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Are you a Pro-Detailer?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sometimes wonder when watching this section and reading new people come in and go as they usually do. How many of us consider ourselves pro detailers? When I say pro detailers I am meaning people who have clients and charge real monies for work. Myself I have been around detailing for around 10 years and still consider myself a student and far from a pro detailer that can charge for corrections and such to have customers that come back frequently.

So here is the question of the day...What makes one a pro detailer or someone good enough to charge rates for detailing?

What baffles me is I see people that post up about doing detailing jobs for money but then are asking the most remedial questions...To me this is what gives detailers a very bad name as so many people are out of work now that they have sought avenues of income that they can do quickly and easily (or so they think)...Which has flooded the detailing market with these "pro detailers" that are more or less scratchers (thats what we refer to them in the tattoo industry - pingers in the IT field)...

This isnt directed at anyone person but I see it on here, AG, DB, L2D and a few other sites where people feel if they pick up a HF rotary or DA then they are ready to correct the space shuttle...It just urks me and I wondered if anyone else feels this way as well...To me someone that is saying "hey I have 7 customers to detail this week; what products would you use? I have turtle wax black box, turtle wax ice, and some really soft microfibers I bought from walmart in a bag of 30"...

How does one feel they are a pro but still dont understand proper techniques or product use?
 

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I feel the same way. I have been doing this for a number of years and such. other then doing my neighbors car cause he is a buddy of mine once a year I dont do any others and dont feel like I feel I would ever label my self as a pro..I would call myself an advanced hobbiest. I still feel like i have plenty to learn if i ever wanted to become a TRUE Pro. Just like my photography. I have been doing that for longer then detailing and sure I got thousands and thousands of dollars in camera gear I still dont feel like I could ever try to market myself as a pro for paid clients. I think these days alot of people read a bunch of stuff on the internet and buy some things to do the job and think they can go out and start charging for the service. With all the forums out there for each hobby/carrier it seems people dont feel you need true experiance to start offering the service as a paid job for whatever it is. they read all kind of stuff and then feel like they can d the same thing. Its far from being that easy unless your your job is something like swapping wheels on peoples cars.
 

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M112'd Sixxer
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Im by no means a pro detailer, but i have a couple clients that get me to detail their cars.

I have a 7424XP and a starter detailing kit from Adams(i believe). i polish/wax a 64 Bel Air once a year. I hate masking the trim on that car. And i do car washes here and there.

I havent done any paint correction to date, not comfortable enough with my skills.
Sent from my droid using my fingers.
 

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Potato
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Easy Easy, lol I'm rocking the Cheapshit HF. To be honest it has minor annoyances, it can do a good job, its just loud and not an enjoyable experience when compared to the PC. I am not pro though lol. This is only a hobby for me, but I am confident in myself and my abilities that I can do my own work, and by extension other peoples cars. I only do my own car, friends and neighbors. I usually only want them to pay for new supply and products. Helps keep costs Low. They usually give me money, but its a hobby, not a profession.
 

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Potato
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Just throwing this out there.....

I see "pros" at the detail shop all day, getting paid minimum wage, and using cheapshit no name products. That is their profession, yet I believe I can do a better job. Just because you are paid to do polish does not mean that you are the best. I would rather have ModdedMach do a paint correction, rather than the "pros" down the street.
 

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Cum On Me Bro
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By your definitition, yes I'd consider myself a Pro Detailer. For a while I was doing 2-5ish correction details a month, charging in the $40 an hour range, have a website, clients, the whole thing. Kinda burned me out, even though the money was good. Now I'm still doing it, but not being very aggressive in my marketing, so I just get the odd customer here and there that finds my info somewhere, or is a referral.

I think that I was doing very good work for the money I was charging. I'm by no means comparable to some of the guys over at DB, who have very established businesses and reputations of excellence, but I think I do pretty well and offer a very high end detailing service.
 

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I don't consider myself a pro, and I wouldn't hope any of you guys to think I think I am. I grasp concepts quickly, and can transfer the infomation from text to doing well. But I don't tell people I can do a polish or paint correction because I have never done it. I consider myself at best a hobbyist, I guarantee I do a better Job then the so called detailers locally? Why cause I drive by them "hand drying" a car with simple red shop towels and maybe a chamios or two. And they do a bunch of cars a day at $45 and only time they touch it is to dry it, it seems. They just run the car thru a machine wash. And for a while they were doing my gf car when she was down. She has pretty bad swirling of the paint. Would it wrong for me to have a paying customer for $20 bucks to wash their car I don't think so. But until I'm detailing peoples cars self sufficiently without using their electric and water, or making them wait at my house I will not call myself professional.

this thread made me think of this video... damn cannot get the damn embedding to work.

PRO DETAILER!

i understand it was scripted and stuff but this was a real shop, why does this shop have all this stuff.
sent from Manehatten
 

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Not a Vert
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I feel this is about me lol. Definitely not a pro..obviously. Joyous of my current capabilities and knowledge? Definitely. I'm so happy with what I can do along with what I know right now compared to what I used to do..not to mention what my friends and family do. I've honestly never noticed swirls on any cars up until I started reading in here.
 

