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Bscott94

Part Time Detailer

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Hey everyone, I tried searching and couldn't find much. I'd like to start a detailing side job for the evenings and weekends to help finance my Adam's addiction. I have a few Adam's products and I love them. They make achieving shine easy. There is nothing better than a freshly cleaned car. I was wondering if anyone had a list of services that they offer and their prices. Or if anyone has suggestions on detailing levels or anything like that. I have a 15mm SK, though I haven't used it yet. I also have a Bissel Spotclean for cleaning seats/carpets. I know there are a lot of variables but I'm just looking for general advice/suggestions. 

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Shane @shane@detailedreflections has commented on this a few times, and his website has pricing listed. That said, pricing should be determined by your local area and what people are willing to pay. Its tough to give a flat line price from somewhere not in your area that will be competitive. Just realize that you are charging more than you would think so that you cover your time and your product costs. 

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Thank you both for the suggestion. I took a look at his profile and read his recent responses to people. If you look at me closely, you can see the knowledge oozing out of my ears. After seeing his work, I can't wait to get to work on my aunt's Miata. It will be my first real detail. I did the interior around a month ago. The exterior needs polished, and some kind of coating. She told me she tried to wax it and messed it up. I haven't seen it but hopefully it isn't too bad. I might try to talk her into ceramic coating. I think Americana wax would be fine for a summer weekend car though, right? 

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Y’all are being far too kind. The reality is we are just two guys (and a third part timer) working in a garage. We have made, and continue to make our mistakes. 

 

All of that being said, our pricing is based on time and an hourly rate we strive for. We have equipment that lets us accomplish the tasks in an efficient manner. The biggest difference between us as a “professionals” and the “weekend detailer” is really our equipment. We tend to have the right tool for each job. The results can be obtained by either the professional or the weekend warrior, but the time spent may vary. This time will translate in the prices. 

 

I have posted extensively about how we run the business. I’m very open. We are a very small operation. Barely a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things. 

 

@pirahnah3 has attended one of our clinics, had work performed by us and we’ve shared a few beers while discussing the business side of things. His advice above is spot on!  Sometimes I think I need to take more of his advice!  In fact, we need to talk about some more work on his gorgeous Charger soon!

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I’ll also add this since I forgot to mention it. If you have an SK and you’ve never used it, you’re not ready to even figure out pricing of services quite honestly.

 

To provide a thorough service, you’ll need more than an SK. You’ll potentially need other polishers, pads, compounds and polishes, waxes, sealants, etc. Couple that with the proper paint thickness gauages, towels, brushes, etc and the investment is quite large.

 

And as far as coatings go, get your feet wet with regular products like sealants, glazes and waxes. Coatings aren’t impossible or even difficult, they’re just unforgiving to prep mistakes. Get some experience under your belt or plan a bunch of time for your first coatings. For reference, with all of our equipment and experience, it takes two of us a minimum of eight hours (so 16 man hours) to do a coating. That’s straight grinding with a process in place and all the tools and supplies ready to go. 

 

Food for thought. 

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@shane@detailedreflections Thank you for the information and advice. I have some pads, compounds, and polishes that came with my SK (I ordered the mystery kit a few months ago). I think I'll just do clay bar/mitt and wax to start out. I have done that before. I will polish my personal vehicles to practice and get the hang of it before I ask someone to pay me. I think I should get a sealant and Americana was for the Miata. The only wax I have right now is Buttery and I don't think that would be enough. I'll add the compounds and polishes that I have when I get a chance tomorrow. Again, thank you!

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I'm just beginning to get my feet wet in detailing for money, but I have 4 polishers, tons of different compounds/polishes (and not even THAT much in the grand scheme of things), all the different brushes you can imagine, metro sidekick blower, two crates full of towels, 70+ compound/polishing pads, tornador w/vacuum attachment, waxes/sealants etc. I have well over $2,500 in my setup already and I don't have an extractor or steamer. Those are coming up on the "To buy" list but first I need a paint depth gauge which I think I'll order on Amazon today. 

 

My point is, keep your services limited to what you're able to accomplish and build your money and clients up in order to make big purchases. I didn't do that and had to pay for a bunch of stuff for a while with no clients. 

