I Run An Auto Detailing Company – What Should I Charge My Clients?


Pricing is a very tricky challenge in high-end auto detailing services. If you charge too little people will think you must not be good enough to command a higher price, but if you charge to much most people cannot afford you thus, you are competing for the top 1% of the market. Well, so is everyone else, and therein lies the problem, which I suppose opens the door for “express detailing” services at the carwash or from a mobile carwash that comes to someone’s office or home. Now then, let’s discuss this further.

You see, there was a cool article in the Detailer’s Digest by Robert Keppel in the Sept-Oct issue titled; “Survey of American Detailing Shops: Retail Detailing Prices,” which stated that the price ranges for a full-detail were $100 to $399 with the average being $215.00 for a retail detail on a 4-door sedan mid-size car. The author also was very wise to remind all auto detailers to return every phone call, email, or contact.

Everyone wants to get a good deal, so sometimes it’s better to charge a high price at the onset, and explain exactly how you are going to clean their car, what you are going to do, and how it will look when it’s finished. As long as you do what you say you’re going to do you will find yourself with plenty of referrals even though you command one of the highest prices around. This is not to say that you should forget out your customer or deny that we are in a recession. It is also not a carte blanche comment telling you that it is favorable to just go for the top 1% of the market and leave the rest.

The reality is “if you want to live with the classes, you must sell to the masses,” or someone once said, to which I agree and concur it is relevant advice here as well. While it is important to keep your crew busy and everyone on your auto detailing team gainfully employed, you shouldn’t sell your services too short, and you need to demand what you’re worth. Every consumer, client, and customer will be looking for a good deal, if you can shave off 10 or 20% off the price, and fully explain what you are doing you could easily start out at the higher end of the price chart, and only pull back slightly to make the sale.

Indeed, I wish you abundant success in your auto detailing company, and it is my sincere hope that you will please consider all this and think on it.

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