hotrodz0321

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hotrodz0321 last won the day on January 26 2021

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About hotrodz0321

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 03/21/1982

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Central Florida
  • Interests
    Designing, making, building

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  1. hotrodz0321

    Finally taking the plunge

    Thanks. Fortunately Im almost 100% online-based so there arent too many quotes. The few custom quotes I do still end up in the form of invoicing sent to the customer and if they are agreeable they pay it and it ends up as an order just like all of the others. One thing that would be helpful is utilizing the 50% deposit on those orders. I have never done that and have had my fare share or ordering a roll of a very specific color just for a local client and they end up bailing so Im stuck with unsellable material and lose out on the cost of it. Im going to require 50-100% payment before I order vinyl from now on. Your input is much appreciated. Thanks for the job worksheet.
  2. hotrodz0321

    Finally taking the plunge

    Thanks for the input. It may very well end up with me selling the printer if things dont go as planned. I guess this is one of those things I know I'll regret if I dont give it a try.
  3. hotrodz0321

    Finally taking the plunge

    Thanks. Fortunately my sister in law is an incredible accountant and she got me straight a few years back. Almost all of my sales are eCommerce through my website, etsy, ebay, and amazon. Collecting sales tax is a breeze as I can export transactions and easily remit sales tax monthly. Like you my biggest deterrent to purchasing the printer is the maintenance. Fortunately the HP latex is lower maintenance than other types of printers and I should be able to run it enough to minimize issues caused by lack of use. I appreciate the input.
  4. After more than 18 years of strictly cutting vinyl as a side gig I am taking the plunge and have ordered some equipment to upgrade. After several years of research and putting it off I have decided to purchase an HP Latex 700W, a rollsroller work table, and am upgrading my current cutter (graphtec fc7000-160) to a new FC9000. Its all been ordered and within a month I should be up and running. I am seeking advice from members of this forum who have done something similar. I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others so if you have encountered "newbie" struggles when making large purchases and care to share your experience I would appreciate it. Theres going to be a learning curve because I've never printed on vinyl...are there any resources that will help flatten this learning curve?
  5. hotrodz0321

    Officially Licensed Products

    Well, its just as everyone says. If you can even get a response from any of these companies they want proof that you have a substantial online presence. By substantial I mean your revenue is 7 figures or above and have monthly traffic numbers in the 5 digit range. They are looking to partner with companies rather than provide opportunities for a smaller company to boost sales. Just as Wildgoose stated, you might be able to form an agreement with a company who is licensed already...the problem with that is I feel I make a better product and would outsell the products they make so it isnt likely they'd agree to something like this unless you sold completely different products. I have learned that dealerships have licensing that allows them to use the specific manufacturer's logos on products and advertising. I'd need to look in to that more but that might be a potential loophole to this whole thing. I have relationship with local car dealers already so I might start talking to them about what their licensing allows.
  6. So, my company is growing at a manageable rate but one thing I have wanted to try and incorporate into my product line was offering officially licensed products (GM, Ford, Jeep, etc.). I see companies that appear to be at my level and they offer the officially licensed products....how? I've sent in inquiries and applications multiple times with no reply back....I havnt gotten any denials, I just dont even get a reply back from them. Do any of you have advice on how to accomplish this? I've ordered several officially licensed products from these people to install for a customer or a friend and the quality is identical or inferior to what I already offer so it would be nice to be able to increase sales by adding OL products. Any advice would be appreciated.
  7. hotrodz0321

    New into the print world.. where to start?

