Page 6 of 8 FirstFirst 12345678 LastLast
Results 76 to 90 of 114
  1. #76
    Holden_C04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,587
    Post Thanks / Like
    Kudos to all involved. I am really surprised this thread didn`t get locked. Dutrow, you care a lot more about quality than most shops I know. That means something.

  2. #77

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    131
    Post Thanks / Like
    I have really enjoyed this thread as well. Dutrow, some of your posts could have been written by me, almost in their entirety. I really agree with the point about interiors. I get so many customers that let me know they really just care about the inside, but the price was good so I might as well do something to the outside as well. None of my customers have ever really cared about keeping up on the waxing of their vehicle, but if the inside gets dirty, they`ll call me out. They are usually thrilled with the exterior, which shows that they just don`t have a lot of expectations as far as that goes.



    In my area, the detail goes in this order of importance:



    1. Price

    2. Interior

    3. Exterior



    My website has also been responsible for getting me a lot of work. People will tell me that it really stood out to them and caught their attention, then they looked at my prices and photos, and then what I actually do last. I try to tailor my services to what the market in my area will bear. If I lived in other areas of the country I would probably do something different. I do this as a business first, but if I`m going to do something, I`m going to give it all I have for the services that I`m being paid for, even if just a basic wash.

  3. #78

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ashburn, VA
    Posts
    2,078
    Post Thanks / Like
    Interesting thread. In general, autopians detailing expectations are much higher than average. I would say that most here do detailing more as a hobby than a profession. Those of us that do detail for a living have to make a profit above all else. Do not get me wrong, quality is very important to me and my business. At the end of the day it does come down to money though. The three years I have been in business full time have been a very good learning experience to me. I feel I am offering services that are a great value and high quality. I strive to operate efficiently as possible by buying great equipment and using high quality products that are cost effective. The more efficient you operate the less you have to raise your prices to be profitable. I have decided to concentrate on the maintenance aspect of the market. I have signed up a good number of clients for maintenance detailing (wash and vacuum) on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. This gives me x amount of guaranteed income throughout the year. I have stopped offering my wash and vacuum service unless there is monthly or bi-weekly service agreement. I also offer mini-details and full details. I find I rarely do full paint correction because most people do not want to pay me $40 an hour. Most are just interested in maintaining their new car and having it protected a few times a year. Those types of customer`s understand that what I do preserves their car`s appearance much better than a car wash. I would also much rather work on cars that are maintained regularly as opposed to cars that have been neglected for years. The types of customer`s who do neglect their cars are least likely to be repeat customers in the near future.
    Brad Will- Owner

    Reflections Auto Salon LLC

  4. #79

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    89
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by brwill2005
    Interesting thread. In general, autopians detailing expectations are much higher than average. I would say that most here do detailing more as a hobby than a profession. Those of us that do detail for a living have to make a profit above all else. Do not get me wrong, quality is very important to me and my business. At the end of the day it does come down to money though. The three years I have been in business full time have been a very good learning experience to me. I feel I am offering services that are a great value and high quality. I strive to operate efficiently as possible by buying great equipment and using high quality products that are cost effective. The more efficient you operate the less you have to raise your prices to be profitable. I have decided to concentrate on the maintenance aspect of the market. I have signed up a good number of clients for maintenance detailing (wash and vacuum) on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. This gives me x amount of guaranteed income throughout the year. I have stopped offering my wash and vacuum service unless there is monthly or bi-weekly service agreement. I also offer mini-details and full details. I find I rarely do full paint correction because most people do not want to pay me $40 an hour. Most are just interested in maintaining their new car and having it protected a few times a year. Those types of customer`s understand that what I do preserves their car`s appearance much better than a car wash. I would also much rather work on cars that are maintained regularly as opposed to cars that have been neglected for years. The types of customer`s who do neglect their cars are least likely to be repeat customers in the near future.


    Ok, you are doing something that I`ve struggled thinking about and deciding if I wanted to handle it or not:



    How do you do the bi-weekly and monthly services in terms of keeping the price reasonable for the customer in terms of reducing your driving and waiting overhead. Driving because you have to drive between locations a lot. And waiting because customers have to come out and give you their keys, or might not be there, etc...?



    About how much do you charge for these services?



    Thanks!

  5. #80

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ashburn, VA
    Posts
    2,078
    Post Thanks / Like
    I do try and keep the price reasonable because (1) they are having me do the service monthly or bi-weekly, and (2) it does not take me long because the cars stay very clean. For a typical sedan the price would be around $50. For me, it is the guaranteed income year round and the fact that the cars stay clean that makes it worth it. Of course this is in addition to the mini-details and full details I do for these and other customers. I am also building long term relationships with these customer`s that will hopefully provide me income for years to come. They trust me to take care of their prized cars like they were my own.
    Brad Will- Owner

    Reflections Auto Salon LLC

  6. #81

    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Posts
    34,077
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by DutrowLLC
    Ok, you are doing something that I`ve struggled thinking about and deciding if I wanted to handle it or not:



    How do you do the bi-weekly and monthly services in terms of keeping the price reasonable for the customer in terms of reducing your driving and waiting overhead. Driving because you have to drive between locations a lot. And waiting because customers have to come out and give you their keys, or might not be there, etc...?



