1st customer, 1st refusal

Discussion in 'Compounds, Polishes, Paint Cleaners, and Glazes' started by Frankastic, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. P1et

    P1et Official DB Moderator

    This is a good thread, keep it going! And more pics from the dealership!
  2. Frankastic

    Frankastic Detail Photographer

    sure thing!!

    its funny that when I first got my Makita, I went to my dealer's detailer for help to remove wet sand marks on a scrape panel, now his asking me for help.
  3. klenj

    klenj Virgin Detailer

    Hey Guys,

    I am new to this forum and a weekend detailer. I use to detail high end cars years ago to pay my way through college. I also live in Northern NJ where you will find a car wash in every town with a detail shop full of hacks low balling each other. I live in a wealthy area with expensive car owners who are very cheap when it comes to car care. The true car enthusiast in this area will seek out detailers like Dave and Phil.

    Also my brother-in-law just bought a new Audi on Rt 17. I hope this is not the dealership overtimedetailer works at!!
  4. Frankastic

    Frankastic Detail Photographer

    it is not my dealer. sorry due to my company policy, im not allow to discuss our company practice. therefore pictures doesn't include our dealer logo. im just posting the work to show people the difference between the pros here compare to the hackers.

    hope everyone enjoy this
  5. Frankastic

    Frankastic Detail Photographer

    so the guy ($75 detail my A5) came in today for service, and he tells me, If I change my mind, he'll give me a chance to detail his ride. my response was: sorry I can't detail your car for that price. He saids you're new, and I response: it doesn't matter, I know I can do better than the detail shop thats charging you $75 for your exterior detail. Then he said: fine $100, and I said 'NO'.

    but heres the car



    I phone and low battery TK11


    in bright sun, I remember it had a lot of water marks etching.


    you can see the scratches w/o a light lol


    those S-line wheels needs some love


    rock chip, needs to touch up, wet sand, and polish.
  6. Prism

    Prism Birth of a Detailer

    I know its very easy to take any money for a job when you first start out. But by reducing you price you are showing lack in confidence in your own workmanship. When I started out I was about £30 cheaper than anyone else, second car I was on par with everyone else, why ? ? ? because the first guy told me I under charged him and he set my pricing with what he paid me.

    I know of a valeter (Please someone tell me the US name of someone who washes but does not correct) who was charging £20 less than me, and I was performing correction and using Swissvax products against his Autoglym (if you know the difference, you will know its a HUGE difference), he found out I knew one of his customers and to not lose the business he reduced his price by 50%, why would he do that ? ? ? to me that show fear ! lack of confidence in his own work !

    I dont know how many cars you have done now, I dont know what type of cars you have worked on, but that A5 to work on could potentially lead into a 2 maybe a 3 day job depending on your skill. Remember being VAG paint system the clear coat will be slightly harder than say jap or other brands. Also being black you will without a doubt have buffer trails and will need to be refined. I have a fair bit of experience with Audi A5's more so black ones and yeah they can be fantastic when finished, but sometimes hard work.

    Remember you set the price ! If he doesnt want to pay he can go elsewhere, also make sure you dont tell anyone else your starting out as they will use that against you ! Also if your running a business DO NOT DO FREEBIES, not even for your friends ! There is always a cost in products to think about and finally and this is the big one, GET INSURANCE, just incase something does go wrong ! Do you have a paint depth reader ? another tool you need if working on someone elses cars.

    Oh and I didnt read all 7 pages, but I read a couple, im sorry if this is not relivent to your situation, but should be standard by anyone taking Detailing on as a business.
  7. Frankastic

    Frankastic Detail Photographer

    thanks for the great tips for this business, well I will be launching my company very soon, but only cater to wash & wax and interior cleaning, I have two employees already =) I have all the tools, except a power-washer and carpet extractor. maybe other tools that will make the job easier. but I say I got enough to producing a pro finish, jus not the skillz yet. about insurance, thats a definite. but for now I'll do friends and co-workers. the A5 owner is my co-worker's buddy, therefore he knew before hand that im NEW :(
  8. Prism

    Prism Birth of a Detailer

    You can have all the best tools and equipment under the sun, doesnt make you good. I dont know if there is anyone in your local area who can help and teach you ? (I know in the UK there are many many classes popping up everywhere, seems like a good money making option for some). When i started out I went to a class, thought I knew everything.....was maybe over confident, but what i did do was learn about polishes, whats the best product for what then buy and test it for myself. You will realise that whats works for me might not work for you ! I like my Rotary, cheapest one you can get, does the job and works well for me, but others hate it. Some people use Menzera polishes, I hate them and only use 3M, Megs or Swissvax, people machine polish in different ways and again something you will pick up for yourself, as long as the main principles are enforced. Never be scared to turn a job down, it might be too much work or just not possible to achieve any form of correction.

