New Business

Discuss all aspects of headlight restoration, including marketing, technical, and business advice.
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ken
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New Business

Post by ken » March 2nd, 2017, 3:14 pm

I'm just starting out, and these posts are very helpful! I'm hoping to go to the car...to people's homes and places of business. Any suggestions on what to charge? I did a Survey Monkey and came up with $59, but now I'm thinking that is way too low, especially given the cost of the kit.

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Brent Deines
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Re: New Business

Post by Brent Deines » March 4th, 2017, 11:23 am

$59 seems very low for a retail price to me but you might run specials at that price from time to time. Every market and business model is a little different so I never try to tell someone else what to charge but start to finish with drive time you are going to have at at least an hour into each job in most cases + materials + gas + tools + consumables, etc. Consider your income after overhead expenses when setting your retail prices.

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Re: New Business

Post by ken » March 7th, 2017, 5:52 pm

Brent Deines wrote:$59 seems very low for a retail price to me but you might run specials at that price from time to time. Every market and business model is a little different so I never try to tell someone else what to charge but start to finish with drive time you are going to have at at least an hour into each job in most cases + materials + gas + tools + consumables, etc. Consider your income after overhead expenses when setting your retail prices.
Thanks Brent. Since I will be a mobile business, much of the time cars will be outside. Do you have any suggestions to keep dust off the headlights while the protectant dries? Also, I am hoping to start soon, but the temperatures here are still a few degrees above 0 Celsius (I'm in Canada). Can a hair dryer be used to warm up the lens prior to applying the protectant? Will it still cure...presumably will take longer?

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Re: New Business

Post by Brent Deines » March 9th, 2017, 10:32 am

Keeping the dust off can be a problem, particularly when working outside. Removing all sanding dust from around the lenses and the front of the vehicle before applying the coating helps, especially if you use fans to speed up the drying process, which I recommend whenever possible.

A hair dryer works well for warming up the lenses prior to applying the coating. You can also leave the headlights prior to, during, and after applying the coating. Humidity (moisture) is actually more of a concern than temperature so keeping the lens and coating at a consistently warm temperature throughout the process will help keep humidity to a minimum. Varying temperatures throughout the application and curing of the coating can cause excess humidity.

The coating doesn't actually cure much faster with heat but it does cure faster with air flow so using fans or a hair dryer after the coating has been applied can reduce cure times by as much as 50%. As long as you clean up all of the sanding dust first the air flow can also help reduce the likelihood of airborne contaminates from settling on the uncured lens but if you don't clean the area around the lenses thoroughly you may blow dust all over the lenses. We setup a on each side of the vehicle to blow air across the lenses during the curing process.

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Re: New Business

Post by ken » March 14th, 2017, 11:56 am

Thanks Brent. Received my kit yesterday. I hope you don't mind the continuous questions. Another one: Some headlights have tight corners that the 3" sanding disc won't reach. Do you just take a sanding disc to those corners manually (i.e. folding it and using with your fingers)? I'll look into getting some fans that I can set up with tripods to help dry the headlights more quickly. Things are warming up here nicely...supposed to hit almost 52 F here today (11 C).

Also, do you find that the sanding discs can do more than one car?

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Re: New Business

Post by Brent Deines » March 14th, 2017, 5:21 pm

Unfortunately hand sanding tight corners has proven to be the most effective for me. I've tried detail sanders that have sharp points but it's often difficult to find the right grits of sand paper and for some reason they don't seem to work as well as I had hoped even if you do.

I find that if I try to use a sanding desk for more than one car it increases my time significantly and I don't get the results I am accustomed to. That's not to say you can't try it and decide for yourself but that has been my experience. It took me years to stop trying to use sand paper long past it's effective usable life when working with wood but when I did I realized how much more efficient it is to change discs frequently. If anything it is even more important when working with headlights because the soft clear polycarbonate shows every tiny little scratch once you get to the final sanding and polishing stages.

I am happy to answer any questions I can. That's what we at Delta Kits are here for and that is what the forum is for. There are lots of good headlight restoration technicians on the forum that have taught me plenty over the years.

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Re: New Business

Post by ken » March 17th, 2017, 12:36 pm

Thanks for your help, Brent. Good to know.

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