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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Professional Detailer, Did I pay too much?



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      01-25-2006, 08:48 AM   #1
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Professional Detailer, Did I pay too much?

I brought my car, just picked up on Saturday to this guy that was highly recommended by a friend. He runs a little family owned detail shop. Initially he wanted $600 to do a full detail job, that included protecting the exterior, he mentioned something like 8 layers of polish. Also, the deal included washing the interior with some protectant and cleaning the glass. Basically, everything for 600. That was over my budget, we ended up going with $300 just for the exterior work, and in the end he got me to throw in another $50 so that he would get the carpetting interior with some protectant.

For you seasoned veterans, is this a fair deal to expect when going to a shop? Yes, I know, I should have bought the materials and done it myself. And I will, after the initial job done by the pro, just to make sure its done right the very first time.
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      01-25-2006, 08:50 AM   #2
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That sounds like alot. Where did you go?

There'a another place in Arlington called David's which charges ALOT less for a full detail job.
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      01-25-2006, 10:16 AM   #3
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$600 is WAY too much to pay for a detail. I would also question whether or not he was laying down 8 coats of polish. If it's a synthetic polish, glaze, or sealant (Zaino, Klasse, Menzerna, etc) then it would take some time between each coat to "cure". 8 coats would mean he would more than likely need your car overnight.

Out of curiosity, I asked a buddy here at work who regularly gets his car detailed. He said the full treatment, which includes Klasse products, runs him $180. This is in North Jersey, which is pretty expensive.
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      01-25-2006, 10:37 AM   #4
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Its called Car Cleaning & Restoration Specialists, its on Wilson Blvd in the Courthouse area. The guy showed me a lot of accolades, his work has won numerous awards in car shows. Sounds very impressive. He told me how some other detailers don't give it the right type of attention or use the right products. I dont' think he was pulling my leg, I think he was legitimate, but I'm not going to be entering any car shows, so perhaps I need to find the right type of detailer for my needs, as long as they don't use the wrong products or methods. He's been around for 11 years, does work on Aston Martins, BMWs, Mercedes, etc. On a side note, he charges $45 for a handwashing service, I wonder if that is competitive.

eleven24, I did leave it overnight, he said he will be spending all day today to work on it, I will pick it up after work tonight. I am not too familiar with North Jersey, but we are in the DC area, and things tend to be on the expensive side geographically around here because of the higher income levels and real estate values. Not that it makes it okay for me to be ripped off, but that may be a factor in pricing, as it means his buildling lease and expenses are higher.
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      01-25-2006, 10:42 AM   #5
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You are never going to be able to get 8 layers of polish on the car in 24 hours. Even if you use Zanio, you can put no more than 3 layers on in a day. He would have to have your car all weekend to do this.

What exactly did he do for the car? $300 for just an exterior detail on a brand new 3 series is excessive (now maybe on an older SUV, that sounds about right). How long did he have the car? Figure the products are only a very small portion of the cost (probally used about $20 of actual products). Then if he had your car for 8 hours, you payed him more than $35/hour. Also, what was the $50 for interior carpet protectant for? I think a bottle of scotchgaurd is something like $5 and takes about 5 minutes to put on...

Professional detail services are useful (I however, do everything myself, it's a bonding experience) and most people do a good job, but unfortunately it sounds like you got taken for a little ride on your new ride.
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      01-25-2006, 11:47 AM   #6
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That sounds excessive. $600 for a detail is not unheard of but that would be for a car that needs a lot of paint defect correction and interior carpet cleaning/extraction. Your new car would just need a light polishing. Was he going to clay the car prior?
I did a full detail on my car last week and used a light scratck remover/cleaner by PC followed by sealant. Did interior, cleaned engine, took about 5-6 hours and I'm no Pro. You can see the results at autopia.org in the click&brag section under "silver BMW". Like espo89 said: it's a bonding experience.
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      01-25-2006, 11:50 AM   #7
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BTW, post some pictures of the results. I'm sure it will look great, just kind of pricey. Ask the guy for some tips on washing to maintain it looking good when you pick it up.
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      01-25-2006, 12:27 PM   #8
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Sorry to hear that this guy tried to take advantage of you. You could do that yourself or have someone else do it for you at a fraction of the $600 price. Perma Plate and similiar products are retailed at crazy prices, it's not worth it. Also, you could purchased some 3m scotch guard for the interior carpet. I'm glad you didn't go for the whole package!