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7 minutes ago, cwp2016nd said:

I'm just beginning to get my feet wet in detailing for money, but I have 4 polishers, tons of different compounds/polishes (and not even THAT much in the grand scheme of things), all the different brushes you can imagine, metro sidekick blower, two crates full of towels, 70+ compound/polishing pads, tornador w/vacuum attachment, waxes/sealants etc. I have well over $2,500 in my setup already and I don't have an extractor or steamer. Those are coming up on the "To buy" list but first I need a paint depth gauge which I think I'll order on Amazon today. 

 

My point is, keep your services limited to what you're able to accomplish and build your money and clients up in order to make big purchases. I didn't do that and had to pay for a bunch of stuff for a while with no clients. 

Thank you. I really just want to into detailing to pay for things that I wouldn't normally buy. I enjoy making cars shiny and clean, so why not get paid? I like the idea of limited services to finance additional services. I'll start with just a simple wash, clay, and wax and as I build clients, I can invest in additional supplies and equipment. I'll have to do some looking on here to find out what the essentials are to getting started. I'd say a 2 bucket kit would be a good start, correct? Shampoo, clay, hand polish, a couple waxes, all the brushes and towels? 

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12 minutes ago, Bscott94 said:

Thank you. I really just want to into detailing to pay for things that I wouldn't normally buy. I enjoy making cars shiny and clean, so why not get paid? I like the idea of limited services to finance additional services. I'll start with just a simple wash, clay, and wax and as I build clients, I can invest in additional supplies and equipment. I'll have to do some looking on here to find out what the essentials are to getting started. I'd say a 2 bucket kit would be a good start, correct? Shampoo, clay, hand polish, a couple waxes, all the brushes and towels? 

I personally use a one bucket method, but that's just me. 2 buckets, grit guards, car shampoo, strip wash, visco clay, buttery wax and 10-15 towels with a drying towel should get you started. 

 

The wheel brush, trim and lugnut brush as well as the big wheel woolie and wheel wash mitt would be perfect for 90% of the wheels out there. 

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6 minutes ago, cwp2016nd said:

I personally use a one bucket method, but that's just me. 2 buckets, grit guards, car shampoo, strip wash, visco clay, buttery wax and 10-15 towels with a drying towel should get you started. 

 

The wheel brush, trim and lugnut brush as well as the big wheel woolie and wheel wash mitt would be perfect for 90% of the wheels out there. 

That list is a lot smaller (and cheaper) than I what I was expecting. Do you have towel suggestions? I ordered Adam's Edgeless Microfiber Utility Towels but I think I saw somewhere that those shouldn't really be used on paint. And should towels be washed after every use? I think the answer is yes but I don't think a drying towel or a towel used to add detail spray after drying would get super dirty. 

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29 minutes ago, Bscott94 said:

That list is a lot smaller (and cheaper) than I what I was expecting. Do you have towel suggestions? I ordered Adam's Edgeless Microfiber Utility Towels but I think I saw somewhere that those shouldn't really be used on paint. And should towels be washed after every use? I think the answer is yes but I don't think a drying towel or a towel used to add detail spray after drying would get super dirty. 

Those are the bare essentials I would say. 

 

Single softs from Adam's are great towels, but there are certainly cheaper alternatives out there without sacrificing quality. 

 

I use my drying towels twice before I wash them. I thoroughly inspect them before the second use, though. Even though the car is "clean" you will manage to pick dirt up somewhere or another on occasion. 

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2 hours ago, Bscott94 said:

That list is a lot smaller (and cheaper) than I what I was expecting. Do you have towel suggestions? I ordered Adam's Edgeless Microfiber Utility Towels but I think I saw somewhere that those shouldn't really be used on paint. And should towels be washed after every use? I think the answer is yes but I don't think a drying towel or a towel used to add detail spray after drying would get super dirty. 

 

The utility towels are more for inside jobs. Plush like Single and Double soft and the grey plush borderless, and the waffle weaves work well for outside, but can find their place inside, too. I wash mine pretty much after every use. And if you're detailing for money, don't skimp. Wash them regularly.

