Selecting a Professional Auto Detailer by Jon Miller (TOGWT)
Will a full professional detail increase the resale value?
Go to Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds and check out the difference in the trade-in and resale values of a Excellent condition versus Good or Fair condition; it’s usually several hundred, if not thousands of dollars.
Choosing and trusting a professional auto detailer with your vehicle can be a tough decision; when you look for a detailer you want a person you can trust with your vehicle, one with experience, knowledge and specialized training, one who provides the best possible workmanship and products for a fair price.
It is said that the highest art is simplicity; usually experts in their field make what they do look simple, this is due to their technique and extensive experience
For many, the thought of spending over $300 plus to detail a car seems faintly ludicrous, especially when an automatic car-wash charges less than $20, and there are many products available from high street retailers that claim to shine your car to perfection. The reality is that to detail a vehicle correctly takes time (typically 6-8 hours) and the better detailing products are not usually available at a local auto superstore. Professionalism and the overall customer experience are also very important…
There no standard of what a detail consists of in this industry; detailers from different locations charge a wide spectrum of fees depending on their experience, geographical location, scope of work (i.e. their interpretation of what a detail should consist of) and the type of cars they\’re working on.
It is in your best interests to ask question about what actual work is involved. The most significant costs involved are labour; products are not a huge component of a details cost, although using premium car care products will make some difference to a details quality. Things like detailer\’s experience, marketing the company, insurance; taxes, overheads, etc. will be the larger factors in a price of a detail. Even if you\’re not that astute about detailing, if you ask questions on the process common sense will enable you to make an informed decision
I would also add that paint renovation (the removal of serious paint surface scratches is normally charged on an hourly rate, an experienced paint renovation detailer will have a good idea of how long this should take, so do ask for an estimated time and cost before giving the go-ahead.
Some things you may want to consider
• Professional Detailer should have been in (full-time) business for at least one year
• Should have business licensed and be state registered
• Check with the local Better Business Bureau
• Request a reputable detailer’s name (s) on one of the detailing forums
• Ask the prospective detailer for photographs of vehicles they have done recently (most detailers have a portfolio)
• Obtain (telephone number) references from three recent clients and check them
• Ask them what detailing products they use (known brand names are preferable)
• How long they have been in business
• Do they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee?
• Ensure they have adequate insurance cover and that they are a registered business
• Do they take major credit cards and / or Pay Pal?
• Discuss a price and if satisfied set-up an appointment
• If they quote a very low price it could reflect the quality of service offered.
• Mobile detailer’s; are they environmentally compliant?
Once you’ve selected a detailer be specific about what services you require (i.e. full vehicle detail, exterior paint renovation, interior detailing, etc) get an agreed upon estimate before work commences
Author of “Automotive Detailing; Inside and Out, a Knowledge Base for the Perfectionist” and a 110 articles that form the “The Technical Detailing Papers” When I first started writing these detailing guides I realized that it would be very detailed (no pun intended) because of my penchant to include not just “How it works, but also “Why” it works, as well as an explanation of the scientific terminology. With that in mind I probably respond with more detail than some think is necessary. www.togwt
Article Source: Selecting a Professional Auto Detailer
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