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Owning A High-End Detailing Business Part 5: Price, The Real Reason Why It Is Such An Emotional Topic



You do not owe anyone an explanation for your pricing. So why if I say what you charge is personal, are so many people pushing for detailers to raise their prices?

One night I went for a midnight walk to clear my mind.  I passed by a McDonalds with a hiring sign, for all positions.  Two of those positions had starting wages that were more than the money some extremely BUSY business owners were making per hour.  They became so focused on being reasonably priced they never noticed they were being unreasonable to themselves, for a customer base that would move on if they found someone else that was cheaper.  Later on, I took the liberty of reading a book about detailing (Car Beautiful) published in the mid 1990s.  The pricing for detailing was listed as follows: $125 to $200 for a basic interior and exterior detailing.  How many people try to cater to picky customers who expect $100 in 2024.  They are not picky for $100 because of high expectations.  They do not value you as a detailer.

To answer the question why we push you to raise your prices, we often see obvious examples of detailers passively wanting to raise their prices.  It is communicated in their rants about customer expectations or scaling back on quality products and indirectly on quality service.  Venting how much they ‘hate interiors’ or the rising cost of goods, are obvious signs.  I often see people trying to turn a single step of polishing into a multiple step service, because the customer does not want to pay for the result he or she requested.  Even with understanding that running a business is expensive most of us still underestimate the expenses.

There are other stories made up to justify why they are in fact scared of rejection and being shamed into being cheap.  The reality is I never received a rebate from Rupes, Meguiars, or Carpro for being affordable or reasonably priced, or for doing far more than what the customer paid for due to misguided expectations.  I never got a ‘my area’ discount on insurance or advertisement expenses.

Why do I charge so much?  I would like to be better off than your last detailer who stopped showing up.  To those bothered by my answer, I challenge those people to ask my clients what they think of me.  There are a lot of people that want you to be profitable, so they have a QUALITY detailing option.   You, your families, and the people that truly believe in you are counting on you to respect yourself enough to run a legitimate business.  You are not disposable.

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
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1 comment on Owning A High-End Detailing Business Part 5: Price, The Real Reason Why It Is Such An Emotional Topic

  1. Muscle express Dan says:


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