Choosing a professional detailing service is an important decision. Your vehicle is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make after your home. It’s important to protect that investment. There are some people who claim to be detailers who simply do not have the skills, tools, and time to detail correctly. Poor detailing can do more harm than good, and it can mean more money and time to correct what a “detailer” without the correct skills, tools, and time has done to your vehicle. It’s important to choose the right detailer the first time.
- Location. Everyone has to start somewhere, but always be wary of a detailer without a professional location. Those that work out of their home garages are often the detailers who have not taken the time to learn correct detailing techniques or invest in professional detailing tools and products. If a detailer’s business is all mobile, coming to you, you should expect professionalism. Mobile detailers are convenient, it’s a service we offer, but professionalism is especially important when your detailer is coming to your home or business. You want to be able to easily identify their business, and they shouldn’t hesitate if you want to see the products and tools they’ve brought with them to ensure you’re getting a quality detailing package. A pro should be able to answer questions and provide examples of their previous work. (Social media is a great place to start looking for this), and you can even ask to see finished vehicles when you’re at the detailer’s location.
- Time commitment. If there’s only one technician on the vehicle, even a standard detail that includes interior and exterior can take 4 to 5 hours. You’re simply not getting the same quality from a place that says they can do the job in an hour.
- Tools. A professional should have professional products and tools. One area where this can be made especially obvious is in regards to buffers — a professional should never be using a high-speed buffer. We’ve had clients find that the “pro” they trusted was using one of these buffers, leaving their vehicle with swirls and/or scorch marks, so they’ve driven straight from that “pro” to us.
- Guarantee. A detailer should alway stand by their work and be willing to ensure your satisfaction, but there are some processes that simply cannot be guaranteed. First, as we’ll say again, no professional will guarantee that they’ll be able to fix imperfections without seeing your vehicle first. For instance, scratches can sometimes be corrected, but other times they cannot, depending on the depth of the scratch. There are also some particular problem areas like bad smells, that may require some work before it is known whether the problem can truly be fixed.
- Cost. Price shopping is normal, but a price that is significantly lower than other detailers in the area is often a reflection of the quality of work you’re going to get. It is truly a situation where you’ll get what you pay for: inexperience, low-quality products and tools, and not enough time spent to get the job right. For instance, we often won’t touch a paint correction job for less than $500, because polishing is a very time-consuming project and takes a lot of training to get it right. Another thing you should expect from a professional detailer is a request to see your vehicle before finalizing their quote. Don’t expect a detailer to give you the final price over the phone because we need to see the vehicle in person and in the right light to assess if your vehicle has any unique problem areas that may require extra time or equipment.
- Reviews. As with any business, reviews can be helpful. Check out multiple places for reviews. You shouldn’t be expecting perfection; in fact, if every review is 5-star, there are some very legitimate reasons to stay away: first, they may not have been around long enough to have very many reviews (a new detailer can be good, but you should always be cautious when you’re working with someone who doesn’t have much experience); or they could be removing bad reviews or paying for good reviews (a pro should be able to learn from their mistakes and shouldn’t have to pay for good reviews).