Kelly54487

How do YOU charge for vinyl Graphics

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When I was getting started I had a couple friends do some undercover work with other local shops so I had a general idea what things were going for. Some things I was not interested in trying to compete with and others I could make a killing on. The print shop guys will always spank you on multi layer work because to them other than extra ink coverage it's all the same. I pushed the longevity of cut cast (751 or 951 etc...) that would get you 8-10 years on simple vehicle logo's where most of the printed work will show fading at the 5 year mark. New business people won't see this but those who have been buying logo's for years will get it.  I charge more based on what they expect to pay than what it actually would add up to with cost plus margin. I don't do much regular vinyl anymore but one of my old regulars is a self installer and they buy a couple vehicles vinyl a year. I charge them $185 for two color graphics. They run a fairly sizable logo with other numbers and tag lines but my cost on the 951 is around $40 plus an hour shop labor so the profit margin is pretty high for me and no risk on the install. I typically charge $6 per SF per color layer for cast but when they get really large and easy cutting that can be lowered if I'm feeling generous. I measure the SF based on the roll not the actual design so for instance if the logo is over about 11 inches tall it will encroach into the second half of the 24" roll where my pinch rollers run so it costs $12 per running foot rather than $6 due to wasting the other half of the 24" roll. Some logo's only have a splash of second or third layer color and I determine that price off the cuff in large part whether they are picky and painful to work with or not. In actual build I most likely would stack the two sides and get both cut within that 24" roll but I still charge the other way. You will have enough trouble with messed up cuts or messed up taping off that you better plan to make enough that you can cover the occasional mistake because it WILL happen. Especially with a lower end cutter. 

The only job you will never lose money on is the one you turn down. Some people are too much drama to work for unless you are charging so much it makes you warm and fuzzy inside. It's called passive aggressive, I know, I have issues. 

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4 hours ago, Wildgoose said:

The only job you will never lose money on is the one you turn down. Some people are too much drama to work for unless you are charging so much it makes you warm and fuzzy inside. It's called passive aggressive, I know, I have issues. 

If I am unable to turn down those customers, and for whatever reasons, need to do the job for them - I tend to do a hefty mark up for my time and aggravation. They may not be sitting next to me while I'm working on their vinyl, you can be sure that I'm still aggravated while I'm working on the layout, clean-up, cutting, weeding, taping, delivery, and possible installation.

The most important part is to, at the very minimum, know your hard cost on material - what does the vinyl cost you for the different grades? is it reflective? is it frosted? is it camo? is it glittery? etc. Don't forget the cost of the application tape! Know what it cost you by square foot or square inch, whichever works best for you - then go from there. I don't use expensive squeegees or weeding tools, so I just consider that as part of the business expense since I get really great mileage out of it.

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