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Old 04-10-2011, 03:34 AM   #1
VanityDetailing
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Default Professional detailers, step inside...

What's your biggest pet-peeve of your clients?



Whether it's the completely neglected car, or the owner that wants to haggle the price AFTER the work is done... what really grinds your gears?



My situation: I quote a client at an hourly rate, in a reasonable amount of time to get the car not only to MY standards, but to exceed THEIR standards. I've found that what I consider "right" to be WAY beyond what the "typical" client wants done. Regardless, when I quote a car, if for example, I tell them it's a 9-hour detail, and it ends up taking 15, I don't charge them for the extra 6 hours. Again, this is a personal work ethic.


I recently quoted a client 14 hours to wetsand, buff, and correct all of the ORIGINAL paint on his '63 Cadillac. After about a 4 day wait, he calls me and says, "how much to just wash and wax it?" It's the bain of my existence as a detailer, to say this to people, but it's a necessary evil... "a wash/wax job is only going to look as good as the surface underneath it. If the surface underneath needs serious paint correction, then it's only a matter of time, as the wax wears down, until it looks like it does currently."


My biggest pet-peeve, is uneducated car "enthusiasts," whom think that since they've owned some baller cars, that they automatically know what all is involved in making them look as good as they can.


Believe me, I try my hardest to not "prey" on people that have more dollars than sense, but, I've got bills to pay too. My "dream" clients, and the ones I have as regulars, are the ones that say, "do whatever it takes to make it look good, and just send me a bill." And even then, I stay with my pricing schedule. It's not good business to bite the hand that feeds you, but if the hand that feeds you is skimping on your portion, then it's valid to get frustrated, IMHO.



Cliffs notes: Who are your favorite, and least favorite clients, and why?
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:45 AM   #2
stwang314
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my favorite clients are probably the ones who have a nice car that think all hope is lost when it comes to getting a stain out of a carpet, or has scratches... and then I fix what ever they thought was impossible. i like their reaction.

My least favorite are the ones who wanted a simple wash n wax, give the car a good look over and then spot something that was wrong with the car from the start, such as marks where someone may have door-dinged their car, or have a few chips in the paint and just never noticed it because the paint was so dirty. Then when its cleaned, they ask, "was that like that before????" I'll tell them that it was, but for some reason I feel like I have some sort of guilt. Not necessarily that I have have done it, but I feel bad that I was the cause of them noticing.... Its just an odd feeling.....

but its a good thing that i take pictures of every vehicle I detail and I write down blemishes prior to working on it
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:58 PM   #3
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I haven't had the chance to take my car into a detail shop yet, but i can understand how irritating that proffesion could be.

I would be more on the "do what it takes to make it look good and send me a bill" side of things. Seems like you could have a better time and do what you would like to the car. And if you give someone the oppurtunity to be the best at what they love, its gonna be a win win... lol.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:57 PM   #4
EdHilario
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My biggest pet peeve is ignorance. Too many stories to tell but the people (not just clients) that don't understand what's involved in the process and what needs to be done just make me facepalm.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:20 PM   #5
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I'm no professional, but I hate it when people get mad when I tell them how long its going to take to do a full detail.
( It's not my fault you neglect your car)
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:36 PM   #6
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Best clients have been the ones who have nice cars and the paint is swirled,hazed,marred, and otherwised messed up. I love seeing the transformation, and i always take pictures during the process so the client can see the change too. I just did a BMW 650i which i did full exterior detail and even with the 1-step polish it turned out awesome. The link below was my favorite detail from 2010 and was full paint correction.

http://www.detailingbliss.com/forum/...htm#post299918

Worst clients are the ones who say "well i get a full detail at turtle wax for %000.00",or any of those large, low quality places.

One specific situation that boils me: A coworked, who i really dont care for much, asked me how much for a full detail. I have standard prices for everything except full paint correction. Even though i did not care for him i always treat possable clients fair, so i quoted his my standard fee for a full detail. He had a yellow H2 and said "Are you serious i can get it detailed at my dealer for $250." He does not know anything about paint care except turtle wax and mother. I suggested that he take it to the dealer and let me know how it goes and ill be happy to fix what they mess up for the same price i quoted you.

Last edited by Dave_zok; 04-10-2011 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:26 PM   #7
sillyboybmxer
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or the ones that think a "buff" is a quick one step process......
and ask if i use such and such over the counter product.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdHilario View Post
My biggest pet peeve is ignorance. Too many stories to tell but the people (not just clients) that don't understand what's involved in the process and what needs to be done just make me facepalm.
^this

and when people tell me they want a "really quick buff".
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:27 PM   #9
VanityDetailing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdHilario View Post
My biggest pet peeve is ignorance. Too many stories to tell but the people (not just clients) that don't understand what's involved in the process and what needs to be done just make me facepalm.

