Modded Mustang Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
I'm, Ron Burgundy?
Joined
·
6,908 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is it a practical way to make a living? Say I go open a shop or something and business is good all throughout the summer. What happens in the winter when nobody wants their cars detailed?
 

·
Hey Everybody, Come See How Hard I Parked!
Joined
·
13,873 Posts
I used to have my own side business with a tx id number and everything! I did it on the weekends and what not. I made 7K in a year just during it on my free time! I think you could make a living if overhead cost was low!
 

·
It's in the details Mod!
Joined
·
11,051 Posts
You can make a living doing it. Plenty of people do. It is all about finding your niche. Fleet, aircraft, marine, wash and wax, paint correction etc and be Damn good doing it. Build up your client list, and start off slow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,175 Posts
You have to have clients first before you start up and then you need to see what it is that you want to focus on. I am going to make $1500 on this 3 stage paint correction and detail job I am doing right now. I was originally going to get $1300 but I had to add a few more hours to the quote sine the clear on this 2011 5.0 GT/CS is extremely hard and taking longer than expected. I charge by the hour to ensure I cover materials, my labor and of course my overhead. Find what you like to do and see if there is a market for it then go from there. Also in the winter do interior details since thats what people focus on the most during those times and do ONR washes for those clients that you have already done correction and or protection work for;)
 

·
I'm, Ron Burgundy?
Joined
·
6,908 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
As of now, I have 1 client. She is sending all of her friends to me because their local detailer shut down. Then I had a lady contact me and she works at a DR's office and they all got their vehicles detailed by a guy that no longer does it. I just can't justify quitting my job right now to do it because I may have 5 wash and waxes one week and just 1 wash the next. I would love to open my own shop or mobile business because you can make good money at it if you're willing to put in the effort and it's something I actually enjoy doing. But people keep telling me you can't make a living off of detailing cars but I don't believe that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,435 Posts
Here's the thing. The general population has no idea what REAL detailing about. The general population will faint when you try to explain to them what a real detail is and how much it costs. So this leaves you with a huge problem since this is really the only way to make money. There isn't money to be made doing a simple wash and wax. The money just isn't there. If you can line clients up that understand and accept the cost of a true detail than you could do it. I simply have no desire to detail other people's cars for money. However money talks. The only time I've ever detailed for money I made $1700 for doing a full detail on a LP640 that ended up being 18 hours. I told him I would do it for $1200 and when I was done and he saw it he ended up giving me an extra $500. This kind of customer is how you can make a living. Sure this is the extreme but you get the picture.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
76,434 Posts
Love what you do but don't do what you love...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,175 Posts
I with with Michael and Chris but if you really want to do this go for it man and let us know how it goes:)
 

·
I'm, Ron Burgundy?
Joined
·
6,908 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I mean I love doing it. I have learned alot over the past year reading this section and trying all the different products. I did a Suburban Thursday, then yesterday I did a Silverado, a Cadillac and an oldsmobile all in the same day, and I realized that I could possibly see myself doing this full time. I just don't know how big the demand is for around here and I'm not willing to give up my full time job just yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,175 Posts
I mean I love doing it. I have learned alot over the past year reading this section and trying all the different products. I did a Suburban Thursday, then yesterday I did a Silverado, a Cadillac and an oldsmobile all in the same day, and I realized that I could possibly see myself doing this full time. I just don't know how big the demand is for around here and I'm not willing to give up my full time job just yet.
I am guessing washing and waxing
 

·
I'm, Ron Burgundy?
Joined
·
6,908 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I washed, waxed, and interior on the suburban. Just wash and interior on the caddy and silverado, and wash wax glaze and interior on the oldsmobile
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,175 Posts
I washed, waxed, and interior on the suburban. Just wash and interior on the caddy and silverado, and wash wax glaze and interior on the oldsmobile
I have been told by pro detailers that the most money they make are from wash, clay and wax jobs but you have to consider that they also charge $400 to $450 to do it since they are pros an have an established business in a metropolitan area and use high quality products like Swissvax, Zymol, etc. I doubt you can charge that much or even half of that so its is hard, but if find your niche being wash, clay, wax and interior jobs then stick to that. With maybe an occasional paint correction. I say that because paint correction work take a toll on your tools, and uses several of products. Thats why I charge $35 an hour I wont paint correct for anything less because I have to take into account I am using my polishes, pads, and several other products that will eventually need replenishing. Not only that it takes several hours to get a vehicle in prefect condition if that is the request of the customer. Those few hour detail jobs that your doing now can be knocked out... well in a few hours so you can do two or three a day without using so many products that are costly and make a decent amount of cash if you charge something like $150 or more for each.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,604 Posts
I do some side work back here for friends and colleagues and it's a good way to pick up a couple extra bucks.

