Monthly Archives

September 2012

So I Bought Your PC Epoxy for a Repair– Now What??? (Hint: Surface Preparation)

By | Repairs, Uncategorized

There are basically two types of people roaming the hardware stores these days – those who are naturally good at fixing things up (and even enjoy doing it), and those who just really want to save themselves some cash. Some folks are a little mixture of both. But whatever category you fall into (full disclosure not necessary), there is one gargantuan hint to any successful epoxy repair.

You must effectively prepare your surface BEFORE the application of any epoxy product for full effect and durability. No matter what your surface may be.

Why, you may ask? Because epoxy must adhere to surfaces, and surfaces are often covered with dust, dirt, grease, oil, oxide films, etc. All these contaminants, even at a microscopic level, will interfere with the strength of your finished epoxy project.

Fiberglass

  • Prep surfaces by making sure they are clean and free of dirt, oils, etc. Note: Always clean the surface before sanding. Sanding the surface with sandpaper does not remove wax or other contamination. Sanding often melts greases and oils into the surface making it impossible to obtain a clean surface.
  • Lightly sand or “rough up” the fiberglass surface. Caution: Do not sand excessively. This will create porosity in the surface that will have to be filled.
  • Blow off the surface with clean, dry, compressed air while dry wiping to remove sanding dust and residue.

Wood

  • Surfaces to be bonded must be free of dirt, oil, decay, etc. Denatured alcohol works very well to clean surfaces before applying.
  • If surfaces are previously painted, it is best to strip paint before utilizing epoxy wood repair products.
  • For best results, rough up the surface that PC-Woody® or other PC Wood Products will be bonding to with a light grit sandpaper.
  • Normally, a vice grip or a clamp is not needed for an epoxy wood repair. Prop or tape heavy objects to a wall or ceiling.

Glass

  • Surfaces to be bonded must be free of dirt, grease, etc. Denatured alcohol can be used to clean and prep the surface.
  • Dry thoroughly before beginning the epoxy repair process.
  • For best results, rough up the surface to be bonded if you can. However, when you want the result to be clear and seamless (as with the case of a broken crystal vase etc.), simply press the two clean surfaces together with PC – Clear.

Concrete

  • All concrete surfaces must be cleaned of any grease, dirt, or debris.
  • If holes are being drilled, be sure to blow out dust from the bottom of the hole/crack. Brush the hole/crack with a nylon brush. Blow out dust again.

 

 

Taking the time to complete a thorough surface preparation is going to make all the difference in the quality of your project, and help to provide a lasting result for your DIY fix-it efforts. And of course, if you have any questions at all, feel free to ask our experts or visit our PC – Products page on Facebook!

Small Businesses: How To Trounce a Mass Merchant Like a Warrior

By | Small Business Tips, Uncategorized

No matter what the retail business may be, a lot of mom and pop shops have thrown in the towel over the last decade or two. Mass merchants roll through towns like unstoppable steam trains, and all the initial resident uproar and town hall meetings fall short of their goals. In the words of the creepy old Oncler from Dr. Suess’s The Lorax, “Business is business, and business must grow…”

How do we compete, you ask? With these large retailers who outsource their parts and labor to China and beyond, their prices will beat yours every single time. They are everywhere, in nearly every town, and they don’t close their doors when our hard-working American families sit down to supper together. Mass merchants have the money and power to advertise circles around small businesses, and often, government backing through big-biz tax breaks. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. But is it a lost cause?

Release Your Inner Warrior

Chances are, if the preceding paragraphs got your back up and your lip curled, then you have got enough warrior in you to fight back. It’s not a losing cause. It’s all about strategy – and it’s one we utilize at PC-Products Epoxies. We are all-American, we never outsource, we continue to grow, and we are Proud of Our Ethics.

Here is our own “PC-Products take” on just how to battle like a warrior:

1. Never slash prices to compete. If you get drawn into this trick, you will lose. Discount prices attract discount customers who don’t care about loyalty or quality, and you will just lose your profit margin. Our epoxy repair products are priced higher than many of our competitors – but we won’t lower them – because they are made to last and work.

