20 Year Old Detailer Making $130,000 A YEAR
The guy is only 20 years old and he's already making up to $130,000 a year detailing cars! So what's up guys?! Welcome to another episode of Pan The Organizer! So if you guys were thinking of starting your own detailing business, this is the video for you because today, I have a special guest on the show. His name is James. He's 20 years old, he's from Los Angeles California, and he has the Top Class Detail, so it's a mobile detailing business. He also has the Top Class Detail YouTube channel with over 30,000 subscribers. He's here to inspire
you to start your own business, and we're going to share a bunch of information and we're going to be answering classic questions like how did he start the detailing business, what inspired him to do so, how do you start a business, meaning what do you need for a budget what kind of equipment you need, do you need any licenses, how much do you charge for a job, and what services can you offer, how many hours do you work in a week on average, how do you advertise your business... You're gonna also see his mobile detailing truck set up. Also how much money can you expect to make in a day, in a week, and in a year. I like to support guys like that, that work hard and have the passion for it, so yeah let's jump into it right now, James take it away! Hey Pan thanks for having me on the show, I appreciate the opportunity. My name is James with Top Class Detail. I'm 20 years old, located here in the city of Los Angeles, California. I do service both L.A. County and O.C. County, but today I want to take you guys on a day in the life you could say of me and my mobile detailing business, and see exactly how I do things how I run things, as well as answer some questions you may have about how much money can you make per day, how did you get started, and what do you what do you ride with in your van. So without further ado, I appreciate the
opportunity once again thank you guys for tuning in today and let's get started with this video! How old are you and how long have you been detailing for? 20 years old and I've been detailing for I would say like two to three years now. Two or three years? Yes sir! But how did you get started in like detailing? Like did someone show you about it? Um, well, I kind of like one time I had a Maxima as my first car and I wanted to clay bar it. I had found out about it so I had um went to Wal-Mart, I bought like the 200 gram kit and then from there I clay barred the car, applied my own little carnauba wax that came with the whole thing and then from there actually I got into a job where I was working at an auto body shop doing detailing through there and then from there that kind of just got me more into it and then I started researching it more found out about mobile detailing and then it was kind of at that point where I decided i wanted to work for myself instead of working at the shop. When you started your business, how do you go about it? Like do you have like a budget? Is there specific licenses you have to get? A budget? I would say yes, um, at my age I wasn't, I was working, but I wasn't good with money management, so I didn't really have a lot of money to start with, um, I kind of bought things little by little. Like I knew I wanted to start from the house, so I got a garden hose, um little kind of products here and there. I think I have a picture of it if, so we'll try to input
it into here so you can actually see. Just some Chemical Guys products and really just the basics, but definitely I had my own budget just because of the amount of money I have so I don't want to say you need a budget of 3K because not everybody has 3K. So your budget depends on you and how much it is that you can afford to put into the business at the time. So you definitely do want to just at least put get down a list of the basic necessities that you need and then you can kind of get your budget from there and all the other stuff are just additional things that you want, not necessarily things that you need to get started So we talked about budgeting. What else is there? I would say the most important thing is your name, because you cannot start your LLC, I mean don't get me wrong you can, but you can't really register it without the name. It is that you want to put it under so come up with the name. People
always ask me how did you come up with Top Class Detail? And to be honest with you, I really don't know too much about it. I was kind of just at home thinking, I remember looking looking at other people's names and trying to get ideas, not like taking theirs but saying okay his was First Class I think I ended up with like Top Class or you know different things like that, but essentially you want to get your name down so this way you can file for your LLC file, for your insurance file, for all those things that you need or want to be protected and to run a legitimate business. So definitely get your name going, uh, figure that part out. But in that, um, obviously when you first started a business, did you go straight into the legalities like going into the state or going to your local city following your business and then going to the state and filing your business, or did you like try out the business first then you did that stuff? Um, I definitely did the second part. I started, I had to test the waters. I had to see if it was going to work or not is this something I'm going to be able to do for longevity, or is this just something that's going to be you know a side hustle to make some money on the weekend. So
I started it out. The first month was pretty rough. I did only about three to four cars and that was it. But the second month I did 34 and I think it was at that point when I kind of saw, you know the big dramatic increase of clients as well as just seeing you know what I could really do something with this and make it happen. So after doing it for roughly close to a year, that's when I decided to pull the trigger this is really going to be something that I can do so I want to go ahead and make this an LLC and make it a legit business.
Now James, do you need um your own water tank and, and, uh, generator? You don't necessarily need it, but it opens up a lot more doors for you if you do. If you don't then you are restricted from going to like businesses and other places like that, that don't have water. As compared to if you have your own, you can go anywhere. So you're saying, you're saying, it limits yourself by not having a generator and a water tank. Why is that? In my opinion, because... You can't, you, you can't, just run off of the clients water or electricity? You can, but, what if they don't have water electricity right there? Do you get what I'm saying? It's not all businesses that have a water outlet for you to go. Not all businesses have that available. So if you don't have that, what are you gonna do? You're gonna decline the client because you can't service them.
