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Newbie Needed Advise & Guidance

Werkin@theCarWash

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Hello group,

I have a very unique opportunity to purchase a 2 bay manual car wash but am torn because the more I read through the forums the more I'm realizing, as one comment said, "I think it's funny that people think they can buy a car wash and just show up on Saturday to collect the quarters."

Here are my challenges and what I'm asking the group is to A) please be gentle, I really don't know much about this industry, and B) I'm asking for any possible solutions.

So, here goes:

1) The car wash is about 2.5 hours away from where I live. I don't know anyone in this area and I realize how much day to day maintenance and up keep this may require and am wondering how I can possibly make this work. I don't trust people being around the money.

Is there LARGER coin boxes (and all in 1 cc, coin changer) that wouldn't need to be emptied on the daily or hourly that anyone can suggest?

2) Is this even feasible or something to entertain to be done remotely?

3) Is there a recommended source that could do an inspection on all of the eqpt.?

4) What are common problems, issues or things I should be looking out for prior to purchase?


Thank you for taking the time to answer and I appreciate your experience and knowledge.
 

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MEP001

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A) please be gentle
No. You need a hard dose of reality.

I have a very unique opportunity to purchase a 2 bay manual car wash but am torn because the more I read through the forums the more I'm realizing, as one comment said, "I think it's funny that people think they can buy a car wash and just show up on Saturday to collect the quarters."
It is funny because they are the people who fail, who think they can make it work despite advice from the many of us who have made a run-down car wash highly profitable. They repeatedly come here, ask if it's a good investment, they're told it's not, they buy it anyway, then we never hear from them again because they failed. It's a lot of work. You have to know what you're doing. You need to be close to deal with issues immediately, or have a reliable worker who you trust to handle them. You have none of these.

This is yet another property that's worth less than the value of the land due to the cost of bulldozing the wash and digging up the pits.
 
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DavidM

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Sounds like a bad idea. Minor issues are major when they require 5 hours of travel to fix. I can't imagine a 2 bay SS generating enough revenue to hire an attendant and be profitable.

Unless there are unusual circumstances, I wouldn't bother.

David
 

bert79

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That seems like WAY too far away to maintain the wash in a way that attracts and retains customers. I think you would regret the purchase.
 

Dan-Ark

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My first wash is only 50 minutes away from home and that gets old 4 or 5 times a week. (thought I could get by with 3 trips a week). So we hired a couple to empty trash and wash down pays 4 days a week and we still go 2 or 3 times a week and more often when something breaks, and it will. W have owned the wash a couple years and have made all our money back already, but still think about selling that one, but holding on as the plan was to semi retire and use the money to suplement SS. Collecting quarters is only about 5% of the time spent at the wash...
 

Werkin@theCarWash

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2 1/2 hours away? Holy crap. I would not even remotely consider this. Judging by the photos it needs a lot of work. Are there not any washes closer that are for sale? (or ones that could be if you asked)
Yes there are ones closer but the price is 1.5M and up.
 

Werkin@theCarWash

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Thank you everyone. My decision has been made. This is a bust and I'd just be buying headaches. I got enough of those without spending any money.
 

sparkey

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The issue is not the need for bigger coin boxes. They can go a week or more before they need emptied. Its the mess that needs cleaned up daily and something will need fixed almost everyday weather it be something someone stuck in a coin acceptor or a leak of some sort. I would never consider a wash that far away.
 

Randy

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You mean shovelling mud and fixing pipe leaks isn't actually that glamorous?
No Greg I don't think it's all that glamorous. The public views car washes with distain and car wash owners just about the same. We never tell anyone that we meet that we are in the car wash business, when you do they look at you and say Oh and that’s the end of the conversation. Like your lower than pond scum.
 

Waxman

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I used to be alot less jaded when I was first starting out in business. What I have learned over the years is to focus on the revenue side of the business first and let the rest fall into place from there.

A wash 2.5 hours away is a non-starter. Mine is 41 min. from home, and that's about 11 minutes too far. But it is do-able. And the benefit of anonymity near my home is priceless!
 

MEP001

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I used to be alot less jaded when I was first starting out in business. What I have learned over the years is to focus on the revenue side of the business first and let the rest fall into place from there.
I can only imagine how OP would have handled all the customer issues, messes, vandalisms and break-ins if he had to ask us to be gentle just getting advice.
 

Greg_T

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No Greg I don't think it's all that glamorous. The public views car washes with distain and car wash owners just about the same. We never tell anyone that we meet that we are in the car wash business, when you do they look at you and say Oh and that’s the end of the conversation. Like your lower than pond scum.
Funny, the perception in Australia seems different. I have to explain to folks that it is a lot of hard, dirty work for relatively modest returns. And certainly not glamorous!
 
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