zdevillez

Beginner in over his head.

47 posts in this topic

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.

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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?

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.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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.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?

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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?

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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?

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Dan

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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

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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.

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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.

dsc0445yr.jpg

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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!

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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.

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

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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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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.

Walgreens pharmacy has in-store Large Format Printers that produce signs now, so does Kinko's/FedEx.

Soon, WalMart will get machines that print signs.

I do thousands of $$$ worth of cutting jobs monthly out of a small Main Street shop that I rent, and purchase from several established local wholesale suppliers that deliver next-day (GRIMCO, FELLERS, HARBOR SUPPLY, etc.) as well as buying from places that ship to me at excellent prices (including US Cutter).

I compete with SIGNS-By-Tomorrow, FAST SIGNS, Sign-A-Rama, and many other places that offer sign-making to the public.

When I do a banner for $60, is that destroying the market? Hell, no, because banners can be had for that price online (See: Vista Print) -- what do you think, VistaPrint is a huge secret?

I offer my production skills, my time, my design abilities, and get all sorts of sign jobs every day from a variety of clients, at prices which are competitive and provide my clients with the feeling that they've been well-served.

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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.

Adding to Slice&Dice's realistic post , saying the above is silly & ancient thinking IMO . Price .. does it matter ... watch everybody pull into the most expensive gas station .... ahh NOT . The above business sense is only for dinosaurs that won't accept the technology & its benifit that cheapens EVERY lucrative business . Being able to buy everything you need to sell decals for $500 & running it in a no overhead enviroment is what is now , not history when it would cost $10K plus . I am sure some of the people who were doing what you are doing now , when you went into busiiness had the same outlook about you , but you went into business anyway . People now have the same choices . If they want to buy the stuff , BOOM they are a business !!! There is many places that don't have business licenses available ( Morgan County , Tn being 1 .. i know , i have property there ) Should somebody there rent an address in New York City JUST to be regulated ?? Most places , anybody can get a busines license for a few bucks , how does that change things ? I think it was back in the 80's that BIG business wanted to charge a much higher tarriff on products ( Harley davidson was 1 of the most vocal ) , I remember the president of Radio Shack testifying to congress , his company would live or die on their abuility to compete fair & square & did not need any handicaps & I really respected that then & now . Japenese motorcycles went up about $1K because of the tarriff . the price never went down , so i think it made them money overall . Buying supplies is crazy also ... with the internet , you can buy from overseas or across the country cheaper than next door many times ( fact is USCutter ships supplies to me cheaper than anywhere around ) . It has been like this for quite awhile , but welcome to 2012 .... I have always liked the saying " If you can't stand the heat , get out of the kitchen " .. I have gotten out of " the kitchen " in several types of business because of technology & level of competition & the resulting profit margins . Finding a niche is a great thing . Like S&D said , the places he mentioned & e-bay is NOT a secret .

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Rodger is right, you've got to find the niche. I have seen a dollar store competing with Walmat right next door. I had to check it out they found their niche ;D

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Niche decals and vinyl are definitly where it is at..I have one decal I sell to one place that buys 25,000 per year at .68 cents each..I have another that now buys the same decal for .28 and only buys 5,000 a year..The diference is even at .28 cents I am making money off the same sticker I make lots more profit on the higher priced one..The higher priced sticker as well as the lower priced one was being bought from an online source..One customer had been with them much longer to get the lower price...I told both companies I would match their prices..Had to choke down to the lower price..But hey got a new customer thats happy and I still make money either way..Just shows if you find the niche you make the money no matter if theres a the Wally Worlds next door...

Moral of the story..If your comfortable with your profit don't let anyone dog you on prices..Some will always be high and some lower..If your ok with it forget all the rederick and do what you need to to put food on the table..You can always go up if the market will bear the up cost..Be confident you gave a good product..WOW em with service and when it comes time to up the cost a little, then do so..They will understand due to you giving great service, and a good product...Never forget service service service along with a great product..Repeat business is on the service more then the price...

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Rodger is right, you've got to find the niche. I have seen a dollar store competing with Walmat right next door. I had to check it out they found their niche ;D

My Dad loved the $ store . i took him there all the time . I had a hard time not cracking up at how many times the clerks get asked the price of an item ... Everything is $1 ( I admit , I asked several times my 1rst trip :) )

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