Ask a Pro July/August 2022

June 29th, 2022 by Nathan Hobbs

Dirty Jobs

By Mike Burke

Let’s be honest—nobody enjoys removing tint. It’s tedious, and it frequently costs money. I think avoiding removals is a mistake, and here’s why: new car inventory shortages will be with us for a while, and with them come a pool of cars with aging  film. Cars with cheap, five-to-10-year-old film are bubbling, delaminating and fogging up. The value of those older cars keeps rising simultaneously. Taking off old film and replacing it increases the resale value because no one wants to buy a car with bubbled-up tint.

Rip it Off

Business owners find it unnecessary to market to people whose cars are already tinted. Still, there is a missed opportunity. The price of window tint has increased exponentially over the past few years from an average of $200 to now $1,000 for some cars.

I see more and more cars with film so bubbled that it’s a safety hazard. Anyone who bought this cheap film several years ago is now a prime candidate to be educated on the reasons why it’s worth springing for more expensive products. They can see the evidence right on their own car. A marketing campaign aimed at people with older cars looking to replace their film can bring all of them to your door.

Back to the hassle and expense of removing tint—veteran tinters don’t want to do it, and you don’t want them doing it anyway. You’re paying them to put tint on, not take it off. If they’re salaried, having them do removals will cost the company money. If they’re on commission, you won’t be able to get them to do it because the pay is too low.

This is where a tint removal specialist comes in. You can train a new young guy in a couple of days. His labor at $15-$20 per hour is practically the only overhead. Water, a steamer and a couple of razor blades can make $100-$200 on a removal. Plus, you’ve just created a new tint customer.

There is a massive opportunity for substantial returns if your shop is willing to do removals.

Mike Burke has been in the window film industry for 33 years. His company, Sun Stoppers, has more than 63 locations in 19 states and offers residential and commercial tint and decorative film services as well as automotive tint, paint protection, and ceramic coatings. If you have a question for Burke to tackle in a future column, email him at

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