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Beginner in over his head.


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#1 zdevillez

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:19 PM

I recently purchased one of the cheaper models MH751 or 851 not sure what models are accurate. I initially got this for my own personal use but then the old lady mentioned I should get some work with it to pay it off. I seemed to have picked up a client that needs 400 4x4 inch and 100 5x5 inch decals. I am trying to figure out what pricing I should shoot for them. I said .10 per square inch but as most of you know this would easily cost around 1,000 dollars is this correct?

When they ask me why so expensive what are some good points to bring up for vinyl plotting cost vs screen printing vinyl costs?

Thank you and sorry for my lack of grammar.

#2 slice&dice

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 06:50 PM

Let's take a look at this logically --- first of all, using 15" basic vinyl, you can fit three 4x4 across in each row, and then three rows running in a linear foot. That's 9 per linear foot of the 4x4's
The cost of 150' (50 yards) is around $45. or 30 cents a linear foot.
9 into 30 is 3-something. So far, we have each 4x4 decal costing under 4 cents, just for the vinyl material.
Next, we factor in the application tape. Not a huge deal, but say a penny more per decal.

5 cents x 400 = $20. (your raw material cost)

Do the math for the 5x5's and you can easily see that you're nowhere near $1000.

Does that help?

#3 Jay2703

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 07:04 PM

.10 per Sq In sounds cheap. That would be $1.60 for the 4 x 4 and $2.50 for the 5 x 5. I would be charging more than that unless the are very simple decals.

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#4 slice&dice

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:00 PM

.10 per Sq In sounds cheap. That would be $1.60 for the 4 x 4 and $2.50 for the 5 x 5. I would be charging more than that unless the are very simple decals.


You would be charging $640. for $20. worth of materials? REALLY?

#5 zdevillez

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:14 PM

The vinyl im using = $60 per roll
The transfer im using = $45 per roll

so already my materials dont cost $20

not to mention overhead/cost of equipment and god forbid some money to feed myself and enjoy life.

I dont think I fully understood your post Slice&Dice are you saying I should only be charging $20 for 400 4x4 decals?

#6 slice&dice

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:36 PM

Absolutely not saying that the CHARGE to the client should be $20. --- Not at all.
I am merely providing a calculation of the costs, and bringing to your attention that $1000 is UNREASONABLE.

OK, you are using slightly more expensive vinyl, so the 400 decals will require 45 feet (say 50') that's $20 total and OK, you'll use up $10 worth of transfer tape (if that).

You have to base your rates to the client with the calculation that you've only consumed $30 of materials.

I can't tell you what to charge, but wouldn't you think that maybe $200 is about right for 400?
What kind of decals are these? Something really complicated and highly specialized?

#7 Jay2703

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:35 AM

You would be charging $640. for $20. worth of materials? REALLY?


The cost of the vinyl is nothing compared to the time it will take to make 500 decals. Depending on the complexity of the decal you are cutting it could take you over 100 hours to cut and weed those 500 decals. That's working for $10 per hour. Even if you do it in 50 hours, (6 min per decal to cut, weed, apply app tape and cut to individual decals) That's $20 per hour.

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#8 zdevillez

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:21 AM

Over all its a basic design with a few trouble spots. It has a cross hair section that is really getting to me. I can see this job easily taking me 40 hours to complete with more skill probably less time but I am a beginner so I anticipate many mistakes and longer weeding times. Thanks for you input. I will keep this updated as things unfold.

#9 Jay2703

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 11:57 AM

Another option would be to have them printed. It could save you some money and time. There are a few members on here that will provide wholesale printing services.

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#10 zdevillez

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 02:32 PM

Well the job is actually for a silkscreen company. They want the vinyl cuts though. Printing would be about 1/4 the cost of the cutting.

