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Tinting's busiest time of year

October 11, 2010
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The spring and summer season is upon us and its time for the window tinting industry to take off. Owners and installers start licking their chops this time of year because the business explodes into full throttle and earnings triple in size.

Usually mid-March through October is prime season nationwide for the tinting business. The rule of thumb is: the hotter it is, the busier it is. The industry booms now because customers want to reduce heat, glare and block out the suns harmful rays.

As the suns rays become more intense this time of year, auto, boat, RV, residential homes and commercial businesses requests bombard the tinting industry. With the right kind of training, your employees should be able to service these lucrative accounts, as well.

Customers want to protect their investments, themselves and family members from the elements. Tinting will add privacy, block out up to 99 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays and reduce heat up to 60 percent or more.

There are many manufacturers of window film to consider. Although most offer comparable products, it comes down to customer service.

Our shop chooses our supplier based on quality and product availability. You don’t want to get caught in the busy season with a supplier who is out of stock. How do you tell your customers to come back tomorrow because you were out of film?

It is important to know your supplier and build a good relationship. This time of year there are many promotions, so buying in quantity may save you considerably, keeping profits high and costs low.

As with any industry, there are good and not-so-good tint shops. Professional training is everything and hands on is the way to go. Trying to learn this trade from a video or manual just doesn’t cut it.

An individual really serious about learning this trade needs to serve as an apprentice for several months or more and install film to 100 or more cars before being called a professional window tinter. All cars present a unique situation, with back windows being the biggest challenge during learning.

Some vehicles present difficulty with tight seals on the doors, which is especially challenging during the learning process.

Attending a professional training school is most beneficial because students are taught on customer cars, giving them a wide variety of knowledge of do’s and don’ts in real life situations.

Unfortunately, many training centers get windows from a junk yard where students practice installing film several times. Not getting enough exposure to the different years, makes and models of cars leaves the student limited in knowledge and wasting a lot of time, film and money.

Film type
Nearly everyone has seen a car with film that has turned purple, peeled or cracked. This can be caused by poor film or bad installation. Usually, a poor quality one-ply film installed that creates this problem. Additionally, using ammonia to clean the windows will distort the film over time. A good window tint shop will always warn customers not to clean with ammonia-based products.

One-ply films usually are the poorest quality and offer the least amount of warranty and protection. Film that is 1-1/2 -ply is slightly better, but not by much. I would suggest using a 2-ply film, as this type offers better protection and heat shrinks better. Additionally, using high quality products ensures return customers. Just as the old adage goes, “You get what your pay for.”

Metalized films are also available but don’t work well with the new navigation and specialized audio equipment in today’s vehicles. In this case, the use of a dyed 2 ply film is suggested.

However you choose to use your tinting talents, installing security film on homes and businesses is a great market to invest your time. Obtaining information from local tinters who live in specialty areas such as hurricane prone states, will also provide a wealth of information that may prove useful later in your career.

Michael Patrick is president of Appearance Plus in Satellite Beach, FL. He can be reached by phone at: 321-777-3557 or on the web at:

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