I’ve been a car guy my entire life. If I had a dollar for every time one of my friends or acquaintances asked me about car repairs, I’d be a very rich man! “Can you recommend a good mechanic?” “Am I getting ripped off?” “Is this a fair price for getting my air conditioning fixed?” “Do I have to take my car to the dealer for brake pads?” Some weeks I might get asked similar questions a dozen times. Well now I have an answer. There’s an app for that! Openbay.com has an auto service app available at Apple’s app store (app store download link).
What is Openbay? It’s a service which connects consumers who need their cars repaired or maintained with local repair shops. The repair shops bid on your business and you choose where to get your car serviced.
Openbay, which is about two years old, launched a limited pilot of its car repair and mechanic marketplace in the Boston area late last year. Now the company has made its platform available to users across the country. They’ve signed up service providers nation-wide and their network continues to grow.
The app offers a great alternative when selecting a repair shop but there are already competing services and apps out there so why use Openbay? Because there is one very important distinction between Openbay, YourMechanic, OnlineMechanix, and others. With Openbay the shops don’t pay a subscription fee. The shop pays nothing until the service is booked and completed and it costs the shops nothing to bid. Openbay competitors are charging a monthly subscription fee. As you can imagine, those shops get preferential treatment in the shop listings.
Is it hard to use? No! Do you need to be a car person or mechanic to use it? No! Does it cost me anything? No! Openbay has made the process incredibly easy.
- Type in what kind of service your car needs.
- Compare offers from local service shops.
- Select the shop you want to use based on location and reviews.
- Book the appointment and pay through Openbay.
Quoted from Openbay’s site:
Here’s how Openbay works:
· Vehicle owners go to Openbay.com or download the Openbay mobile app, and enter simple vehicle information – make, model, service needed and/or problems experienced with the vehicle. They also enter preferences, such as desired time to repair, distance from their home or office, and have options to seek out service providers that offer wi-fi, loaner cars, etc.
· Multiple service providers will send offers to perform the service. Each Openbay service provider has an online profile detailing its offerings, as well as customer reviews and ratings, so the vehicle owner may be confident that he/she is choosing the best shop, as well as the best value.
· The owner selects a shop, books the service, enters credit card information, and has the vehicle repaired (either in the shop or via mobile repair unit), then has the option to review the service for other members’ benefit.
· It costs the vehicle owner nothing. The shop pays Openbay 10% once the service is booked. You enter credit card info in when booking the service, and it generates a code, so you won’t have to pay a dollar more at the shop.
If you have already used Openbay or another similar service or app please let me know how the service worked for you!