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Q: Differences in part prices? on 1996 Chevrolet Corsica

Can someone explain why a repair shop charges more for parts than the local auto part stores? Is there a standard markup on parts at the repair shops, maybe chain stores have set fees on parts regardless of what local prices are?

I was charged $65 for metallic brake pads and told that ceramic would cost over $100, parts store quoted around $50 for top of the line they didn't specify if that was ceramic or metallic - Charged $72 for each rotor, parts store prices at less than $30 each - Charged almost $50 for each caliper, parts store charging less than $20 each.

The guys at this shop seemed really great and I didn't think my total bill ($565) was outrageous considering all the work. A couple people I know are adamant that I was way overcharged on parts and should never go back.

Any info and/or advice appreciated!
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It is a free market on parts prices. Many Auto Store Chains have really cheap prices, however, the parts are also really cheap in quality in most cases. $100 is pretty standard for factory quality ceramic pads. The $30 dollar rotors, and I think I know which chain you are dealing with tend to warp in a hearbeat, which means that you have to buy them twice. If the repair shop used factory quality parts, then the prices are decent. I deal with people day in and day out who buy starters, alternators, brake parts that are super cheap at a big chain parts store, only to have nothing but problems with the parts that they got such a great 'deal' on. most of the time I have to toss out the cheap parts and replace them with 'real' parts. If your car works really well and the brakes stop smoothly and quietly, then I think that you are in good shape. I always tell my customers that the brakes protect the lives of you and your loved ones. You NEED them to work and work well. Go to the really cheap parts stores and get brand name oil, when it is on sale. That what I use them for.
I am a General Manager of an Advance Auto parts and the reson for this is simply "cost of doing business" We cater to many local repair shops and there is a retail price and a list price. List price is a price that takes in account for them to run their business. Such as they have to pay a monthly fee to have a program for parts look up and invoices and them to come get the parts. Also, they warranty the part and the labor due to the part deffecting. If you buy a Part from a local parts house we will replace the part but you have to pay for the part to be put back in again. The repair shops have to account for deffective parts and the labor associated with installign those deffective parts. However, 99% of repair shops (good ones) will tell you what you need to replace and allow you to go get the part from the parts house and install you part. However, will nto warranty the labor. Like I stated above its a cost of doing business but if you contact your local parts house thet will tell you the retail price and a list price which is typically the rate you would pay at a repair shop jsut so you can know before gettign ripped off.
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