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  1. #1  

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    Sorry about the very ignorant nature of this question, but what do you guys use for electricity when using stuff like a machine buffer or high-power spray? I know that Scottwax has found ways around needing electricity, but I'm assuming that there's got to be at least a few of you that use an orbital buffer/rotary and a high-power spray.



    Thanks.
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  2. #2  

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    I got myself a 5000watt generator. This is probably the best (only?) way to get electricity without using your customers/place of doing the detail.



    Depending on what you need the generator for (need to have enough amps/watts for your washer, vacuum, buffer), you can get them pretty affordably. Or you can get a slightly better model and use it for other uses.



    Josiah
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  3. #3  

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    i've never had a customer complain about me using their water or electricity. heck, they've offered me a hose and their own electrical cords. i do use their hose much of the time, but never need their cords. no ones ever had a problem with it - i mean really, you're not gonna be using up that much of either that it would reflect on their monthly bill. all the people i've met just love the fact that they don't have to drive anywhere and sit and wait for their car to be detailed - the convenience is a high selling point. giving you use of their water and electricity is a small price to pay for the convenience you afford them.:up
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  4. #4  

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    Sounds like you do a lot at houses... if you do it at business, then it becomes more of an issue, especially water.
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  5. #5  
    Obsessive Compulsive Detailer Jngrbrdman's Avatar
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    When I do cars at houses the customer almost always offers their hose and their power cords. It's a good thing too since I don't have a backup plan if they didn't offer. I made a deal with a local car wash which is where I have to take most of my cars in order to get the water. They let me use thier power too. I just have to arrange it in advance if I need the power.
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  6. #6  

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    This forum is an enthusiast board, not a professional detailers board. A few enthusiasts started detailing for some extra bucks, and I expect don't want to invest the couple grand in going for a generator, van, pressure washer, water tank, supplies, etc etc etc.



    The people on the forum are very knowledgeable however, and full of "details" regarding any question you could possibly have regarding detailing. That's why it is so valuable a forum. Not because everyone here is a business man and has built their own van.
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  7. #7  
    Obsessive Compulsive Detailer Jngrbrdman's Avatar
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    There are a couple ways of defining "professional". If you preform a service and you get paid for it then you are classified as a professional. Now, if the job is done sloppily then it wasn't a very professional job but it was still done by a professional.



    A true mobile detaling company most likely will not go door to door offering details. Some of us do it because it is a chance to wash cars. If I don't have any appointments and I am just really jonesing to wash a car then I'll pack up my gear and look for a dirty car. That doesn't make me non-professional. It makes me inventive.



    Many of the posts by professional detailers on this board are made by members that don't detail cars for a living. Don't draw an opinion of our definition of 'professional' just because we do things that are odd for a business to do. We are fanatics as well as professionals.
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  8. #8  
    Obsessive Compulsive Detailer Jngrbrdman's Avatar
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    I don't have business insurance. It is more of a hobby than a profession. I have a job that pays the bills and detailing is what I do in my spare time. I don't do enough cars in this state to get a license. That will change when I start a business but I'm not starting it in this crumby state. When I get to Texas I'll get a business license and start a legitimate business. Right now I consider it a hobby and good practice for the future.
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  9. #9  

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    jazzyjack, couldn't agree more.

    <blockquote class='ipsBlockquote' >

    It's about all that goes into getting the mobile detailing business off the ground. The insurance, the licensing, marketing of your business. Getting all the correct hardware needed to make a difference from your local competition. Adjusting your prices for your local market. I mean the list goes on and on.
    </p></blockquote>
    Which is exactly what an enthusiast who does his neighbors/families/referrals from that -- does NOT have to worry about.

    I'm not sure where this is going, or how it got to here... let's just say this board certainly fills its niche. And it does a nice job, in my opinion. I don't see myself not coming here a couple times a week to see what new products have been discovered, good deals on group buys for MFs or other products that a mobile detailer would need to bulk. I also enjoy the photos of all ya'lls nice rides.
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  10. #10  
    Obsessive Compulsive Detailer Jngrbrdman's Avatar
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    jazzyjack, So you run a mobile detailing business for a living? Man, I have a thousand questions you could probably answer for me. If you know about stuff like business insurance and things like that then I may have some questions for you in the future. I'm going to have to work for a living while I get my detailing business off the ground but while it is getting off the ground I'm going to be setting it up to be a real business.
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  11. #11  

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    Eeeasyyyy Jazzy,

    You can define professional in many ways. Because I choose not to get insurance or be officially registered as a business doesn't make me any less of a professional than someone who chooses to cross every T and dot every I.



    Detailing is my part-time job, 40/50 full details/yr cash generates the play money for myself and family. The cash is hidden from the Govt. and the X. I'm sure if I was solely depending on detailing for my income I would go the extra mile and spend the extra money on the necessary insurance, registration and advertising. For now I always have a waiting list of potential clients who I will inform that I will be using their water, electrcity, garage and washroom . In 4yrs I haven't had a single complaint on my work or my requests, only tips, referals and gratitude.



    What exactly is it that you need to protect your customers from? I'm an insured driver therefore if I get in an accident driving the clients vehicle my insurance will cover it. The rest of the business side is for your benefit allowing you to write off expenses and be covered should you be injured.



