AutoMD.com - [US Auto Parts] - Launches to Revolutionize the Car Repair Process

AutoMD.com which is owned by US Auto Parts Network launched its new version of the AutoMD.com website. However, at first glance it looks very similar to their US Auto Parts affiliate sites, very generic and impersonal. And, indeed it was only a glance as I don’t have time to go through their 100,000 articles though I’m anxious to hear who’s written them.


Not too sure if this content will result in their being more accountable to the service and products they sell, if so then I’m sure people would appreciate the effort.

What these companies have against them is the personalization they avoid as they duck behind the “virtual service counter” when they send the wrong parts or fail to deliver as promised. I actually got ripped off on a $200 set of gaskets, which they listed for the wrong application (big surprise, heh) After about 5 attempts, and other shenanigans over the phone, I gave up. They won. I simply didn’t have time to deal with their “staff” anymore, and felt like the person I was ordering from sounded just like the guy I order pizza from that shows up 20 mins late to my house claiming he was lost even if he’d just been here last week.

Obviously I’m going to be biased here in starting my own how to video site about cars, but I’ve learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t, and the single most powerful thing thats missing from all of these new sites is credibility, accountability and originality. You simply can’t mass produce it, or do so internally, it must come from the users.

Anyone with a budget can put together a 100,000 videos, but to get each of those 100,000 to be done by enthusiasts, who can substantiate their knowledge and provide a background on the subject, is harder than just pouring money on it.

Now if a company wanted to work with TuneyFish on the launch of a product that’s all about how to automotive content, it would certainly benefit them from the knowledge accumulated over nearly 3 years of bootstrapping and brute force to become profitable.

Press Release:

CARSON, Calif., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ — AutoMD™ (www.automd.com) launched today as the most complete and unbiased free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best and most affordable way to repair their vehicles — whether they’re heading to the shop or doing it themselves. Unlike any other site, AutoMD allows both car owners and DIYers to 1. Diagnose car problems, 2. Know how much car repairs should cost, 3. Understand the steps needed and the time it should take to make the repairs, and 4. Find the right local shop at the right price for their issue.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100119/LA39589)
“Until today, car owners have not had access to a truly unbiased and comprehensive free auto repair resource that operates both as an advocate to assure that they’re not over-paying for repairs and are finding the best, most affordable shop for their needs — and as a DIY guide providing them with the information they need to do it themselves,” said Shane Evangelist, President of AutoMD and CEO of US Auto Parts.
While other resources address pieces of the repair puzzle, AutoMD provides superior information for each critical step of the repair process — all integrated into a complete, intuitive, and user-friendly experience that enables both DIYers and DFMers (Do-It-For-Me) to:
Diagnose problems with easy-to-use diagnostic tool and visual guide
Get fair and objective car repair prices on over 10 million jobs, based on geography and vehicle type, including local labor rates and real-time parts pricing
Find a repair shop from the largest database of over 400,000 local shops matched for geography, specific job type and affordability
Access over 100,000 easy-to-understand “How-to-Repair” guides with step-by-step instructions, plus “How-To” videos and car expert/owner support

