Start a Car Detailing Business: All About Selling Automotive Products

how to start car detailing business selling automotive products

Did you know that around a quarter of car owners prefer toilet cleaning to car cleaning? Despite this, the vast majority of people also admit they find dirty cars distasteful. In some cases, they'll even call off dates or entire relationships because of it. 

The takeaway here is that people want clean cars, but they prefer not to do it. That's good news if you ever thought of starting your own car detailing business. Of course, you can expand beyond simple cleaning services. 

You can also move into selling automotive products. Specifically, you can sell automotive cleaning products. Keep reading for the things you need to know going forward for vehicle detailing and automotive products sales.

Sell Your Own Brand 

Unless you're secretly wealthy, you won't get into true automotive product development. What you likely will do is work with one or more private label cleaning chemical manufacturers. These companies already make cleaning products for various applications, such as auto detailing. 

What they do is agree that you can put your own brand name on the labels. You'll typically work with the company on the label design, but the formula is theirs. Just make sure you get all the ingredients and any safety warnings onto the label. 

Order Sizes 

Whether you order your cleaning supplies from a private label company or enter into a reseller agreement, most companies impose quantity minimums. For example, the smallest amount a company will sell might prove a case. That could be as many as 25 bottles of wheel shine product. 

Let's say the retail price is $2.99. Even if you only pay half-price per bottle, that will still work out to about 37.38 plus shipping. 

That means you must sell 13 bottles before you even reach the break-even mark on the product. Figure at least a couple more bottles before you cover the shipping. 

Make sure you can absorb those inventory costs for a while before you start ordering. 

Online Sales 

Some people look for ways to augment their sales of in-person automotive chemical products through online sales. Shipping chemicals can involve a lot of paperwork with the shipper. Talk with your preferred shipper about their requirements ahead of time. 

Online sales also mean that you must work out shipping rates for each product based on its size, weight, and your preferred shipper. You're also looking at online promotion, website creation and maintenance, as well as locking in a payment processing service. 

You should also know that payment processing services typically charge a fee for every transaction, so it can eat into your profit margin fast. 

Getting into Automotive Products Sales 

If you're thinking of getting into automotive product sales, it usually helps if you already run an established auto detailing business. That gives you access to a friendly pool of potential customers for your automotive care products. It also means you likely enjoy some positive cash flow which helps you absorb the initial costs of the auto care products.

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