90% of the general population has no clue what true detailing is about. They think that a brush wash is the best way to get their car clean, and then they like drying with their bath towels because they're "soft and absorbent".

Here's what I do for friends and it makes me a couple bucks and makes them happy because they know I'm doing it right and taking my time.

Basic Hand Wash - $12 - Meguiars Gold Class, Two Bucket, Sheepskin Mitt, Drying with a Leaf Blower and Blotting with a Waffle Weave MF. Takes me 45 minutes, and my overhead cost is nothing but a bit of shampoo.

Wash with Wheels $18 - Same as above, I just use some Zep Citrus and scrub the wheels followed with a Meguiars Hot Tire.

Wash, Wheels and Interior Cleaning - $26 - Same as above, but I vacuum out their interior, Q-Tip their vents, treat the dash. If you have leather and want it treated, add $8.

Wash, Wheels, Interior, Clay, and Wax - $100 - I also don't use my AutoGlym here. I've done this twice for people and it's been with Mother's Carnuaba Cleaner Wax. It's an inexpensive, good quality wax that people really love the results from (I also like Mother's products in general from what I've tried. I'd be interested to try more).

Under Hood Detailing is $35 by itself

I'll do a wash, wheels, interior and under hood combo for $50

If you want some extra cash, try it out man.

When I get my Porter Cable here at the end of may, one of my professors has a Lease return on his BMW 3-Series and want's a top to bottom detail and is willing to pay me $800 for it. He knows his stuff though, so he wants quality and he's willing to pay for it. I washed my friend Lindsey's car and did her interior two weekends ago, and this girl doesn't know a battery cable from a throttle cable. She LOVED it. She thought $26 was a great price and it only took me two and a half hours. After expenses, I made about $10 an hour. Not terrible. Not great...but not terrible.

Just be reasonable in your prices and don't be a 110% perfectionist like you are with your own car. When doing stuff like this, you need to be as much of a businessman as you are a professional. Time=money. If you're spending too much time on something that your average client is going to reeeally really notice, you're wasting your own money. You need to find that perfect balance between professional work and time efficiency. That's how successful companies of this nature run.

By the way, once I order my PC, I'm coming to you guys to find out which package from AutoGeek y'all think is best. :)
 

·
9k All Day.
Joined
·
3,449 Posts
oh man noco, i charge 100$ for just a full on interior detail by itself, but i do it all, under seats, inside of seats, carpet clean, etc.

if they want the car washed? 20$ extra.
wheels done good? add 15$

im most likely going to have 3 cars to do this week/next, whenever my pads come in.
1st car is a hyundai genisis (sp?) brand spankin new, in white.
swirls out the ass, and tons of rail dust.
its going to need the whole 9 yards.
2nd is a almost brand new (7k miles) cadillac cts4, again, not as swirly, but only going to require a polish/wax.
and if the car is there, a Mitsubishi EVO IX(9) thats in very poor condition, now, its dsg, so you really cant see all the problems...but it probably hasnt had any protection on it in 2 years....and last week i washed it/cleaned the interior for the first time...in 2 years.
again, its going to need the 15 yards.
im not sure what to charge for all three, so maybe danny and the rest of the guys can help me out?
i was thinking 500+?
remember, the insides of all the cars are done, and it's 50$ worth of gas to get to his house. hell, i might even sleep over, and work through the night.
(they are like family, just not blood related)
I could go on forever, but maybe someone can help me?
tips for white and black paint correction?
should i start a thread?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,175 Posts
By the way, once I order my PC, I'm coming to you guys to find out which package from AutoGeek y'all think is best. :)
I wouldnt buy a PC from Autogeek because their packages suck the cobra microfibers unravel, believe me I know I bought mine their. Also the backing plate they give you in the 5.5" packages is cheap and doesnt last long at all before you have to buy another. I suggest you get a package from Phil at Detailers Domain he is one of our vendors and you get a discount of 10% and has the best customer service from any detailing supply store I have ever ordered from... and I have placed orders at alot. Also his packages come with his Uber pads which are some of the best there is and several Uber microfiber towels no just two like autogeek.