    Hey MrJoel...have you made any progress with your DC4? Ive been looking at these for over a year now and just cant bite the bullet. Ive looked for youtube videos that would give me a better idea of what im getting into but there just isnt enough out there for me to feel comfortable buying one yet. Theres always a learning curve but Im hoping to hear from you that the curve isnt steep or long. That would go a long way in convincing me to buy one myself. Let us know what progress youve made with it.
  8. I dont print yet so I need to outsource this. Itll be indoors but needs laminated because its going on a magnetic white board and will have magnetic objects sliding accross it. Finished size is 22"x46" and I need three of them. Itll need to be shipped to zip code 34442. Thanks.
  9. Hey everyone, Im not requesting anyone give me anything. I simply need a couple sources (paid sources are fine) for high quality vehicle templates/images like the following example. Im just looking to superimpose different versions of certain graphics on vehicles instead of having to install them individually on a vehicle. Is there a company that offers these from all different views of the vehicle (top, sides, rear, etc.)
  10. Well, it has all been word of mouth. Online sales is a different story....I just recently opened a website and that takes money to market and advertise. Ebay (and I assume amazon) are set up to show the "best match" items first by default. This is their way of making sure their top sellers show up first in searches. To get there you have to be consistent with increasing sales, set goals to increase those sales each month and add new products (even if its only adding 1 or 2 new products each week). In one year's time you'll have built up your listings significantly. You'll see that after 3 months of doing this, shipping on time, having little to no returns, etc... you get triple or quadruple the views on your items than you were seeing before. This will be because ebay is showing your listings higher in the search results and you are getting more views...more views equals more sales. If you are wanting sales to happen "in person"...you have to advertise in your home town. My first few installs over a decade ago came from listing my service on craigslist. When I come up with a new decal design for a specific vehicle I offer it to a local person as long as I can take pictures of the install afterwards. You just have to decide what your hustle is going to be....then work your hustle. It didnt happen for me until I got up and started doing making it happen. One last thing, my success has come from listing items that are vehicle specific...not just a generic decal that fits everything. If i make something that will fit different makes/models...i still list them individually because people search for their vehicles and I want to show up high in their search results. I stay away from making any new products that are for vehicles more than 1 body style old (ie. 2015-2018 f150 body style is current...2009-2014 is the previous body style...I wont design anything new for a 2008 or older). People are buying for new/newer cars...not near as many people are pimping out their busted up old rides.
  11. Sorry, I meant to quote eprvinyls. This is my part time gig as well. I am a college nursing professor so I don’t want to give that up but I really enjoy building this decal business and I am happy with it not being a full time job. I turn down just about every job offered to me here in town because I just like the way online sales work now that I have it figured out. I’m glad it’s working out for you!
  12. Well, yes and no. I intentionally only make easy weeding designs with very little interior weeding needing to be done to it. My cutter has a crosscut feature and it cuts off the decal when done and just starts on the next. It’s faster than me but not by much. When you weed 30 copies of the same design one right after the other...you get really good at it. I don’t offer text in my designs either...that’s too much custom work and customers these day have a “return” mentality and will just “change their mind”. With eBay you are stuck with that bill as the seller so I don’t do custom.
  13. With eBay you can search what has already sold recently...not just what people are selling. Search for sold & completed listings in the category you sell in and set the criteria to a dollar amount higher than 30$. You’ll see what people are buying and current trends. The two things that were a game changer for me was investing in a professional cutter (Graphtec fc) and borrowing vehicles from friends and making decal templates off of their car. I make kits in bulk for a few hours and have them prepackaged about a month in advance so as they sell I just grab it on my way out and take them to the post office. The cutter is amazing. It’ll cut 15’ and I don’t have to worry about tracking. I used to have to babysit my low end cutter but now it cuts as fast as I can weed so it really streamlined my process. It took work to get where I am but it was worth it.
  14. Get out of the small decal biz. That’s for the scrapbooking moms with craft cutters. Find a niche selling decals for 40-100$ bucks a piece and say goodbye to making a couple bucks each sale.
  15. It is a huge pain. I see ton of people selling decals but I question if they are actually doing it by the books. I imagine if most of them actually went through the process I am going through they would have turned elsewhere to sell. Ebay is good but they dont care about their sellers. I have idiot customers who mess up an install and send back the decals in a mangled mess after they peeled them back off of their car. Even though my disclaimers say professional installation required and no returns if install is attempted...ebay will let them do whatever they want. Ive had a couple customers claim I only sent them one side of the vehicle kit and send it back to me. Even with all of the proof in the world ebay sides with the buyer. I wont give up ebay because it brings in so much revenue but Amazon has got to be better for sellers... Who knows...I guess i'll find out once I am able to get it started.