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Comparing pricing to overseas signage.

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Signsforwhile, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Signsforwhile

    Signsforwhile Very Active Member

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    We have a potential customer who has retail locations in europe and asia. We are currently working on budgeting and pricing and keep running up against a stone wall when we are presented with european (mostly French) budgets and pricing.

    Their argument is that labor costs in France are insanely high and that materials are more readily available here. So in that sense our pricing should be much lower if not equal. We are pricing completely custom fabricated signs with a mixture of materials ranging from plastic, aluminums, dibond and custom paint. But I'm at the point where I'm ready to call a bluff because the prices are insanely low. And almost tempted to tell them to shop around.

    In addition to the fabricated items, the digital printing seems ridiculously low. I was shown an actual invoice and after converting square meters to square feet and euro to dollar, a company was driving to a location 50-100 miles away and installing wall graphics at a hair UNDER my cost for MATERIALS....not including labor or travel.

    Should I tell these people to take their euro *** and hit the curb?!

    I am being fed the good ol line we've heard a million times..."there's a lot more work after the first one so make the price for this one reflect that"!!!!

    Not looking for specific numbers, just if anyone knows how pricing of items compares globally. And I need some defense at this point because they're pushing me to the breaking point, even though I know deep down I can probably get them to hang with whatever at this point because they've invested a lot of their own time to meet with us. (could still be fishing!!! ahhhhhhh the voices in my head are arguing so i'll shut up.....)
     
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  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    We've had items go to Germany, Greece, Sweden and some other countries in Europe and shipping was usually our only stumbling block. We generally got the customer to get their own signs in and we only worry about making signs. As for competitive pricing, it was never questioned. I wouldn't worry about their numbers and quote what you really need to make the job profitable on your end. Be prepared to walk away from a nice size order, that won't pay well, or just wait for them to tell you the truth.

    Too many other positive things to concern you or get into without the what 'if's and what about's. Don't dwell on things you can't touch. Work on the here and now. :thumb:
     
  3. Signsforwhile

    Signsforwhile Very Active Member

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    Gino, I'm a firm believer in the "we price things to make money" way of doing business.

    I'm at a point where I need someone to tell me (remind me) its' OK to walk away because seems like we're either going back and forth on pennies for some products and enormous amounts on other products. Either one doesn't seem reasonable.
     
  4. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    its ok to walk away :thumb:
     
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Good for you.

    I too, am a very firm believer in doing your best for the best possible buck and being prepared to walk away if I don't like or smell something bad brewing. I'm not reminding you of it, but confirming we all do it from time to time.

    However, there is one particulr time when I do worry about pennies, so to speak.... and that's on well-established accounts.
    If we take in $XX amount of dollars a year from company ABC in their advertising department, I will do everything I can to protect that account. Should they tell me they can get it cheaper, than I haven't been doing my best and I feel like a dork trying to explain why they had to find out first and come to me.... looking for a better price. This happened about four or five years ago. One of our best accounts priced me out to 6 others companies. I wasn't the cheapest, but I was far from the highest. One guy came in at $12,000, one at $45,000, another at $50,000 and the rest of us came in within $400 of each other around the $38,000 mark. We kept the account because one needed to have freight put on it yet and the other one was far enough away to be viewed as a nuisance in some cases. So, while we could've dropped a little in price, they agreed to stay with us at the going rate for the fact we were already familiar with their needs... and very convenient. Oh yeah, and the guy at $12,000 was figured to just be a joke, since no one was anywhere near his numbers.

    I wouldn't walk away from an established account, but starting out a new one like you're talking about, I'd be a little leery.
     
  6. Signsforwhile

    Signsforwhile Very Active Member

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    yeah we're on the same page here. an existing account that has made me a ton of money i will work with endlessly to keep.

    but a new account promising the world, arguing about a handful of euros! is driving me up the wall.

    just needed to vent i guess. i made up my mind before i posted looks like!!
     
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