I read on another thread about the big turnover with installers for PPF. I am left to wonder if that is just a minority opinion or do the majority of installers feel there are a lot of people that don't make it. I am asking because before I invest $6000 for a new plotter, $3000 for initial product, $1000 for training. Marketing, dedicated work computer, design software etc... It looks to be a $15,000 investment. I've been installing tint for 30 years but only as a side job and never as a serious sole-proprietor entrepreneur.
Talking to the regional managers in a few of the major film companies, they have mentioned what it takes to become an authorized installer. Some require exclusivity. What advice do you have for a new installer? Looks like you can use DAP without becoming locked into Xpel? True or not?
I like 3M products as that is the tint I started with in the mid-80s. Is their 3M Clear Gloss Pro Series good? Just OK? I like the fact that it is closer to $4.62/sqft vs Xpel's $11/sqft. Especially if I bulk the fenders and hood, I'm sure the waste at $5/ft would be a lot better than $11/ft if I didn't want to pay for the precut pattern via DAP.
Speaking of DAP, what are the all-in costs? I was messing around with it and looked like there was a $20 access fee for many of their designs. Is that about right? Does it charge you when you cut that? If you screw up a bumper and need to cut a second one out, does it charge you again?
Lastly, what cutters/plotters do you recommend. I'd like to buy one used but haven't found a good marketplace for that kind of stuff. Any recommendations for what to look out for would be very helpful!
What say you? Thank you in advance.