Glass Just a Click Away for Shops and the 'Do-It-Yourself' Market
Windshieldstogo.com, a website that sells automotive glass directly
to consumers and/or shops, was launched in 1999 and continues to grow,
according to company president Beau Turner. Using the website, glass can
be ordered online and either shipped to your shop (or to a customer's
home), or picked up at one of the company's warehouses.
While Turner says the company does not advocate "do-it-yourself"
windshield installations, it does offer links to its windshield tool supply
division, which the website says offers "tools for do-it-yourself
auto glass installation and repair," and links to windshield installation
guides. The windshield supply division was launched about a year and a
half ago, according to Turner.
"Our disclaimer is that we discourage from installing their own
glass and to only used trained certified installers," Turner told
glassBYTEs.com/AGRR magazine. "It's not something you
really want people doing themselves. But some windshields you could-on
some of the older cars."
As for the installation guides available via a link on windshieldstogo.com,
Turner said these are meant to serve only as a reference.
"We give that just as a reference. We don't back it up," he
said. "That's just a link that has some information that we know
of about installing glass. Again, when we send someone information about
picking up their glass, we do tell them that we don't really recommend
that they install-at least on windshields."
Turner said the company does not discourage customers from installing
other glass parts, though.
"Of course there are all the tempered [parts] and door [glass]-most
people can do those themselves," he said.
"If we're selling the glass installed, we contract with another
shop to do the labor part of it," he said.
For its glass sales, Turner, who owned his own auto glass shop in central
California prior to the launch of the website, says the company has a
wide range of distributors it subcontracts throughout the country.
In addition, windshieldstogo.com offers a range of windshield repair
systems for the do-it-yourself market. However, if a customer needs a
windshield repair and would like to have it done professionally, Turner
said the company refers the customer to a shop, but doesn't get involved
in the payment process.
The company's latest venture is a site called autoglasshosting.net, which
allows shops to pay to have a website created automatically.
"[Shop owners] can actually go online and sign up and it immediately
creates a website for them," Turner said. "We haven't really
been pushing it but we've signed up quite a few shops and we're really
going to push it in the next few weeks."
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