Twitter You Tube Facebook Autobodynews Linked In

Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.


He can be reached at

Thursday, 25 August 2011 16:14

How to Fix Your Damaged Online Reputation

In an article in July’s Autobody News I wrote about Yelp and how shops have objected to the way this review site seems to perpetuate negative reviews on shops unless they’re members of the premium (paid) user program. If you missed it see and search: Yelp. The question for many shops in this situation is: what can I do about it?

Dana Cooper, the owner of Brown Auto Body, a busy, modest-size shop located in southwest Iowa, has been in the collision industry for more than three decades.

Back when Galpin Motors’ Parts Manager Butch Lemen was 12 years old, he worked with his father in the aircraft parts industry, some time before the advent of personal computers.

Proactive body shops that are embracing the inexorable change to waterborne paint in states where the laws are looming, but not yet a reality, are anticipating an advantage over their feet-dragging competitors over the next few years.

Sometimes a negative, even tragic, event can lead to a positive outcome. When a serious fire hit Collision Solutions in Indianapolis, IN, and destroyed its paint booth, management took the opportunity to make lemonade from lemons. 

When his customers are spending big money on vehicles costing more than $50,000 and sometimes well into six figures, Jim Frost, the manager at Prestige Imports Collision Center in Lakewood, Colorado, knows his paint jobs have to be top-tier every single time.

The other day I overheard a woman talking on her cell phone. I couldn’t help it. She was upset and yelling.

Shawn Saidi, 48, owns Active Auto Body in Sunnyvale, Calif., a highly successful shop whose motto is “Making Friends by Accident.” It might be a catchy slogan, but Saidi has succeeded in the collision industry not by chance or by accident. He’s the current president of the California Autobody Association’s (CAA) Santa Clara chapter, and has enthusiastically embraced the leadership role, because he wants to make this industry better and help other shops in the process.

The conversion to waterborne paint in states like New Jersey is a reality for body shops throughout the Northeast, because by 2012 regulations will likely mandate the use of the new paint.

Jimmy Lefler owns and operates five extremely busy body, mechanical, and glass shops based in Evansville, Indiana, that are repairing more than 200 cars per week, juggling eight DRPs, employing 80 people and doing approximately $9 million in annual sales.

Page 13 of 15