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  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeteast99
    I have a few questions. Do you run the business out of a shop or are you mobile? Whats the majority of the work, wash and waxes?


    I run it out f my house. We are 100% mobile.



    About half is retail work. Average cost: $220. (Things are expensive in the DC Metro)



    I started out with all retail, but have slowly been learning the wholesale side and found it to be more consistent and more profitable, just not as straight forward to learn.

  2. #17
    Forza Auto Salon David Fermani's Avatar
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    From direct experience, Volume/wholesale detailing & Autopian style of detail are complete polar opposites. Personally, if you desire to make an unlimited amount of income, owning a successful volume operation is the only way!
    Metro Detroit`s leader in cleaning, preserving & perfecting fine automobiles!

  3. #18

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    I see both sides, and with this people autopia, I think for the most of us here our work borders compulsion and perfection.



    I think pretty much the bottom line is, if you want to put yourself in business as far as clean/detailing cars you have to offer what the "market" and i use that lightly, will go for.



    For one person who might say to himself "I`m only doing concours level work, nothing else", he might get a great $600+ once a year detail thats great however if nobody else wants that I hope he has a second business...:ignore. On the flip side, if it would never be worth your time to do anything other than top dollar concours type work, then thats great for that guy too.



    That being said, I work only by word of mouth/ referrals, and some of the referrals even from people who pay hundreds more than I could ever justify(fortunatly I am my own detailer), these customers I periodically get calls from want your simple wash/wax/vac/wipedown style as above. Am I going to say no eventhough the majority of my customers pay 10x what that would cost this person? Hell no. I have bills to pay, graduate school tuition to pay, rapport to build with customers and a quality unrivalled service to provide.



    You go to where the market is. Depending on the situation if you don`t you might be broke or offer unsellable services.



    That being said, it`s Saturday night my friends...I`ll holler.

  4. #19

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    IMO, I think your looking for the tunnel wash forum, there is one, however, I dont recall the URL.



    PM Deanski, he knows the name.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Fermani
    From direct experience, Volume/wholesale detailing & Autopian style of detail are complete polar opposites. Personally, if you desire to make an unlimited amount of income, owning a successful volume operation is the only way!


    Different games. Customers are the headaches in high-end work, employees are the headache in volume work.



    Tell `em the screwdriver story Dave .
    Once you buff black, you never go back

  6. #21
    JAFO Junebug's Avatar
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    I see both sides too. My regular job is selling service contracts on electrical equipment - back up systems for data centers, hopitals, banks, millitary - ok you get the idea! Anyway, battery maintenance is a big part of our business and we charge a lot for it. It can be risky, dangerous work but 99% of the time, anyone with a basic knowledge of DC systems and a few hundred bucks worth of tools - can charge HALF! what we charge and still make a sh!t load of money. Are they as good? They could be, and we`ve had field engineers decide to quit and do batt jobs - less hassle, they already have a relationship with customers and they make more money. Bottom line is - especially in this economy, people are looking for the best bang for the buck. And like Accumulator pointed out - most people are NOT autopians and don`t fell the need (desire?) to get a car 100%, they want their daily driver cleaned and waxed and they ain`t going to pay a lot for it. Dutrow - you may be on to something, stick with it - I wish you the best.

  7. #22

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    This whole thread gave me a funny thought. I think the typical Autopian pro, works alone (or sometimes with another Autopian), precisely because of the OCD nature of an Autopian. The self-satisfaction, as well as the non-reliance on other people (who might not be quite as compulsive).



    And just to repeat myself and echo some of the other members, there`s certainly room for everybody in this world, and on this forum. I think it`s just a big business/small business dichotomy, and as I said above, I think the general Autopian mindset lends itself to the latter.

  8. #23

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    This thread is like going to a Prius forum and talking about Hummer owners not being represented...

  9. #24

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    I will link you to my previous thread with a similar premise:

    http://www.autopia.org/forum/profess...detailing.html





    It appears that Setec had missed that thread because it lacks any cynical posts from him (or any of the other aloof posts). This site isn`t exclusive to any certain type of detailing. It is those members that make it an imaginary exclusive club.



    We discuss detailing in many different levels. No type of detailing is `not allowed`. I have especially found it more accepting in the Professional forum than the General Discussion...

    I wonder why...
    - Todd Schmidt -

    Auto Reconditioning Specialist

    and Master of Shine



    TS Detailing

    Wisconsin`s Premier Mobile Detailing Specialist

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by 07e90
    This thread is like going to a Prius forum and talking about Hummer owners not being represented...


    Or going to the NASA forum and talking about how to adapt carbon fiber originally developed for satellites to make a stronger and lighter bicycle frame.

  11. #26
    You WILL like my work! jayjacque's Avatar
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    I`m not a pro detailer by any stretch, but I guess the subject is realistic to a degree. You gotta go with what makes you money and maintains a comfortable profit margin. Still rubs me the wrong way though. I come on here to learn to excel and really appreciate the pro`s sharing their experiences with products & application, detailing, tips, tricks, problem solving, etc. Some of the good OTC products also get their due respect.