#11 slice&dice

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:32 PM

I just finished a job producing 200 simple 3"X4" decals for a local historical society, the entire project took less than 2 hours.
Doing double that quantity probably would have added an hour, maybe.
The hardest part was a "registered" R in a circle that was 3/8" tiny, and I nearly went blind popping out the center of 200 miniature R's and I had the little damn dots trying to escape from me as I went along.

I charged $100 for the whole thing. After my materials cost (less than $20) I ended up profiting over $40 an hour for this 2-hours of work.

Anyway, that's just me. YMMV.

#12 mopar691

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:17 PM

Really? 200 pcs 3" x 4" for $100 dollars? 4 bits each. 2 hours weeding. What about machine time? layout time? design time?

I do not see this being done in less then 2 hours unless they were circles. Still got taping and separation, packaging, billing. It all takes time.

#13 mabscotthandyman

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 06:34 PM

I am like the oil companys I charge as much as the market will allow and sometimes more. I found out early in business that you have to make a decent profit after hard cost and overhead and that takes in your rent/cost of shop space ,adervistising, if applicable ,license fees ,insurance ,etc, all cost must be added to the cost not just material and time if not your losing money.

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#14 daron

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:00 AM

i charge 5 bux each for that size and get it all day every day
i do discounts for 100+ and so on but i will never drop to a few cents per decal
i only use good vinyl like oracal learnt my lesson with ebay vinyl

#15 slice&dice

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:46 AM

Really? 200 pcs 3" x 4" for $100 dollars? 4 bits each. 2 hours weeding. What about machine time? layout time? design time?

I do not see this being done in less then 2 hours unless they were circles. Still got taping and separation, packaging, billing. It all takes time.


Yes, really, the entire job was finished in somewhat under 2 hours (layout, cutting, weeding, and taping, no packaging, and "billing" was writing up the sales invoice)
They were very simple decals, yes, not much involved (as I said, the "R" registered symbol was very tiny, so it took some attention to detail), and I used basic vinyl from Fellers' (ShineRite intermediate).

Assuming the $0.07 I have seen quoted here on the forums as a proper charge per square inch of vinyl work, my customer should have paid $126.
(4 decals across, 4 decals down = 16 decals per square foot, or $10.80 '''''' 200 decals/16 = 12.5 linear feet x 10.80 = 126)

Again, YOUR Mileage May Vary, but I've tried to answer this thread to the best of my ability.

#16 zdevillez

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:49 PM

100 4x4 vinyls done and charged.

$0.10 per inch. Customer was more than pleased to pay $160.00 for the order. The little angry ball is the sticker. This one didnt pass quality control so I added it to my desktop workstation.

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#17 slice&dice

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:35 PM

That job was priced right, and everyone wins -- you won because it gave you some quick cash (the little angry guy didn't take you 40 hours to produce like you thought, did it?) and the customer got a high-quality sticker at a fair cost.

Well done!

#18 zdevillez

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 08:25 PM

the 40 hour thing was about the 400 sticker job and this 100 sticker job together. I have still yet to do the 400 sticker job. It is a little trickier and 5"x5"

Yeah once I got going on these I can see how easy it is to pretty much get into the groove and knock them out.

#19 Rodger

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:02 AM

AHHHH , " Pricing Wars " this subject seems to be 1 of the more " debatable " subjects :laugh: ........ Could be a good Reality show topic like " Storage Wars " etc :laugh:
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#20 mopar691

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 11:42 AM

Really has nothing to do with pricing wars. Just very basic business sense. If your bidding jobs low just to get them your neighbor will be buying you Vinyl Cutting Business Package on Craigslist next year so he can regurgitate the same crappy business plan all over again. Its a sad time when everyone spends 500 dollars and opens up a sign shop on every residential street in America.

Not blaming anyone specific, more so hate the distributors of supplies who sell products to anyone and everyone regardless of actually owning a business. Gone are the days of having to supply business information and confirmation to a wholesale supply house to get access to their supplies at wholesale prices.




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