Midas Automative in Anderson and Muncie, IN gets boost in sales from Acima.
Jack Surface is a mild-mannered hunter. During his forty-plus years in Indiana’s auto mechanic industry, Surface has taken many trips out West to hunt deer, elk, and other big game. He plans to do even more of it when he retires. “I just love to hunt,” he says.
In his years of hunting and fixing cars, Surface has noticed some similarities between the two. One of them is change—constant change. Whether it’s the change of seasons, changes in the weather, or in the movement of the animals and cars, “I suppose change comes with the territory,” he says. “There’s always change.”
One big change Surface has noticed after forty years in the auto shop is this: In the past, 70 percent of his business was exhaust related; now exhaust work makes up just six percent. The bulk of what his team does today—at his two Midas stores in Anderson and Muncie, IN—is tires, brakes, and other services, in that order.
"Between our two stores, in the first five or six months of using Acima we’ve done close to $10,000 in extra sales. That’s all money that would have walked out the door." – Jack Surface, Owner
With that change in fixing more tires and brakes comes the increasing need for good financing options. Specifically, the two Midas stores needed a program to make it easy for Surface and his team to offer tires and brakes financing to their customers.
“We’ve always had some kind of financing program,” says Surface. “But either the programs would end up costing us, the dealer, too much, or the customers would get denied because they needed too good of a credit score.” One of the programs they signed up for was available to their customers for over a year, but barely got used. “I think we used it twice,” says Surface. As a result, his Midas stores lost a lot of business.
One day while online, Surface saw an invitation from Acima salesman Joe Stepke to connect. Stepke tells it like this: “I introduced myself and said, listen, I know you don’t know me, but I live around here. I’d like to talk to you about something for Midas and see if it’s up your alley. Jack replied asking if it would cost him anything, and I said ‘nothing.’ So he agreed to meet me.”
At that first meeting, Stepke showed Surface how Acima could be a much simpler, easier-to-get-approved financing option than what they were using previously. “I liked it because it allowed someone who didn’t necessarily have good credit, but did have a good bank account, to get approved for new tires and a brake job,” says Surface. “We didn’t have that option before.”
After all of 15 minutes Midas Anderson was up and running on Acima, according to Surface. They started using it to sell that very day. Other things about Acima appealed to Surface, as well. “The customer can answer the questions on their phone with the mobile app, or they use our computers here in the store,” he says. “It’s so easy to use that instead of us doing it, the customer does it. And that saves us time.”
Another benefit is how quickly Surface’s Midas stores receive payment from Acima. “We get our money in 24 to 48 hours, which is fast,” he says.
Surface has also been impressed with the level of service from Acima—and from Joe Stepke, specifically. “Joe comes out to our stores to do the training. If we have questions, we get an immediate response. That could be online, or from their 1-800 number, or from Joe directly. Their service is unbelievable.”
At each of his stores, Surface has three or four people who are trained on Acima to help the customers with it. “When we’re helping a customer with their tires or brakes, we offer Acima whenever someone says they can’t afford it, or just can’t do it right now. It’s a nice alternative to the Midas credit card. Not everyone has great credit or wants to sign up for a credit card, but almost everyone has a checking account. That’s all they need to get approved for Acima.”
One example he relates: “A young lady walked into our store recently and her car tires were just about ready to blow. The metal was showing and everything. But she simply didn’t have the money to get new ones. As she was leaving to drive back to Indy, we said ‘wait—try this program. If you get approved, we can deduct money from your paycheck.’ She jumped all over it. It worked out great.”
One huge result of offering Acima is that Midas Anderson and Midas Muncie—as well as many other Midas stores in the region that he has referred Acima to—are getting more return business. “It definitely brings people back,” he says. “It gives us an opportunity to build that relationship with them, and then we get referrals. We just had two people come in the other day and ask about the program because they heard about it from a friend. We love the return business.”
And return business, of course, means more revenue. “Between our two stores, in the first five or six months of using Acima we’ve done close to $10,000 in extra sales, says Surface. “That’s all sales we would not have had—money that would have walked out the door. Gone. Never seen.”
Surface figures he’s getting a roughly 5 to 10 percent increase in sales a month thanks to Acima. And this is solely through Acima’s program of financing tires, brakes, suspension work, and a few other things. “We’ve only been using Acima a short time,” he says, “but we like how the future is looking. Acima is helping us get there faster, and we hope that doesn’t change.”
As for Jack Surface, any changes forecasted in his future? “I’ll be doing this for another ten years, at least,” he says. “I’d like to get five Midas shops. Then, I should be able to afford retirement.” And of course, retirement means spending more time in Wyoming and Colorado—you guessed it—hunting! “Why else would I be so motivated?”
Jack Surface, Owner
2208 E 8th Street
Andersen, IN 46012(765) 400 - 0114