oh man noco, i charge 100$ for just a full on interior detail by itself, but i do it all, under seats, inside of seats, carpet clean, etc.

if they want the car washed? 20$ extra.
wheels done good? add 15$

im most likely going to have 3 cars to do this week/next, whenever my pads come in.
1st car is a hyundai genisis (sp?) brand spankin new, in white.
swirls out the ass, and tons of rail dust.
its going to need the whole 9 yards.
2nd is a almost brand new (7k miles) cadillac cts4, again, not as swirly, but only going to require a polish/wax.
and if the car is there, a Mitsubishi EVO IX(9) thats in very poor condition, now, its dsg, so you really cant see all the problems...but it probably hasnt had any protection on it in 2 years....and last week i washed it/cleaned the interior for the first time...in 2 years.
again, its going to need the 15 yards.
im not sure what to charge for all three, so maybe danny and the rest of the guys can help me out?
i was thinking 500+?
remember, the insides of all the cars are done, and it's 50$ worth of gas to get to his house. hell, i might even sleep over, and work through the night.
(they are like family, just not blood related)
I could go on forever, but maybe someone can help me?
tips for white and black paint correction?
should i start a thread?
I suggest you charge by the hour so choose a rate to start at and then estimate how long its going to take you to do the job and then add 3 to 4 hours on top of that to ensure you dont get screwed if its a multistage correction job because I can almost guarantee you will go over the estimated time. On the 2011 5.0 GT/CS I went over by 2.25 hours and thats that I had to call the manager at the body shop and let him know that my 28 hour estimate had to go to 33 hours. So I coudnt ask him again for the addional 2.25 hours so I lost out on $80. Because it actually took me 35.25 hours just on the correction and delivery. It was the delivery time that got me.

On the Evo be careful because I have heard the paint is very thin on them right out of the factory also its on the soft side so dont go with an aggressive combo. Always do a test spot with a light polish and pad. Also remember your just starting out in correction work so be careful mask everything really well you wouldnt want to mess something up and you have to pay out of pocket to repair it because your not insured. And yes start a detailed thread on this for more help from me and guys.:)
 

·
I'm, Ron Burgundy?
Joined
·
6,908 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I charge $25 for wash with wheels, tire shine, and a quick detailer, $25 to add wax, $30 to add sealant, $30 to add glaze, $25 for interior, $30 for engine bay, then $25 an hour for paint correction. I have only done one paint correction so far and that was to get water spots out. I made $150 on that one and he was pretty pleased with the results.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
76,434 Posts
I charge $25 for wash with wheels, tire shine, and a quick detailer, $25 to add wax, $30 to add sealant, $30 to add glaze, $25 for interior, $30 for engine bay, then $25 an hour for paint correction. I have only done one paint correction so far and that was to get water spots out. I made $150 on that one and he was pretty pleased with the results.
I just dont see that adding up to a good paycheck...Looks to be just enough to cover the products...

I don't know about you but I just couldn't sustain my life style without bringing in $2k - $3k per week...And detailing just doesn't seem to do that...

Plus like I said before you do not want to do what you love for a living as 98% of the time you end up hating it in the end...Now don't get me wrong its a nice side hustle...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,604 Posts
I wouldnt buy a PC from Autogeek because their packages suck the cobra microfibers unravel, believe me I know I bought mine their. Also the backing plate they give you in the 5.5" packages is cheap and doesnt last long at all before you have to buy another. I suggest you get a package from Phil at Detailers Domain he is one of our vendors and you get a discount of 10% and has the best customer service from any detailing supply store I have ever ordered from... and I have placed orders at alot. Also his packages come with his Uber pads which are some of the best there is and several Uber microfiber towels no just two like autogeek.
Thanks dude. I appreciate the advice. I'll make sure that's what I do then!
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top