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-   -   Headlight Cleaning (http://www.sowpub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9105)

Andy March 26, 2015 04:36 PM

Headlight Cleaning
 
A few years back there was a discussion regarding headlight cleaning services. Is anybody still doing this that could comment on the market these days?

GordonJ March 26, 2015 04:56 PM

Re: Headlight Cleaning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy (Post 34744)
A few years back there was a discussion regarding headlight cleaning services. Is anybody still doing this that could comment on the market these days?


The Demand is still high. Search forum for discussions on the subject.

It can be started in a day, with minimum expense, and put cash in your pocket within hours. But, one has to get out and be near cars to do it.

Depending on where you live, 60 to 120 bux a day is pretty easy to attain.

Gordon

Andy March 26, 2015 05:05 PM

Re: Headlight Cleaning
 
I'm hopping to do better than $100 per day but primarily I'm considering wholesaling the product to not only car lots but repair shops, small parts houses, car washes, etc. I really like the product (no sanding, buffing etc.) but I need to be sure the need is there and the competitors are limited. A few years back I had an interior repair and paint touch up biz, working the lots so I know what goes into that.
Thanks for the response.

GordonJ March 26, 2015 05:16 PM

Good luck, lots of competition there.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy (Post 34746)
I'm hopping to do better than $100 per day but primarily I'm considering wholesaling the product to not only car lots but repair shops, small parts houses, car washes, etc. I really like the product (no sanding, buffing etc.) but I need to be sure the need is there and the competitors are limited. A few years back I had an interior repair and paint touch up biz, working the lots so I know what goes into that.
Thanks for the response.


There are ton of these products already being in the wholesale supply chain.

But, hey, if it works for you, great.

Gordon

Don Alm March 26, 2015 05:17 PM

Re: Headlight Cleaning
 
2 of my "students" are still cleaning headlights at Used Car Lots.

People are STILL going to car lots to buy Used Cars. Many of these vehicles have "yucky" headlights and.....these vehicles would sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY....If they had CLEAN, SHINY Headlights!

All it takes is
1) Get the right chemicals
2) Practice on 2 or 3 vehicles
3) Go visit a Car Lot and tell the owner you'd like to show him how you can clean a HeadLight on one of his vehicles.
a) Clean ONE Headlight then ask owner what he thinks. If he wants you to clean the other headlight AND....any other vehicle on his Lot.....you charge $40 per Vehicle.....$20 per Light. If he doesn't want to pay.....offer to drop price to $35 per vehicle and if that doesn't work....thank him for his time and leave!

Don Alm

PS....one guy in my area has a "Route". He visits 8 Lots a Day...4 days a week (mon-thur) and averages 10 vehicles a day...40/week for a take home of $1,600 per week for the HeadLights AND....he now Renews Black Plastic & Rubber on Door Handles, Rear View Mirrors and Bumpers PLUS....making the interior smell fresh & clean with an "Air Fog".....so he can windup with $100 per vehicle.

Boris March 26, 2015 09:01 PM

Re: Headlight Cleaning
 
Since you've done interior / touch-up in the past I don't need to tell you the competition at used car lots is huge. And if headlights is all you do, you are very limited b/c almost every vendor offers this service along w/ 2-3 other things. And managers have told me vendors come in several times a week. I'm talking about servicing new car dealers used inventory. I've never had much luck w/ the corner used car lots. They seem to do a lot of that stuff in-house. But you don't know until you ask.

I don't do much retail but the need is there. Just take a look at the lights in any parking lot.

Robert J. March 26, 2015 10:56 PM

Re: Headlight Cleaning
 
There is a need for headlight cleaning. As mentioned above ... just look around.

People need clean headlights. But they don't WANT clean headlights. I think that's where this gets a little dicey.

Sell the sizzle, not the steak. But there's no sizzle to cleaning lights. Except, of course, if somebody is trying to sell the car. Then the sizzle is the additional coin he/she can make.

Obviously, you can make money doing this. There's lots of products and opportunities out there that involve buffing up those weathered low-beams. But it is going to take some old fashion effort, getting out there, talking to people, and dealing with rejection.

A thick skin, a "people personality," and the right chemicals/method will go a long way.

Wholesaling the product, though, is a whole different nut. There are so many products on the shelves at auto stores and big box discounters.

I think you'll need top-quality marketing, design and packaging to make even a small dent in the competition.

What always intrigued me was the idea of selling some "proprietary formula" stuff at fairs/flea markets/farmers markets ... stuff like that. Basically a huckster, selling the product with a captivating spiel and effective demo. Still, back to the original problem: Nobody WANTS clean headlamps.

Andy March 26, 2015 11:49 PM

Re: Headlight Cleaning
 
Well, let me ask you this. Most of what I am seeing is the old sand, wipe, buff type of cleaning. This is labor intensive and messy. While I do see some of the better, easier wipe and seal, it appears the sanding is still the most popular. Am I wrong?

