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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a few years or less my wife and I want to branch out and expand the buisness we are about to start (cleaning/lawn care).

We want to do automotive detailing and there is a few shops in the area that do it and only one will come get your car while you are at work. Another place does it in a parking garage downtown but his gig is faily small.

This is what I am thinking, have a truck and enclosed trailer. Go to the persons work or near by, put the car in the trailer, fire up the fans, to cool it down, wash it wax it, pull it out, do the interior in the shade of the trailer, park the owners car were the owner wants it (work parking lot for example) and return the keys.

Mail them an invoice if they do not COD it with a self addressed envelope with a stamp on it.

A lot of people like having their cars detailed or hand washed but don't have the time to wait around while it is being done nor do they want someone driving their car outside the parking lot ect ect.

My father knew a guy that used to do this and did really well at it.

What do you guys and gals thing?

If someone came to your work and did this service for you while you were at work would you take advantage of it?

Would be everything from a hand wash to full detailing.

Thanks!
 

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Here in Cali alot of people do this. It makes things alot more convienant. The hardest part about it really would be getting your name out there, and getting approval from the people incharge to let you do this on their property. You may have to jump through some hoops, you may not.
 

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We have a guy that comes every Tue and Thur to do this at my work. He does a lot of work.

I would not invoice as you will be chasing people around for your money.
 

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here in south a group of five guys wash wax and polish truck trailer rv totorhome at divisional and national events. construction got slow .they do 8-10 per weekend at 800 to 1500 each not bad
 

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ive been a detailer for 24 years, and im thinking about the exact same thing, im tired of working for people and that is a great idea, people have no time to do it theirselves, you can do it right at the persons workplace. they sell mats that you drive the car on, hook a hose up to your tank in the trailer and the water will drain back into it so the epa doesnt bust your ball about whats going into the sewers. good luck with it update us on how its going.
 

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Concentrate on the motorhome crowd they have the money, I have a 33' 5th wheel in a really great campground and one day my wife and I were giving it a bath when this older couple approached us about washing his Monaco land titanic. I said we could do it but we wouldn't know what to charge, he said don't worry about the money, he'll make it right.

Long story short, it took my wife and I 6 hours to clean it (top to bottom) he handed us $2500.00 cash, I couldn't accept that much. The guy said if you pay $500k for something nice, its nothing to spend that kind of money keeping it nice.

He said at this high end campground in Arizona he paid almost $4k to have it done there.
 

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Cash or credit card. NO CREDIT.
As mentioned, you will be chasing people every damn day.

.
 

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The first year I was in business, we did washing and detailing as an add-on service. Please take a few minutes to learn from our bad experiences, and you just MIGHT stay married...

- Two words...BLACK CARS. This alone will kill you if you're mobile. If you can work out a way to do the wash and wax in the trailer, I guess you're money ahead, but damn...you're looking at some overhead.

- Listen to what Gus said above about recycling your water, or you'll be in shit creek. The mobile guys here are all about to go under with the drought causing a shortage and watering ban.

- Unless you're in a VERY large area with tons of commuters...AND there are is almost no competition...don't bother for one minute doing the $20-$30 car washing. You may get lucky and set up some regular stops and customers, but you'll have a shitload of nasty bitches who haven't had their car washed in two years, and you're stuck out in the weather breaking your ass. I've had it take a full hour to do an interior. And god help you if you go back to them for another $5. Bottom line...don't bother!!!

- If you can stick to high-line detailing, fine. When you're mobile, it's tough...believe me. Bricks and mortar shops do well for more reasons than I care to post. It's very, very hard to get going and do well.

- Collect BEFORE you give the keys back, or you WILL get fucked. Sending an invoice is cutting your own throat.

- Make your payment methods known up front, and do NOT accept personal checks...wireless credit card terminals are damn reasonable these days.

- Also (and perhaps most important)...CHARGE people. Your time is valuable, and the reason your customers are having you clean their car is simply that they're too lazy to do it themselves. The same people who bitch about $80-$100 for a basic wash and quality wax are the same people spending $4.50 on a Bud Light later that night at some club.
 

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...Long story short, it took my wife and I 6 hours to clean it (top to bottom) he handed us $2500.00 cash...
Holy dogshit, Tom.

We did have the occasional heavy tipper, but it's pretty rare. For the most part, it's like anything else...everybody wants something for nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the info so far guys, a lot to think about.

Never thought about the RV's.

Is $200 ish in and out still cutting myself short for a car or is that about right?

Once I did a smokers interior for $50 and should have charged $100..... what a mess.

I know I may have to jump threw a few hoops but around here the places have to rent the space out. It rahter just have the truck and trailer and be done with it.

I have seen some guys go as far as to pull the wheels off and really clean them up for more money.

What do you guys think of that?

I have seen those mats, would be well worth the money.
 

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Thanks for all the info so far guys, a lot to think about.

Never thought about the RV's.

Is $200 ish in and out still cutting myself short for a car or is that about right?

Once I did a smokers interior for $50 and should have charged $100..... what a mess.

I know I may have to jump threw a few hoops but around here the places have to rent the space out. It rahter just have the truck and trailer and be done with it.

I have seen some guys go as far as to pull the wheels off and really clean them up for more money.

What do you guys think of that?

I have seen those mats, would be well worth the money.

I own a carpet and upholstery cleaning business. While carpet cleaning is our main revenue generating service, we do clean the carpet and seats in cars. We get $80 for just cleaning the seats and carpet in a small car. This is not detailing the vinyl and all the other parts inside the car. If it is a larger car, such as an SUV we get $120 for the carpet and seats. I will tell you this, I would charge more if I could get it. Some of these cars are trashed. We do a deep cleaning of the carpet and seats and I am not sure what method you are going to do, or if you are just talking about vacuuming.

Don't try to invoice. Get them to pay when service is complete, especially when just starting up. You need the cash flow. We make first time customers pay up front and then we normally bill them. I have had very few stiff me.

If we ozone a car (very expensive machine, not just a deodorizer) we charge $50, but it needs to be done overnight, which will require you to have a shop and may not work in the mobile industry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good info.

I think a full size cargo van and a pop up tent that you see at the track in the pits may be better then a trailer.
 

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Not to push anyones product but, Right Look out in Cali has trailers and everything needed. I was going to do the mobile thing here in Wisconsin, but found to many hurdles when applying for permits. DNR SUCKS!!!
 

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right look has some nice stuff! i am thinking of a skid mounted system for my pickup, and put a cap over it, no trailer to tow around, and a foldable tent for the sunshine. the black carsdont bother me, its the soccer moms suvs! charge a lot more for them! the interiors are usually a disaster!
 
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