A while back I let my wife use my truck to drive to Iowa to get some used baby furniture from a friend. I sent her with some tie down straps, tarps and bungee cords to tie down and cover the furniture on the 6 hour drive home. Needless to say, one of the bungee cords that was attached to the tarp came loose on her way home and beat the tar out of my tailgate while flapping in the wind.
Step 1: Overview
I took my truck to two different body shops to have the tailgate repainted and the cheapest quote was $500. I'm not joking, $500. Someone at work mentioned I should check the junk yards. Since I'm a huge fan of junk yards, I was in. I checked 2 local junkyards and only found one tailgate that would fit my truck, but it was dented and wouldn't really work.
I finally found a body shop 3 -4 hours away on eBay. I bought a brand new tailgate painted with factory color for $250 shipped. I estimated it would take about 1 hour to do the swap. I'd trade an hour of my time any day to save $250.