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I am definitely no pro. I enjoy detailing and have detailed other people's cars.. but I know I have much more to learn. I also believe that you really can't know everything about a certain subject and should be willing to be taught and refine your techniques.
 

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Resident Ford Rep
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New to the "advanced products/detailing" scene. Willing to learn and am much enjoying doing it as a hobby and trying to make it a side profession. I've always liked taking care of my vehicles as well as others. I was totally oblivious to the "inner circle" of detailing. It is amazing what the right products and techniques can do. I will consider myself an aspiring detail who is at the entry level looking to expand my knowledge and performance as a detailer. And I agree with Gottahaveitgreen. I saw a bran new car with stickers still on the window drive by and holy swirl/holograms batman. It looked like garbage!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I feel this is about me lol. Definitely not a pro..obviously. Joyous of my current capabilities and knowledge? Definitely. I'm so happy with what I can do along with what I know right now compared to what I used to do..not to mention what my friends and family do. I've honestly never noticed swirls on any cars up until I started reading in here.
No this is not directed at anyone person honest to goodness
 

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Bo Baustin
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I guess I used to be a pro, because I got paid to detail. But with the limited exposure to chemicals, pads, tools, research and messing around time Im still ignorant on A LOT.

I chose other. I wouldn't have ever considered myself a pro. To me a professional isn't someone who gets paid for doing something, its someone who is extremely good at what they do. Even though it goes against the definition.
 

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Happy Man
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Just throwing this out there.....

I see "pros" at the detail shop all day, getting paid minimum wage, and using cheapshit no name products. That is their profession, yet I believe I can do a better job. Just because you are paid to do polish does not mean that you are the best. I would rather have ModdedMach do a paint correction, rather than the "pros" down the street.
Modded is going to have an orgasm when he reads this :lmao

I think everyone on here has some sort of day job so is anyone really a pro?

I personally eventually plan on doing these for money as a side thing here and there and see no reason not to. If you can provide a service that people want and you do it correctly/efficiently then I don't see why not.

I have learned a lot over the past few months and spent a lot of hours applying what I have learned. I don't think just reading something teaches you how to do it. The hands on aspect is huge and IMO far more important than reading up on something. I told myself I would do my wife and I's three vehicle's and two of my parents vehicles before I did anyone else's so that I knew I was comfortable with the products I had or had been using and the hardware I had. The last thing you want is for someone to pay you then come back disappointed with the job you took their money for.

I wouldn't say i'm a professional by any definition. My parents are paying me to do their vehicles but that's because they are awesome and supportive. I will say I do believe in what I know and have a good idea as to what I'm capable of even only after a few month doing this. Mind you in those few months I've spent well over 100 hours now actually applying the things I've read/watched online to feel comfortable in doing so (like i'm doing with wet sanding right now).
 

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Obsessed Detailer
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I sometimes wonder when watching this section and reading new people come in and go as they usually do. How many of us consider ourselves pro detailers? When I say pro detailers I am meaning people who have clients and charge real monies for work. Myself I have been around detailing for around 10 years and still consider myself a student and far from a pro detailer that can charge for corrections and such to have customers that come back frequently.

So here is the question of the day...What makes one a pro detailer or someone good enough to charge rates for detailing?

What baffles me is I see people that post up about doing detailing jobs for money but then are asking the most remedial questions...To me this is what gives detailers a very bad name as so many people are out of work now that they have sought avenues of income that they can do quickly and easily (or so they think)...Which has flooded the detailing market with these "pro detailers" that are more or less scratchers (thats what we refer to them in the tattoo industry - pingers in the IT field)...

This isnt directed at anyone person but I see it on here, AG, DB, L2D and a few other sites where people feel if they pick up a HF rotary or DA then they are ready to correct the space shuttle...It just urks me and I wondered if anyone else feels this way as well...To me someone that is saying "hey I have 7 customers to detail this week; what products would you use? I have turtle wax black box, turtle wax ice, and some really soft microfibers I bought from walmart in a bag of 30"...

How does one feel they are a pro but still dont understand proper techniques or product use?
I feel what you mean Chris.

I feel the same way. I have been doing this for a number of years and such. other then doing my neighbors car cause he is a buddy of mine once a year I dont do any others and dont feel like I feel I would ever label my self as a pro..I would call myself an advanced hobbiest. I still feel like i have plenty to learn if i ever wanted to become a TRUE Pro. Just like my photography. I have been doing that for longer then detailing and sure I got thousands and thousands of dollars in camera gear I still dont feel like I could ever try to market myself as a pro for paid clients. I think these days alot of people read a bunch of stuff on the internet and buy some things to do the job and think they can go out and start charging for the service. With all the forums out there for each hobby/carrier it seems people dont feel you need true experiance to start offering the service as a paid job for whatever it is. they read all kind of stuff and then feel like they can d the same thing. Its far from being that easy unless your your job is something like swapping wheels on peoples cars.
I believe one of the most honorable characteristics a person can have is knowing what they have to learn beyond what they already know, even if they know ALOT already.

