hotrodz0321

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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. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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$. You’ll see what people are buying and current trends. The two things that were a game changer for me was investing in a professional cutter (Graphtec fc) and borrowing vehicles from friends and making decal templates off of their car. I make kits in bulk for a few hours and have them prepackaged about a month in advance so as they sell I just grab it on my way out and take them to the post office. The cutter is amazing. It’ll cut 15’ and I don’t have to worry about tracking. I used to have to babysit my low end cutter but now it cuts as fast as I can weed so it really streamlined my process. It took work to get where I am but it was worth it.
  5. Get out of the small decal biz. That’s for the scrapbooking moms with craft cutters. Find a niche selling decals for 40-100$ bucks a piece and say goodbye to making a couple bucks each sale.
  6. 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.
  7. Ive been selling on eBay for over a decade and am working on getting into Amazon. The process is completely different. I think you could sign up and start selling on ebay in a matter of minutes. On amazon (in the automotive category) its a completely different story. You have to have a UPC code for all of your products. Thats fine if you arent "making" the products yourself. What do you do to sell on amazon? I am only interested in legit ways. I once purchased UPC codes but amazon now verifies that they are registered. This leaves you with two options. Buy your own registered UPC codes and use them (pretty costly), or go through amazon branding using your trademarked brand. This allows you to bypass the UPC codes but you have to have a registered trademark which is a lengthy process. What the heck are you all doing to get on amazon? Is it worth the effort to get on amazon?
  8. hotrodz0321

    How do you all make money?

    You need to find a niche of your own to sell in. Its all about what gets you the best money for your time. Sure, you can sell 100+ decals a day and spend all day making those decals because of the weeding and prep work and time involved in packaging and shipping. Or, you can find a niche (possibly bigger items) that you can sell 3 a day, it takes you 2-3 hours to make and get packaged. I teach at the college level and if Im not making more money in my side business (vinyl) then I'll just work extra hours in my day job. The niche Im in I make 100$/hr easy but I only put in about 10 hours a week total. Make these cutters work for you...they are money making machines but you have to go about it the right way. Make small decals for friends....you wont make any good money trying to do it for a living. Find a niche (top dollar with little effort).
  9. hotrodz0321

    Perf cutting after premasking

    anyone??
  10. hotrodz0321

    Perf cutting after premasking

    I have done a pretty thorough search of this topic and cant seem to find an answer. I sell online and what i want to do is cut out my kits, apply premask, then perf cut the whole thing...premask and all. I have purchased kits that clearly have had this done to them but I havnt been able to find any literature on it or any tutorials. It just makes everything look very professional and thats what Im after. I have attached a picture similar to what im looking for. I have a graphtec fc7000-160mk2 if that makes a difference.
  11. I dont really advertise and pretty much stick to just online sales but I was out in my pool house (sign shop) and my pool guy came to clean my pool and saw me making up some graphics kits to ship out. He races cars and was in the process of pricing out getting both sides of his car done. He showed me a picture of what he wants but hasnt emailed it to me yet so this is the best I could find. I dont have the exact dimensions so Im guessing the total length of the graphic would be in the 100" range (each side), would be less than 30" tall. Basically he wants the main graphic to be all black, but his numbers would be 3 layers with black on the bottom, then yellow, and white on top. The car is yellow, main graphic would be all black. Number would be layered (black, yellow, white). I dont know if my numbers are even in the ballpark. I am quoting him two ways: making the kit and he installs, or making and installing the kit. I was thinking $400 just to make it and hand it off to him. $600 total to install as well. I dont do installs unless they are my own or its just signage so Im sure my pricing is a bit off.
  12. hotrodz0321

    Jeep renegade hood blackout

    I'd like to get down on some of those valuable files if anyone is actually willing If I had known it was that easy I could have saved myself hours of work trying to create some of the files myself.
  13. hotrodz0321

    Translucent on vehicles?

    I want durability for sure. I'm not interested in cheap (quality)...I think there are more affordable options available to us that achieve a high quality. My base products are oracal 751 but I upcharge if they want something more. I just don't want to order a roll of vinyl for 400$ if I can buy something of equal quality for less. Matte gray is just one of those colors I'll have to figure out if it's worth stocking and offering. Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input.
  14. hotrodz0321

    Translucent on vehicles?

    That's all stuff that will work but my graphics are oracal 751 or comparable and I'm looking for the comparable price as well. I guess there just isn't any reasonably priced.
  15. hotrodz0321

    Translucent on vehicles?

    Real quick question. For the past few months I've had numerous customers each month ask if I could do some vehicle graphics in matte gray. I cant source the vinyl anywhere reasonably priced!! Looking at oracal's translucent vinyl, they have several shades of gray in a satin/matte(ish) finish. Would this be something I could install on a vehicle without having to worry about the vehicle color altering the color of the vinyl? Any insight is appreciated.