Vinyl wrap vendors can range from companies that focus solely on creating and installing vinyl wraps to sign shops or graphic design companies that offer wraps as an additional service. Both can offer quality products and services, but companies that work exclusively with wrap typically have more experience. However, you may pay little more for that level of experience.
When shopping around for the right vehicle wrap vendor, it’s important to find one that is certified by one of the top vinyl manufactures in the U.S. Manufactures like 3M , Avery, and Oracal – and distributors like Fellers that work with multiple brands of vinyl – provide certified training for vendors to ensure that they learn the best methods for applying vinyl wraps.
To become certified, vendors go through an intensive multi-day course to learn each aspect of a vinyl installation – from properly aligning and affixing the material to wrapping complex angles and rivets. Once vendors complete training, the manufacturer certifies them and lets them promote their new status to potential customers. By working with a certified vendor, you can have increased confidence that the job will be done properly. The reality of this really depends on the installer and his or her experience. We have seen certified installers who do bad work and ones who do good work.
Conduct a site visit
If possible, arrange a visit to the vendor’s facilities. This lets you watch various stages of wrap production and the level of attention that goes into each step. Observe the processes of designing, printing, and laminating wraps, and examine the finished product for quality. Try to view and actual installation, and take not of the installer’s attention to detail. Does the installer frequently reposition the graphics to get the right fit? Are there any noticeable creases or bubbles in the material after each panel is applied? How careful is the installer when cutting away excess material? This will give you a good idea of the type of service you can expect. If you can’t visit a wrapping facility, ask the vendor to provide a finished sample of a wrap panel you can review the material and quality and envision what your wrap may look like.
Other things to look for
In addition to certification, there are other significant signs of quality and reliability you should look for in a vehicle wrap provider. Since the average cost of a wrap will be similar across multiple dealers, look for ways vendors distinguish themselves from others. Can you meet with the vendor to discuss different design possibilities? Can the designer make suggested changes quickly? Will the vendor walk you through the finished job to ensure that you’re happy? You want to make sure you select a company that is committed to making you comfortable with the purchase. Be wary of dealers whose prices are far lower then their competition, you generally get what you pay for. The law of business prevents getting something for nothing. A dealer who quotes a rate half as much as your other bids should raise a red flag. Companies that offer cut rates are unlikely to stay in business long, and may not be around if you have problems down the line. In almost all cases the wrap company who designed your wrap will be the only one to fix it since they have access to the digital files. Finally, ask the vendor about the warranty. Policies vary from vendor to vendor, but you’re typically covered for 1 year on exterior installations and one year on window perf installations. The manufacture’s warranty covers the material for 5 to 10 years. Vendor’s warranties only cover installation failures due to their negligence (e.g., improper cleaning, faulty material cut). Vendors are not responsible for wrap damage caused by acts of natural or customer abuse.