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      01-25-2006, 01:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330Inewbie
Its called Car Cleaning & Restoration Specialists, its on Wilson Blvd in the Courthouse area. The guy showed me a lot of accolades, his work has won numerous awards in car shows. Sounds very impressive. He told me how some other detailers don't give it the right type of attention or use the right products. I dont' think he was pulling my leg, I think he was legitimate, but I'm not going to be entering any car shows, so perhaps I need to find the right type of detailer for my needs, as long as they don't use the wrong products or methods. He's been around for 11 years, does work on Aston Martins, BMWs, Mercedes, etc. On a side note, he charges $45 for a handwashing service, I wonder if that is competitive.

eleven24, I did leave it overnight, he said he will be spending all day today to work on it, I will pick it up after work tonight. I am not too familiar with North Jersey, but we are in the DC area, and things tend to be on the expensive side geographically around here because of the higher income levels and real estate values. Not that it makes it okay for me to be ripped off, but that may be a factor in pricing, as it means his buildling lease and expenses are higher.
45 is excessive for a handwash. The going rate in the NY Metro area is about $10-15. And this in Westchester County which is fairly more expensive.
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      01-27-2006, 09:48 PM   #10
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I have heard of people paying up to a grand for show preps so I definatly dont think the guy was way out of line... but I would say this your average detail place charges from $180 - $300 and you get a pretty extensive cleaning.
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      01-28-2006, 01:07 AM   #11
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yeah thats alot. Did he just put wax on the car or polish out swirls. Even if he polished the car and put a coat of wax 200 at most. Rug protectant is bullsh*t. But a full interior exterior, full polish and any wax you like should run way under 300. I would go with 150 range for a fair price on the exterior

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45 is not expensive for a good detailer who knows what he is doing. Are you talking about those place you pull up and 5 guys come out and wash you car in 5 minutes with the rags and mit they have been using all day. If you like paying 15 dollars for scratches and swirls on you vehicle then i guess 15 is a good price.

I would charge 40-60 (depending on vehicle size) for a full wash and one coat of a quick wax(ocw or UPPS). Tires, wheels and wheel wells dressed. I would wipe down all the sills and door trim. 125-150 for exterior polish and wax depending on condition and vehicle size.

You get what you pay for!!!!
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      01-28-2006, 01:12 AM   #12
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Damn, I would have detailed your car for a quarter of that!
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      01-29-2006, 10:32 PM   #13
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This was what was included for $350:
1) Interior cleaning, stain repellent treatment for carpet & mats
2) Exterior hand wash
-Tape trim?
-Double Polish
-Glaze
-6 coats of sealant

I was very pleased with the final product. He does a lot of work for cars that enter those detailing competitions. He refers to himself as the Fuddruckers of Car Detailing, and the other guys are the Wendy's, Mcdonalds of detailing, thus the premium he charges. After the work was done, he told me how the dealer had left fine scratches and swirls when they were prepping the car for me. They were able to correct all that, but never will I allow the dealer to wash my car when I bring it in for service!

well I kept trying to post pics, but I kept getting error messages from the server.
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      01-29-2006, 10:35 PM   #14
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my cousin owns a high-end detailer shop....
and he charges around $400 for full-detailed...interior and exterior.....

so it sounds about right for $350
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      01-29-2006, 10:38 PM   #15
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@ the Fuddrucker's comment.
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      01-30-2006, 11:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impulsebrklyn
yeah thats alot. Did he just put wax on the car or polish out swirls. Even if he polished the car and put a coat of wax 200 at most. Rug protectant is bullsh*t. But a full interior exterior, full polish and any wax you like should run way under 300. I would go with 150 range for a fair price on the exterior

Explorer3253
45 is not expensive for a good detailer who knows what he is doing. Are you talking about those place you pull up and 5 guys come out and wash you car in 5 minutes with the rags and mit they have been using all day. If you like paying 15 dollars for scratches and swirls on you vehicle then i guess 15 is a good price.

I would charge 40-60 (depending on vehicle size) for a full wash and one coat of a quick wax(ocw or UPPS). Tires, wheels and wheel wells dressed. I would wipe down all the sills and door trim. 125-150 for exterior polish and wax depending on condition and vehicle size.

You get what you pay for!!!!
So thats why I have those swirl marks!! ..its a good thing you're doing my detail for me Honestly, I haven't seen any shops around here charge more then 15ish....There were actually a couple of them around here a while back that were GREAT!!, but lately it seems like all these "handwash" detailers are getting lazy and bringing out those hogwash brushes....the whole point of a handwash is to avoid any type of brushes...
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