  12. #27

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    I don`t know... detailing is a hobby for me. So, if I can get paid for doing it, it`s just a bonus for me. At this point in time I`m not really concerned about $/hr considering I have many avenues of making money.
    Devil Pad

    Professional Automotive Detailing

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by todd@bsaw
    I will link you to my previous thread with a similar premise:

    http://www.autopia.org/forum/profess...detailing.html





    It appears that Setec had missed that thread because it lacks any cynical posts from him (or any of the other aloof posts). This site isn`t exclusive to any certain type of detailing. It is those members that make it an imaginary exclusive club.



    We discuss detailing in many different levels. No type of detailing is `not allowed`. I have especially found it more accepting in the Professional forum than the General Discussion...

    I wonder why...


    You know, I`m really sorry if that`s the way I came off or if that`s the way you interpreted it. If you looked at my post history a bit more, you would see that I have on many occasions defended members` right to post what they want and express their opinions, as I would for this OP.



    I`m not sure how you consider this statement from my last post "aloof" or "exclusionary":



    "And just to repeat myself and echo some of the other members, there`s certainly room for everybody in this world, and on this forum. I think it`s just a big business/small business dichotomy, and as I said above, I think the general Autopian mindset lends itself to the latter. "



    I was just expressing my observation and opinion about the general tilt of the membership, and believe it or not I thought of you when I was composing my post, as you came to mind as one of the members whose business seemed to align with the OP`s.



    If you knew anything about me personally, you would also know that I subscribe to the OP`s theory that a volume/production detailer is a required service, and that there is as much knowledge and skill required, in a different way, to be successful at that as there is to detail half-million dollar exotics. If you ever read any of the "economics" discussions we have here from time to time, you would see that I reject the notions that there is not a place for every industry and worker here in the US, that we can somehow get by on the "aloof" notion that we can be a country of only white collars, that makes nothing, or that we can "subcontract" the perceived cheap labor or "dirty" jobs out to a less-developed or perceived to be "lesser" country.



    My father used to be proud of the fact that he didn`t make pencils, a job that he seemed to feel was beneath him or was for a lesser person. I noticed he wrote with a pencil every day, and had quite a collection of them, an irony not lost on me.

  14. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by todd@bsaw
    I will link you to my previous thread with a similar premise:

    http://www.autopia.org/forum/profess...detailing.html





    It appears that Setec had missed that thread because it lacks any cynical posts from him (or any of the other aloof posts). This site isn`t exclusive to any certain type of detailing. It is those members that make it an imaginary exclusive club.


    Oh, and I didn`t miss that thread. However, you presented yourself and your frustration at not being able to provide the services that you felt your customers needed or their vehicles deserved, because they would not pay for it, as opposed to the OP here who seems to be on the defensive.



    I noticed this quote from your originating post in that thread: "This is an area of concern for me because I am much happier (and more talented) working on paint correction, not scraping old apple sauce from the floor of a minivan or vacuuming up french fries from between the drivers seat." A statement some might perhaps find cynical and aloof

  15. #30

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    Dutrow, I think I have a lot in common with you. I love coming on here to see what others are doing, as many of you do work that I simply don`t have the skills to do but am fascinated by. The level of perfection that most strive for here is to be commended, but not why I got into detailing in the first place.



    My story:



    My wife and I had a cleaning business, working for some apartment communities. At one point we had a huge account with a large property management firm, and our business was set to go over 6 figures in profit. Things were quite good. One day we went to our clients to clean for them, and found out that they had just sold out to multiple other companies and broken up the lot of communities. In one day we lost everything, as these new companies used in-house employees to handle what we had been contracted to do.



    In the ensuing mess, we knew that we had to do something to get money coming in. I had the idea for a mobile car wash, or a mobile wash and wax operation, before knowing that such things even existed. After looking online I found that I wasn`t the first to have such an idea, and I built my own small business detailing vehicles my way. I do absolutely zero paint correction, but I`ve been doing this now for about 4 years, and my area seems to be pointed toward budget detailing moreso than the concourse detailing. At first, people balked at paying more than $50 to get their vehicle taken care of. Now I get more than that, offering my brand of details for $90 and $120. I do no dealer work, as the dealers here that I`ve contacted won`t pay more than $75 for anything. My work comes from working class people that want their vehicle to shine for a while. I give people what they want, and although I do enjoy what I do, I enjoy it on their level, one that doesn`t expect perfection. There are pictures of my work on my website, and I think I make my customer`s vehicles look great, as do they. Could I be better at what I do and strive for perfection? Yes, and I`d love to know how to do it. Would they pay for it though? No way, so it would be a waste of my time.



    I would love to know how you built your business, Dutrow. I`m good at getting business, but my wife and I have our cleaning business still (focusing on individual homes now and doing great) and I still do the work in both businesses. I would love to see how someone like you went from doing the work to having others do it, and how you find people that will actually do it for you. If I could be freed up to go get accounts rather than do the accounts myself, I could really blow this thing open. On the 29th I have a biweekly wash service starting at 2 office complexes, offering an ONR wash, wheel cleaning, interior wipedown, vacuum, and windows for $30 or so depending on the size of the vehicles. I could get many more complexes set up if I had people doing the work for me. I`ve just never really known how to get people to do the work for me and how to handle paying them best.



    So, there are others like you that enjoy what they do and take pride in what they do, but are in it for the money as a business, not as a perfectionist. You are just much further along in the process than someone like myself is at this point.

 

 
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