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Thread: Detailing business

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    21

    Default Detailing business

    My fixed income isn't enough anymore. I'm 68 yrs. old and I've spent 54 years
    doing paint and body work as a hobby. I've been looking for a way to supplement
    my SS and retirement income. Since I have some experience with painting, I thought
    a small detailing business would be a logical choice. I've watched YouTube "how to videos".
    They all seem to lack the guidance and help I need. Any suggestions or recommendations
    would be much appreciated. Please keep in mind money is limited. Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default

    man, that is tough way to supplement income.it is hard job..

    you gotta be like a ninja at your age, regular Jack Lalanne...

  3. #3
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    Jan 2008
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    21

    Default No Ninja or Jack Lalanne

    Since I'm neither, I guess I'm SOL LOL.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    I know three people that detail cars, one young and two older and all three make a decent living. One of the older guys advertises on several local town Facebook pages and gets quite a bit of business.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2008
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    Default

    Thanks Len! Do you know of a source for what a basic detail job includes
    and what chemicals and equipment are needed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    273

    Default Detail

    Not sure what area you are in but around southern Pa. we have some bigger auto auctions and a lot of detail shops near by.Maybe stop in and see if they would give some advice.Also inside the auctions there are co's who sell all kind of products for the detail shop and may offer classes. Good luck

  7. #7
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sos1 View Post
    Thanks Len! Do you know of a source for what a basic detail job includes
    and what chemicals and equipment are needed?
    I sell a lot of the tools like buffers and polish and the remainder can probably be found at body shop suppliers in your area. LINK

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    olympia,wa
    Posts
    795

    Default

    i've done detailing before, it can be tough work. but if you pace yourself it actually is pretty rewarding too. i would imagine you need to be careful how much money you make so you don't mess up you're retirement income.
    maybe add in headlight restoration. i see tons of cars needing that.
    b marler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    12,677

    Default Let's dive in (deeper)...

    Quote Originally Posted by sos1 View Post
    My fixed income isn't enough anymore. I'm 68 yrs. old and I've spent 54 years
    doing paint and body work as a hobby. I've been looking for a way to supplement
    my SS and retirement income. Since I have some experience with painting, I thought
    a small detailing business would be a logical choice. I've watched YouTube "how to videos".
    They all seem to lack the guidance and help I need. Any suggestions or recommendations
    would be much appreciated. Please keep in mind money is limited. Thanks!!!
    I can share a lot on detailing with you and will inform you on some things I know and learned.

    First of all, I've done it at many levels but we have a member who is a Professional Detailer to the max who details vehicles for the ultimate judges at places like PEBBLE BEACH on multi-million dollar vehicles. Let's start with him and as we follow his efforts, you'll become more educated on the process, tools and materials. Let's go:

    Many years ago, this new guy became a member on the ABS and was making comments on buffing and ways of the craft.

    I was initially intimidated and thought, "who's this idiot"? So, I made a few posts in a challenging manner only to find out in short order, this guy knew his stuff. Yes, it was Robert.

    Anyway, I was always wanting to help people with anything to include buffing new or old paint using compound. I tried to emphasize to people NOT to look at the entire vehicle but to concentrate ONLY on a square NO larger than two feet square. Put out a couple six inch strips of compound and work that ONE area to perfection.

    Robert came on in a reply and said I gave good advice. I had started following him and all he had to say before that anyway. I 'respect' talent when I see it and support it.

    Anyway, Robert went on to 'create' his own polish that depending on the pad used, was a compound, a polish and a glaze if used right. He made the stuff and called in "TRUE FINISH". I got some to try and OMG, it worked. (Changed name to "SURE FINISH"

    Use a wool pad for compounding, an orange*** pad next to polish, then a black foam pad for finish.
    ***He created the ORANGE pad. Has a name for it, articulated foam (sp) but it works fantastically. I actually tried to burn the paint on an old fender with it and could not.

    Through the years, Robert helped many, many members (who wanted to listen and learn) through the colorsanding effort of new or old paint.

    In the CLASSROOM of this site I am linking you to one of his offerings to start:

    http://www.autobodystore.com/rsw.shtml

    Continued due to length....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    12,677

    Default 2nd page of detail details for you...

    This time let's start here with removing swirls:

    http://www.autobodystore.com/swirl_removal.shtml

    Have you ever been to the CLASSROOM on this site or know how to get to it?