This, and how my close friends keep mentioning over and over again, that "in order for you to be busy, you need to start running deals on Groupon, and LivingSocial."

I work 60+ hours a week with catering, and on my days off, I schedule clients for details. On my slow weeks at the shop, I'm booked out 3 weeks for detailing. I'm plenty busy.

And, being a business owner, and basically focusing on the luxury/exotic/sports cars and suv's, and at the marinas with yachts and megayachts, the clients I have as regulars aren't typically getting the Groupon deals, if you know what I mean. They're extremely value-conscious, for sure, but they're not afraid to spend the money on it when they know that they're getting their money's worth.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:06 PM   #10
XanRules
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I only work with nice people and I agree on everything beforehand.
No problems yet.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:19 PM   #11
subygirl
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2 things that grind my gears so far - working at the client's location, they invite me to lunch and then make me pay.....

I get calls for price quotes when I very plainly list it on my website, then I get a short "Well so-and-so does it cheaper" when I tell them the price and get hung up on before I can tell them the difference between my work and so-and-so's.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:53 PM   #12
xCONWRATHx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyboybmxer View Post
or the ones that think a "buff" is a quick one step process......
and ask if i use such and such over the counter product.
This. And it's always from someone who thinks they are a good detailer themselves, so I always try to be gentle when I explain that they are wrong, and dumb, and they use junk for products.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:32 PM   #13
rymaggi
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How much does a full detail like u guys are talking about cost?
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:35 PM   #14
subygirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rymaggi View Post
How much does a full detail like u guys are talking about cost?
I forgot to add that as one of my pet peeves too

People that call asking about 'a detail' and then don't specify what they want done..... interior? carpet shampoo? wash? wash/wax? wash/polish/wax? I have had that question mean each of those.

But to answer your question in all seriousness, it depends on the area of service, types of products being used, and the depth of the cleaning being done.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:57 PM   #15
xCONWRATHx
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I charge $30/hour, my details are usually a ten hour minimum.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:33 AM   #16
VanityDetailing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xCONWRATHx View Post
I charge $30/hour, my details are usually a ten hour minimum.
I also charge $30/hour, but I tell all of my clients that every single car is different. Some take 6 hours, some take 16, some take 46. It all depends on what you want done, how good you want the car to look, and the condition of the car before I touch it.


@ $30/hr, I'm considered one of the "expensive" detailers in Jax. So many people think that "true" detailing is just washing a car and spraying some tire shine on it, and wiping everything with Armor All. Makes me crazy sometimes.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:21 AM   #17
xCONWRATHx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanityDetailing View Post
I also charge $30/hour, but I tell all of my clients that every single car is different. Some take 6 hours, some take 16, some take 46. It all depends on what you want done, how good you want the car to look, and the condition of the car before I touch it.
Couldn't have said it better.

Which is why I hate it when clients tell me how long it will take to achieve a certain finish. Wrong, you just want to pay $XXX for a certain finish, big difference.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:40 AM   #18
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I have been pretty lucky in this ^^ respect.

I tend to work mostly by referrals so people getting in touch with me for preps KNOW what to expect and know what their results will be, because they saw it on their referring friend's car.

Sometimes I get calls(never emails) that ask how much for waxing typically with the preface " I have it waxed about once a year" and I simply explain for the results they were looking at or were hoping for, wax isn't going to cut it and that I just won't wax non prepped paint because my name has to go on it.

Anyone who gives the "I know a person X who will do Y for Z price" I simply say: "if you want to pay that price you should stick with person X since you want to pay that price"

To be honest, I think some people pay Y price because they can say " I had this or that done" - mind at ease when it comes to care, or resale or whatever. I think most of us in this thread appeal to people who want their rides to look AMAZING, hence the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rymaggi View Post
How much does a full detail like u guys are talking about cost?
For me, most details are priced between 300- XXXX depending on the project, time required and the amount of work put in.


My only peeve is when people(typically new customers) cancel last minute or no-show and expect to get in next week on my time --> which leads to a "right now" hack detail instead of the right way, pushes them back a few weeks but then costs them more in the end to fix even more damage. Not so much a peeve as I am fine correcting local hack work but the fact they cancel last minute and have no respect for time.

It's all good in the end though.


EDIT: I do smile when a pretty bad paint(prep) job with leftover sanding, heavy uneven OP and terrible masking that would otherwise require easily $700- 4 figures and 20+ hours calls and says " It just needs to be buffed out" - that statement already Rolodexs my mind of what the car will look like.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:14 AM   #19
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What does a basic detail entail. For me I would want my paint to shine and the inside to be spotless. Does it also include engine bay?
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:25 AM   #20
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The definition of a "basic detail" means 5 things to 5 different people - VERY subjective. Many people consider a basic to be a wash, wax, and interior "cleaning". Hopefully I can give you an idea of mine. I am sure Conrath, Nagz, and Evan(Vanity) will add info to what they consider a basic for people.

