Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Azbee Awards.

Schueller has received recognition among her publishing industry peers as a recipient of the 2014 Folio Top Women in Media Rising Stars award, acknowledging her accomplishments of digital content management and assistance with improving the print and digital products in the Vehicle Repair Group. She was also named one Women in Trucking’s 2018 Top Women in Transportation to Watch.

She is an active member of a number of industry groups, including the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC),  the Auto Care Association's Young Auto Care Networking Group, GenNext, and Women in Trucking.

In December 2018, Schueller graduated at the top of her class from the Waukesha County Technical College's 10-week professional truck driving program, earning her Class A commercial driver's license (CDL).  

She has worked in the vehicle repair and maintenance industry since 2008.

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