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Well, it's finally happening...

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    Let me just start off by saying we don't do wraps. We do some partial wraps and some larger print and cut graphics but that's it.

    So, we have a customer who is not only a good customer but they also own the property that we rent to run our business out of. We have developed a great relationship with the owner over the last nine years and he likes to tease us because we don't do wraps, but they are a fairly large part of their marketing program. So the other day he says "I've got a twelve-foot enclosed trailer. You wanna wrap it?". I reluctantly stepped outside of my comfort zone once again and took the job.

    So that brings me here. I want to make sure I price this project fairly so I'd appreciate any solid feedback I can get with regards to pricing this job. Installation tips and tricks are more than welcome also.

    I'm attaching images of the trailer. The area we are wrapping is around 210 square feet but I'm figuring as much as 240 sq. ft. to account for some trimming. We will not be wrapping the V nose, just the white painted areas on the sides and back. It is brand new so we plan to install under the screws and also plan on removing all silicone beads from around the trim and replacing with fresh clear silicone after the graphics are installed. I've calculated around $1800 for Oracal 3951RA+ProSlide w/ Oraguard 290 gloss lam and $1200 for labor ($50/hr. shop rate and 24 total man-hours - 2 people installing x 12 hours each). I'm leaning toward adding an extra $300 on top of that for profitability (PITA reward) and/or a little extra cushion for anything we might manage to mess up along the way. So my total estimate would be around $3300. I know every market varies but does this sound high or reasonable enough for a 12 foot trailer? We are in Central Illinois if that helps.

    Attached Files:

  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Sounds very fair for you being it you first time doing it and not bad for your customer. However, I think shops which do this more routinely, would be more around $2,200.to $2,500.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    That would be high for my area, we would be around $1800 for the 2 sides and back, plus design. We wouldn't remove the screws either, just go over them.

    If you want to learn, this would be a good job to hire an installer on and shadow him and see how he does it.
  4. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

    Feb 20, 2020
    It shouldn't take near as long as you are planning. I'd be 1800-2k and go over the screws too. We all have different philosophies but I don't think is really fair to charge extra for a job you are learning on if it is something that you want to get into. You are probably better off giving them a decent price but telling them that they may have to live with some flaws due to your inexperience with wrapping. Then you wont have to stress so much over redoing things.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I wrapped that same trailer a few years ago. I think I charged $1200 (install only) and remember it was a little light... but I also did the front and basically a color change... had to do the sides of the back and remove hardware.
  6. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    We would be in the $2,000.00 - $2,400.00 range printed and installed for our area. I too think you are a little high - but maybe this customer won't mind? However, if they are already doing wraps as part of their marketing, then they probably already have a base point to go by as far as pricing. You don't want to miss an opportunity by over charging.

    *FWIW - another thing to consider is to hire a wrap installer to do the install for you. A competent installer should be able to knock that out in about 6 hours or so by themselves and still charge the same or less as you are planning to charge your customer -AND- will be sure to do a good job of it as long as they have good references.
  7. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    i think some of your price difference may be in the vinyl: appears as if you marked-up 50yd rolls of media, printed&laminated, but two 54"x10yd kits would be more than enough to cover i think.

    make sure you don't leave vinyl bridged over the panel seams. apply-over it with your tiles, but trim those lines flush to the panel. tile/overlap on flat panels if you need to. Even though they're screwed-down, those panels shift/flex in the elements, water gets into it, dirt gets trapped under it, and the vinyl bridge will self-destruct faster than you'd think.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    • Like Like x 1
  8. rydods

    rydods Member

    Feb 15, 2007
    Other things to consider for full wrap first time.

    Pull the Rivets. On a trailer this size it will take a part timer 30 min to remove. Wrapping over them will take a considerable amount of time especially for the first time and you may end up with issues later that the customer won't be happy about.

    Remove that vent cover. Put a section of vinyl on the top of it to make it blend with the rest of the wrap.

    Consider your time involved in removing the vinyl decals currently on the trailer. These sometimes are unlaminated or metallic and they are a pain to remove. Steamer works best.

    Slow down around the wheel wells, hinges on the doors and those back door "lever/handle" areas. It's extremely easy to make a bad cut.

    The door side will take at least a half hour more for an experienced installer usually.
    • Like Like x 2
    • I Appreciate You I Appreciate You x 1
  9. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    I have been thinking my price feels like it's on the high side.

    I've probably had enough install experience with other jobs over the years to make it work. I'm not sure if wrap installers are even available for hire in our area or where I would look for such a resource. I don't have any desire to do more wraps, so I'm strictly in it for the experience. I figure I'll learn a few things that may be helpful in other areas of our work.

    I could see charging less if working over the screws, for sure. We've got a Rollepro and while I don't have a lot of experience with it, the few times I've worked with it, it's worked pretty well. I always feel more secure working under screws but maybe I need to be more open to laying them over

    Well, I don't want to get into wraps but any experience is good experience so I'm accepting the job with that purpose in mind.

    We have to do the sides on the back as well. I have to go look at the trailer closer in the next few days to see what is actually removable. I'm assuming I'll have to cut and work the vinyl in around the hinges and whatnot. Did you find quite a few items to be removable? I'm not even sure what I can do about these stinkin' air vents that protrude from the sides.