The problem with "basic" by my definition is it needs to be in some sort of maintained condition. Regular customers see "basic" details after their seasonal preps. New customers always need something considerably more thorough than a basic detail, which to me is a maintenance prep.

For me, a basic exterior detail = wash including jambs, wheels tires etc..., decon(clay and some mild tar/iron removal), some light polishing for paint prep to accept a couple coats of sealant or wax. Interior "basic" is tough because of the range of interior condition but would be a thorough vac and dust down, a cleaning with a cockpit detailer(that might include some conditioning) or hard surface cleaner, then leather cleaning and conditioning. Shampoo and extraction is done right so that is additional because you can eat your dinner off the floor when I do a thorough carpet cleaning and extraction. Most shops simply do the "carpet stripe extraction special" - which I can always get lots more gunk out of. Glass always cleaned.

Engine and underhood for me(and I think most) is separate and considered additional/optional.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:36 AM   #21
xCONWRATHx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoAesthetica
The definition of a "basic detail" means 5 things to 5 different people - VERY subjective.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rymaggi
What does a basic detail entail. For me I would want my paint to shine and the inside to be spotless. Does it also include engine bay?
Case in point, what rymaggi is asking for (and likely wanting to pay for) is a final result, not the steps required to get there. So if two different vehicles, one filthy and one moderately dirty, both have the same idea of rymaggi as to what the final result of a basic detail should be there would be a drastic difference in the amount of time (and money) invested into each vehicle.

My basic is essentially what AutoAesthetica already posted, although I have another package for returning clients that doesn't include any paint correction. Now, I need to hit the road as a '39 Ford is gonna make me it's bitch for the next two days.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:54 AM   #22
VanityDetailing
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Just got a call from the guy with the '63 Cadillac. He says, "I checked around town, and you were on the high end. Can you work with me on the price?" I told him, "I'm already giving you a deal. I quoted you at 14 hours, and told you that if it takes me 20, I'm not charging you for the extra time. I challenge you to find another detailer that will do that. Besides, any other detailer I'm sure will make your car look good, but I'm going to give it everything I have to make it look new." He says, "Let me talk it over with the wife." *click*
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:41 AM   #23
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my pet peeve is doing a 8 hr job, wash, clay, polish, wax, and then see the owner wash the car with dirty rags, brushes, and degreaser instead of proper car soap.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:25 AM   #24
06 BLUE DREAM
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sorry about us noobs. Im really trying to learn about proper car care but there is just soo much info out there. I just bought my car about a month ago and i really worked hard for it. I was just wondering what i can do as a owner to keep my car in as good as condition as possible with just basic knowledge of car care. any products, types of mits to use, where to buy these products would be much appreciated
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:00 AM   #25
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I would be more than happy to help you build a gear kit based on your wants and needs.

You never need to apologize for wanting to take care of the 1.5 ton 5 figure joy boxes that we all drive especially when you bust your tail to purchase it(or anything else for that matter).


Basics really come down to a few things: Desire to care appropriately for it, getting into a good habit so it becomes easy and never a "chore" and using quality gear to maintain it.

Once you have the quality gear and the desire to maintain it and keep it clean and protected, the good habit is basically a pattern you fall into(breaking any old 'bad' habits) so that you follow a progression eventually so you don't end up spending hours and hours and hours maintaining it - though we often do anyway because we love it.

Depending on what "level" you want to get started with your purchase and ultimately what you are starting with a "basics" kit I tend to recommend is as follows:

- A through wash with quality mitts and a good shampoo
- A good claybar decon(a must for most new purchases and new-to-you)
- At the least a nice paint cleaner to prep the paint(which may or may not have some pretty good exposure) which can be used by hand.
- Some durable protection for the now prepped paint because we know how soft Subaru paint is and how easily it can be etched. A wanted side-effect to protection is how easily it will clean after protecting it.

Extra "levels" would be more intensive polishing procedures and the appropriate gear. These obviously come at a greater cost despite being a 1 time buy but the option is always there to progress to.

Its a really good idea to stay up on the care of your wheels if you care about them. Once you get them nice and clean again, maintaining them with a good barrel brush and shampoo with a squirt of APC(all purpose cleaner) here and there will keep them in top shape without having to buy wheel specific cleaner.

Interior can be cleaned and conditioned if not already and then maintained with a cockpit detailer or even a regular dustdown and vac if its not really get dirty at all.

When you can add accessory items like tire dressing, an extra glass cleaner, trim products.

There are tons of levels and products you can add for specific tasks however there are many basics that can cross categories.

Hopefully this gets the wheels turning to think of whats important to you. If you have questions or want more help please send me a PM.

Congrats on your purchase
Mike
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