GMC Truck Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know a lot of guys do both, for those that are semi in or in the business, what is the bulk of your work? Im still tryin to figure out what to do with my summer employment wise (i am picky as fuck) and while there may not be much market in my town for full service details, weekly wash could definitely be something people would be in tune with so me and a friend have been thinking about our options there. Neither of us are looking for a full time kind of gig, just something to bring in a bit of $$ and keep our parents happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,223 Posts
if you want volume then stick with just good simple hand washes....but if you want some real money to come in then you want to do full details...

you profit margins are much better with full details than washes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
i definitely see what you're saying, my main problem really is that i can detail pretty well.....im just slower than hell and probably more anal than i should be especially for customer work as opposed to my own where i would have all the time in the world.

whats the standard goin rate on standard hand washes in your area joe and what do they include? id love to do the full details but i need a lot more practice with my own stuff to get more efficient.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
How long does it take you guys to do a full detail? I mean with two polish stages, glaze, wax, interior, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,114 Posts
the more details you do, the faster you get... you get in a rythym, less pussy footin around, etc. 2 of us knocked out 3 cars and a pain in the ass lifted truck on a saturday.... i could hardly move afterwards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,223 Posts
i definitely see what you're saying, my main problem really is that i can detail pretty well.....im just slower than hell and probably more anal than i should be especially for customer work as opposed to my own where i would have all the time in the world.

whats the standard goin rate on standard hand washes in your area joe and what do they include? id love to do the full details but i need a lot more practice with my own stuff to get more efficient.
i charge $55 for a hand wash and wax quick wax......alot of other detailers and other car wash places in my area are charging a lil lower at about $25-$35...

that is basically just a 2 bucket hand wash, chamois/microfiber dry, then a quick once over with a qucik detailer/spray wax....is about it..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,159 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
i charge $55 for a hand wash and wax quick wax......alot of other detailers and other car wash places in my area are charging a lil lower at about $25-$35...

that is basically just a 2 bucket hand wash, chamois/microfiber dry, then a quick once over with a qucik detailer/spray wax....is about it..
as far as the market directly around me, i would say this kind of service would be more in tune with what most people would be looking for. given my at least limited time frame over summer before i go back to school, i think simpler jobs like this could work out best depending on how many you could do, i mean if that even took 2 hours at $40, thats roughly $20/hour minus supplies cost which would still be a few notches above the majority of non-internship work available to kids around here.

whats the average time on that wash for you joe? i was reading scottwax's post over on autopia about gettin similar job done in less than an hour, id definitely be a bit longer than that but im not even so much motivated by the money as i am by the ability to work your own schedule and pick the work you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,516 Posts
Spencer, an hour sounds about right for the job Joe pointed out. Figure one hour for a wash, dry and quick wax using something like optimum car wax.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,223 Posts
i can do a wash and wax in about 45-50 minutes if i really haul ass!.....that is goin in with everything prepped and ready to go, working non-stop at a fast clip.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
One night it was about to rain and I waxed (paste) my truck in about 4 mins...lol looked like shit the next day
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
I mainly get details, I'm actually quite surprised I don't have as many weekly/bi-weekly wash clients as I thought I'd have, but that's OK with me. On average I'm doing 6-9 details a week and probably 4-5 washes a week, it's more than enough to get me buy but I'd love having more work. Details usually take me anywhere from 4-7 hours, sometimes I can knock the vehicle out in 3-3.5 hours if it's in great shape. If I have two details in a day I pick up the pace and can finish 2 in about 9-10 hours. Washes take me anywhere from a half hour to 90 minutes, it depends on if I'm doing a basic quick wash or a nice exterior wash and interior sprucing up, and who the wash is for. If I know I'll be finished early before my next job I'll take my time or if they're a friend of mine I just pussyfoot around and shoot the shit with them. Nothing wrong with that though, when that happens I usually end up doing something extra (ie wax the vehicle, maybe clean the carpets, whatever I decide to throw in for 'em) and I get a little something extra from them :D
 

·
is probably detailing...
Joined
·
6,749 Posts
My $.02 -

You can turn out a good amount of money doing hand washes, but thats only if you can line up a steady flow of customers. Do you have any connections at local business' that you can hit up?? The key to keeping regular washes profitable is not having to drive around to get to them.

If you charge (for example) $40 for a quick hand wash and wax and don't have any downtime between vehicles you'd be set.

$40 per wash / 2 guys = $20 per man (minus cost of supplies)

1 hour per wash w/ 0 downtime means you could pull in 7-8 cars a day or a profit of $140-$160 per man per day. What will kill you is if you do 1 car... then spend 15 minutes packing everything up again, another 15 minutes driving to the next appointment, then a couple of minutes setting up you've eaten too far into your time. Having set locations where you'll have a stream of customers keeps you from having to "reset" your stuff every time you start... you can just keep working... and thats the key to profit.

Furthermore you structure the work flow between the 2 guys to maximize speed. Immedeatly one starts washing while the other preps applicators, vaccums, scrubs wheel wells, etc. One drys while the other is inside applying dressings, or cleaning carpets. While one guys removing the quick wax the other guy is prepping the next set of tools and drives the next car into position. Its all about efficiency and keeping the flow going with as little downtime as possible to maximize profits... think of it almost like an assembly line.

Locally there is a guy who parks his van at the Mercury Insurance corporate office on monday, the courthouse lot on tuesday, and various others each day of the week ... he washes cars from 8am non-stop until 6pm almost every day.

If you could arrange a schedule like that, limit your downtime and maximize your profit per vehicle you could make some good coin.

Like was said above, the best profits are to be had from full details, but it sounds to me more like you are gearing towards the basic wash stuff. You can always up-sell the details to the customers as well:

"Your car is finished. We noticed you have a lot of small scratches and some haze in your paint... if you're interested we also offer full details and I can schedule an appointment for you to get all that buffed out."

Some people actually think that swirl marks and spiderwebbing are something that is just par for the course and theres nothing they can do about it... its always nice to see their reaction when they pick up their vehicle and theres not even a hint of a swirl mark anywhere.

:read:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,528 Posts
I am a great detailer. I guess because i pay close attention to..um..details. I clean firewalls, spare tires and gas caps. :lol: But, I am slow as hell. I keep my '06 super clean and it took me 7 hours to detail it on Saturday. As a serious detailer, I'd be broke in a week.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top