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Are the cheap vinyl cutters worth it?

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Drewster2016, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. Simon Nussbaum

    Simon Nussbaum Beautiful Signs for a Better Planet

    You'll have to buy the vinyl, transfer tape, make space, cleaning supplies for the dumpsters and truck...and then when you go back 9 months later the vinyl and transfer tape will not be as pliable and you may have to replace it. Shelf life is not forever. Put a dollar value on your time thinking about what you can do to bring money in, and it almost certainly is cheaper to have some else do it for you. If you want to save money aren't picky maybe consider doing just the install yourself.
     
  2. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Nope. If you only need it once and then only every once in a while pay your local mom & pop sticker shop to cut it for you. If you decide to do it yourself at least do yourself the favor of getting quality equipment.
     
  3. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    This thread reminds me of when my friend asked me if he should take out a stripper he met the other night. I told him she was cheap but he got involved with her anyway. It ended up costing him a lot of more that what he bargained for.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Actually, there's no need to break down my comment(s). You are now doing what is called backpedaling. Trying to defend something which is not on the up & up.

    First of all Drew, you are supposed to be a sign shop, sign person, a sign student or somehow related to the sign industry just to be here. Evidently, you lied about your credentials to be here. That's a simple answer. Hope you recognize it as such and not a put-down.

    Second, you didn't say it, but you said you thought you could do it cheaper, thus cutting out the sign shop. The sign shop who might just be a member here, so whether he/she is or isn't a member are still shoulder to shoulder with this membership....... not you. Also, we already know you could not do it better, just by your remarks and comments.

    Third, your attitude is simple, also. You have this idea you can screw over a sign shop and ask the very people you are screwing for information of how to continue to screw them, even further. Trying to come in the back door disguised as some sort of sign position is not at all kosher...... at least not in my book.

    We are sign makers and while we might disagree on methods, technology, politics or religion, we still stand up for each other. YOU are an end-user and if you'd like to become a sign person, invest something besides lip and stupid a$$ deductions. So, in short, the answer is YES, your method of obtaining your results is wrong. Take whatever information you have so far and run with it, cause it doesn't appear you're gonna get much more, if you're even allowed to participate much longer.​
     
  5. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

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    You could buy a dremel, a mirror, and try and do your own dentistry...
    Don't undervalue the years of theory, experience and product knowledge those who know what they are doing, have. I've lost count of the number of times I've walked through shopping centres and seen staff trying to apply vinyl to glass, and wondering how to get past all the wrinkles they've just put into the job.
     
  6. Drewster2016

    Drewster2016 New Member

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    Thanks
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Don't mention it. You'd rather be on the right side of people than in their gun sights, right ??
     
  8. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Drewster, in a lot of ways Gino is right on this. First off this is a forum for professionals, in your regard you are asking for advice from professionals to take food off their tables.

    Second, what you said about "stupid money" for simple vinyl is pretty demeaning to our profession. Which is probably why you are getting push back.

    Third, the cheap cutters work fine for your intended use case.

    Good luck.
     
  9. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    You get what you pay for, but you have to start somewhere. Today, there are 28 of us here at FireSprint running well over a million dollars worth of equipment. It all started when I bought a $300 Vinyl Master plotter on eBay in 2007 and broke into this business.

    I lived in my parents basement and put the plotter and the first few yards (not rolls, yards) of material on a new credit card I just got from US Bank.
     
  10. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I'm in the sign business and I STILL outsource a good deal because my time is too valuable, but not everyone's time commands the same price...so I say go for it, it's only time you'll loose. You could be the next Firesprint.
     
  11. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    As much as we're all a little hesitant to help people undercut and undermine our industry, I feel like it's an innocent request.

    However, I also feel like these new (non-industry) members and threads should be better monitored and blocked by admins.

