Things you must know before paying for your personalised Sticker

By Wayne McLeod

At the risk of trying to sound like an Advertisement or I’m trying to sell you something. I’m Not… HOWEVER I own a small signwriting company in Melbourne and do quite a number of caravan stickers for people.
I hear almost on a daily basis, horror stories about people that have purchased stickers for their van and the problems they have had. Here is the TRUTH about stickers.

1. The difference between say the Cheap EBay stickers is not price… It’s the quality of vinyl they use. As a general rule…Cheap = longevity . 
IE most of the sticker from eBay or anywhere else unless it’s a real signwriter are usual cheap for a reason. It usually the quality of the vinyl they use. IE a cheap sticker most times will be a low quality or indoor vinyl.

2. What you need to know… All vinyl has a life span. That is… Promotional vinyl 3-6 mths (Looks great straight up) but is intended for indoor use for a short period of time and is not UP protected in any way. They neglect to tell you this   Then you have the 3 year vinyl. Much better and usual has some sort of UV protection. Most reputable sign writers will steer you away from the last 2 and point you towards the 7 year and up lifespan range. Even the companies that manufacture vinyl give a lesser warrantee on the product they sell into Australia owing to the Sun.   

3. Having said all this… You DO get what you pay for in this case. Consider this when shopping around. Price whilst important. Do not make it the #1 thing. Look for and insist that the seller/signwriter inform you on what lifespan the vinyl is rated at. Very important for a long term, staying stuck, colour fast sticker. Best quality is 7 years and longer not the cheaper lot .

Other points to consider… Can you install it yourself… Most cases Yes… Ask for instructions with your sticker. Google is your friend… Watch videos. # 1 tip is a clean van… Prepsol or Isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface your using…then clean it again ! 😊 Dust and dirt is your enemy here. Or Have a reputable sign writer apply it for you where possible (usually will not cost a much more and you will avoid killing the wife of husband in the process). Negotiate an installed price on purchase if close buy otherwise its DIY. It’s NOT a Race !! Take your time and if you use “Good Quality Vinyl”, mistakes are usually quite forgiving and allow for minor errors. Oh something to also do.. not panic… 

Small bubbles… should you be attempting this yourself, you may find some small air bubbles under your sticker. Do not panic! These will usually disappear in a few days sun. If not a simple pin prick with a small pin and a light rubbing should fix that. 

Anyhow… In Short… Check the longevity of the vinyl. 

Remember… Pretty thin scrolly type writing can look good up close and like WTF at a distance. The thinner the lines the less stick it will have… Ask a Pro for advice where possible. Do not be afraid to “Have A Go!”. Oh also to get an old sticker off… Heat !! Hot Air Gun/Hair Dryer usually does the trick. There are other factors to consider like lamination but I wont bore you all further. 

For the right advice ask a sign write not an ebayer…

Hope this has been some help to someone. Good Luck, happy trails and Merry Christmas to all.