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Advertising Your Business With Car Magnetic Signs

Updated on May 16, 2013

Inexpensive Advertising On Your Car

I've owned a sign business for over 14 years and I think one of the most overlooked forms of advertising are the basic car magnet signs.

In an age of booming online and home based businesses, along with a myriad of small business owners out there, magnetics are far and away the signs that will give you the most bang for the buck. As a specialist in marketing and visual communication, I always look for ways to advertise our sign business and look for ways to help our clients advertise theirs. I have tried Yellow Page ads (which can be QUITE expensive), network marketing, outdoor signs, bulletin boards, the internet and a myriad of other ways to advertise.

Still I come back to the simple car magnetic -


There are many reasons. One, the car magnetics are very inexpensive. In a day and age when saving money is so important, magnetics are one of the most cost effective signs you can invest in. A typical set of magnetics will run you about $75-150 a pair (depending on the complexity of the design, how many colors are involved and size of the magnetics)

Secondly, magnetics can be removed, which is great for customers that don't want to be in business "all the time", or plan on selling their vehicle, which in that case you can just remove your magnetics and voila- no residue or problems to solve.

Thirdly, it's imperative to have some form of advertising for your business, especially if you are a small or home based business. By and far, magnets will bring in far more customers than you realize. As a general rule of thumb, I tell my clients that they can expect to get their investment on magnetics back fairly quickly, sometimes immediately (within days) or within a month of advertising (results may vary depending on what type of business you are advertising)

Lastly, one of the best things about car magnetics is that you CAN advertise on your car without having to get special permits or permission. This is one of the most overlooked pluses of this form of advertising.

Every trip you take the store, driving on the freeway, and picking up your kid from school are chances for you to advertise to the world that you have a business. You'd be surprised at how many times clients of mine have been stopped as they were gassing up to give out a business card because of the attention their car magnetic received!

One of my favorite illustrations of why it's important to advertise is this scenario which can and has happened:

Suppose you are a realtor and your neighbor whom you are acquainted with decides to sell their house. You come home one day to see someone else has listed their home for sale. You wonder why they didn't ask you? Well maybe you had never told your neighbor what kind of work you do so how would they know? If they had seen a magnetic on your car you would have been far more likely to have got that listing- but instead your neighbor may have gone to the Yellow Pages not even realizing they had a realtor living right next door! A missed opportunity!

The one concern my clients have had is some of them worry about their magnetic falling off. I have made hundreds of sets of magnetics and have only heard of a small handful of customers having this problem. Usually they've only fallen off because it was on a work truck that brushed up against something like a tree, or they did not put the magnet back on properly after cleaning it, or put it over a curve or emblem on the vehicle (you don't want to put magnetics over a curve or emblem because that can create a wind pocket that can flip the magnetic off at high speeds)

I've also heard of one customer having her magnetic stolen, which was unusual, but it turns out that some kids on her block had decided to be funny and remove them.

If you have a business and you need a low cost advertising tool consider a pair of magnetics for your car. A good sign company can help you decide what size is best for your car and what colors would compliment your car and image. You don't have to look "cheap" while driving, a good sign designer can make your magnetic look like part of your car and present a very professional and clean image.

(For more information about sign design you can request more information from Dorsi Diaz. She specializes in helping small businesses market themselves in creative and cost effective ways)


Submit a Comment
  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    You're welcome Diane)

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Thanks so much for the magnet idea. I have been thinking of different was to promote my new online website. I will definitely be checking into this.

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @Cortney) Sorry to hear that. This is the only problem with VistaPrint - they use thin magnetic material. You could try and see what the thickest magnet they have is - or go to a local sign company and tell them what happened. A good sign company will guide you to a thicker magnetic material (try a Signs Now if you have one in your area)

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I got my magnet from Vista Print and it blew off the very first use! It was flush against the side of the car. Sad. :-( They are sending me another for free so hopefully it will work out. Anyone know of a reputable company with good quality manget material?


  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @Debbie) I have never heard of magnets being illegal on a personal vehicle. Check your state and local codes though - it may be different in Michigan.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I use the magnest to sell my puppies so they are not on my truck for long. I have been told it can be illegal, does anyone know if that is true? I am in Michigan.