    About how much do you charge for these services?



    Thanks!


    In my case, I schedule all my wash customers on Thursday and Friday and every is set up so all my appointments are in the same general area. I don`t do washes outside of the city I live in at all.
    www.scottwax.com

    Certified Opti-Coat Pro/Pro 3 installer

  7. #82
    Dream Machines SVR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    2,964
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by DutrowLLC
    About 99% of what I learned about detailing aside from trial-and-error, I learned from this forum. However, I`ve noticed that this forum is heavily weighted towards a boutique brand of detailing that in my experience:

    * Is much more difficult

    * Has lower profit margins

    * Is less scalable



    I am an entrepreneur by nature. I did not get into this business because I like to clean cars. I got into this business because I like to do something new every day while I pay other people to clean cars (not that I don`t like getting outside and cleaning cars every once in a while, just not every day)



    I`m writing this thread to see if there are any other people like me on here, and to see if a dialog can be opened up for us to share our experiences, hints, knowledge and know-how.



    A few examples of the kinds of things I do:

    * I avoid services that someone cannot learn how to do in a few days.

    * I NEVER tell customers I will remove scratches or do wet-sanding. I tell them very light scratches will probably be removed or be less visible. I do this because:

    a) It is difficult to communicate to a customer over the phone what kinds of scratches a detailer can and cannot remove and customers have a strong statistical likelihood of under representing the damage.

    b) Most calls I get are from people wanting their cars to look shiny and nice and to clean out the interior that has been trashed by their two year old. Customers who are looking for a detailer experienced with a rotary and wet sanding are, in my experience, a statistical minority.

    c) Proper scratch removal requires a high level of skill as well as assumption of risk. In my experience, it is much more profitable to operate to stick to jobs that are easier, less risky, less expensive for the customer, and more straight-forward.

    * I NEVER use a rotary. Rotaries require a high level of skill and are risky. It is hard to train someone new in a reasonable amount of time to use a rotary. (I use Dual-Action Polisherers)

    * I offer low-cost services in bulk. I use day-laborers for a lot of the wholesale stuff.

    a) Quick washes, spray-waxes, vaccuum, and Dashboard wipe-down for $30 (minimum of 10 cars)

    b) Auto dealerships

    c) vehicle fleets

    d) calcium/cement deposit removal for parking garages (2/3 posts I found on cement removal suggest using vinagar which doesn`t work very well, I use something that dissolves it on contact)

    e) The kicker for all this is I make a lot of money doing this stuff. Using advice and methods on here, I`d have to charge much more and make much less.

    * I have computer software that I wrote myself that handles my scheduling. It uploads a calendar online so that the detailers can view what they are scheduled for and download and print out job information and invoices for the customer. I`m currently having a better version of this software developed my someone else.

    * I use chemicles and products that work very well in my opinion, but seem to be vastly cheaper and easier to use than anything reccommended on here. (Seriously people, why would you want to work just to pay for your supplies and equipment?)



    Some of the products I use are:

    * Turtle Wax Ice Car Wash

    a) Eliminates water spots

    b) leaves paint glossy

    c) costs $6.99/ gal @ Costco

    d) I saw some clown on here offering some boutique car wash that looked like it did the same damn thing on this site for $30/gal.

    * Stoners Products! - I order the cleaners in 5 gallon drums, 55 gallons at a time for the 55 gallon drum price. Shipping is free East side of the Mississippi and usually comes the next day. This company is awesome, they actually develop and manufacture the products themselves. (Stoner is your factory direct source for professional detailing products and car wash chemicals & supplies.)

    -) Bead Max (straight polymer sealant, aerosol can)

    -) Spead Bead (polymer sealant w/ cleaners, aerosol can)

    -) Polish and Seal (One step)

    -) APC (heavy dillutions)

    -) Wheel Cleaner (heavy dillutions)

    -) Trim shine

    -) Tarminator

    -) Window cleaner

    * Microfibres from Costco

    * Odo-Ban from Sams Club

    * Detailing brushes from Wal-Mart ( sells brushes that work great for cup holders and another that is awesome for the crevice between the seats and center console)

    * Zaino - (A good value, in my opinion, for our higher end stuff)



    My Question:

    - I have a lot of questions, but the one I was looking for the answer too that got me side-tracked writing this post is:

    ---Where the heck do I get good polishing pads for cheap???---

    I feel like polishing pads are such a rip-off. They wear out too fast for my taste and cost too much to be just a stupid pad. Right now I use EDGE pads which I think are expensive, but they last longer. I used to use the ones with the velcro backing plates and the backing plates would get all full of gunk that I couldn`t wash off and quit sticking to the pads. I feel like pads should cost a lot less than they do.


