Great thank you gift for mechanic/shop? Around 50 bucks?
August 7, 2012 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Great gift ideas that would delight a mechanics shop. Diesel repair in TN, if that matters. In the $50-75 range.

The guys at Crick Enterprises just filled the freon in our AC, greased our 6 u-joints (twice), and honestly told us that we didn't need the work that we thought we did.

Since there wasn't anything really 'wrong', they didn't charge us.

They don't know us from Adam, and had no ulterior reason to be this generous. We were just travelers passing through, so even trying to get return business wasn't a reason.

Needless to say, a gift is in order. We don't know if they drink, so beer/good scotch might not be the best option. Since we are a bit out in the boonies, I'm not sure what we can access, and so an online purchase might be an option.

I don't want to do a gift card, but would love something either useful for the shop or something that just 'makes their day'.

Any ideas in the $50-75 range ?
posted by Vaike to Grab Bag (12 answers total)
There's always food. This looks like it might be mechanic-friendly, and though it's at the top end of your price range there are other things in there too.

I've also sent stuff from Hickory Farms - cured meat/summer sausage/cheese type stuff. That budget would send a couple of things from them.
posted by jquinby at 3:32 PM on August 7, 2012

A catered surprise lunch from a local barbeque joint would probably be appreciated and fairly easy to arrange, though you might have to deliver yourself. Even in the middle of nowhere, there are barbeque joints in Tennessee.
posted by carolinecrane at 3:32 PM on August 7, 2012

I would get them the scotch. The other thing I can think of which would be appropriate in a case like this is a gift basket full of fine food or spices, and this has exactly the same drawback (who knows if they can eat what you get them? who knows whether they cook? etc.) I'd also be reluctant to give non-consumables in this situation... somehow it seems weird.

Any gift will run the risk of being something they don't want; at least scotch is classic, and is the sort of thing it'll be easy for them to re-gift if they don't drink.
posted by vorfeed at 3:35 PM on August 7, 2012

BBQ's a great idea - this place is in Greeneville and looks to cater and/or deliver.
posted by jquinby at 3:37 PM on August 7, 2012

Last time I wanted to thank my own mechanics, I made them a big box of chocolate-dipped strawberries.... needless to say, I'm kinda popular over there these days!

In other words, food is your best bet. I take it you were passing through, and this isn't your home area? If you WERE a local, I'd suggest something homemade --- cookies, brownies, etc. As a non-local, go for something that can be delivered. If you want to go whole-hog and get a catered lunch for the entire shop, then perhaps you could call the shop to schedule a good date, and let the guys know it's coming so they don't pack their own lunch that day. If you want to send some sort of fruit basket, have you ever heard of Edible Arrangements ( )? They do a variety of cut-fruit arrangements in various sizes.

(And EVERYBODY can enjoy food, but for various reasons it's not so with booze, especially since these guys are handling power tools!)
posted by easily confused at 3:53 PM on August 7, 2012

And EVERYBODY can enjoy food

When I went to Hawaii my awesome mechanic let me keep my car on his lot for the week. I came back with a big thing of chocolate-covered Macadamia nuts for him aaaaaaand...he's diabetic. With so many food sensitivities these days I would caution against random food gifts. How about a few pounds of great coffee for the shop?
posted by Room 641-A at 4:30 PM on August 7, 2012

If you want to really blow them away, have a discreet word with the receptionist regarding when they get off work and whether this would be a good idea. Assuming you get a Go, here's what you do: simply roll up at the end of the workday with a couple of trays of barbecue from a good local joint (and napkins, plates, and forks) and a case of cold Bud Light. Tell everybody how much you appreciate the fact that they took good care of you, let them know that they have a customer for life, invite them to enjoy the food and drink, and then leave. They'll appreciate it, believe me. It would be over the top, but they would love you for it.

Or you could just tell whoever is in charge of the shop that the guys who took care of your car did an excellent job and that as far as they need be concerned they won him or her a loyal customer for life. That would be plenty, honestly. Maybe you could also leave a box of homemade chocolate-chip cookies. They would definitely still think very well of you after that.
posted by Scientist at 6:33 PM on August 7, 2012

A bunch of really good coffee is also an excellent idea. I guarantee you that the people at your shop drink a lot of coffee -- it's practically a stereotype. Heck, if you were in the Northeast I'd also recommend that you get a couple of Mixed Dozens from Dunkin Donuts.
posted by Scientist at 6:35 PM on August 7, 2012

If they did this for someone "don't know us from Adam" this is probably their modus operandi - they're just absolutely awesome people.

Definitely speak to their receptionist (assuming that they have one), manager/owner if they don't, and tell them what you told us and ask for their advice on how best to show your appreciation.

You don't want to risk accidentally showing up with bbq from a place they don't like/rival place/weird relationship hate or if they know their beer and you give them a case of bud light that they aren't going to drink, or seem like a snob by giving them premium whole beans and they don't even have a chopper much less a grinder or if they prefer instant.

Also tell them that you were so impressed that you spread the word on internet communities and will continue to do so when it's appropriate and you noticed, and maybe that you even solicited advice from "the world" and tell them what we've suggested. Might be a laugh in there, to be shared, which is its own currency.
posted by porpoise at 8:57 PM on August 7, 2012

I've often heard from some of my favorite business providers that the best favor I can give them is to recommend them to my friends and family. Start there if at all possible, because new customers are a gift that can reward them many times over.
posted by germdisco at 10:47 PM on August 7, 2012

Scotch? Pshaw. One of our two fine Tennessee Whiskeys might work.

I'd probably go with Barbecue. Here's how I'd do it. Call the barbecue place and pay for the order. Then have the barbecue place call and arrange a drop off. Then the shop will get it on a good day and at a good time.
posted by 26.2 at 11:22 AM on August 8, 2012

Some good beef jerky is a shop favorite.
posted by kanaan_minks at 11:05 PM on August 8, 2012

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