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Old 11-04-2011, 09:27 AM   #1
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An Interview with Mark @ Raceglaze

An Interview with Mark From Raceglaze

Can you start by telling us a little about yourselves: After a career in IT marketing and a false start in accounting, I’d long been into cars and entered the care business in 2003 by launching Morethanpolish after running a classic dot com in the boom, though just managed to get out of that with my shirt. I’d spent many years in IT marketing prior to that.
I run Morethanpolish and Race Glaze from our unit/offices near Stamford, and we also run and fineautocare on eBay. It keeps me very busy but even at 45 I still have my own hair, teeth and sense of humour. I live in Stamford, have 2 children and a busy social life.

How did you ‘get into’ selling detailing products? I used to run a sportscar buying service and had a stand next to Race Glaze at a Porsche Club event. The guy was mobbed out but emigrating, so asked if I wanted to sell the products. I’d already done a deal for a pal on a load of Swissol (as it was) on the day so the idea was born. As the Internet was the hot thing it seemed natural to set up a website and we gradually added trusted products and brands that I had used – not all do it this way I know.

How long have you been selling detailing products? Since 2003, so into my 8th year – which makes me almost a veteran I think !

Tell me about your first product that you sold? The first on-line order was a Swissol Master kit for £327 – which was what I had also sold to the guy at the Porsche day. Unfortunately I couldn’t keep that run up and average order values went down a bit!

What do you do when you’re not selling detailing products? I’m involved in other lines of business – I’m Advertising Manager for the Ferrari Owners Club and still run the Pre-Purchase Inspections business, mostly for sports cars. And I’m also Ferrari’s UK representative for their official calendar. And deal with a heck of a lot of admin and red tape – I don’t think many people realise how much work and investment of cash and time is involved with running a proper set up rather than a bedroom-based business.

What do you drive and how often is it detailed? I’ve owned my Porsche 944 Turbo for 8 years and it’s a patchwork of test products and neglected (or as I prefer to call them) control surfaces. I never seem to get it completely bottomed all over. The company van was also going to be machined and Black Labelled, but its LWB and Hi-roof and too much of a challenge. Maybe I should rein in that idea.

What is your favourite car and why? I’ve always liked a real mixture – loved my Porsches, but gone off them with the treadmill of new models. The howl of a Ferrari or Lambo shakes me to the core, I would like an Aston and yet have a soft spot for loads of classics. I do like powerrrrrrrrrrr, but handling too, and class, a proper drivers car. I’ll be racing a 1965 Cooper BRM single seater this summer, all being well.

How did you ‘get into’ detailing? Commercial accident really, as above, so chronologically I’ve come into it from a business angle rather than as a passionate practitioner first.

How long have you been detailing at ‘this’ level? I’ve always been a rank amateur !

How did you learn to machine polish? I got a pro to teach me. I reckoned that although I could pick it up, best to learn good habits from the start. Fortunately, I know enough top pros to have no shortage of gurus.

How many cars have you detailed over the years? Given that I don’t change my cars often and don’t do much paid detailing, not as many as you might think ! But I’ve done demos on some cars that would excite anyone – Enzos, Veyron, Mrs Bugattis’ Bugatti, D-Type, classic Bentley and RR, endless Porsche and Ferrari.

Tell me about your first detail: I’m still trying to finish it off – my own car.

What is your favourite car to detail and why? It has to be most rewarding to do your own, as you can enjoy the results for months.

Do you prefer to detail a supercar or everyday car? I think that once you’ve got over being scared of a car because its valuable, the innate design thought and care put into a premium car, sports or luxury, of any age, is a marvel to behold close up. The quality and materials are better, more responsive to detailing techniques, so it’s more rewarding.

What piece of detailing kit do you think every detailer should have in their arsenal? (excluding the obvious stuff like wash mitts, etc.) Time.

What are your current favourite brands and why? Whilst you’d expect me to say this, I’m proud of how Race Glaze is being appreciated around the world and that our Signature products like 55 are being recommended by so many people. I have to say a dark horse to watch has to be Sonax – with 60% of the German market and a big distributor behind them here, plus Teutonic quality and ridiculously low prices, it should really take off here.

What do you do when you’re not detailing? Good question ! I play football and am Chairman of Stamford Round Table for a few more weeks but am re-establishing my personal life at the moment, so lots of different things, when I have the time.

Ferrari or Lambo? Has to be Ferrari – I’d be shot if I said otherwise !

Wax or Sealant? Wax - can’t beat natural

Fish and chips or bangers and mash? Good old Lincolnshire bangers and mash for me

McDonald's or Burger King? Do I have to ?

Coffee or Tea? Neither since I was 16

Where are you based ? We’ve got a decent sized unit about 5 minutes off the A1 at Stamford, just north of Peterborough, so folks can drop in a browse the shelves or collect goods – though we don’t have a shop per se. We’re increasingly selling through resellers worldwide, and always looking for established players to take RG products on.

How much testing goes into making a product or choosing one to sell? We used to test everything we sold, it’s the best way to be able to recommend what suits a particular person, their car, abilities and budgets, but though we try to keep up playing with new lines, we can’t always do that now. Shame really but customers expect traders to stock so many brands. Fortunately I have plenty of eager pros to check out our development products, which is great.

Can we expect anything new from you ? Oh yes ! We’ll have the DW seat covers in stock in a week, a new RG wash product is in test and more in development. Though our emphasis will be on gradual expansion of the RG lines, as we have pretty well everything covered already, Morethanpolish will add new products. We’ll have new resellers too, proper established companies who can advise customers, which is how we have built this business.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:48 PM   #2
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Bangers & Mash - what a guy!
Long since decided that if I was ever to face a firing squad, then that would be my last supper
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Old 23-05-2011, 01:14 AM   #3
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Spoke to Mark on a few occasions and always took the time to answer any queries. Great customer care and well informed individual.
Which reminds me I need to call once more
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