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Gary_tintington

Worth switching to 3m?

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I'm considering changing our entire auto lineup to 3m. We would carry Obsidian, Color Stable, and Crystalline. I'd say we're currently an 80/20 shop with flat glass being the majority so an increase in auto film cost wouldn't be really significant right now. This is an effort to bring in more auto customers strictly based on brand recognition. The shop is in an upper middle class region of Austin right down the street from a 3m campus (maybe will work even more in our favor). The Austin crowd isn't necessarily overly concerned with brand names in my experience, compared to a city like Houston or Dallas. For the 3m dealers out there; did you notice a marked increase in business because of 3m? What's your installer feedback with the above mentioned films? 

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3M will get you some more foot traffic, but I mainly see the advantage of carrying 3M with Crystalline.  Majority of the people that contact me looking for 3M are looking for Crystalline.  You just have to get the installers used to the 3M films since all will be harder than your average film including a Ceramic.  Obsidian and Color Stable are 1 ply films that are 1.5/2 mil thick.  The good news is the pigment is added throughout the film versus having it in one layer.  So this means the film will last longer and both come with a color change warranty.  The bad news is they will take longer to shrink than a traditional dyed film.  We recently tried out Obisidian to replace our Llumar ATC since it was a decent amount cheaper but decided to stay with ATC due to the longer shrink time...at least for now.  Plus they have Nightfall coming out at some point which will be their Ceramic IR that will fill the gap between Color Stable and Crystalline.  Once they have that, 3M will have the most complete lineup of any film...dyed, carbon, ceramic, and a film above ceramic.

Edited by DynamicATL

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Thanks for the reply. I was hoping you'd chime in Dynamic. Regarding the increased install difficulty, is it just longer shrink time and getting used to the thickness? Are there problems with touch ups, pressing down debris under the film, fingers, glue smears, peeling, ghosting under heat? 

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Longer shrink time for Obsidian and Color Stable...no ghosting or anything.  I was told by the rep to forget Obsidian 5% since it is so thick, believe he said 3mil.  Crystalline will require you to change your method plus you have wait 5 seconds after you heat to press out.  The 200 layers in the film need to collapse down before adding pressure otherwise you will crease.  Fingers are also an issue due to the thickness, so ideally need to let the car sit some before you let the customer take it.  Below is a couple of videos of their trainer shrinking it...

 

 

 

 

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Went from 0 - 100 in 3 months with 3M...Come to Houston and we can train you to be very efficient in Crystalline for a small fee. Use to take us a whole day to tint 1 car in Crystalline and now we can do it faster than a carbon film because we can shrink the film in 2 min.

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2 hours ago, Gary_tintington said:

Awesome thanks for the video! Do find yourself getting multiple roll sizes and vlts of crystalline or will 40% sell to most? 

 

I try to stick to one size per film...Llumar ATC, CTX, and 3M Crystalline I have in 36" and Color Stable in 40".  Crystalline is only available in 36" and 60" sizes.

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1 hour ago, DynamicATL said:

 

I try to stick to one size per film...Llumar ATC, CTX, and 3M Crystalline I have in 36" and Color Stable in 40".  Crystalline is only available in 36" and 60" sizes.

That's odd. What the hell they do with the 24's then?

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