View Full Version : Expanding Detailing Business

Mar 11th, 2004, 09:50 PM
Anyone With Advice -

My name is Matt Hoffman and I'm a new poster here. I've really liked reading some of the informative posts and the helpfulness all the members give out. I've been into detailing cars since I got my Civic Si a few years ago when I was 16. It all started with a bottle of gold class and then became an obsession. I decided to do a little detailing for profit last year and bought the Concours Collection with the Porter Cable, and got a Shop Vac and a Karcher High Pressure Washer. All the products included in the Concours were great but now I'm looking into expanding my business and doing a minimum of 2 cars per week during the summer, maybe more if I market it well. I've been looking at all the costs and performances people have said about each product and I'm trying to get a good list of the professional products I can buy in bulk.

Here is what I've come up with so far-

Wash - NXT Wash - heard good things and its not too expensive.
Clay - I use Quik Clay now but are the other Meguiar's clay better? Are they worth the cost?
Cleaner - Dual Action Cleaner Plus - Everyone says this is a great product. I liked the Premium Paint Cleaner but this seems easier on the wallet... especially by the gallon.
Polish - I use Show Car Glaze now but it takes a few wipes to get off. Should I go with the Hand Polish or something else or stick with #7?
Wax - NXT Wax - haven't tried it yet but everyone is raving. My car deserves it and so do my customers. High Tech Wax and Gold Class are excellent waxes though.
Glass - Glass Cleaner Concentrate - where can I get only one gallon of it though?
Carpet - All Purpose Plus - Seems to be reccomended as a good cleaner.
Vinyl - Vinyl and Rubber #40. I love it.
Leather - Premium Leather Cleaner. Good product from what I see but I don't have leather in my car. Would be for the customers.
Metal - I've had success with the All-Metal Polish. Works very well on chrome, wheels, and even exhausts. Any other suggestions welcome though.
Tires - Some say Tire and Trim Dressing Gel some say Vinyl and Rubber. What looks better and what is better from a cost stand point?
Trim - Trim Deatiler - I've loved it but I wouldn't get it if I bought Tire and Trim Dressing.
Odor - Odor Elminator - Is the small $3 bottle the same stuff as the Gallon that is sold?
Plastic - Plastx - People seem satisfied with it and its cheaper than the Plastic Deatiling Collection.
Engine - Should I go Engine Kote or Citri-Gel Multi Cleaner. Right now I've just used Simple Green and a high pressure spray because thats what the detailers used at the touchless car wash I used to work at.

If I'm missing anything important add to my list. Also, where else can I buy some of this stuff besides on the Meguiar's website? Is there a Meguiar's Rep in the Omaha area. Sorry I got a little carried away but I want to make sure I'm getting the right products before I buy them all. I'll save the marketing questions for later. :)

Thank you very much for the help!

- Matt Hoffman

Lynn Matthews
Mar 11th, 2004, 10:05 PM
Welcome to Meguiar’s Online! It sounds like you have a good handle on things for one or two cars a week. If you increase your business, you may want to consider some higher volume products.

Be sure to check out what other members may recommend as they answer your post.

We have a great community here and a wealth of information based on experience!

Good luck,

Mar 12th, 2004, 12:57 PM
Sounds like you've got a pretty good idea of what you need going. I would just recommend maybe looking in to larger volume stuff if your going to be doing many cars. The detailer line is all pretty much really good.

I would go by the gallon for any car wash soap, I think the nxt is by the 64 oz bottle, could be wrong on that. I like the detailer car wash shampoo personally.

For the clay if you can nail down a place to buy just a single detailer clay bar they are larger and would probably last you longer. You might even pick up a mild and aggressive bar for whatever you would come across.

DACP is good to have, for your other polish you might want to try hand polish, again personal prefernce, but I like it better than show car glaze, it's more for clear coat, the glaze is more for single step.

Wax, ohh yeah NXT.

Finding a place to get the detailer products in the volume you want is probably the hardest thing, find your local rep and see if they know of anyone or any place. It is deffinitely worth having the glass cleaner concentrate.

Multip purpose cleaner plus is a good all on one product to have. I use it for carpet shampooing and engine degreasing.

For tires and trim I'd say tire and trim gel simply for it's ruggedness when exposed to the elements. Plus it eliminates the need for a separate trim product.

As for the odor eliminator I'd deffinitely look in to the gallon if you anticipte using it often. Otherwise you will go throug the little bottles very quickly. As far as I know the only difference between the yellow bottle and the professional stuff is the professional stuff doesn't have the fairly strong initial smell to it. They used to have 24 oz bottles of the consumer odor eliminator so I bought a few bottles of it and am still using them so I can't say for the profesional stuff yet.

I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I have detailed a few other peoples cars for $$$ in the past, but it's mostly for myself. I'm 20 right now and it started as an obsession for me too. I suppose I should try myself to turn it in to a larger business because the money is deffinitely good. Again, the above is mostly personal opinion. You may need to try some of it for yourself and make up your own mind.

Mar 12th, 2004, 03:53 PM
DACP #83 and SFP #82 should be your core paint correction/leveling/swirl removal products. I'd go with either Machine Glaze #3 or Hand Polish #81 as my final glaze. Instead of NXT, I'd go with Polymer Sealant #20 because you can buy it by the gallon and you can also use Pro Paste Wax #16 for a topper or for those who prefer a carnuaba look that is still durable.

Finding your local Meguiars pro distributer in your area is very important. Not only do they usually have ample stock on hand, they also have a pretty good idea of what works best for your situation.