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updated: 2/13/2012 4:11 PM

Skokie body shops bids on car repair after drivers submit photo

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Kevin Leland

"I was on the way back from getting a quote at a body shop to fix some damage on my car and heard the radio ad," said Ted Widen, a resident of Winnetka. "I literally pulled over and wrote down the website."

The ad Widen heard was for BodyShopBids, a local company that partners with auto body shops in the city and suburbs to provide consumers with auto repair estimates. Every auto shop in the network is vetted by the staff at BodyShopBids.

"I downloaded the app, took pictures through my iPhone and immediately sent the pictures and described the damage," said Widen. After Widen took photos of the damage with his phone and submitted them through the BodyShopBids smartphone app, local body shops sent him estimates.

"I picked the lowest bid, which saved me about $300 on the original quote," Widen said. The shop Widen selected was Advanced Auto Body in Skokie. "The best thing was they picked up my car and dropped it off."

Freddy Yonan, owner of Advanced Auto Body, explained that he uses BodyShopBids to bring in customers that might not have visited his shop before.

"Once you get repeat business, you're going to get more referrals," Yonan said. "At the end of the day, it's all about more business."

Other Skokie shops included in the network are McCormick Auto Body, Imperial Auto Works, Tony's Collision Care Center and Nick & Ernie's Auto Works.