When talking with most car owners, whether their ride is a daily-driver or a show-car, most have an opinion on the type of car care products to use. It used to end with, "You get what you pay for." But today, the differences between car care products is blurry, mostly due to marketing which has created a lot of hype and confusion for people. Today it seems that "New and Improved" is a requirement for printing any product label.
Who hasnít gone to a department store, paid $8 for a bottle of wax and sacrificed most of a Saturday cleaning and waxing their car? Or maybe youíve decided that the big Auto Parts Chain stores had better stuff to cut your time and you can get better results for only a few dollars more? Today, on any "Wax Wall", there is a myriad of choices, all in slick packaging competing for your hard earned dollars.
So, what separates the retail and professional car care products besides slick packaging and marketing? Think about this simple fact: If Auto Dealers and Professional Detailers could get products of similar quality in the Auto Parts and Department Store Chains, why wouldnít they? Simple -because time is money and results matter.
Letís look at a Professional Detailing business. You hire them to clean and detail your car for a fixed price. You donít care if it takes them 1 hour or 18 hours Ė you are paying the same price. Professional Detailers have three major challenges. First, their time is their most valuable asset for earning a living. Secondly, if your car is not looking good for a time after the detail, you wonít go back to them and they have lost a customer. Third, most of their business is word of mouth. If the results arenít astonishing, they wonít get any referrals. The bottom line is that they need products that are fast, easy to use, get great results and last. If they donít use professional car care products, they will not be in business very long.
Now letís look inside an Auto Dealership. They take your car in trade when you by a new one. The first thing that they need to do is to clean and detail the car, then put it for sale on their lot. The goal is to sell the car as soon as possible for a profit, but it might sit in inventory for a month or more before eventually being wholesaled to an auction or another dealership. The car almost always sits outside, has to constantly look great and the finish has to stand up to the outside elements. The dealership has similar needs to the Professional Detailer - products that get great results in a minimal amount of time. They only want to clean and detail that particular car one time.
Donít get me wrong - not all retail products are bad, and you may be very happy with your brand of choice. The major difference of retail and professional car care products is usually based on amount of quality ingredients used in the formulations. For example, most of you would be surprised when learning that some of the larger, well known retail brands donít even manufacture their own products Ė they have in essence become marketing companies, and are very good at it with wide distribution and big advertising budgets.
Keep in mind how much you are really spending. It might make sense to choose a retail product over a professional car care product to save $5. But, it might make more sense to get better results in less time that last longer and opt for a guaranteed, professional product. Another bonus when purchasing professional car care products is that these companies are used to serving professionals and are well versed in car care. They often will work with you one on one with your car and can offer expertise to help you with your specific needs and questions that you have.
Consider your choices when buying retail or professional car care products. Factor in whatís important to you Ė cost, time, and results.