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Tips and Tricks Ė Pricing Your Wraps

With the current state of the economy we thought this month instead of an installation tip we would offer an overall good business tip.  Hopefully this helps those of you new to the installation business and reminds the veterans the right way to do things.

If youíve been doing wraps for a while you know there are many things to consider when pricing a job, and if youíre just getting into wraps, be aware there are many details to estimate when quoting a job. Unfortunately there is no standard across the board for the price of a vehicle wrap, but as long as you consider all of the elements involved you wonít leave yourself out in the cold.

Because most customers donít realize how many elements are in involved, it is a good idea to break it down for them. Starting with the vehicle itself, you have to get a visual and have a ballpark of what youíll be dealing with. For example; I know right off the bat that my price goes up the more complex the vehicle. This also gives you an idea of whether you can provide a partial wrap to get the same effect (some vehicles are better than others for that). The next phase is to figure out where the customer wants to go with design, and how much of it they already have. If you have to start entirely from scratch youíll want to bill separately and get that deposit up front. Iíve heard too many tales of designers giving a customer a design only for them to take it elsewhere.

Media cost is where there is always a gray area, and sometimes can be your smallest margin. There is no exact square footage calculation for vehicle wraps unless itís a flat side trailer. You can estimate the square footage of a vehicle, but be sure to add a few inches to each measurement to account for complex curves, and be sure to explain that to your customer. This is where you can sell the value of a partial wrap by explaining the savings in media, and labor costs.

When quoting installation costs, there are a few ways to determine price. The most obvious is to go by the square footage and bill a flat rate for each, but this can be a mistake which will be corrected after you wrap your first VW Beetle. Because there are so many variations many installers have a set price for each body type of vehicle, but until youíve done most types of cars this may be difficult. When starting out I recommend installers make very little on the installation until they are comfortable and can guarantee their quality backs up their price. 

The last and maybe most important factor that comes into play is competition. If you have very little direct competition, and you have a growing market, you can charge whatever you want, but this is becoming rare. More often you have to juggle having a good price relative to your quality of work. You want to strive to be better than the next guy, and still be competitive, explaining to your customers that you get what you pay for.