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Dealing with Removals

Discussion in 'Vehicle Wraps' started by IDB Signs, Jan 14, 2019 at 8:59 AM.

  1. IDB Signs

    IDB Signs Member

    Aug 29, 2018
    Portland, TN
    Hey everyone!

    We may have some van and shuttle bus wrap removals coming up and I thought I would poll the masses and see how all of you deal with wrap and graphic removals in general. As far as pricing goes, how much? Do you charge by the hour, sq ft? Different, higher rates for jobs where the wrong material was used, left on too long, etc? Who do you all use in the shop to do removals, your installer or someone who you know will pay close attention and be cautious, or is it something you have the newbie dealing with? Of course you'll want a waiver and to cover any liabilities.

    Just wanted to pick everyone's brains. Happy Monday!
  2. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Cape Girardeau, MO
    We charge same labor rate to remove as apply. If explained well, customer always understanding. Usually suggest they consider hiring a teenager for $10/hr. (or whatever the going rate for entry level work) since it is a low-skilled job.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Shop rate until finished. Just like Forrest's box of chocolates ya never know what yer gonna get.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. How much to charge comes in three pieces: (shop rate x time) + supplies. Really easy if the client just lets you charge that after you are done.

    I have a few clients that are OK with that, and I have some that try it themselves. But the majority of clients want a price quote. Experience helps here. I generally estimate about 32 sq. ft./hr for high performance vinyl, and add about 50% if it is old and dried. Double the price for metallics and reflectives. Test a few sections if possible and you should get a good idea what will be involved.

    If the vinyl comes off easier, you have an option to charge the client less. But if it is a struggle, it's unlikely the client will want to pay more. I tell my customers upfront I will charge them less if it takes less time, and that the quoted price is the top limit. There's been a few times I've been burned by that, but it has only happened once in recent memory (dried metallic graphics).

    It helps to have the right tools. I usually find a heat gun (I use a propane torch, but I don't advise it unless you really know what you are doing), Li'l Chisler and vinyl removal liquid is all that's needed. An MBX Zapper or steamer can be useful at times. "Ghost-Off" is an interesting product to use after removal. All kinds of little tricks if you read these forums, but after you've done a few you'll get the hang of it.

    PS: I tell the customer up front there may be some paint finish damage. If that is unacceptable, then I won't do it, and direct them to a body shop. I'd rather lose the job than pay for a paint job.

    PPS: If it is a fire engine, proceed with much caution. Even if the vinyl peels right off, it will likely leave a ghost image where the finish has been faded or abraded by the elements. But more likely the metallic and reflective vinyl will not peel off, but will come off in tiny little shreds, leaving an adhesive residue. I usually tell them that finish damage is probably unavoidable. A new paint job will cost $25k – $30k and take the equipment out of service for 4 – 6 weeks.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. IDB Signs

    IDB Signs Member

    Aug 29, 2018
    Portland, TN
    Thanks guys! We have definitely removed vinyl before and are familiar with that wonderful bunch of fun. I was just curious more about the administrative side of it, I suppose.
  6. ExecuPrintGS

    ExecuPrintGS Member

    Mar 21, 2013
    Hartland, WI
    We charge by the hour at the same as our install rate.
    Typically we call the client after an hour or so when we have a better idea how it is going and give them a more accurate estimate, they can decide at that point if they want us to keep going or not.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. 2B

    2B Moderator

    May 5, 2011
    Charge by the hour (shop rate) + material used.
    If you have done removals before you can "guess". After it has started, update the customer and tell them if it will be more than the guess.

    ALWAYS have a waiver signed, even if you did the installation and know the material used.

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