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@cwp2016nd sent me some towel suggestions so I would have plenty of each kind. That makes sense about washing them after every use. I don't have an issue with it, I just wasn't sure if it was necessary. I'll review the Microfiber care instructions and I may be back with more questions. Thank you all!

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On 7/20/2018 at 1:51 PM, Bscott94 said:

@cwp2016nd sent me some towel suggestions so I would have plenty of each kind. That makes sense about washing them after every use. I don't have an issue with it, I just wasn't sure if it was necessary. I'll review the Microfiber care instructions and I may be back with more questions. Thank you all!

If you don't want to spend a ton of money on microfiber cleaning solution, pick up some ALL Free Clear. It is a detergent that is dye/fragrance/fabric softener free. That is what you need for microfiber towels. 

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2 minutes ago, cwp2016nd said:

If you don't want to spend a ton of money on microfiber cleaning solution, pick up some ALL Free Clear. It is a detergent that is dye/fragrance/fabric softener free. That is what you need for microfiber towels. 

GREAT NEWS! ALL was on sale a couple months ago and I got a bottle of the Free Clear to use on my towels. I remember reading no dye, no fragrance, no softener. I need to check about pre treating and whether or not specific towels need washed separately from others (detail spray towels/wheel towels/wax towels/interior/etc). 

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Just now, falcaineer said:

Brand new video on the differences between the towels.

 

 

I saw that on their website but I haven't watched it. I'll watch it when I get home from work/when I get bored at work. 

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Just now, Bscott94 said:

I saw that on their website but I haven't watched it. I'll watch it when I get home from work/when I get bored at work. 

 

So you're watching it right now...  :lolsmack:

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2 minutes ago, Bscott94 said:

GREAT NEWS! ALL was on sale a couple months ago and I got a bottle of the Free Clear to use on my towels. I remember reading no dye, no fragrance, no softener. I need to check about pre treating and whether or not specific towels need washed separately from others (detail spray towels/wheel towels/wax towels/interior/etc). 

 

8 minutes ago, cwp2016nd said:

If you don't want to spend a ton of money on microfiber cleaning solution, pick up some ALL Free Clear. It is a detergent that is dye/fragrance/fabric softener free. That is what you need for microfiber towels. 

 

All F&C works. Just realize it doesn't have the cleaning power of the MRB. Really recommend the latter to get your towels fully cleaned.

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On 7/20/2018 at 2:17 PM, falcaineer said:

 

 

All F&C works. Just realize it doesn't have the cleaning power of the MRB. Really recommend the latter to get your towels fully cleaned.

I also have a bottle of MRB that I will occasionally spray onto my towels to pre-treat, but don't notice much of a difference. The All F&C is just much cheaper. I should try the MRB more often. 

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1 minute ago, falcaineer said:

 

 

All F&C works. Just realize it doesn't have the cleaning power of the MRB. Really recommend the latter to get your towels fully cleaned.

I''ll definitely add it to the list of "I need to get this eventually". For now, I need to save money so I will go with ALL. I see that MRB can be used for pads too. I thought I read APC could be used to clean pads too. Did I have the 2 products confused? 

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On 7/20/2018 at 2:21 PM, Bscott94 said:

I''ll definitely add it to the list of "I need to get this eventually". For now, I need to save money so I will go with ALL. I see that MRB can be used for pads too. I thought I read APC could be used to clean pads too. Did I have the 2 products confused? 

I'm not sure if I've ever heard of MRB being used to clean pads. I always use APC and have never had an issue. Pads are clean as a whistle afterwards and the APC is cheap. 

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1 minute ago, cwp2016nd said:

I'm not sure if I've ever heard of MRB being used to clean pads. I always use APC and have never had an issue. Pads are clean as a whistle afterwards and the APC is cheap. 

This is from their website. I guess it is only referring to the mircofiber cutting pads. APC should be used on foam pads. Yes?

image.thumb.png.da7c8574334d3746bc9542bd478bdd12.png

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On 7/20/2018 at 2:27 PM, Bscott94 said:

This is from their website. I guess it is only referring to the mircofiber cutting pads. APC should be used on foam pads. Yes?

image.thumb.png.da7c8574334d3746bc9542bd478bdd12.png

Yes. MRB for microfiber pads and APC for foam pads :2thumbs:

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