jfreds

Hardest that I have ever tried to spend money

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I have had plenty of companies that I have had a hard time getting technical support from after buying a product, but I have never tried this hard to buy something from an company only to constantly run into a dead end.

All I want to do is buy a cutter and a starter kit with a grant that was received for a cutter and starter kit,  for a program to teach students on how to cut vinyl.  US Cutter has the cutter, but they don't have a starter kit in stock and they can't get a response from marketing when a starter kit will be available. They have parts that make up a starter kit, but can't price it as a starter kit on a quote.

Here's the kicker....  They can't give a quote for something that they don't have in stock but I need one to get a purchase order started.  They said that if we keep calling back, they could quote it if it came back in stock.  It normally takes 2 days for a PO,  so more than likely the product will be gone by then so the process will probably start all over.

This looks like a really decent product, but I really do think that they need to remove their heads from somewhere and get their people together to talk and figure out how to actually market and sell a product.   If I were the owner, I would be mad as hell if I read something like this knowing someone wanted to spend money, but can't find anyone to take it.

I hope that you make some changes so that I can get something to teach some eagerly awaiting students!

 

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I am forwarding this to who I think can help = the uscutter staff seldom visit the forum and the forum is staffed by volunteers - hoping we can find you some help though

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From OUR combined 'peanut-gallery' experience, there is little to no advantage in buying a 'starter kit' at all.

Can you show which combination of stuff you were seeking?

THIS one?

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Hello slice&dice.   

We are actually looking at the "Sign Shop in a Box".  The only advantage that getting a starter kit is that our grant that we received with cover a will cover starter supplies if bought in a package.  I have a "Collage" (could this be the right term?) of art inspired students that really are interested to first see what cutting vinyl is all about, and secondly, to see how creative that they can be to do something to dress up our "First Robotics Team" competition robot.  My fellow coach and I are always interested on how to expand this "STEM",  (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program into a "STEAM" program by adding Art into the mix.

Educational expenses always seem to keep going up while available dollars keep going down.  We are just trying to make the very best of dollars available. In a school with less than 1400 students K-12 in a community that has very little business to tap for financial assistance and with having the 3rd lowest "dollars per pupil unit" in the state, It really comes down to both economics, and giving the students the most tools that they have at their disposal to be able to succeed. I love seeing the excitement of students when they finally "get it" and that toddler stage comes back out when they want to show everyone what they just created. 

I bought my own kids a Cricut years ago with "Sure Cuts A Lot" software before Cricut made them remove the USB interface drivers to be able to really create using their machine. The skills that they learned have followed them as they have matured into young adults.  They have made and donated so many "basket" items for fundraising events, I've lost count.  For me, this is much more than learning how to cut vinyl, but a  way to build lifelong skills by disguising it as having fun.  Shhh,  please don't tell them!

 

 

Sign shop in a box.JPG

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Posted (edited)

jFreds, thanks for the comeback.

OK, I understand your goal here. Let's look at this logically.

1. Your grant cannot be spent unless a "kit" of supplies is purchased. The one you showed costs $237.
2. If you were to purchase stuff individually, that are most practical for these students to utilize, the cost would be LESS.
3. How can you obtain a 'bundle' quote when the bundle is out of stock? How about doing a work-around!

For one thing, the most important items in any bundle are VINYL and APP TAPE.
Ordering these will be ongoing and never-ending thing. What does the grantee say about 'consumables' as your students start running through any (limited) starter supply of materials?

USCUTTER offers a 'warm' color selection of rolls, costing $55.
-- I notice that all other types and colors of starter packs are "Out of stock" --- this is the only style available now, and although it's not the ideal, it'll do in your circumstances as described).

The key to going this route is convincing your grantee of the NEED for vinyl and app tape above all else. The cutter cannot be used without those, right?!! (All the other assorted tools and accessories and substrates can be purchased as required. The grantee must be made aware of that).

For instance, squeegees.  Vital. https://uscutter.com/4-non-stick-squeegees-5-pack    $9.00

Let me know what their thoughts are on this, and we'll discuss further how to proceed with obtaining USEFUL and PRACTICAL items for your 'class' --   like scissors, utility knives, xactos, t-Squares, hinge tape/3m masking tape rolls, tape measures, 12" rulers, etc.


