The Economics of a QuickJack Portable Car Lift
I got a message on Facebook just the other day that I thought raised a great point. So great, in fact, that I think it’s worth discussing in-depth, so I composed this open letter. Here’s what the user, who I’ll just call Victor, said:
I am wondering what Jack thinks about the economics [of QuickJack]. How many reasons he has that make QuickJack 20 times more expensive than jack stands? 😉 I am willing to take a bet that if QuickJack had been reasonably priced you’d see 10X sales. Many people, myself included, like the product but are held back from buying it because it is so overpriced!
Wow, calling me out by name, Victor! 😉
If I may be frank, this “economics” issue comes up time to time. I like analogies, so here’s a good one: if you’re buying a home from a real estate agent and ask them to lower their commission, you’re essentially asking them to devalue their service for your personal benefit. Fun fact: real estate agents have almost universally settled at 6% commission. Some of that rate they keep, some goes to their broker, some to their assistant(s), etc. They could theoretically lower the rate, of course, and still potentially make a profit, but not many business-savvy individuals will do that. In part, market demand determines cost and value, but so does the quality of service rendered and expertise the field. So, is QuickJack really worth $1,125 for the BL-3500SLX, $1,340 for the BL-5000SLX and $1,490 for the BL-7000SLX? Does our expertise in this field and product quality justify this pricing? I’ll highlight a few of Victor’s claims and respond to them directly.
QuickJack is 20 times more expensive than jack stands…
This one hits me right in the gut. In pretty much every way, it’s unfair to compare the price of a QuickJack portable car lift to a simple old jack stand. The sophistication of our car lift design, as well as our dedication to our customers’ safety, is unparalleled by virtually every single jack stand ever made. (We have previously compared QuickJack and jack stands in more detail). At the most basic level, jack stands and QuickJack have the same function. They hold up cars. (QuickJack pulls double duty and raises them, too). So, if it comes down to cost and convenience relative to price, you might ask yourself: why spend on a BMW 4 Series when a Geo Metro is also, ya know, a convertible?
If QuickJack had been reasonably priced you’d see 10X sales…
Funny you mention it. We actually do 10x, even 100x the sales of our competitors EASY, and we’re successful for the very reason you mention. We don’t overcharge. We offer free domestic shipping to the 48 lower states. We’re expanding our reach to Canada and Europe to get them free shipping, too. (Oops… let out a little secret, there.) If you don’t believe me, Victor, I encourage you to check out EZcarlift™ and tell me if $1,845 + $150 shipping is a “deal.” I’m not sure what testing procedures they go through, but I know they’re not CE-Certified. There’s only one third-party certification that matters in the portable car lift class, and surprisingly, it doesn’t come from ALI, given the unique classification of a low-rise lift like QuickJack or EZcarlift. Likewise, MaxJax™ will give you more room to work under than QuickJack, but it’s not a truly portable unit, it requires a permanent installation space (with bolts) and costs nearly twice as much as QuickJack.
The next-closest “portable” car lift type comes in form of scissor lifts, some of which offer full undercarriage access, like QuickJack, while others are intended primarily for wheel service. In either case, QuickJack offers full-service access and still costs less than those scissor lift models.
Many people, myself included… are held back from buying it…
And many people are, in fact, NOT held back from buying it. QuickJack’s value is all in the eye of the beholder, no? We never did—we don’t—and never will advertise ourselves as being “cheap” or “discount.” There’s no point in degrading the value of our product just to get the cost down. Not to mention, we’re extremely proud of our rigorous engineering reports, regular quality checks and periodic improvements (e.g., dust caps, auto-lock safety arms, motorcycle lift adapter). The aftermarket auto industry can be a pricier market than, say, the novelty cupcake industry, but we’re not in the business of price gouging anybody. Actually, cupcakes sound pretty good right about now…
In a follow-up post, Victor asked the following:
Is it really justified paying so much more to save 30 min of time and end up having limited access?
Yes! If we save you 30 minutes each time you work, that’s a ton of hours you’re getting back over days, weeks, months and years of use. And 30 minutes to set up jack stands? Psh! QuickJack is fully raised in 30 seconds, and setting it up takes 30-60 seconds on top of that. Can’t think of a faster way to get to work. While it’s true that you can’t slide into your car from the sides (given that’s where the frames sit), that’s a small price to pay for the ability to work with the entire undercarriage, including the wheels. Hardly “limited,” IMO. But hey, QuickJack might be more of an investment for some folks than others. We get that. If you’re not able to get one now, we’ll be here when you’re ready.
Thanks for your input, Victor! Hopefully, our paths cross again soon!
Yours in service,
TL;DR: QuickJack is a premium-quality portable car lift that doesn’t sacrifice safety for the sake of minor cost reduction. Our lift is significantly less expensive than every comparable product on the market, even though we offer superior engineering, safety standards and quality. In fact, welding and constructing a “DIY QuickJack” would take a lot of time and cost more than $1,000 dollars, and you wouldn’t be able to certify it for safety.