    After all, isn't this site supposed to be for professionals - not end users trying to cut out people from our industry? Threads like this don't belong here.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Well, as much as it might seem innocent..... it could be an honest mistake, but after all, he is here wrongfully. And if ya didn't realize it before, now he's had his profile removed so you cannot see it at all. What is he hiding ?? Nothing more to do than ask the admins to take corrective measures.
     
  13. Baz

    Baz Very Active Member

    The guy doesn't want to spend stupid money at a sign shop lettering his truck and dumpsters.
    Wants to buy his own cheap equipment so he can go out and charge stupid money peddling his own services.

    It's like no one else is allowed to make a damn profit for their work!
    I would not give him the time of day.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2
  14. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Everyone tries to save a buck or two here. How many times have you guys changed your own heads or cap tops, or plunged your own toilet or built your own fence, etc?

    I need a line sensor on my machine. I know the part is $50... but I got quoted $1100 for the repair. I said I'd do it myself since it's a few screws and any idiot with a screwdriver can do it... Bill went down to $54. I'm cutting into our repair mans profits... but he's still more than happy to sell me the part and told me to reach out if I needed help.

    Cutting vinyl isn't rocket science... the hard part is putting it on properly, knowing the right vinyl to use... how to premask, and everything that comes after buying a machine. If OP wants to buy a crappy machine and see if he can do it himself... let him. If it's worth it to him, good on him... If not, it'll teach him to appreciate the work we do and realize it's not all clicking a button and being done with it.

    I personally think it'll be a failure... but it's his failure to make. Advice on which machine to buy is ok in my books, so long as he doesnt come here asking to be hand held / taught the very basics on how to do stuff. Thats what google is for
     
  15. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    Exactly. This forum is supposed to be for sign professionals or people looking to get into the industry.
     
  16. Geneva Olson

    Geneva Olson Member

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    I bought the MH 721 in July of 2018. It was $400. The thing is noisy as all get it. It is cantankerous and it has some crazy issues. I have heard people tell me it's crap. But I made my money back off of it. I have a gsg maintenance guy who I always talk to. He says they are crap. But the thing is still cutting. I have bought blades for it and cutting strips and it works. I gave it to my boyfriend's daughter who works in the shop with us. She uses it all the time to cut little projects. I have a 48 inch roland that I use now.
     
  17. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    If someone came to me with a file set up ready to plot (nested to the size of the roll, just load and cut) I would be willing to cut it from my own stock of your choice for a pretty reasonable price, especially if it was cut only, no weeding or masking.

    I would recommend reaching out to a few shops and ask about this possibility, I think you would be surprised how much the price changes. I love these types of jobs I can have a machine plug away on while I do something else, then just roll it up and hand it to the client!

    This way everyone wins, you don't have to buy a machine and maintain it, and a local shop gets to make a small profit on an easy job.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    It's not the same. Repairing the machines that you run in your day to day operations is within the scope of your business. That's self sustainment.
    To me, it's just typical simple minded thinking. We all make money through volume which generally means 1 job or customer by itself is not profitable. If whatever you want to bring in house is not sustainable as a stand alone business then you should not try to self perform. Vinyl cutting fits into this category. I'm not real sure why everyone's panties are in a bunch here, very few would want a self install cut vinyl customer because wait for it....... There's no money in it! This guy is doing you a favor.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Member

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    I make good money cutting for people who want to apply it themselves
    But I dont charge pennies on the dollar. I remove a few pennies from the dollar. I also tell this type of customer that it's a filler job and ask them to.pick it up next week, or when I call them. If a customer comes in and starts asking all kinds of HOW TO questions. I simply tell them this is a business and I am behind on orders. Its NOT a school.
     
  20. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Member

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    I get a sense of pride when I finish any job. More if I did it all start to finish. I'm not sure how much value put on your time. But I personally have been let down by some companies that I trusted to do a job for us. Not to mention the % of profit that I would give up. I am surprised as to how many hours some business owner members are on this site.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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