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Poll: Do you service car dealers?

Posted by GTR 
Poll: Do you service car dealers?
January 16, 2012 05:47AM
The question of whether or not to service car dealers can be a difficult one. On one hand, they do keep you busy, which can be critical for detail shots that keep a small staff. You just can't lose those employees during the slow times because you're going to need them come summer or spring.

However, dealers simply don't pay well, are picky, cancel at the last moment, and worst of all...are slow to pay.

So...do you service car dealers? And on average what do you charge for a full detail?


1. No.
2. Yes: $70 - $85
3. Yes: $85 - $100
4. Yes: $100 - $135
5. Yes: $135 - $160
6. Yes: $160 - $195
7. Yes: $195+
Re: Poll: Do you service car dealers?
January 16, 2012 09:14AM
Its 99% no for me.

I get the odd one who needs a special job done and heard about me through word of mouth, but I charge them the same as my retail clients. I think my retail is probably cheaper than it could be so dealers don't need to feel so bad!
Re: Poll: Do you service car dealers?
January 16, 2012 02:32PM
It is 99% retail for me... Any dealer account gets charged based on condition of vehicle Yes $195+
Re: Poll: Do you service car dealers?
January 16, 2012 02:53PM
Pretty much exclusively all dealer work here. $175.00 buys a full inside and outside for them.
Re: Poll: Do you service car dealers?
January 16, 2012 09:26PM
How are the Dealers in your good country? One of the reasons I avoid dealers is that I like to get paid. Too many bad experiences of them either failing to pay or trying to haggle down the price. Don't want to tar them all with the same brush as some were genuinely good business people, but others - sleazy used car salesmen. True to the stereotype, indeed.
Re: Poll: Do you service car dealers?
January 16, 2012 11:11PM
Most are the same way here! of course there are always exception to the rule.
Re: Poll: Do you service car dealers?
January 17, 2012 08:40AM
where I work part time, we do work for Lexus dealer, the Porsche Centre, Suzuki dealer and one or two others
However they are happy to pay more than the prices listed in the original post.
we're just lucky I guess
Re: Poll: Do you service car dealers?
January 19, 2012 08:00PM
Okay, results are ready:
Half of detailers won't service car dealers

I wanted to find out what other detailers thought about working for dealerships, so I asked them through a couple of online forums. “To be or not to be” a dealership detail man is a hot topic for lots of experienced detailers, and lots of them have interesting opinions on the matter. Only one of the twelve detailers polled reported that they worked exclusively with dealerships. On the other end of the spectrum, there were three detailers who reported that they never worked with dealerships, but for different reasons. I asked detailers whether or not they regularly accepted detail work from dealerships. See the results below.

Average price to dealers: $160

Some detailers responded with specific prices they charged for dealership work. The amount charged varied widely - one detailer charged $100 per car and another $180. Perhaps the best way to establish a price point is to find out what dealerships are paying - by asking nearby detail shops, not necessarily the dealerships - and then run the numbers on what would be an economical, similar price for you to charge.

Survey sources:

Poll: Do you service car dealers?

Original article:
Survey: Do you Service Car Dealerships?

Re: Poll: Do you service car dealers?
March 03, 2012 10:47PM
As I've said before, the key to getting and keeping dealer accounts is to make an arrangement that benefits both parties. Forget your artistic integrity and be flexible about the meaning of " detailing " .

Try to figure out what a given dealer wants. Then set a price to give him what he wants . Write up a clear agreement for you both to sign. Such an agreement might say :

* All glass will be cleaned inside and out but will not be done over based on incidental streaks or smears etc.

* All exterior paint will be waxed with a one-step product . Incidental minor swirls or unbuffed wax residue will be acceptable.
* All carpet and upholstery stains will be treated and removal attempted . Stains that remain after diligent treatment will not be retreated except for additional charge .
* All wheel wells and engine compartment will be degreased and dressed. Small amounts of residual dirt may remain and will be accepted.

Manage expectations. Have a meeting of the minds . Eliminate time-consuming come-backs and repeat work. Put a cushion on your price so you can afford to do the occasional favor for the dealer . Deliver more than the customer expected ; example - " The door trim was loose so I went ahead and reattached it at no charge ".

Re: Poll: Do you service car dealers?
March 04, 2012 05:06AM
While dealers have been a pain for detailers in the past, and many used car dealers and used car brokers still are, if you let them be, new car dealers today are much better to work with if you give them good service.

I have two friends in the industry that do nothing but dealer work. One has his shops in 10+ dealerships and does over $3 million a year in revene.

The other has his own shop and does between $400,000 and $500,000 a year in business. He recently told me they went to the dealer to tell them they were raising the price by $25. When the dealer started telling he and his brother why he could not pay that increase, he stopped him and said, "Mr XXXXXX, I am asking you, I am telling you..."

Needless to say they got the raise and still get all the work.

Keep in mind that dealers do not expect a perfect car as some detailers do for a retail customer, they just want the obvious things to be done and for the car to look good so they can move it quickly.

Deal with a dealer like a busines person and you can get a reasonable price from them.

Bud Abraham
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