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Get To Know Your Ask-A-Pro Author – Eric Schuster

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Hey everyone the guys from DI emailed me and asked me to take part in a series in which they will be interviewing each author. They asked me to provide you with a little information about myself along with answering a few detailing questions they provided.

1. How did you get started in detailing?

This one is a long story, but I’ll keep it short.  Back in 2004, I realized I loved keeping my car clean and people wanted me to maintain their own car as good as I kept mine.  After dabbling in the volume end of detailing, the wash and wax jobs, full interior jobs, etc, I started to get into the paint correction game and I have never looked back!  It took me only my first 3 step correction to get myself hooked on the best possible final outcomes I could produce!  Detailing to me is so much more than waxing a car, it’s completely turned my business around!  Looking back 10 years, I wouldn’t change a thing (well, almost nothing)!

2. What is your favorite car that you have worked on?

For me, this is a tough question.  Is it the black Ferrari 458 spyder, the 35 hour M5 Correction, or the 55 Bel Air I spent 40 hours on trying to get the paint glowing after a so-so triple black paint job.  I have a tendency to gravitate to any of the black cars I have done corrections on as my favorite.  If I had to single one out, I would have to go with a job that I did on the Ferrari 458. It was a HUGE turn around and the owner was extremely satisfied with the end result! Its those types of jobs that keep this business interesting for me!

3. What is the longest and most challenging detail you have ever had?

About 5  years ago, a kid called me up asking me to take a look at his Audi A4.  Apparently his friend washed his car for him to be nice and used a Brillo pad you would normally find in a kitchen sink.  Yes, you read that right!  I looked at the car and estimated a 4 step process would do the trick…8 steps later after 27 hours, the paint was as good as it was going to get as there were spots of primer showing.  He later turned in the car as it was on a lease!  To say I saved him 1000’s in damage payments would be an understatement.  Worst part about it, I severely under charged.  The best part about it, I definitely over delivered!  It wasn’t the longest, I have had quite a few 40+hr jobs, but it was honestly the most challenging I have had to deal with ever as it was strictly for the paint correction, no interior, no engine, no wheels.

4. What is your least favorite area to detail, if any?

For me, its the side skirts on cars that are low.  Polishing on the ground is never fun. Even with a lift, the results just aren’t as drastic considering the texture all side skirts have for increased protection from rock damage.  I can get them looking good and new, but the texture kills the WOW factor for me.

5. What was the best and worst customer experience you have had?

Best customer experience I have had was recent.  Guy dropped off his M3 for a certain agreed upon process.  Once I got started on the car, It turned into a whole different process as the damage was more severe than we thought.  I called him up and expressed my opinion and told him it would be another day on his car.  He was thrilled I was going the extra mile for him and said whatever it takes.  He then told me I would be compensated for my time which I told him is unnecessary since I am the one that quoted the price based on looking over the car with him in the first place.  At the end of it all, double the original bill was given and a HUGE thank you was thrown my way!

My worst customer experience would have to be when I received a bounced check from a regular customer.  I knew they were good for it so I called them up, told them it bounced, and they paid in cash and covered the charges…apparently I haven’t had too many bad experiences with clients (very fortunate).  I guess the only other bad experience is when potential clients try to talk down in price knowing the quality I give and compare it to the local cheap mobile detailer doing things for $100 for a FULL DETAIL and then bad mouth me for trying to charge them a reasonable $200 for a basic detailing.  I do not operate a volume based business but rather more upscale and higher end so I cannot compete with the lower priced services, but I should not have to received bad mouthing for it.

6. Imagine that you awoke on a magical detailing island and a VIP client is having their vehicle flown in but you have no idea what it will be.  The island has a wash bay, water, hose, two buckets and electricity.  What 10 individual products would you want Detailed Image to ship you?

I would like to have the following products:

To be honest, Detailing is a passion for me and I love every job that I get to do.  My business is 75% referrals and I am thankful to my clients who spread the word whether it be on various forums, emails, handing a friend my business card. There are some big changes happening with the business, so stay tuned over the next month or so!

Eric Schuster Envious Detailing
Eric Schuster
Envious Detailing
Orange County, CA

4 comments on Get To Know Your Ask-A-Pro Author – Eric Schuster

  1. Good read, Eric… should’ve posted some pictures of the A4 🙂

  2. Greg says:

    Awesome learning more about you and your business!

    I’ve corrected paint where someone tried to buff a spot with a brillo pad, but washing the WHOLE car….omg? Are those two still friends?

  3. Bob says:

    Thank you for sharing .Just curious -What is it about the Griot’s Garage 6″ DA Polisher that makes it your preferred polisher?

  4. Joe says:

    Probably used dishwashing liquid to wash the A4 too haha

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