Kinder Fee Per Finder, Keeper
June 29, 2008 7:09 PM   Subscribe

What's a fair finder's fee for someone who sent me a buyer for my used car? The mechanic who services our family's cars is a super nice guy, and does a terrific job as well. Recently we mentioned to him that we were selling one of our cars (a 1998 Camry, if it matters), and he mentioned it to a number of his other clients until he found someone who was interested in buying it. The deal went down today, and I'd love to toss a few bills his way to thank him for his help. What's an appropriate sum and/or percentage? I was thinking $300, which is about 5% of the sale price of the car. What do you guys think? Oh, and I'd also like to say that I'm REALLY proud of the title I came up with for this AskMe. Thankyouverymuch.
posted by AngerBoy to Work & Money (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
5% seems like quite a bit, but entirely fair. I am sure he will appreciate it, or even decline it.
posted by SirStan at 7:16 PM on June 29, 2008

$300 on a $6K sale sounds cool to me
posted by Mr_Chips at 7:18 PM on June 29, 2008

If he just took it upon himself to tell people, and there was no talk of a fee, $300 is quite generous. I don't think 90% of people would think of being that generous. (Based on research I just pulled outta my arse.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:20 PM on June 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sounds more than fair. You can bet that a "professional" would never kick back 5% (e.g., sending business to a realtor friend has maybe netted me a bouquet of flowers, at best).
posted by drmarcj at 7:24 PM on June 29, 2008

I think four cases of ice cold beer would be just as appreciated.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:47 PM on June 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

A used Camry that is well cared for is probably one of the easiest cars to sell. A well cared for used Camry at a fair price is probably one of the hardest cars to find. I say the purchaser might consider a finders fee, not you.
posted by snowjoe at 7:49 PM on June 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

My father-in-law owns a dealership, and he gives $100 to anyone who sends him a buyer. I think $300 is excessive.
posted by Coffeemate at 8:06 PM on June 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Get ready for a greasy lip print on each cheek.
posted by jamjam at 8:29 PM on June 29, 2008

I think four cases of ice cold beer would be just as appreciated.

I agree with this. I know some people that might think cash is a bit crass. He was doing a favor for a friend, not a sale for commission, right?

Since you know this guy, you might be better able to judge, but if I were you, I'd think more gift than money. Does he have a family? A $50-100 gift card to take the family out to a nice restaurant (well, something like an Outback, not white tablecloths or anything) is often well appreciated.
posted by SuperNova at 8:29 PM on June 29, 2008

I'll suggest a couple of choice tickets to a sporting event, if he's into that kind of thing (and if appropriate to your area).
posted by Rock Steady at 8:39 PM on June 29, 2008

And I threw you a fave for the nice title. Buy yourself something real nice.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:40 PM on June 29, 2008

Car dealerships only pay fifty or one hundred bucks for a lead...if you can spare the 300 bucks, your guy would be really thrilled, tho. I am all for keeping a good mechanic happy.
posted by konolia at 8:46 PM on June 29, 2008

drmarcj, as an aside, if you aren't also a realtor it is illegal for your realtor to give you money for a lead. Believe me, if it were legal, they'd do it.
posted by konolia at 8:47 PM on June 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

A hundred bucks is a hundred more than he is expecting.

Use the other $200 to help pay your next bill from him.
posted by Exchequer at 9:28 PM on June 29, 2008

$300 sounds like a fair amount, and a bargain if you consider that in future you'll have an intensely loyal mechanic who will remember the great customer that gave him a commission he wasn't expecting, and will be a lot more kindly disposed toward you when you need emergency repairs or a really difficult job done. Think of it as an investment in a long term relationship.
posted by motown missile at 9:44 PM on June 29, 2008

$300 and he'll think you want more than a referral.

I'd get him $75 and a good leatherman.
posted by mecran01 at 10:20 PM on June 29, 2008

Just don't let it get wierd the next time you go to him. He will feel obligated to you if you give too much. Give him an envelope with some tickets to a movie, some coupons and a $100 note.
posted by ChabonJabon at 2:27 AM on June 30, 2008

I agree with the chorus that $300 is excessive. He was just talking up your car to people that he interacted with. And you definitely want to say thank you, but you don't want it to seem like a commission (unless you do: your question is vague on whether you mentioned at the outset that "he'd get something for his trouble" or some other explicit mention of a commission or tip). If you didn't mention it, I very much doubt he's expecting more than a thank you card and maybe some small gift, like a case of beer. I think going above and beyond that is nice: maybe something for him (beer, whiskey, tickets, centerfolds for the shop) and something for his family (like the gift card mentioned above, or a gas card) would be appropriate and very much appreciated.

P.S. - I love my mechanic, so I know what it's like to find someone you trust and I would definitely want to do something nice for him if he had helped me in the same way.
posted by zpousman at 6:48 AM on June 30, 2008

That mechanic is either going to give you the best future service you could have ever hoped for ... or tell you that all your cars are borked and he knows some people who might be interested in buying them. ;)
posted by metajc at 8:14 AM on June 30, 2008

I'd say that a lot of it depends on your relationship with your mechanic.

That sort of gratuity can be awkward.
Nthing the "Get him a pair of tickets" recommendations.

Also, do your part by referring people to his business.
posted by terpia at 9:57 AM on June 30, 2008

« Older Vietnam War Songs.   |   Love = Love Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.