A big reason why i have mad respect for this guy.^

Just throwing this out there.....

I see "pros" at the detail shop all day, getting paid minimum wage, and using cheapshit no name products. That is their profession, yet I believe I can do a better job. Just because you are paid to do polish does not mean that you are the best. I would rather have ModdedMach do a paint correction, rather than the "pros" down the street.
Thanks for the shout out man. haha, makes me feel special haha.

AND I AGREE, Heres a little story:

Im at work, Im outside and a guy pulls up in a beautiful late model Dark Grey Metallic Porsche 911 Carrera. So naturally, i complimented him on it. It was very nice, the big wheels, big brakes, loaded machine this was. I told him i liked the color because it was dark (you guys know im a dark color guy) and the Guy replies,

Guy: "You know what the secret to dark colors is?"
Me: "Whats that?"
Guy: "Wax wax wax"
Me: "What kind of wax do you use?
Guy "I have a detailer that does my car every 90 days, i think he uses Meguiar's Gold Class?"

:facepalm::facepalm::facepalm::facepalm::facepalm:

Wanted to cry, dont get me wrong, GoldClass will work but the guy pays someone to apply an $11 wax to a $100k dollar car...

It was in the shade on a cloudy day, wish it had been sunny so i could have peeked at the paint and see what the defect level was like. Stories like this make me feel like a pro because there are so many "detailers" out there that charge people money to use a kitchen sponge and bath towel to scratch up customers' cars, lol.

By your definitition, yes I'd consider myself a Pro Detailer. For a while I was doing 2-5ish correction details a month, charging in the $40 an hour range, have a website, clients, the whole thing. Kinda burned me out, even though the money was good. Now I'm still doing it, but not being very aggressive in my marketing, so I just get the odd customer here and there that finds my info somewhere, or is a referral.

I think that I was doing very good work for the money I was charging. I'm by no means comparable to some of the guys over at DB, who have very established businesses and reputations of excellence, but I think I do pretty well and offer a very high end detailing service.
I feel similarly... I dont call myself or claim to be a "professional" detailer. But I do occasional jobs for good money and i do believe that my methods and results could be called professional. While i do have a decent base of "professional" detailing knowledge, I recognize that I have a TON to learn.There is so much to know and learn about everything thats involved and it takes years to do so. The biggest reason I do cars on the side is to help pay for this hobby. And love detailing, its my passion. My goal is to get to the point to where i have some high end clients, but again, its alot about the cars, not just the money.

I agree with sikedsyko, some of the Guys on DB have some REALLY established businesses and have some PREMIUM clientele that makes me feel like a serious novice lol. But i do plan on trying to market my services a bit more to increase the frequency of paying jobs.

Im doing a paying job on tuesday, Wash, Clay, LSP, Windows and wheels sealed, tires dressed and headlights corrected. When tell people about my side gig, i say that I do pro detailing on the side, but i dont refer to myself as a professional. I think i require more experience and more of a history of paid jobs before i can refer to myself as a professional.

Like vader said, im an advanced hobbyist who does advanced level detailing on the side for money, lol
 

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Like A Boss
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Lol. I'm ub3rzzz pr0. I'm an epic detailer. Not really, tho. I wash my own car for free.
 

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Definitely not a pro, just an amateur trying to keep his car decent. Only "client" I have would be my dad since I try and keep his nice too.
 

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Like A Boss
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By definition, if you get paid, you're professional. By connotation, a professional means an absolute expert. A professional mechanic may not know everything about every car. He's still a professional, because he gets paid to be a mechanic. A teacher is a professional, but are all teachers perfect? LOL, no. My school fired our Chem teacher between 1st and 2nd semester she was so bad. She was still a professional, because she got paid.

On the other side, an amateur is someone who does something and doesn't get paid. The connotation of amateur is inexperienced, foolish, etc, etc.

Me personally, I am an amateur at absolutely everything except for lawn care. I get money to cut grass, weedeat, blow sidewalks, etc. That makes me a professional...I guess.
 

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Obsessed Detailer
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haha good point.

You are correct sir.
 

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By definition, if you get paid, you're professional. By connotation, a professional means an absolute expert. A professional mechanic may not know everything about every car. He's still a professional, because he gets paid to be a mechanic. A teacher is a professional, but are all teachers perfect? LOL, no. My school fired our Chem teacher between 1st and 2nd semester she was so bad. She was still a professional, because she got paid.

On the other side, an amateur is someone who does something and doesn't get paid. The connotation of amateur is inexperienced, foolish, etc, etc.

Me personally, I am an amateur at absolutely everything except for lawn care. I get money to cut grass, weedeat, blow sidewalks, etc. That makes me a professional...I guess.

this is correct. I think most of us can do a pro level job but we dont make a living of it.


lol wanna talk about bad teachers look up Leah lust (NSFW), everyone said she was fired for working on a topless charter that would be false, out of a 180 day school yeah if i remember correctly she only showed up for 98 of the days... lmao if she was student she would have been expelled.
 
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