GordonJ March 27, 2015 01:49 AM

Perceived value
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy (Post 34754)
Well, let me ask you this. Most of what I am seeing is the old sand, wipe, buff type of cleaning. This is labor intensive and messy. While I do see some of the better, easier wipe and seal, it appears the sanding is still the most popular. Am I wrong?


IF the dealers or customers see you simply wipe on and wipe off, they feel you haven't worked for the money. Yes, the headlight got cleaned, but the perception is what allows one to charge more.

Bud Riggs perfected the 3 minute job, but, at the end, he went back to sanding, tripled his price (60 bux) and had no drop in demand.

Also, it is presentation and knowledge of the different types of plastics and how they were treated, so, you could clean a headlight, but, to RESTORE it, then sanding is done.

But, you test your market. I wouldn't do dealers in my area, prefer a little biz card on the parked vehicle and a phone call.

And, as posted above, very few people actively want this, but if you bring it to their attention, then you get jobs.

Wipe on wipe off chemicals could also permanently streak the plastic if it has even the smallest of chips or stonemarks.

Gordon

Don Alm March 27, 2015 06:54 PM

Re: Perceived value
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GordonJ (Post 34755)
IF the dealers or customers see you simply wipe on and wipe off, they feel you haven't worked for the money. Yes, the headlight got cleaned, but the perception is what allows one to charge more.

Bud Riggs perfected the 3 minute job, but, at the end, he went back to sanding, tripled his price (60 bux) and had no drop in demand.

Also, it is presentation and knowledge of the different types of plastics and how they were treated, so, you could clean a headlight, but, to RESTORE it, then sanding is done.

But, you test your market. I wouldn't do dealers in my area, prefer a little biz card on the parked vehicle and a phone call.

And, as posted above, very few people actively want this, but if you bring it to their attention, then you get jobs.

Wipe on wipe off chemicals could also permanently streak the plastic if it has even the smallest of chips or stonemarks.

Gordon



HOLY CAMOLY....what Negativity! I can't believe it!

"First off...."dealers or customers see you simply wipe on and wipe off, they feel you haven't worked for the money. Yes, the headlight got cleaned, but the perception is what allows one to charge more.

I DO NOT ASK THE LOT OWNERS TO COME AND WATCH ME! I simply ask if I could clean ONE Headlight on ONE car. I use my "Secret Stuff" and go back to the Office and ask the owner to COME SEE WHAT I'VE DONE!

He does NOT KNOW if I've used a BUFFER or SANDER of whatever....all he knows is....YUP! THAT HEADLIGHT SURE LOOKS A LOT BRIGHTER THAN THE OTHER!

Gee Willikers! It's called "SalesmanShip"! If you allow Lot Owners to SEE what yer doin'.....their FIRST instinct is....."Hey! Why do I need THIS guy, I kin do dis myself!"

Excuse em waa.....THIS is for LOT OWNERS ......NOT vehicle Owners!

Hey....again....we're NOT talking here about "ROCKET SCIENCE"! If the guy who's gonna PAY ME (owner of the Lot).....sees the headlight I cleaned AND....IT LOOKS CLEANED AND BETTER THAN THE ONE I DIDN'T CLEAN...he doesn't give a whoopy fizz about "RESTORATION"....he's ONLY looking for a way he can;
SELL his vehicles....FASTER.....and for MORE MONEY! He doesn't give a "Rats Butt" about how long the clean headlight lasts!!!!!!

We are NOT trying to sell to OWNERS of VEHICLES! We're selling to Used Car Lot Owners!...which is a WHOLE DIFFERENT BALLGAME!

A guy in my town sells "RESTORATION OF HEADLIGHTS"! He charges $60! and does a BUFFER thingee! This is NOT the "Market" I'm taking about!

I am NOT interested in "setting up shop on a street corner, to sell to vehicle OWNERS!"

My "Target Market" is.....USED CAR LOT OWNERS who's ONLY interest is;
SELLING VEHICLES FASTER
and
FOR MORE MONEY!

Heck.....if the Headlights turn into mud a week AFTER car buyers get their cars home.....IT'S UP TO THEM TO HIRE SOMEONE TO "PROPERLY RESTORE"!

We're talking here about TWO (2) different Markets!

I have never had any interest in Satisfying CAR OWNERS! That's atotally DIRRERENT Market! My Market is satisfying used car lot OWNERS! IF.....you can see the difference!

Don Alm

Also.....whenever I've gone into ANY Used Car Lot and asked the OWNER if he has any cars where previous owners were SMOKERS.....they've ALWAYS (on a lot of 10 cars or more) given me TWO or more.....for which I took my can of "Fog" (cost me $3.50ea) .....filled the interior and a few minutes later...open the doors and WHALA.....NO MORE SMOKY SMELL! You Kiddin' ME! They QUICKLY GIVE ME $35 PER VEHICLE! If you can't do this for TEN cars a day.....you ain't tryin'!


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