THE BLOG
05/24/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Lessons From a Junk Yard

When I arrived home from a speaking engagement in Florida the back window to my car was shattered. My mom was so sweet to want to stock my fridge with groceries before I arrived home and when she pulled out of the garage to go pick up my daughter from school the thought hit her: I left the liftgate up. Too late...it was already crumbling to the cement floor after a corner caught the garage door as it was opening. Insurance said they wouldn't cover it and the quote...ready for this...$2,200!

It doesn't matter how much money you do or don't have in the bank. Being resourceful and getting second, and third, opinions is just smart. Why throw money away if you don't have to? Especially in today's economic environment. But going to a junk yard? Seriously...

For me, the thought of a junk yard in the past was accompanied by visions of disgusting grease caked parts piled high while greased up beer bellied mechanics say, "good luck finding what you need blondie." But with a daunting and obnoxious quote hanging over my head, I listened to my brother and began calling wrecking yards for a rear liftgate. When I arrived at the truck salvage yard, it was totally different than what I expected. The guys were so helpful, the parts all separated and organized and there were cars up for auction that were actually nice!

Although I didn't find what I needed there, the guys in the shop began calling all over San Diego to help me find the part. Now I was on a mission to save money and get what I needed and not settle for a quote from a body shop that would not listen to me when I told them all I needed was the glass, not all the parts that go around it that were in perfect condition. Within a week I was tipped off to a glass company in Santa Ana and was blessed to have Tony at California Auto Glass pick up the phone. I mean this guy was awesome! He had me send him picture text messages so he could match my glass perfectly, told me he would save all my old parts including the panel that matched my SUV and only charge me for the glass. The total cost...$433.

If it wasn't for my allowing myself to let go of my previous programming about junk yards, thinking I am somehow too good or too snooty or too whatever to check out ALL of my options, I would never have done the research it took to find a glass guy that rocked and saved me hundreds of dollars.

My lesson from the junk yard? A little grease never hurt anyone!

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