    The equipment you own, the business plan you have doesn't make you a professional. I would like to believe it's the knowledge you possess and the judgement you use in applying that knowledge to bring each vehicle you work on to near perfect condition.
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  12. #12  

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    I also seriously thinking about a small-time mobile detailing business come warmer weather here in KC. (Heck... I've already designed my business cards!)



    I'm reading through all of these threads and many of them are helpful! My problem is that I live in Midtown and am apartment-bound, meaning I don't have easy access to water. Most of my first customers are friends who have seen my vehicles and want me to do theirs..... except the majority of them are ALSO in apartments.



    Because this will be part time and I DONT want to drive vehicles to the nearest car wash bay (insurance and the car wash guy is a jerk), I need to find a solution for my water supply problem without spending major $$.



    Good luck to all of you.... I'll keep you posted of my progress!



    :up
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  13. #13  

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    Electricity is not a problem. I don't use a buffer, and most businesses and homes have available outlets, and like sunnydaze said, the trade-off in convienence for the customer makes it worth letting you use their electricity. Besides, if they ever have a maid service, I highly doubt they would expect the maid to have a generater with her. I also have a small vacuum that runs off the 12V outlet in my car. It is made by Campbell-Hausen, and it is similar to the Dirt Devil-a small hand held vacuum with rotating brushes. I also got an attachment kit so I have a crevice tool to use with it. Not as good as my big wet/dry vac, but it gets the job done. I got mine at Wal-Mart.

    Water is also not a problem-I wash the cars with Protect All Quick and Easy Wash. You just add a couple capful to a gallon of water and just wash and dry. No hose is needed.

    www.protectall.com

    A bit of technical info on the product from one of their reps:

    <strong class='bbc'>Where does the dirt go?[/b]

    The best answer I can give you is "into the towel or wash mitt and then into the bucket." The agents in Quick & Easy Wash are a blend of Surfactants, surface active agents in lay persons terms. These agents are already in use, and have been, in traditional car washing products used in both, hand wash and line wash systems. So the science is not new or unique, just the application. What sets our product apart from the crowd is mostly the lack of SUDS, amongst other and various and sundry other subtleties.

    Suds are an unnecessary byproduct of soap. When Quick & Easy Wash is used in the washing process the suds are eliminated and the surfactants do the work. Part of the work they do is to envelope or suffocate the surface. Two things happen, the electrostatic or chemical bond between the dirt solids and or hydrocarbon solids (this covers most of the soils found on cars) is broken. Next, these soils are enveloped or wrapped and trapped into the surfactant and then into the washing media such as a towel or wash mitt. At rinse time, the towel is plunged into either a clean bucket of water ( using the two bucket method ) or back into the Quick & Easy Wash. In either case the same is true, the dirt solids succumb to the rinsing motion and use gravity to fall out of the washing media and fall to the bottom of the bucket. You can see this if you look into your bucket after doing a wash job.

    <strong class='bbc'>Why doesn't it scratch the cars?[/b]

    In order to address potential scratching, the product contains a element that crosses the lines between polymers, lubricants, and waxes. It is true that if you bear down on a wet cloth over a dirty surface you will get scratches. However, our products make up will help to minimize the occurrence. So don't press down hard, with any washing product. Let's face it, scratching can occur even on a totally clean surface with a poor selection of washing media. Chose and dedicate washing cloths or mitts to a specific task and use them for nothing else. My current best pick for washing media is material called Microfiber, it is easy to find and we are working presently with an importer/manufacturer to bring it to our line of products, but that's another topic for another time.

    -----------------------------------------------

    The stuff works great-I've been using it nearly since it came out (almost 9 years now).

    I do have a customer with a bus. He has a pressure sprayer and a water ionizer at his warehouse, and I use that to wash the bus-since I don't have to dry the bus off, I can knock it out in about 2.5-3 hours, including spraying off the engine, cleaning the windows and dressing the tires.
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  14. #14  
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    Well I Own a rotary buffer very old of course but I use a wool pad. I know wool is very abrasive but my friend had some stuff on his paint that he never was able to hide or get rid of. I used the rotary buffer on it and pushed very hard were talking hard. He blended or whatever and totally got rid of the marks. The next day he let his car set out in the sun for the whole day na d he showed it to me and the work we had done was ruined and the marks re-appeared again.





    :bounce
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  15. #15  

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    <blockquote class='ipsBlockquote' >

    <em class='bbc'>Originally posted by Wax-Master-2002 [/i]
    <strong class='bbc'>Well I Own a rotary buffer very old of course but I use a wool pad. I know wool is very abrasive but my friend had some stuff on his paint that he never was able to hide or get rid of. I used the rotary buffer on it and pushed very hard were talking hard. He blended or whatever and totally got rid of the marks. The next day he let his car set out in the sun for the whole day na d he showed it to me and the work we had done was ruined and the marks re-appeared again.
    [/b]</p></blockquote>
    It was probably that wool pad. You may have been removing the other swirls but you were just adding your own. Wool pad should not be using as a finishing pad!

    Besides, he was asking where you get your power for the buffer.


    I say a generator would be the best thing. You can use it to power all your equipment. Water pump, air compressor, electric pressure washer, leaf blower, heater, etc. Plus, if you ever have a storm that knocks out the power to your house, then you just have to pull out the generator

    If you are doing the work at someone's house then they will probably let you use their outlet. It may be a problem though once you get a call and the car is in the middle of a parking lot.
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