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Do you offer more than just detailing?

Posted by GTR 
Do you offer more than just detailing?
September 21, 2012 04:02AM
Offer more than detailing?
Only registered users are allowed to vote for this poll.
1 votes were received.
Just detailing. 0
Tried add on services. Couldn't make money. 0
Have had some success with add on services. 0
Add-ons are the bulk of my profits. 1

The "easy money" in car detailing is in the "extras."

A rule in the restaurant business is that you break even on the entree, but make your money on the stuff that comes before and after: soda, liquor, appetizers, and dessert. And though I did far better than break even on car detailing, year after year this "rule of thumb" proved to be true when I did the accounting: the big profits truly were in the extras.

Lets look at the hourly profits:

Auto Detailing: $45/hr.
Glass chip repair: $80/hr.
Paint Touch Up: $100+/hr.
Leather Recoloring: $100+/hr.
Wheel Repair: $120/hr.

What's your experience been with "add on services?"

At Applied Colors we recently added new systems:

Headlight restoration:

Wheel repair:

Glass repair:

What else do you think is a good fit for detailers?
Re: Do you offer more than just detailing?
September 21, 2012 06:03PM
Black plastic exterior trim restoring, great add on.
Not dressing them, but returning the parts to the finish that they had before UV ray exposure and caustic chemicals took away the dark black finish.
Use a product that has and is still used by the vehicle manufacturers for warranty repairs, lasts for years when applied correctly, no special tools or equipment are needed.
Easy to do, just need to be able to indentify some odd parts that were molded using an internal release agent, nothing will hold on those for more than a month or so.
Most charge from $20 to $50 to do a set of mirrors, some throw in the door handles.
In most cases, less than 15 to 20 minutes labor is required.
Pricing depends on what one's market and customers will pay for such an add-on.
Re: Do you offer more than just detailing?
September 27, 2012 04:46AM
It sounds like a bad idea to spend most of your time breaking even just so you can lure profitable work into the shop . You'd probably be better off in a business that made money on its main work . I'd be careful about copying restaurant practices ; a lot of restaurants go broke .

As I see it, the way to make detailing pay is to break down the process into affordable "car cleaning services" and stop calling it " detailing " .

Perhaps offer to pick up, wash, vacuum and return cars to senior citizens and others who may not be in shape to do it . Maybe offer professional carpet cleaning for $ 99, including pressure washing the floor mats ( stain protection, replacement floor mats, odor elimination, upholstery shampoo, extra. )

Maybe concentrate on selling exterior packages : Poly sealant ( includes wash, bug and tar removal, polish ) $ 125. Aluminum wheel cleaning and protection $40 extra . Exterior vinyl and rubber dressing extra .
Re: Do you offer more than just detailing?
September 27, 2012 03:45PM
We did fine on detailing. Averaged $225 retail. Profit was maybe half that all told.

But when I averaged it out per hour...it was a fraction of what we made in the add-on services.


Trim recoloring is a great idea. 90% of shops are just using a heavy dressing that washes away, so a true recoloring would be popular with retail customers.
Re: Do you offer more than just detailing?
September 27, 2012 05:22PM
The only vehicle manufacturer approved and used black trim restorer (permanent repair) is the ValuGard ETR Kit. One kit can do 20 to 40 vehicles.
Their website has some of the TSB's that the car companies issued to their dealers and on the site is a training video of how to apply the products.
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