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @Bailey) Glad you stopped by. In my experience most magnet thefts are by kids messing around. I still think magnets would be a good idea for you - just remove them when you are at a clients house.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I was wondering if people steal them just to be annoying? Magnets wouldn't be appropriate for some businesses, like pet sitting? (because advertising no-one's home)

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @Americanhues) Thanks for reading and yes car magnets are AWESOME marketing tools.

  • Americanhues profile image


    7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    Magnetic Vehicle Signs are an excellent marketing tool. The response and feedback is almost instant. They are the equivalent of running multiple small ads in your daily newspaper. However, they do require care. sells full color magnetics for as low as $19.00. They are not the thin cheap ones sold by Vistaprint. They also include detailed maintenance instructions.

  • Newyork204 profile image

    Wesley Barras 

    10 years ago from Anchorage, AK


    Good hub and I would like to add that when you put a magnet on your car it becomes an advertising vehicle so you can write off close to all your fuel and maintenance from your taxes. When you are in traffic or at a stop sign people are looking at it and you become a walking or driving billboard and so talk to your accountant but at the end of the year you can write off all your fuel receipts. That's what I was told and I do. I save several thousand a year from this.

  • linjingjing profile image


    10 years ago

    Advertising on Your Car with Magnetic Signs

    This is a good idea

  • BuffaloMike profile image


    10 years ago from Buffalo, N.Y.

    Magnets are great for advertising no question! But think outside the rectangle...they can be cut to any shape. We've done circles, triangles and even a profile of a woman's head.

    Lots of good information here!


  • wannabwestern profile image

    Carolyn Augustine 

    11 years ago from Iowa

    This is useful information. Thanks for a well-written article!

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    11 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    mjesales, thanks for the comment. Magnetics are great advertising tools. That price you saw was a great one but make sure when you order over the internet it's a reputable sign company and using good magnetic material- you don't want the thin magnet material - you could lose them more easily.

  • mjesales profile image


    11 years ago from Las Vegas

    That's a great tip. I saw some magnet signs on vistaprint for less than $20. Which was far cheaper than I had seen them anywhere else.

    I used to use these when I sold Electrolux. I would make sure to take them off regularly - especially when you wash the car. Also make sure that you wash the area of the car before you put them on. What I did was keep a bottle of quick detailer (in the auto store) and a cloth in the trunk. THen I would clean off the spot for the magnets before putting them on.

  • Dale G. Holmes profile image

    Dale G. Holmes 

    11 years ago from Brentwood, CA

    Magnet signs on vehicles have worked great for me!  I have some on the tailgate of my truck that simply say:

     DIY Credit Repair At  -->

    The amount of traffic at my blog was very low at first, I put this on the back of my truck and it went up to 10x the amount the first week.  I commute so a lot of people have plenty of time to read my tailgate :)

    I just put one on my dad's truck so we'll see how that works.

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    11 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    Private Eye,

    This is something that your sign person should have told you when purchasing your magnetics- you must take them off periodically and clean behind them and clean the magnetic. Otherwise condensation can get behind them or residue and IT will cause a problem.

    We give our customers care instruction sheets with their purchase. That's why it's important to deal with a reputable sign company.

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience, that is really unfortunate.

  • privateye2500 profile image


    11 years ago from Canada, USA, London

    I loved this idea and did it and then...

    2 things happened.

    The first sign went the way of the car wash; I somehow managed to blow it off with the sprayer, didn't notice; then when I did notice it was missing I went back and it was nowhere to be found. I don't know if it fell off in the carwash or after-driving home down the hwy.

    The 2nd sign stayed put, BUT, as I didn't remove it all summer. BIG MISTAKE!! Don't ever do that. When I DID remove it to clean under it, the finish on the vehicle was completely and utterly ruined. Not only was it scrated to H*ll and back but it was also not sun-faded like the rest of the vehicle - so I had a big square chuck of messy darker colored scratched ugly on it.

    I suppose I should have thought of that - of removing it more often and cleaning under it - but I didn't and I am quite sure a lot of other people don't think of it. If you drive on gravel much - you NEED to for certain.

    No more signs for me.


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