    Sure it`s really easy to be like the majority and do fleet work etc and you will make a good living from it

    However what is needed in the world are true professionals not more monkeys with no idea what they are doing (thats not you obviously)



    You`ll never revolutionise the industry or be the best in your state or country if you just do fleet and car yard work

    Yes there are people working in or owning a shop that does fleet work (I know one) but he also does autopian quality work and the shop is flat out with cars



    The results from the typical shop who do non private work last a couple weeks and then it is back to zero again



    The chemicals used by them are cheap and nasty and hazardous to their health
    Car care/detailing sadly isn`t high on the agenda for 98% of australians.

  8. #83

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ashburn, VA
    Posts
    2,078
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Scottwax
    In my case, I schedule all my wash customers on Thursday and Friday and every is set up so all my appointments are in the same general area. I don`t do washes outside of the city I live in at all.


    I have thought about doing this as my scheduling becomes harder, however, I try to be as flexible as possible with the maintenance clients. After all, they are my best customer`s.
    Brad Will- Owner

    Reflections Auto Salon LLC

  9. #84
    JAFO Junebug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,198
    Post Thanks / Like
    You know the biggest problem I have ... besides being overweight, is estimating a detail job. Some times I hit it but others I screw up cause it took way longer than I thought. That is one area that I`m going to fix real quick though, especially after last weekend`s marathon.

  10. #85

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC (actually Iron Station, NC)
    Posts
    1,499
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by JuneBug
    You know the biggest problem I have ... besides being overweight, is estimating a detail job. Some times I hit it but others I screw up cause it took way longer than I thought. That is one area that I`m going to fix real quick though, especially after last weekend`s marathon.




    Well, that comes from experience. It takes a while to be able to nail them...with paints being different from car to car. One thing I`ll do sometimes if I`m not sure, is to quote an extra 2 hours. Then, if I don`t need them, I can charge less that I originally quoted, and the customer is happy. If you are missing by a lot of hours, that`s a different story.
    Ridding the world of swirls, one car at a time!

  11. #86
    Autopia fire/rescue. DaGonz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Marlborough, MA
    Posts
    2,804
    Post Thanks / Like
    As one of the part time, weekend warrior types (I am a firefighter first and a detailer second, my work schedule allows me the freedom to detail) I see that there is room for both the volume/fleet/express detailing as well as the Bella Machina level of detailing.



    It all depends what your market will bear and what your client is willing to spend.



    For example.. I raised my prices for the first time in 2 years. I do just one vehicle a day (well today I did 2... I got another layer of Megs #21 on my Mustang! )... and take my time.



    One customer thought that the increase was an outrage and told me that he would be going elsewhere...



    Of course, he checked out the shops that do it for a living...



    I have his car scheduled for next week :grinno:

  12. #87

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Boca Raton (FAU)
    Posts
    3,378
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by JuneBug
    You know the biggest problem I have ... besides being overweight, is estimating a detail job. Some times I hit it but others I screw up cause it took way longer than I thought. That is one area that I`m going to fix real quick though, especially after last weekend`s marathon.


    I`m never low by less than 4 man-hours in my head. My average high-end job is 10+ man hours when I figure 6, and the "favors" for friends and family are usually 5-6 when I figure two.



    I try to name a price that sounds unreasonably high in my head...by the time I get done, it`s spot on.
    Once you buff black, you never go back

  13. #88

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    706
    Post Thanks / Like
    I tell people sometimes 3-4 hours but take about 6-7.



    I don`t charge them anymore than 1-2 hours over what I said it would take. Its my fault if it took longer and didn`t quote it.

  14. #89
    JAFO Junebug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,198
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks guys, I`m getting better, but sometimes I just miss it by a mile, but I figure it will all come back around like "My Name is Earl" says - karma!

  15. #90

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    3,930
    Post Thanks / Like
    I`ve found it`s best to estimate about 25% more $ and time than you think it will take. In almost all cases it ends up taking that long anyway, and if not you have a surprised and happy customer.
    Click here to see what I`ve been working on, or here to see my YouTube page!

 

 
Page 6 of 8 FirstFirst 12345678 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Quick Detailing, Wholesale Detailing, Fleet Detailing - Underrepresented Here?
    By DutrowLLC in forum Professional Detailer General Discussion
    Replies: 109
    Last Post: 12-24-2011, 06:18 PM
  2. Wholesale Detailing?
    By MirrorDetailing in forum Professional Detailer General Discussion
    Replies: 64
    Last Post: 12-08-2011, 10:18 PM
  3. Fleet detailing prices
    By Bwhite in forum Start your own auto detailing business
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-05-2010, 09:13 PM
  4. Fleet Detailing? How-TO manage 10-20 cars?
    By LoiG37 in forum Detailing Business Management & Marketing
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-08-2009, 01:06 AM
  5. Fleet washing or detailing
    By detailedcars in forum Professional Detailer General Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-27-2005, 12:23 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •