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How’s your business or detailing job been going?

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I am in PA. and wanted to see how business or your detailing job has been going in other parts of the Country.

My 8 - 5 job at the Chevy dealership is super busy and my side detailing business is thriving.
Like I said in my intro I used to have a full time shop and mobile but during Covid it changed things for me. I decided to just do my own detailing business pt and only for high end clients. I do love doing the every day cars and in many respects they are more important then the big ticket vehicles but I am content just doing my thing and at 51 I am starting to focus on the next 10 years to set up my retirement.
 

Jacksonv

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Do you view professional detailing as a growing industry?
 
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I absolutely do. But the battle is still there with trying to find that balance of what prices your market can hold and still turn profits. As professional detailers we compete every day with the novice who believes applying wax and vacuuming a carpet is true detailing. That battle is a hard one to fight because the public Loves getting a bargain (we all do), then when the work fails to meet expectations it throws a bad light on the whole industry.

I do still believe that there is a huge upside to our industry. While working at a dealership and owning my own business I have seen that once people buy their vehicles they are more apt to wanting to keep it nice so they can still feel good about their purchase years later.

It takes us as a detailing collective to educate the public about the importance of proper vehicle care and just how much a clean vehicle adds to its long term value as well as the need to explain why we do what we do.
 

Jacksonv

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How different is the service you provide to your private customers and what you do for cars at the dealership?
 
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How different is the service you provide to your private customers and what you do for cars at the dealership?
It’s a lot different. The dealership does need a “good” detail but turnover is more important whereas in my own business I get to put in lots of hours per vehicle and do extensive paint correction if needed.
I did raise the bar for doing a better than “good” job at the dealership but it still comes down to turnover. I am hourly at the dealership so they don’t want a full day on a vehicle especially since I’m getting $24 an hour which at a dealership in my area is a significant rate.
 
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It’s a lot different. The dealership does need a “good” detail but turnover is more important whereas in my own business I get to put in lots of hours per vehicle and do extensive paint correction if needed.
I did raise the bar for doing a better than “good” job at the dealership but it still comes down to turnover. I am hourly at the dealership so they don’t want a full day on a vehicle especially since I’m getting $24 an hour which at a dealership in my area is a significant rate.
It’s also important to note that I only do trade ins, new car prep and Simoniz Glass Coat on the ones that the sales people sell that too. There is no private customer work at the dealership.
 

Jacksonv

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It’s also important to note that I only do trade ins, new car prep and Simoniz Glass Coat on the ones that the sales people sell that too. There is no private customer work at the dealership.
How much time do you spend on an average private customer car?
 
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How much time do you spend on an average private customer car?
It depends solely on what work needs done. Some are just a quick one hour basic and others like high end show vehicles can take a week. Also if any vehicle needs paint correction then that adds a significant amount of time as well.
Prices range from $100 for a simple clean up with no major work to around $1400. + or - for an extensive show quality detailing. But I’d say my average is somewhere around $350.
 

Armadillo auto spa

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It’s also important to note that I only do trade ins, new car prep and Simoniz Glass Coat on the ones that the sales people sell that too. There is no private customer work at the dealership.
How do you like the simoniz products? I see a lot of dealerships using there products and I’ve seen local carwashes advertise their products but I don’t see any independent guys using them.
 
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I use Simoniz in my own business as well because I went to the car wash show in Atlantic City a few years ago and even though I was “just a detailer” and didn’t own a car wash the team from Simoniz spent a lot of time talking with me. I have developed a trust with them over the years. Their Glass Coat is only “allowed “ to be sold and installed by certified dealerships but they make another Ceramic called Diamond Plate that is sold for any detailer to purchase.
I love Simoniz products and trust their quality and consistency.
I buy my Simoniz through Kleen-Rite. They are a car wash and detail supplier.
 

Jacksonv

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Are you going to the NRCC next month?
 

Jacksonv

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Please post your thoughts on how the show's going for you.
 
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The Simoniz welcome party at the Hard Rock last night was amazing. Great food, drink and conversation. I made several great contacts just from that event.
The convention floor opens at 1 today. The excitement is building throughout the attendees waiting. Going to be fun.
 
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The tone at the convention today was exciting and both the exhibitors and attendees were engaged and there ready to pass along information and to learn.
I had the absolute pleasure to hang out at the your booth and met some really interesting people who love this industry. One of my highlights was when a teen age boy and his father came over and I got to share some of my detailing experience with them. The kid wants to be a professional detailer and eventually own his on shop and possibly a car wash. To see that enthusiasm in someone that young was my highlight of the show, it gives hope that our profession will be in good hands.
As I strolled the floor it was encouraging to see just how many people were there to try to make informed decisions on the purchase or building of new car washes. I always am happy to see individuals do their research before they invest their hard earned money.
So in conclusion today was very encouraging and very entertaining.
Jackson, you have a good crew who are very knowledgeable and really care about your brand.
It was my pleasure to get to spend time with them.
 

Jacksonv

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Did Debra get to meet that teenage boy with his dad? Sounds like something she might like to feature in the magazine.
 
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Unfortunately not, they went for a quick break and they boy and his dad were gone by the time they had gotten back.
It would have made a great feature though.
Sorry I didn’t think of it when I was talking to them. It gave me a lot of hope for where our industry is headed.
 

Jacksonv

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Did you pick up on any new products or brands that you'll be using moving forward?
 
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I did visit Gliptone as well as Simoniz and Kleen-Rite with the intention of finding some information on products that I have been interested in. I absolutely love the microfiber products from Dr. Joe at Kleen-Rite. Gliptone gave me a sample of Graphene Black Trim Restoration Coating and I will be trying it out this coming weekend. As usual the team at Simoniz never disappoints and had a lot of their team there. The show floor was packed with so many great products and I think I have a good idea of better lighting for my shop. As said, I was very pleased with the information I received and yes, I will be using the Dr. Joe line and once I test the Gliptone I will give my honest review right here.
 
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