2. Brand, brand, brand. If you haven’t done this, sit down and think this through. What is it about your company, and your core values that you want to transmit to your loyal customers? You will want to promote this message in every bit of marketing you utilize, and all your employees should know it in their sleep. Our own motto is “FIX YOUR THINGS with PC-Products.” We sell products that will help our clients with all wood restoration projects, concrete repair, plumbing repairs – so pretty much anything that needs fixing – we have a paste or putty epoxy repair product to help.

3. Don’t overstock. Hardware stores in particular are known for over-packing their aisles full of interesting stuff to browse through. The trouble is, without a clear merchandising plan with a customer focus, your shoppers may feel a bit lost, and that trolling aisle after aisle may be too frustrating and time consuming. Pick the brands you are most pleased with and focus on them. If a customer asks you “WHY this product? “ – have a good answer ready. The PC-Products answer is: We contend that if you want your money’s worth, always look for the PC on the label.

4. Make service your top priority. We are talking EXTREME customer service – the kind they won’t get anywhere else, and will bring them back to you again. You must choose employees with interpersonal skills, as well as knowledge about your products. Your salespeople may know exactly how to fix a plumbing leak, but you MUST give them the tools and scripts they need to be able to feel safe and positive talking to customers. It also helps to add value to your sales by suggesting other complementing products the customer didn’t initially ask for, but would certainly make their task easier or longer lasting.

Find Your Niche

According to Ken Stone, an Iowa State economics professor, “Hardware chains in particular — and I did a lot of work [consulting] for True Value and Ace — finally learned that they had to specialize and find niches. And the first niche was service. They gave better service.”

Figure out a way to make the “extreme service approach” come first in your business. Make personal and lasting connections with your customers, and don’t stop when they walk out your door. Keep in touch through email, newsletters, mailers, and social media. Stellar service and a great brand message or philosophy will keep you one step ahead of the big guys!

 

Does Anyone Remember This Slogan…. “Made In America?”

By | Glass and Ceramic Repair, Made in the USA, Uncategorized

Although we feel it is quite an important consideration when buying ANY product, many consumers just aren’t looking. They feel they have no choice. It’s beyond them. They can’t afford anything but the Chinese junk (sorry China, but it’s just true). There aren’t any alternatives. They would have to drive a mile farther down the road than the closest Wal-Mart.

Think About It for a Moment

Well, here at PC-Products (where everything we do IS STILL made in America), we beg to differ with these excuses. Think for a moment about the air conditioner or the old fridge you bought in the 70’s – the one that’s still chugging away today, some 40 years later. Now think about the new waffle iron you bought three weeks ago that broke after two uses. And that fancy blender. And that darn fan too, now that you think of it! Did you keep track of those receipts, your time and gas to drive back and stand in line and wait for the same crappy replacement – and that’s only if it’s in stock, of course. Do we even need to start a list of the clothing that has torn, frayed, or shrunk??? Chances are, you merely sighed and just tossed the inferior items in the trash (and your hard-earned dollars with it).

We know that you recognize the truth to this. But in honor of Labor Day, and all things American, let’s review the PC-Products philosophy on companies that manufacture in the United States, use components that are U.S.A. made, and directly hire citizens of the U.S.A. as their sole workforce.

Hey, it’s Not Exactly Easy For Us Either

We have had experiences with many of the “mass merchants,” where PC-Products epoxy repair products cannot compete simply because we opt NOT to outsource our products or the components of our epoxies. These large retailers have said outright, “You need to outsource or you cannot sell through us,” but PC-Products will remain, without a doubt, an All-American company. It is beyond us why these mass merchants will loudly profess to be American and in support of our nation’s economy, and yet will continue to sell (and even encourage the production of outsourced items). It’s one way or the other, people, so think hard – how do you stand?

The Time to Choose

Absolutely, we DO have a choice. Choice is as all-American as apple pie and the 4th of July. It only requires a tiny bit of extra label reading, a dab of NOT grabbing the cheapest one, or a pinch of opting to drive that extra mile to the local hardware store instead of the nearest “mass merchant.” Many new websites have sprung up from which to purchase any type of product that is 100% USA made – in any category.

If you like to fix things yourself, then it is also likely that you want your work to LAST. PC-Products epoxies are American produced and owned since 1954, and we are too long in the tooth to start outsourcing now! We feel that a consumer that truly values the quality of our varied line of epoxy products, and of our own pro-American philosophy will seek out the thousands of outlets that will support American-made items. Start today and don’t ever look back in regret again!