    To be fair, he told me it is a co-op job and the company will likely pay most or all of the bill, so he did tell me to add some cushion to the cost, if necessary.

    Well, in that case, you would be wrong. Hahaha! I can take this job or leave it and I really have no desire to do more of these than I have to in the future but I think it will be a good learning experience either way.
  10. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Cut him a deal, take your lumps, and learn. Did that with a color change on a large fishing boat. Never touched one prior to that but my good friend and part-time installer isn't afraid of anything so we took the job. Undercharged by a bunch but it was our first go round. Learned an absolute ton and had a good time doing it.
    • Like Like x 4
  11. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    Sep 28, 2017
    As far as screws, I always ask the customer's preference. I'd rather pull and replace the screws myself, and feel that it gives a cleaner look, but some folks are all about having every ounce of the vehicle covered in graphics.
    Also, feel free to offer him a no complaints price and a redo-the-damn-trailer price.

    I hate wraps, I feel for ya as far as not wanting to break into them, and if you don't have the kid installers that take to wrapping so well, then you'll be out there sweating your a$$ off wondering why you are sitting in a mudhole on a hot day instead of printing some money (banners) while enjoying the a/c and youtube. Just saying...
    Also, have you ever worked really hard on a sign you see daily, always admiring it, then it gets hit by a truck or a tornado rips some filler off of it, and the customer just doesn't fix it so you can see it in such sad shape every day? Yeah, wraps are like that, except they come and park next to you while you're in the post office, with a handful of dings, ripped/fraying edges, that one corner you thought you had stuck down good, etc.
    I hate wraps...
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 2
  12. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Premium Subscriber

    If this is your first one, you are better off with Avery 1105 and matching lam. It is a lot more forgiving. Oracal 3951RA in the past was a lot more aggressive and it sucks to remove especially beyond 4 years. The proslide version may be better, but after fighting Oracal and a nightmare removing two 4-year-old vans, I will never use it again. Just my opinion.

    With your inexperience removing the screws is probably a good idea. With your winters the screws will tent, crack and fail in 2 to 3 years anyway. Rivets are about a third of the height and will last longer, and are quick and easy with a RollePro.

    By the way, your smart avoiding vehicle (cars and vans) wraps, trailers, not so much. There are lots of more profitable areas in this business.
  13. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I removed anything related to vehicle graphics from my website a few years ago and haven't looked back since. Like JBurton said... you'll be in the middle of a wrap wondering why the **** am I torturing myself?? There is so much easier $$ to be made. The only wraps I do anymore are for one long-time customer and I'm at the point where I think I want to start phasing that out.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    You are at the really High End of the market (From what I have garnered across the country), and I like it. Pushing up the value of wraps and de-commoditize them to capture the marketing power of their asset is essential. Our market has gone from averaging $7ish /sqft to now a lot of the larger shops are pushing $11+.

    After spending a lot of time over the last 3 years researching Vehicle-based mobile advertising and interviewing our customers, the great take away I have uncovered is nearly all of our clients gain significant new business from their wraps or graphics, they often pay for themselves in only a couple months, and their residual growth is large. We have a client who was dead set against wraps working a year ago, to me convincing them to wrap 1 van, to now their entire fleet is wrapped. They have had a consistent 30% increase (Their number, not mine) in new business from their wraps.

    In your state, there are a lot of highly qualified independent installers that can give you a leg up and allow you to focus on what you do best.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
    • Like Like x 6
  15. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

    Apr 6, 2018

    Good post! Way to look at it from a mobile marketing perspective instead of how much does it cost to throw some "stickers" on a trailer.

    I wish more people would look at it this way, it would definitely move the pricing back in the right direction.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  16. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    That has been my mission, when I discovered it was our highest percentage of work I wanted to know if it was something that I could provide more value in. My research has shown that it could be one of the best marketing mechanisms from a ROI and Exposure standpoint for most businesses. But in the market there is a lot of bad too, mostly with horrible design layout and execution focusing on the wrong aspects of a wrap.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    I agree with this, especially since it's a brand new trailer and the screws should be mostly easy to remove. Everybody has their own opinion on going over or under screws, but I prefer going under them.

    This is a new trailer so there is no removal required.

    I'm actually already very aware of this. Ask me how I know. Hahaha!
  18. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    Thanks. Despite how a lot of people in the industry feel about the 'Avery debacle' many years back, I do know it is highly recommended as probably the best in the biz for ease of install and I am actually considering buying an Avery wrap kit for this job.

    Yeah, I haven't had a lot of experience with the RollePro over semi-trailer rivets but from what experience I have had it has been a lifesaver.

    I agree, but I do like doing print and cut vehicle lettering and graphics so we will definitely stick with that, I just prefer to stay away from wraps, generally speaking.
  19. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    I've never felt that wraps are something for me or for our business model. I have enough on my plate without having to learn something that, let's face it, could be considered an art form. Guys and gals that can easily wrap front bumpers, side view mirrors, round fenders, etc. just blow my mind. However, I am all for keeping print and cut vehicle lettering and graphics as one of our main staples.
  20. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    Thanks for the insight and the comedic relief. I really couldn't agree more.

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