    Is your business going to be static or mobile ?
  9. Frankastic

    Frankastic Detail Photographer

    my business will be mobile, thinking a ford transit will be sick, hehe. I agree with you on the tool part, please noted that I said ( i have all the tools to produce a pro finish, but not the skills.)

    yes Im trying to find classes or someone to teach me, but doesn't hurt trying stuff on a scrape panel with endless supplies from our dealer's body shop.
  10. Prism

    Prism Birth of a Detailer

    Totally, please dont take offense to my comment, just agreeing with what you were saying. Scrap panels are the best thing to try it out on, even to try and burn through and cause damage just so you know the characterists and learn from it. Thre are soo many guides on the internet to help, I wish you a lot of luck in your venture :)
  11. Frankastic

    Frankastic Detail Photographer

    Thanks for your kind words mate. Love to see more of your details :)
  12. Frankastic

    Frankastic Detail Photographer

    Today's news

    this A8 has been siting like this for a month


    hhmmm looks alright


    OMG take it away





    order from AW finally came it!!!!

    AG CWC, Raceglaze brushes n xl wheel brush, AG pad.


  13. Hostage1978

    Hostage1978 Guest

    Congrats on the Lincoln gig.

    My father has a really good friend that is a mechanic in his spare time. The guy is like a robot, no wasted moves or efforts. He knows what's in which drawer, torque specs for anything, and its just amazing to watch the guy work on anything. He built a 32' Ford, sold it for over 50K after someone watched him work on it a few times. His lack of speed is speed itself. So confident.

    My point is that any job worth doing is also worth walking away from if someone is not paying you enough to keep you focused and interested. You set the price- that's how much it will cost for your full undivided effort to deliver the best you can. Each time. Screw the guy with the Audi. Don't ever EVER touch one of his cars.

    People seemingly have no idea what goes into preparing a perfect delivery. Anything I do gets photographed to: a) save my own arse b) show the customer the level of scrutiny has been put into delivering something that they could never achieve without years of learning, dedication, enthusiasm, etc.

    By the sound of your 1st job, your enthusiasm matches your abilities. Build a portfolio. a client base. Negotiations are for sales, you're in service:)

    Best of luck.
  14. Frankastic

    Frankastic Detail Photographer

    His back

    Attached Files:

  15. Frankastic

    Frankastic Detail Photographer

    [YOUTUBE]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/B2etvqDJsBM&hl=en_US&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/B2etvqDJsBM&hl=en_US&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

    Installed new wheels today, and found some holograms from that $75 hacker
  16. junebug

    junebug Jedi Nuba

    I have found that there are people with top dollar cars that are so tight - you have to wonder how they manage to take a shit. Never sell your services cheap. Just work on improving your technigue and don't get caught up in the dozens of products out there. You could buy Megs 105 and 205 and never really need another polish, although I like Menz SIP, 203 too! Get a decent LSP like Blackfire - perhaps the easist to use there is, and you're good to go on the basics.
  17. Reflect

    Reflect DB Forum Supporter

    Be in the habit of giving people a little bit more than they pay for (or think they are), but never let anyone take advantage of you. You don't do business with someone who doesn't realize what they are, essentially, trading. You are running a business, not scraping pennies together and doing people favors. Soon enough your work will speak for itself.

    I agree with Junebug. A lot of this business is upselling products to customers who want to pay for name brand or something with that extra bit of pop to it, but don't get caught up in the mix yourself. I know this because I'm sitting here with 15+ LSP's in which I won't use half of. This means wasted money. Find out what works for you, research, steer clear of the hype, save your money, and stick with it. Many people do business with others based off of character and the quality of their work.

    From the looks of it, you did a really nice job on that Aviator. The interior looks spotless. The next time that guy with the Audi speaks to you about detailing his car, don't sell your soul or discredit yourself. Tell him you will be getting what you pay for and then some, and you won't lower your prices. If he wants to do business, so be it, but let him know that it's non-negotiable. Once you let them push you back a step, they keep pushing.

    I'm far from learned when it comes to business, I'm 23 years old and just graduated college. What I do know is that in my limited experience, I can really feel the effects of selling yourself short, not being upfront, and letting people take advantage of you. Be confident in your abilities. The more money you make, the more self respect you'll have, and it becomes a snowball effect on the way to success. You've already seen the effects of your honest hard work, as those people will be bringing you more business and had tipped you over 20%. In my eyes, if they tipped you to $120, they were more than happy with paying $120, meaning you could have charged a lot more. You can do anything you put your mind to, just be persistent, honest, and confident.
  18. RustyBumper

    RustyBumper Jedi Nuba

    I did an interior today that was in horrible shape for $80 (friend discount) and I only did a basic job on it. Vacuumed it, cleaned and dressed the inside and treated all weather mats with AG Vinyl Rubber Care. In comparing the tools that I used versus the ones you will be using, I would say that you need to raise your price a little more. Just my :2cents: .
  19. ampbmw

    ampbmw DB Forum Supporter

    wow...I'd be losing money...
  20. HPIA4v2

    HPIA4v2 Birth of a Detailer

    At least OP get haggled before doing any job.

    Me and spouse own a design house designing mechanical parts, one customer agreed on price and ask for so many changes we told them it's not very efficient way then at the end hagled on the bills (we charge by the hour worked).
    My busines sense tells me, explained to the fullest what was agreed and all the extra steps he wanted extra then told the man this is the last job we are doing for him, end of story. I don't need to go postal on the man; I am risking my good firm's name for the future.

    Same with OP, you explain what need to be done and shows the gent how ridicilously a bargain it is for $150. I've done paint correction on 5-6 cars (some 3 steps with Flex3401), unless the guy is best friends or paying good money I'll say no. Hey my other job is paying my hobby not the other way around:cig:

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