“US car owners spend over $200 billion in car repairs every year,*” said Evangelist. “Based on our research, we estimate that American consumers are wasting billions of dollars by overpaying for repairs. Now, with a few simple online steps and a print out from AutoMD, car owners can literally ‘know before they go’ to the repair shop — or, for those who prefer to do it themselves, save even more money by doing car repairs at home.”
According to a recent national analysis of repair shops across the country, AutoMD estimates that car owners are, on average, overpaying at the repair shop by at least 10%. And a stunning 88% of car owners recently surveyed say they have felt overcharged when getting their car repaired**. Backed by a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner, AutoMD enables consumers to come to the repair shop armed with the estimate. Or, for car owners who have already left their vehicle at the shop, AutoMD empowers them to negotiate price before authorizing the work, with easy access to true parts prices, labor rates and alternative shops.
Evangelist noted that online information has long been the car shopper’s trump card to a better deal. This is the cornerstone of AutoMD, which is designed to do for car owners what sites like Edmunds.com and KBB.com (Kelley Blue Book) have done for car shoppers.
How it Works:
AutoMD is designed to be an easy-to-use and seamless process - walking consumers through vehicle diagnosis, repair price estimate, how-to-fix-it and/or finding the right repair shop at the right price.
1) AutoMD Auto Repair Diagnostic Tools:
Car owners can diagnose their vehicle’s problems through a series of questions that ask things like “What does it smell like? What does it sound like? What area of the vehicle is the problem located in?” With each answer, car owners narrow down the problem to help ensure the correct diagnosis. Unlike any other free site, AutoMD also provides a step-by-step visual inspection guide, as well as possible reasons for each problem, to reinforce the diagnosis.
2) AutoMD Fair Price Auto Repair Cost Estimates:
AutoMD’s ‘Fair Price’ estimates are formulated for over 10 million possible jobs using specific average labor costs for each zip code, hours to complete and parts pricing data — down to engine size and sub-model. With an AutoMD Fair Price Repair Estimate, car owners not only gain peace of mind at the repair shop, but can also save significantly on their bills. Unlike any other site, AutoMD also provides Do-It-Yourself costs, including tools needed and parts pricing, saving car owners even more money.
3) AutoMD Right Auto Repair Shop Finder
AutoMD has made it its business to provide geo-specific information on capabilities and hourly rates for over 400,000 repair shops across the country and has already spoken directly to over 100,000 shop-owners (and counting) to validate their information. Unlike sites that provide generic yellow-pages listings, only shops relevant to a consumer’s specific repair issues and zip codes are listed with each listing detailing average hourly labor costs, contact information, shuttle and payment information, maps and directions, and consumer reviews and ratings.
4) AutoMD DIY Auto Repair-apedia
The AutoMD DIY Repair-apedia is a robust and detailed library featuring over 100,000 step-by-step ‘How-to-Repair’ guides with difficulty ratings, tools needed and estimated length of time for each job, as well as hundreds of DIY videos, and thousands of user postings. AutoMD’s Repair-apedia is seeded by professionals and perfected by the community.
About AutoMD
AutoMD (www.automd.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts (Nasdaq: PRTS), is the most comprehensive and unbiased free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best way to repair their vehicles. Backed by a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner, AutoMD integrates unprecedented repair pricing transparency, easy-to-use diagnostic tools and How-to-Repair guides, repair shop listings geo-customized for each issue and a Repair-apedia of consumer-contributed advice into a complete and unbiased online repair experience that shifts the power to car owners.
Safe Harbor and Risk Factor Statement
This press release contains statements which are based on management’s current expectations, estimates and projections about US Auto Parts Network Inc.’s (USAP) business, subsidiaries and its industry, as well as certain assumptions made by USAP. These statements are forward looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provided by Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Words such as “can”, ”anticipates,” “could,” ”expects,” ”intends,” ”plans,” “potential,” ”believes,” “predicts,” “projects,” ‘’seeks,” “estimates,” “may,” ”will,” “would,” “will likely continue” and variations of these words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, our actual results could differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors.
Please read all risk factors discussed in USAP’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the Risk Factors contained in USAP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which are available at www.usautoparts.net and the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. You are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements in this release and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Unless otherwise required by law, USAP expressly disclaims any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as result of new information, future events or otherwise.
AutoMD™ is for informational use only and is intended to be used as a guide. We do not take any responsibility for automotive service decisions or automotive work decided upon as a result of using AutoMD™. Always consult a certified automotive mechanic before making important automotive repair and service decisions.
Contact:

Media Relations
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (949) 307-1723, melanie@mwebbcom.com
Angela Jacobson, mWEBB Communications, (714) 454-8776, angela@mwebbcom.com

Investor Relations
Budd Zuckerman, Genesis Select Corp, (303) 415-0200, bzuckerman@genesisselect.com

* AAIA Digital FactBook 2010
** AutoMD National Repair Shop Report and Car Owner Survey 1/2010
SOURCE AutoMD
RELATED LINKS
http://www.automd.com
http://www.usautoparts.net

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