    You can get there on ANY page you are on here. GO to the top of the page and click on HOME.

    There you will see a drop down list and on the left side (down a few) is CLASSROOM.

    Click on that link and then MOVE YOUR MOUSE SLOWLY (not to lose where you are) and have a look at some of the offerings by members here. Brian wrote tons of "BASICS TO BASICS" there.

    Robert has a collection of buffing pads that he developed himself and help from Europe as well. Len has them in the store and I have a link below: (notice the orange pad)

    http://autobodystore.net/Merchant2/m...tegory_Code=T2

    And the polish:

    http://autobodystore.net/Merchant2/m...tegory_Code=M3

    Listen, this is NOT to sell you products as it is to SHOW YOU what works the best (for me) in the arena of 'colorsanding' and what to do to or after the paint!

    continued again due to length....
    Last edited by Henry; 04-18-2019 at 02:44 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    12,677

    Default Last page on detailing by ROBERT...

    When Len redid some page titles he made FINAL TOUCH with Robert in mind.

    You can find a lot of his talk and teachings in comments he made to others. Plus, Len put in some videos made of Robert doing his thing to show certain things:

    http://autobodystore.com/forum/showt...tailing-Videos

    http://autobodystore.com/forum/showt...e-Beach-Winner

    Sorry to get carried away but it must be 15 years and Robert was a lot more active on the other side and many of us fine tuned and learned a lot from him.

    Contrary to what nit wit says, by no means is Robert spray bottle detailer outside of a car dealer - make it look nice for when the new owner comes to pick it up.

    He CANNOT have ONE speck of dust on a show car engine bay nor undercarriage. Thanks for the ear.

    Henry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    12,677

    Default Detail work VIDEOS...

    Below are a few videos Robert did for this site and are informative:

    http://autobodystore.com/forum/showt...tailing-Videos

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    12,677

    Default Let's try this "show me" video...

    Here is Robert at work on a special car:

    http://autobodystore.com/forum/showt...r-to-the-Stars

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    lower Michigan
    Posts
    23,009

    Default

    I agree with Baubau, detailing is hard work for a young person, let alone someone who is almost 70 years old. You will also face some liabilities that could end up costing you money. If you are polishing a car and cut through the paint then you are legally liable to make that paint right. I've worked on cars professionally for 48 years and there is no way in hell I would detail cars for extra money. There has to be a lot of easier ways to make a buck.

    How about a Walmart greeter ? (just kidding). Check into driving for a local new car dealer, (driving their courtesy vehicle) giving people rides home when they drop their cars off or driving to other dealers to pick up cars that the dealership orders etc. Doesn't cost you a dime. Check with your local farm implement/lawn tractor dealers for used lawn/garden tractors that need work which the customers when faced with repair bills wills say "screw it, sell me a new tractor and keep the old tractor". I have an in at a local large John Deere dealer where I pick up between a dozen to to two dozen John Deere Lawn/garden tractors a year. I pick them up cheap ( $50 -$100 each) and some just need minor repairs. I end up selling them in the $1000 to $2,000 + range. Average around $1500+ each. I make them look like new and run like new. Several zero turns, and regular garden tractors with hydrostatic drive and some with hydraulics ($2000 - $3000). I normally don't mess with big box store type lawn tractors because there is no room for profit, unless they require minimal work and buy cheap. I'll be 72 here shortly and I do it as a hobby that pays. I don't need the money but I do need to keep busy at something I'm good at and enjoy doing. Craigslist and Facebook market place are also good sources of tractors and other things to buy and sell. That is only one of my hobbies that keep me out and about doing things. Vegetating on the couch is a recipe for an early death.

    Like I said, there are a LOT of easier ways to make money for a 68 year old man than doing car detailing.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,346

    Default

    yea, Philv, we share same sentiment here..

    i despise and dread when i gotta grab my Makita bufferbto correct paint mistakes...and i am still strong and youngish and i do feel buffer vibrations snd muscle fstigue..yes, there are lighter machines, but Makita is old faithfull..

    abd yea, you gotta be concentrsted and work in diffcult ergonomical positions, one mistake and $$$ gone..

    and you cannot polish or buff most of fresh Korean and Japanese cars, not enough material build on them....i burned tru a few Kias and Mazdas in my lifetime...

    and the clean up, man, i tell people, i will polish and remove scrarches but you wash and clean the car ..

    anything automotive is hard...

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