Auto Detailing Network
"Bringing the detailing industry together since 1996"

Bob Keppel


Article by Bob Keppel

Bob Keppel started Ace Car Reconditioning  in Portland, OR in 2004 and used Google, Yelp, Craigslist, and Angies List to grow Ace into the largest reconditioning shop in Oregon.

He now runs 3 companies servicing the reconditioning industry:

1.  Applied Colors.  Manufacturers of paint touch up systems for car detailers and PDR techs.
2.  SEO 4 Detailers .  Website design and marketing for reconditioners.
3.  The Car Detailing Blueprint. Operations and marketing guide for auto detailers.

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Survey: Public opinions of Professional Auto Detailers

We surveyed 80 American car owners and discovered that they’re more willing to pay a pro than we expected if:

  1. The price is right.
  2. They believe they can’t do the job themselves.

Read on and discover what changes you can make to your detailing business to reach a bigger audience.


PDR Success Story: Meet the Dent Dominator

When you dial 919-816-5059 Ken Mori picks up the phone. “This Ken, the Dent Dominator,” he says. Mori has been working in paintless dent repair since 1993. After 14 years serving the St. Louis area, he moved his family and business to Raleigh, NC in 2007. Mori recognizes that while there are obstacles to his trade, everybody is looking for quality and reliability.

Getting into paintless dent removal is not something that happens overnight. Mori compares the industry to being a doctor. You need to have somebody who can show you the ropes and teach you the trade. Customers expect professional service from the start, and learning on your own is the recipe for disaster.

Before he developed a reputation, Mori said that grinding and going to extremes allowed his business to get off of the ground. He made cold calls, went door-to-door, offered free demonstrations, and offered to do more difficult jobs that other similar companies shied away from. In what is a bit of a niche field, Mori says that owning and operating your own company is ideal.

The "Dent Dominator"

If he were to go back during his career and change anything, he would have opened his own company sooner. His says that the technician is the guy doing most of the work and all of the selling anyway, so while it certainly involves risk, being on your own makes the most sense.

Mori is satisfied with his income and career, particularly last year when hail created a significant need for paintless dent repairs. While obstacles like thinner metals being used in modern cars, and the economic downturn have affected business, his company is growing, and he loves the industry.



Read the complete interview at:


The 4 most useful apps for car reconditioners.

Do you find time spent that time spent writing invoices, collecting payment, and organizing your wholesale accounts reduces time for real work?

IPhone/Android apps can help reduce paperwork, and keep your mind free to make cars beautiful.

Here’s my 4 favorites.

1.  Recon Pro

Designed specifically for automotive reconditioners, Recon Pro has released an application that allows users to book, estimate and bill reconditioning work from a mobile device.


The Recon Pro app has the ability to integrate with your QuickBooks account, helping your business run even smoother. The Recon Pro technology specifically calculates estimates for reconditioning services including dent repair, paint repair, detailing, windshield repair and interior repair.

In addition to estimates, the application produces work orders, and revenue and productivity reports. Business owners can access all of this information from a dashboard on their smart phones.

Worth trying if you handle large wholesale accounts.

2.  Inspect 2Go

This application offers new vehicle inspection checklists using mobile technology.  Use checklists to organize:

  • photos
  • markups
  • important repairs

The checklists can then be shared with multiple departments using the cloud software designed for the app.  Inspect2Go also allows custom configuration for clients by giving the option to use logos or  letterheads and any forms unique to the client. Reports, graphs, and trends can be accessed.

3.  QuickBooks

Many companies and businesses use QuickBooks to help manage finances, but the QuickBooks connect application makes transactions even easier.

Uses for the app:

  • Sync with your office computer.  Enter transactions from any tablet or phone and it will automatically sync with the QuickBooks in the office.
  • Manage lots of customer accounts, at a glance.  You can view and manage customer accounts while also overseeing sales and customer service.
  • End the clutter of paperwork.  The application permits you to make estimates, receipts, and invoices using your mobile device.

The QuickBooks connect app can also be used on a computer. This app allows you to take your reconditioning business anywhere.

4.  SquareUp

The new SquareUp application allows businesses to accept credit cards from a mobile device.  Though there are several other apps that allow you to do this, SquareUp has a one of the highest ratings and largest user bases.

This application lets anyone make transactions which can then be easily transferred into QuickBooks. SquareUp helps making sales easier and lets business accept payments anywhere they want to. The accessibility of payments on a mobile app helps mobile techs to better serve their customer.

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