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andy's Mobile
02-22-07, 11:42 AM
Today I searched to see if my used grooming van is searchable as a listing on Ebay. I then discovered the used van graveyard here at this site. I still think vans are a good idea new or used and I'll tell you why. The number one reason vans are a good idea is that we become known as dog groomers. I personally opted not to try and groom each dog in an hour and a half and have earned an excellent reputation for my work. If I choose to go vanless I will have many clients who will have me groom in the kitchen, garage, mudroom etc. Portable lighting would be one thing I would add. Another of the ways I earned my good reputation was by using fresh matt splitter blades for each and every dog. I don't groom cats though my vet nearly succeeded in making me feel guilty enough to do it. Vans keep their resale value though they are expensive to keep. The loss fortunately is tax deductible and one should still be able to reclaim at least 50% of the initial investment in a van bought new or used. I am selling my van for several reasons and I will tell what they are. Number one..I can get half my money back and reinvest to reclaim all of my initial investment. How? Well I have a good investment broker. Trying to make the van pay for itself doesn't work. Business liability insurance is cheap but insuring the the conversion part five times before it needs it once is not a good idea. My hands are telling me I need to use other talents to earn income. It is time I looked into selling pet portraits and wildlife and animal art in general. I love dogs too much to try and bang out a dog in an hour and a half. People lets get real. Humidity, traffic, bad van design, inflation and individual pet owners are working against us. Why fight it? Relax, enjoy your job and get known for your good work. I welcome all comments..Thanks I need your input now more than ever.-Andy

luvpups
02-22-07, 04:29 PM
I am confused, what are you trying to say. What do you mean bang out a dog in an hour and a half. Individual pet owners working against us? I am mobile and most dogs are 1-1 1/2 hours. Believe me I do not rush at all. what is your point?

andy's Mobile
02-23-07, 08:20 AM
Dear Luvpups I started grooming in a shop with 4 and sometimes 5 people on staff besides the owner. I soon realized I was a perfectionist and took quite a bit longer to groom a dog. I had just discovered dogs and was taking my own pup to work with me every day. I later moved to another shop which was sold while I was there. For three months I was the only groomer at that shop. I found it hard to groom more than 7 dogs a day and make bows from scratch. The new owner who had never groomed previously and her family and friends pitched in to meet the demand. When another groomer was finally hired I was using all the old clippers and dull blades. I decided to buy my own equipment and go in-home-mobile. I did thorough work all the while knowing speed was what I needed. Later I decided not to fight the clock and just continue on that way even with an expensive van. My practice now is famous for careful initiation of puppies, excellent ear cleaning and grinded nails. People will say I do a good job, but with the van needing repairs and windy days it probably is more like "He does a good job when he works." Windy weather, snow and ice, repair shop days, gas prices, a 33% loss in fuel economy from ethanol, suburban sprawl, high utilities and grocery store prices, and owners who do not get their dogs groomed often enough are all working against my quality not quantity mobile grooming. Furthermore there are driveway dips and suburban roads designed to drain away rain water and you soon realize the limitations of the van design. I slow down to live another day. What about the pavement? An extra large commercial generator is underneath my van and so I am always conscious of the clearance. One must be careful. I spend 2 to three hours on a dog and sometimes longer. Yes I'm slow. I never yank on tangles and matts with brushes and combs and do not speed dry and so I feel comfortable being watched by the dog owner. I use a 40 blade on pads as well as ears ears. Cut an ear? Not likely. Hot clipper blades? I don't spray blades to cool them; I just switch to a cool blade of the same size. I keep extras. I point out my considerate grooming practices to the dog owners. I tell people that the cost for 100 matt splitter blade replacement packs can insure a car for a teenage girl for a year. Ok I'm a slow groomer and I admit it. Thank God I'm independent!