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Ready to buy a Mobile / business. What should I ask the seller??!!

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  • Ready to buy a Mobile / business. What should I ask the seller??!!

    I've been looking for months. I'm home from overseas. Start my schooling next month. Have a few bucks stashed away. So the next step is tha actual shopping for the van.

    I'm looking for a Mobile and if the seller has a hefty clientele list that comes with it, I'll relocate to start there on the spot.

    My question is...What questions should I ask? I ask a few here and there, but don't want to miss any important details merely because I didn't think to ask.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.


  • #2
    Kats Melody has to retire and I know she is selling her van and maybe you could talk to her about selling the entire business if you want to move to Florida. Just a thought.
    Get a mechanic to look at anything before you buy, then when you buy something have your own local mechanic check it out again. Ask for maintenance records and just make sure that things like the oil changes were done regularly etc and see if it has needed any major work. I would ask about the mpg, what kind of power it uses, what size of water tanks and if it has a bathing system. And always ask if it's been sitting for any extended period of time as well.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


    • #3
      I would also think about how much you are willing to pay for a client base. The thing I have found about mobile grooming is that people become pretty attached the groomer. If he/she leaves, will they stay with you? Are you paying for nothing? Would the owner be willing to stay on with your for a bit and introduce you to the clients and teach you the haircuts the dogs get? That would be ideal.....


      • #4
        Starting your schooling?

        Originally posted by JMarti521 View Post
        I've been looking for months. I'm home from overseas. Start my schooling next month. Have a few bucks stashed away. So the next step is tha actual shopping for the van. ...
        Any suggestions? Thanks.

        Are you just getting started with your grooming schooling? Your school may give you a lot of suggestions. I personally would not move or buy another person's business. I relocated my business 3 miles and lost a lot of my clientel. People are very fickle. I'm just starting out with mobile grooming so what I looked for was an older van and a smaller van. Not sure how I will feel about this in a year so I didn't want to invest a lot. If I'm not happy with it, I can sell it for a modest loss or hire someone to do the mobile grooming for me and find a shop for myself.


        • #5
          How much money you have stashed away if you have a decent amount for a down payment I would buy new maybe a trailer.Sometimes when you buy used you end up putting alot of money in repairs for the van.I learned that the hard way.I would not buy anyones clients.You mentioned you are going to school.First learn how to groom then start building your own clientle.You will be slow at first.Just price your services correctly n you won't need to do any many dogs.Some times when you buy new too you get a couple of months before your first payment is due.If you are good you should have enough clients in no time.Advertise in phonebooks too.


          • #6
            possibly try to buy a trailer if you can drive one

            we thought long and hard about getting a van or trailer and we went with the trailer, less parts to repair, such as brakes,engine tranny, you can always buy a different truck for less than it would cost to buy a new van, plus you can unhook your truck and still advertise and maybe get a little bit better gas mileage than some of those gas hog vans, and i also think trailers hold their value a little better, and they are cheaper,oh and one other thing, do not advertise in phonebooks , use the internet , it is free and also your truck will be your moving billboard,if you have any questions email us at [email protected]


            • #7
              Ask 'em if you can stay at THEIR house while the damn thing is in the shop! How much money you got saved up if it breaks down?
              "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
              People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


              • #8
                It's a long haul to build a business from scratch to a level that will support you. I think buying the whole shebang would be a good way to go IF it's handled well and IF you have savings to carry you for a long while. In a transition like that I would set my expectations low, as far as keeping clients that transition over. Some will try you and like you, some will want to take the opportunity to try another groomer, some will come back to you cause they found out the other groomer isn't what they liked, some YOU will get rid of, and some you will simply lose. So personally I would count on keeping 50-75% of the clients on the list unless the owner helps to tansition you to their client base then maybe higher.

                My experience has been starting from scratch and it's taken a good year to be break even. Clients that I've lost, or, I thought would never call again, I have found eventually come back to me. All most ALL my clients have a good reason for using my service.... dog is elderly, owners are elderly, dog has issues, dogs are too big for car, too small for a kennel environment, or they are pampered But the good thing about that is you have a very reliable client base and people find you and stay with you for reasons other than a cheap haircut. Don't underprice yourself to compete with shops.... big mistake to do that. You don't want people looking for a cheap haircut... that's not what mobile is for. Good luck!
                A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~


                • #9
                  mylady has an excellent point. Despite what you ask the owner (or what they tell you) make sure you have a mechanic that you know and trust...go over the vehicle w/ a fine tooth comb. Even if potential problems exist, you'll know what you are getting into or it may give you some leeway for negotiating price. (Right Smarten? They should have paid YOU to haul that thing away...)

                  If you are close to an experienced Mobiler...and you find a vehicle you are interested in, might not be a bad idea to have them take a "run through" of any existing equipment on board...HV, Re-circ, vaccum, etc. just to have a test run there as well.

                  Good luck w/ school, JMarti (and welcome home. )
                  Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for all your tips. Now haow do I get it home??

                    I've narrowed down the search to two. I'll be looking at one in a few days, after a long needed vacation with the wife. It's a WnT so I feel pretty good about it. I feel like not only would I buy the van, but all the support behind it.

                    How have you all gotten your van home after the purchase? Do I make a whole extra round trip so that I can comeregister it at home, or is there a way to have temporary tags just for the drive north?

                    Almost there.


                    • #11
                      Mine came from TX to OH. We figured by the time we drove or flew down there, hotels, meals, days lost on the road that it would cost no more to have a transport company ship it up here. It worked, the only difficulty was for the driver who had to drive three days in an ice storm with it fishtailing in the back. Poor guy.
                      A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~