• CWPD Marketing Team

Offering Free Vacuums: Gain or Drain?


Any time you are going to offer something for free to your customers, you have to determine if the benefits of offering the perk offset any expenses it may result in. When it comes to an express exterior car wash, there are pros and cons to offering free vacuums. Let’s examine both so you can make an informed decision.


Reasons to Offer Free Vacuuming at Your Express Exterior Car Wash

The main reason to add free vacuums is to increase the implied value of the service you are providing. While the vacuums don’t cost drivers anything, they may be willing to pay for a more expensive wash. It is all about the perceived value. The driver may unconsciously factor in the free vacuuming when determining which wash type is the best value. This will move a consumer to opt for a more expensive wash since they are “getting it back” in the free vacuuming bay anyway.


Free vacuums are also a great way to draw in new customers. New customer acquisition is far more expensive than retaining customer loyalty, so you may determine that the small expense of providing free vacuums is more than worth it to gain new clients. Additionally, those same free vacuums may help to retain your customers and improve brand loyalty.


Everyone loves to get something for free. A great big sign that says “free vacuums” may be your best marketing tool.


Concerns Over Free Vacuums at Your Car Wash

There are two big concerns that owners usually have when it comes to offering the vacuums for free.

  1. Are people just going to drive in, use the free vacuums, and leave without making a purchase?

  2. Will the cost of running the vacuums be too big of a drain on profits to be worth it?

There are several ways to handle this. For one thing, you may decide that it is uncommon for someone to vacuum without getting a wash, so you are not overly concerned. On the other hand, you can design the lot so drivers can only get to the free vacuums after getting a car wash. That second option fixes one problem while creating another.


Remember that your free vacuums may bring in new customers and help you retain existing customers. Therefore, they may be worth the energy costs and the occasional driver who just uses the vacuums and leaves.


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