Whereas if you had it, you're able to say yes and get the job done, because you have what's needed to get it done. That's what I'm not... That's all I'm saying. And yeah you can definitely do it without it. But on top of that, what are the benefits? Like having your electricity for sure. Not every place you can have electricity to run your equipment and then also, with that you got um... The best thing is the water tank to run spotless water, which allows me to wash in direct sunlight without having to worry about it, by using a water hose behind me.
So the service we're performing today is a clay and seal service. This is our exterior focus detail and this is going to be on this black Jeep right here in California. For this service, I'm charging him um $225 for the clay and seal and then I'm charging him an additional $60 to clean and condition the leather so that put him up to I believe was that $285? And basically the way I came up with that, was our leather service is an additional $60 regardless for the five seats, so that wasn't really anything too hard to come up with. Now for the car, we start off at a standard price of $199 for small vehicles. Now the the way I came up with that was just the time that goes into it, the products and different things that we do to the car, we have to take into account our expenses in order to be a successful business. So starting at $200, this obviously is not the same size as a coupe or a small vehicle, so we do have to charge a little bit more for again, supplies water and time. So an additional $25 to me sounds
good. Just to you know take care of everything else that's going to be used as well. As like I say time wise and that's how I kind of come up with the price for my vehicles. I just take my base pricing and from there charge accordingly based on the car. So right now we have the next car coming. This is a Hyundai Palisade. We are going to do a ceramic coating maintenance on this as
well as a leather cleaning and conditioning on that and possibly just upgrade to a full mini interior, because I believe he said there was some makeup and stuff like that on the doors. So let's get that taken care of. Bro something is flying in my eye! How many days a week do you work and how many hours per day on average? When I first started out, it was roughly about seven days a week, 10 to like 14 hour days sometimes. It all just varies, but for sure at least a minimum of like eight. But now I'm managing to do about six days a week so that's Monday through Saturday, taking Sundays off to allow me to revamp the van, get it ready for the week, book appointments, and do anything it is I need to get done. So it's usually I'd say on average um a little bit still over like 80 probably like 90 to 100 plus hours a week, still putting in work because even when I don't work Sunday, I'm still working doing other things: advertising, replying back to clients, doing quickbooks, different things like that. So I'm honestly constantly working all the time. Yo so how do you advertise your detailing services? Uh my main thing right now is YouTube,
which is what you're seeing in this video on, um I would say that has been my biggest contributor to my business, but my main main aspect is mostly Instagram. I try posting all my stories every day. Sometimes I slack off a little bit but Instagram has been my main source of business, always. I never really ran Facebook ads or done anything else besides Instagram, that has always worked for me.
Um but right now, it's just been Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Those are the main three. What are you doing right now? Putting the floor mat inside after I vacuumed, just so this way if any other dust falls, it'll fall on the floor mat and not on the floor. What service are you performing in the inside right now? Um honestly we're going to have to do a mini interior. So I'm about to tell him that we gotta up, we gotta up charge him because what he booked for is just uh, outside ceramic wash and then an interior leather cleaning, but we're kind of scrubbing down everything, doors, so seats, basically my minions here so I'll probably charge them an additional like $50 or so. Yo, so what do you got in your van? So right now, um, I have everything basically needed to get the job done. I have my Kranzle, which is my electric pressure washer. I use this over gas because it's
a bit quieter, also saves me a lot more water, but to the right of that, I have my Adam's air blower. This is to help me do like touchless drying on vehicles, blow air out of cracks and crevices. To the right, IK sprayer, generator right here, and then I have all my reels, um, right here so I have my vacuum reel, I have my air hose reel, and my pressure washer reel, and then on top here, I just keep some towels and then my Tornador tool, gloves and fire extinguishers to the right. Ibviously I have all my bottles needed for any job that is to come up, whether it be a basic wash all the way up to a full detail and a full paint correction. So I have all that tied up in here. Now off to the side over here we have my lateral shelf. So this allows me to stay a bit more organized also carry a little bit more
with me. So right here I have these three plastic containers. This one holds air fresheners, and these two over here just hold miscellaneous items that I may need from Q-tips to brushes to trash bags or anything like that. Down under here we have my Chief steamer. So I use this, I just picked this up I want to say about one to two months ago. I love it. It's a big upgrade from what I had previously. My Aqua Pro steamer went down on me, so I needed something to pick up and decided to pull the trigger on something like this. Now right here, I keep my drying towels. So I have
three Autofiber ones right here, and then to the bottom we just have my 12 inch sub, so this is obviously for the sound system we have here in the van. And then to the left we have the air compressor. So this helps power the Tornador as well as my tire dressing gun which is what I use to apply tire dressing and trim dressing if needed. All right now coming over to the other side. We have the chemical rack. This is what holds all the chemicals. I try not to carry too many things. But everything from my wheel cleaners, iron remover, tire dressing, as well as my soap. So I try to just carry what I would run out of
