othing is sweeter than the moment about ﬁve tint installations a day,” says Alberto
you realize gas prices are lower Clarke, owner of Tint Lab in Fredericksburg, Va. For
than they were the day before. It’s a standard-ﬁlm installation on a four-door sedan,
instant gratiﬁcation, and an imme- Clarke charges $189, and a small SUV rounds to
diate understanding of what this $225. That’s only a $36 difference, but putting these
could mean for the future of your numbers in play, that $36 dollars multiplies quickly.
tint shop or window-ﬁlm business—more money
“I typically see more sedans and trucks, but I deﬁ-
coming through your shop’s doors and more proﬁt nitely wouldn’t mind more SUVs,” explains Clarke.
If two out of every ﬁve installations a day are small
Studies show there is a correlation that this saved SUVs, the amount of money a shop earns through
gas money may be going to consumer spending in tint installations alone would total $5,085 a week.
the automotive industry. Years of low gas prices That’s a $360 a week increase over what it earns for
often are followed by an increase in tint sales. So tinting to all ﬁve sedans and trucks. At the end of
with this extra cash—what type of vehicles are con- the month, tint shops would see an extra $1,440 in
sales—or $17,280 a year.
According to Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for
Kelley Blue Book, when consumer conﬁdence is
high, people tend to purchase less fuel-efﬁcient
The Future of Gas Prices
Don’t expect gas prices to remain this low,
vehicles. The opposite is true when prices are at an though. According to the U.S. Energy Information
all-time high—that’s when more of those fuel-efﬁ- Administration (EIA), regular fuel prices are fore-
cient cars are purchased. Josh Buis, chief operating cast to be an average of $2.26 per gallon in 2017—an
ofﬁcer of Scorpion Window Film, conﬁrms that gas 18-cent increase compared to the predicted average
prices have a huge impact on his business.
for 2016. However, research suggests the increase
The main thing that affects our sales is the type may not be signiﬁcant enough to have an impact on
of cars consumers are buying,” he says. “What they small SUVs and crossover sales since they are con-
buy is a direct response to the price of gas at that tinuing to see growth (a 16-percent increase from
time. When gas prices are at an all-time high, cus- end of year 2014 to end of year 2015).
tomers want small cars with high gas mileage. Small
cars don’t have as much glass to be tinted as SUVs to rise and fall with low and high gas prices, small
and large trucks.” SUVs and crossovers steadily make progress, offer-
Though sales of trucks and passenger cars seem
Luckily for window ﬁlm shops, today’s low gas ing consumers the best of both worlds—utility and
prices may mean larger vehicles in the shop in the efﬁciency. They also offer tinters more windows.
Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars.com, says, “Part of
Tint prices across the country for a sedan can the reason for the difference in SUV buyer behavior
run anywhere between $100 to $600, depending on compared with pickup trucks might be that this seg-
how many windows are being ﬁlmed and the type of ment is closer in fuel efﬁciency to passenger cars
ﬁlm being used. A four-door sedan averages around than pickups.”
200 for a four-window standard-ﬁlm installation,
According to a study done by the company over a
whereas an SUV (including vans and crossovers) three-year period, for every dollar decreased in gas
can rake in $200 to $800, averaging $275 (standard prices equates to an increase in SUV and crossover
ﬁlm), depending on size, number of windows and sales of .7 percent. That demonstrates the unchang-
type of ﬁlm, according to national consumer reports ing buyers’ market for those vehicles.
on Angie’s List and the Cost Helper websites.
I can get nine vehicles in, but on average, I do
continued on page 28