by Burns Mulhearn, President of Geoshield
Over the past few years I have seen everyone jump on the PPF bandwagon, but could there be a better product for window tint companies to be offering? I am talking about ceramic coatings. Don’t get me wrong, PPF has its benefits but lets break it down and compare it to ceramic coatings from a window tint shop owner’s perspective.
The downsides of PPF, from a shop standpoint, are that it’s a very expensive product and requires highly specialized installation skills. At most shops the lead tinter is also responsible for the installation of PPF. This takes away from his time doing window tint. There is a step learning curve to install PPF along with the need for expensive plotter equipment and software. There is also a lot of product waste with PPF.
In my opinion, PPF is an imperfect product. PPF does not provide any immediate benefit to the customer. It typically does not make their car look any better or make it easier to clean. It does provide a good level of protection against rock chips and scratching that may or may not happen in the future. Most the time the type of paint damage it protects the car from can be fixed for less than the cost of PPF. What concerns me is that I have seen the product warranties for PPF get longer and longer. In my experience PPF left on the car for extended periods can damage the paint or clear coat upon removal.
So, let’s look at ceramic coatings. I would argue the margins on ceramic coating installations are greater than PPF and window tint. Coatings provide an immediate benefit to the customer by making their car look better and make it easier to clean. The coatings provide a level of protection against scratching though not as great as PPF. Coating installers can be trained in days versus the years required to master PPF and startup equipment and product cost are minimal. The product is layerable so additional coatings can be applied to extend the life of the product and your shop offering maintenance washes provides a source of recurring revenue. Finally, there is almost zero waste with ceramic coatings.
As a result, I believe ceramic coatings are a perfect fit for window tinters. I would contend tinter’s are capable of cleaning a surface and reducing contamination better than anyone. The product must be applied inside and allowed to cure inside for 8-12 hours. This requires bay space, which we have. I recommend to installers to do the initial paint prep outside then in the afternoon bring the car in for final wipe down and coating. The car can sit in your unused bay overnight and customers can come get the keys in the morning. Coatings can be applied over PPF and vinyl wraps to protect them and make them easier to clean.
In conclusion, we hear a lot in business today about “stay in your lane”, but if you can share customers and cost, you ARE in your lane. Ceramic Coatings can be sold to the same customers buying window tint, PPF, and wraps. Start-up cost are low and will not require highly specialized labor, equipment, inventory or additional overhead. If you are interested, contact us today for more information on Geoshield Ceramic Elixir. You can reach our staff by calling (800) 234-6133 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.