April 10, 2013

Misconceptions of Magnetic Signs Part 2: Things to watch for when purchasing magnetic signs for vehicles.

Misconception 1.
Thick magnets are higher quality and much stronger.

Thicker is not always better! The thicker the material, the more weight that needs to be held to the vehicle, and the more wind resistance at the edge of the magnetic sheeting. Have to follow a slight curve or indentation? You can forget about that too. With magnetic signs that are over 30 mil, the thicker material is often too rigid to conform to any curves in your vehicle door. We suggest a 30 mil magnetic sheeting for all outdoor vehicle signage applications. 

Misconception 2.
There is no difference in magnetic sheeting that is sourced outside of the US.

This is one area you do not want to save money. With any material quality, you get what you pay for. In this case, we have found that rubberized magnetic sheeting that is sourced outside the US (mainly Thailand and China) is of a low quality and is subject to deterioration faster than the sheeting that is made in the US. We have also found that in many cases, this inferior sheeting is back-coated with a laminate in attempt to incapsulate this inferior material. The logic behind this step is that if it is not subject to the elements, then it is less likely to be affected by them when exposed. Although this does a great deal to protect the sheeting from degradation, it also places a layer of laminate in-between the magnet and the steel surface of the vehicle or car door. When this occurs, the magnet has less pull on the steel, making them weak and more prone to fly-offs. Think of the sheeting in the terms of a refrigerator magnet. The more pieces of paper you put between the magnet and the refrigerator, the more strength you lose to hold the magnet to the refrigerator. This leads me to my next point. 

Misconception 3.

It's ok to use the very thin refrigerator magnetic sheeting as a substitute for 30 mil vehicle magnets. 

No, it is not, but that isn't going to stop someone from making a quick buck at your expense. There is a very popular internet-based printing service that offers small "magnetic car signs" that are around the size of a sheet of paper for around $4. 
*The funny thing is, this company also boasts that this is a "large magnetic sign. Try this, grab a  sheet of paper, write your name on it as large as you can, tape it to your car door and you tell me if you can read it from 20 feet away.
We have sampled these signs and have found that in order to cut costs, they are using the extremely thin magnetic sheets that are used to produce the flimsy, throw-away business card magnets. Although the price is attractive, the material is not meant for this purpose. They quickly deteriorate within weeks of putting them on your vehicle, this causes you to lose sales while you are waiting on replacement magnetic signs. Your vehicle is void of identification or advertising and this can affect your bottom line. A high quality magnetic sign should last 3-5 years if cared for properly and the company you purchase them from should always provide you with instructions on how to care for your vehicle magnets.

Misconception 4. 

Magnetic signs are not a legal way to display government issued numbers such as US DOT numbers, MC and ICC numbers.

According to publication 508c in the section regarding the displaying of official numbers, magnetic signs are a perfectly legal way to display your official vehicle numbers. Please visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/rules-regulations.htm for more information.
Visit wholesalemagneticsigns.com for more information.

*This blog post written by John Lindsey, president of WholesaleMagneticSigns.com
John has produced over 500,000 magnetic signs in the last 15 years.

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