What Is A Trunk Slammer In The MSP Space?

old car illustrating trunk slamming concept
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    A trunk slammer is a slang term in the MSP world for a small MSP or break fix shop, usually 1-2 employees that provides low quality service, and is highly prone to going out of business.

    Larger MSPs tend to use this term derogatorily to refer to these smaller MSPs because small MSPs tend to pop up and close down very quickly as they are confronted with the harsh realities of running an MSP beyond just the technical skill required or are unable to service customers at an adequate level. Whatever the case may be, trunk slammers tend to attract low-budget customers that are shopping on price and aren’t savvy enough purchasers to know the difference in price relative to value with a small shop vs. a more established MSP. These trunk slammer shops tend to mishandle the accounts or go out of business leaving their customers scrambling to find a new provider that can service their needs. This often leads them back to more established MSPs who are left with cleaning up the mess the trunk slammer made.

    msp owner explaining concept of a trunk slammer in discord

    Trunk slammers tend to charge rock-bottom prices and call themselves MSPs, when in reality they are more often break-fix shops. $50 an hour could cover a full-time employee’s labor if they never had to sell or manage a business, but it’s nearly impossible to run a business charging those prices in the United States. There’s no room to purchase the adequate tools, insurance, marketing, or other necessities required to run an MSP at those prices. That’s where the joke comes in, it’s like a guy shows up at your house to fix your plumbing in a 15-year Toyota Corolla and pulls a few worn tools out of his trunk. You can be pretty sure that you’re going to wind up with a flooded basement.

    Much like you wouldn’t want a flooded basement in your home, you don’t want one in your business. Be aware of the risks of hiring such a small shop. As the comments below illustrate they are unlikely to have adequate insurance, may be selling questionably sourced hardware, or present other risks to your business.

    trunk slammers dont carry insurance
    questionable hardware source from a trunk slammer
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    Hunter Nelson

    Hunter is the founder and president of Tortoise and Hare Software, a digital marketing agency for managed service providers. Hunter has more than 10 years’ experience building web applications and crafting digital strategies for companies ranging from scrappy startups to Fortune 50 household names. When not on the clock, you'll find him spending time with his family and pups, relaxing on the beach, or playing competitive online video games. See for more.

    2 Comments

    1. Joseph Dunphy on November 20, 2022 at 6:29 am

      assumes reader knows what MSP is

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