regularly. Something that I use majority of the time. So that's usually what I just keep here. I also have some smaller bottles like 16 oz ones on the top, as well as my IK sprayers. So these are too big to fit in bottle holders so I just throw these up on top and it holds them securely. Now right here you can see we have my vacuum. This is my Vacumaid Garage Vac Pro. So this thing is a beast! I absolutely love it! I used to have the Rigid 5 gallon, and ever since upgrading to this, I definitely see the difference. I would not go back and I recommend this to anybody who
wants to pick it up I got this one over at H2O Auto Detail Supply if you guys are interested. And then right here you can see we keep my buckets stacked. So I just put them here because it kind of just fits, so it blocks off this whole area so I can use this for the extractor or anything else if needed, but it also slides under there if I wanted it to, and I decided I don't want to stack them. But I have my wheel bucket up top with all my brushes in it, and then I have my wash bucket on bottom with my dirty wash mitts because we did finish off the day today, as well as my Detail Factory brush that I use when I wash exteriors. But that's really about it. I do have some extra towels. Up here I keep a two gallon gasoline can just to power the generator and keep things going . And really that's about it. So I try not to keep it too packed. I really want to just keep what iI
need. The necessities. I do have the extractor and everything else but like I said, I try to leave those things at home if it's not needed, it just saves space as well as just allows it to look a bit cleaner. So in that what inspired you to start detailing? I want to say it's not so much what I guess inspired me, or what kind of what motivated me you can say, was just kind of watching a YouTube video like I mentioned earlier, about seeing just the mobile detailing day-to-day life. I never really knew about it, and I guess that kind of got me into it, and just the fact that I was already cleaning cars at the auto body shop I was at. I guess you could say that's kind of really like what got me into it, but that video kind of pushed me to see what can really happen with this business and the type of cars you can do and places you can go and people you can meet and it truly has done all that for me. I've done plenty of cars I never thought
I'd do. I've gone a lot of places and I've met a lot of very very cool people so I'm very grateful for everything that's happened and truly blessed. And with that I know sometimes you don't like to bring up prices and stuff, but say for someone out there, how much do you make on a good day, a good week, and then on total average year? I know it's only really been about two or three years in the business, and in a sense you're growing, but as of right now, what are you at on a good day, in a good week, and then make like an average on the year? So I would say per day it can vary. Like for example today was around like a $600 plus day like $650 so I mean it all does vary, but a good day would be roughly around there, around like $600.
I try to do about four cars a day so if I can do that, I mean that's very very very well for me. On a good week I've done more over 3K. So just recently, I did three ceramic coatings that was for a little bit over a $1000 each, so I probably made around 4K that week but even before all the coatings, just off of regular washes, it's possible to make you know $3500 a month, I mean $3500 a week, so at a month you're making around 12K a little bit over that. Yearly you're touching maybe $100,000 to $130,000 depending on you know what it brings in. So you can definitely make some very good money. But I would say don't get into it for the money, get
into it for the love of detailing and the love of cars. The money is just something that comes with it, but it's really the relationships and things that you build and the places you're able to go with this. Like having freedom to make your own schedule, be your own boss. What's the next thing? What's going to come for Top Class? My next thing is definitely I want to do a shop that's probably one of my main priorities. I love working mobile. It's definitely where you guys can say the money's at, or where majority of the clients are, but I know in a shop it's going to open a lot more doors for me to offer PPF installs, wraps, tints, just different things. Don't get me wrong, I can offer a lot of these mobile, but it will be a little bit harder I'd say. So I
would love to get a shop to really add like a home to the business and be able to call that my place of work, even though I have the van and everything. I definitely want to do a shop. If not, another van. That would be most likely the cheapest route so definitely those are probably my next two plans that I want to get done with the business. Is now a good time to start your own detailing business? YES! Why? Because there's never going to be a perfect time. There's never going to be a detailing season or anything like that. You just got to do it. You just got to do it. You just got to make the jump. Go into it! Because you're never going to know what's going to happen
unless you try it. I've always told myself I'd rather try it and know the outcome then to not do anything and sit there and wonder what could have happened if I would have done something. So if that helps anybody out there, definitely do the jump. You're never going to have everything. So don't say I don't have this, I don't have that... Because I don't have everything. So just go with what you have, start with what you got, whether it's at the house, whether it's a truck, it's a car. Just start! That's the best thing you can do. And yes it's the best time to start. Well there you guys have it! Pan, I appreciate you for having me on the show today! Thank you for the opportunity. If you guys want to check me out follow me on Instagram @topclassdetail
as well as my YouTube channel and my TikTok. Once again thank you guys for watching the video. Hope I was able to give you some knowledge about the business or answer any questions you may have. And if you're interested in starting your business, definitely do it. If you need any help any advice reach out to me. I try to get back to everybody. But thank you guys once again.