 

Edited by slice&dice
Squeegee starter pack

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slice& dice,  I am with you wholeheartedly. There are probably less expensive ways to approach this by piecing this out rather than getting a "package"  or starter kit. (I have to be honest, I am probably trying to take the easy way out.)  With the pandemic causing quite a bit of unknowns and school finally coming back into full time in person learning, I was hoping to get it by clicking 1 button. In addition, this is one of my passions, but just a volunteer role. With my full time job tasking me with nearly 600 hours of overtime last year, and also holding the position of Vice Chair of the School Board, I find myself a few hours short of a full day to get everything done. 

As far as the grantee, it is a larger school funding source that sets out guidelines and doesn't really seem to want to budge. If they allow us to change the structure, everyone will want to change it...

We have also looked at the different options of color schemes like warm, cool etc...  As you indicated, many of them were also not in stock as we called. We also thought of the starter colors as a good place to start to have them learn.  We have also picked out a selection of "school and team" colors of indoor/outdoor removable vinyl for their new and creative designs once they become proficient, or at least comfortable with the process. This would be paid for with money that the students have raised through their fundrasing activities. I would really love your thoughts and suggestions with possibly purchasing the 34 inch "MH", what width of vinyl gives the best output with a minimum of waste. 

As an update, I did receive an email from the Sales Manager at US Cutter, after DakotaGrafx responded to the forum as well.  I really believe that there is a bit of a communications or training issue at the company.  He did offer to help at least quote something for us even if it isn't in stock and at least then we can start a PO request.  That will help quite a bit!  He also was interested in the feedback and really wants to solve the problem and do more training with their sales staff.  This is great news for any current and potential customers.  The unfortunate thing is that we finally starting building momentum just as spring break arrived.  I am hoping to reignite the conversation next Tuesday as things come back into full swing.

 

This forum has been great as a place to come and get ideas.  I am a technology kind of guy, but at 61, It seems to be moving faster than I do! LOL...

I really appreciate your feedback! Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

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I would suggest you look into a package which includes a heat press....the kids would love designing their own t-shirts too!

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Do you have to buy it through US Cutter? I could piece together a "kit" and give you a quote for it. Then I'd place the order for the individual pieces and have it dropped ship straight to you.

We have to do stuff like that at my job all the time for equipment. A manufacture will rarely agree to all our terms and conditions so we find a 3rd party that will and they just act as a middle man. Stupid really, but it makes the lawyers happy.

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Heat press would be a great idea for a school. The students could make school shirts to sell and have the equipment pay for itself.

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Sue2 and darcshadow...  I do like the idea of a press and being able to make t-shirts.   We do have access to screen print equipment and most of the kids have that as an elective in an art class at the school already.  One thing that I try to be cognizant of is to not overwhelm them with too much at once.  Working with 9 - 12 graders, slow is good sometimes. I think that would be a great expansion idea for the near future.

I do appreciate the offer to put together a package.  I have thought of the same thing as well.  One of the Customer Service Reps also had the idea but said that he just couldn't label it as a starter kit.  If I combine that thought with the ideas from slice&dice on buying what is really a necessity and perhaps adding in a few "nice to have" things, we certainly could come up with a great learning package for the students...   That sure would be a novel idea for a potential company marketing strategy!

I am going to see what US Cutter comes up with for me.  With the current deal of $100.00 off a purchase over $600.00, it may not be a bad option for us.  Even though it's a grant, I want to be respectful of the money so that as many benefactors can be helped as possible.

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The advantage of heat press over screen printing is the ability to cost effectively create in low quantities and individual designs/names.

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I just wanted to give an update on this post.  First of all I would like to say thank you to DakotagrafxThe person that he contacted was very apologetic on the sales issues that we were having and was able to not only help us, but evidently was able to identify some possible training flaws and inconsistencies in the training given to their sales staff. This not only helped us, but will hopefully enable them to provide a new level of customer service to everyone.  

 We received our cutter a few weeks ago along with all of the tools that we needed to help make the learning experience for the students a successful one. Our graphics department for our First Robotics team has been having a blast creating new designs and teaching others what they have learned.  They are taking on projects for other teachers and staff throughout the entire school.  I can see this leading to additional purchases and as a great learning opportunity for the students in many areas.

I really appreciate all of the feedback from everyone that took the time to offer suggestions!

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Great! Glad to here it is going so well and the kids are really taking to it. There's just something about being able to create something that is so rewarding.

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Very glad it all worked out in the end - grants etc can be frustrating to meet the criteria (from personal experience with state bids)    but glad in the end they made it work

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