How to Set Your Detailing Prices and Make More Money for Your Business

How to Set Your Detailing Prices and Make More Money for Your Business

If you’ve been thinking about how to set prices for your mobile detailing services and make more money for your business, you’ve come to the right place.

Properly setting prices as a mobile detailer is by far the most important aspect of running a profitable small business. While you always want to remain competitive when it comes to pricing, you’ll also need to know what your services are worth in the market you’re operating, how much you can charge your customers, and how much profit you are currently making.

Did you know that only 15-20 percent of people understand what car detailing actually is and why they should pay for your services? That is why when it comes to setting your pricing, it benefits your business to be fully transparent in educating your customers about the value they are getting. Why? Because you are selling the value of your services, not the price. And if people do not understand what they are getting, chances are they will not want to pay for it.

Continue reading to learn more about how to set your detailing prices and make more money for your business.

Know Your Profit Margins

For starters, it is a good idea to audit how much money you are currently bringing in.

How do you tell if your business is making a profit? A positive number means you are turning a profit. If it is a negative number, your business is losing money. Zero means you are breaking even. For example, a business with revenue of $75,000 per year and $15,000 in expenses has a net annual profit of $60,000.

Calculate the Cost of Raw Materials Being Used

At the beginning of each month, take inventory by measuring how much soap, degreaser, wax, and any other raw materials you are using. Subtract how much is left at the end of the month to determine how much is being used.

This may sound time consuming, but you will want to be as precise as possible to ensure you’re calculating your profit per customer before deciding how or if you need to adjust the prices for your services. Then, based on the number of cars you detail per month, you can determine how much product you are utilizing per detail job.

Gasoline and Fixed Costs

Since you own and operate a mobile detailing business, gasoline will most likely be your biggest expense. What is the average distance you travel per detail job? How many times are you putting gas into your vehicle each week? There are plenty of apps out there to help you track mileage and make it easy to factor gasoline and drive time into the equation. You should also be keeping track of oil changes, routine maintenance, car insurance, and any other fixed costs that could be cutting into your profit.

Choose a Pricing Strategy

After you figure out what your margins are, then you can decide what you should be charging your customer for your services. Are the prices you charge really reflective of the time and resources you give to each car?

A popular way other detailing companies go about this is basing their pricing on the size and type of vehicle they are servicing. For example, a sports car or full-size sedan can run anywhere from $50-150 depending on what kind of services are requested or needed. Larger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks can range anywhere from $60-200, and so forth.

When starting out, another option is to go with interior only, exterior only, or both interior and exterior. This is recommended for those who want to market to customers who want this type of service.

If you are simply washing the exterior of the car (no detailing), ballpark pricing is around $15-50 depending on the size of the car.

  • Here are some other variables to consider for your pricing strategy:
  • Pet hair
  • Sap/moss/algae on the exterior
  • Paint oxidation
  • Mold growth
  • Stains
  • Dirt level
  • Take out seats/disassemble
  • Special tools/product usage

Offer a Variety of Services

When it comes to pricing and types of mobile detailing services, customers love to have options. From the quick and simple exterior wash to those looking for something extra, it is important to differentiate yourself from the competition while also making your services easy to understand.

To name the packages you offer, there are a few popular options available:

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Diamond

Another option that is clear to understand would be:

  • Standard
  • Deluxe
  • Premium

One more option for package names:

  • Classic
  • Signature
  • Ultimate

When arranging the packages on your website, showcase them in reverse to provide the top of the line option as the best.

Pricing by Location and Availability

As a growing, small business, the goal is to reach as many customers as possible. To do this strategically, you could start by creating a radius around where your business is geographically located. From there, you can develop variable pricing based on how far you are willing to travel to meet a customer and detail their vehicle. If you are willing to travel outside of this radius, you can charge an additional convenience fee, but keep the pricing for your detailing services the same.

Here is the bottom line: By not setting your prices appropriately, you are leaving money on the table. You want to do business with customers who value your services and are willing to pay for that value. You will probably have to experiment with various price points until you land on something that makes sense for your business and the type of customers you are working with.