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Customer comes in with his own sign parts.

Discussion in 'LEDs and Neon' started by heyskull, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

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    Yesterday I had some customers come into my shop for a new sign for their Chinese Takeaway/Restaurant.
    Strangely they had almost everything they needed except a tray sign to mount it all.
    It was a little confusing as to exactly what they were after, until one of them returned from their car with a large suitcase.
    On opening it they had all the letters with LED illumiation and all the transformers to run it.
    This would create standoff back lit illuminated letters Sign.
    These were a three part design with a 15mm PVC silver face then a 1mm aluminium plate and lastly an acrylic opal back. All the LED illumination was built in and really well manufactured.
    I asked them how much they paid for all this and on replying $500 (roughly what it works out from UK £s) I nearly had a heart attack!!
    Later I checked with a supplier and to buy similar in the UK would be $2,700 + Tax (Trade Price) in the UK!!!
    Whilst back home in China they had got a local sign shop to manufacture this for them.
    In fact it cost only half the UK price inclusive of the family trip to China!!!!!
    I am constantly having issues with selling a quality product in my area but I cannot compete with this.

    Does anyone have dealings with any of the signmanufacturers in China as I feel I will have to change suppliers?

    On a further note due to the location and area this Chinese Takeaway/Restaurant is located, i know their will be issues with the local council/planning having their sign illumanted as this is a conservation area in the UK's Lake District.

    SC
     
    Tags:
  2. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    I will not use any chinese product ESPECIALLY reader boards. Imagine if Harbor Freight made signs!!!!

    As far as this customer just get rid of them and do not open yourself up to issues. Because IF this sign fails it will be your fault!
     
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  3. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    How much is an airplane ticket to China and back from the UK?
     
  4. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    support your local manufacturer.
     
  5. Hero Signs

    Hero Signs If they let me make it, they will come

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    We install others signs but do not offer any warranty on parts. We also modify wimpy mounting tabs and brackets to make sure they are strong. Payment is up front and disclaimer is signed prior to install. Make the install $ , just understand what you are getting into.
     
  6. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Sounds legit to me. So I took their idea and went to my orthopedist for a knee replacement... Hinge.jpg
     
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    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  7. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

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    Who said they went by airplane?
     
  8. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    There's only slow boats to China.
     
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    So, how do they get something like that past customs, via plane or boat ??
     
  10. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    If you put it in a suitcase and does not have anything of concern, channel letters probably look like a TV or some electronics through the scanner. Customs will open up the suitcase if they feel a concern. I am sure it was not carry on. Every country has different rules on what comes in.
     
  11. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    Our local codes call for an electric appliance to be made to UL standards and stickered by a certified UL fabricator. Even if you are a certified UL fabricator, I would question whether the parts could be certified.

    Not to disparage the quality of the parts from China. The Chinese are capable of making high quality parts, as well as junk.

    Personally, I would politely decline the job. It's always the fault of the last person who touched something when things go wrong, and without using known parts from reliable manufacturers and distributors, I would not be able to stand behind my work.
     
  12. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    People barely are comfortable with outsourcing to folks in their own country... Let alone outsourcing to a country halfway around the globe and not speaking the language. Your "client" must of got a good deal because he or she knows the culture and knows how to negotiate and not get ripped off... You being a western foreigner will be at a huge disadvantage.

    As mentioned above, need to make sure all parts UL listed.. Don't want some counterfeit power supply catching fire and burning a building down.
     
  13. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    Just too add to my above comment: One of our local cities is reviewing their code, and one of the issues is whether Class 2 LED lighting circuits would be allowed without UL certification. The safety precautions that need to be taken are less stringent than the requirements for a device that plugs directly into a 120V/240V mains power supply, and are reflected in NEC article 725, which lay out the types of wires and connection methods that are allowed.

    What is noticeably absent is any designation exempting components in a Class 2 circuit from requiring listing. Oftentimes UL508a is erroneously cited as doing so, but this standard only applies to industrial control panels and not lighting circuits.

    So, following the NEC requirements leads me (and many municipalities) to the conclusion that LED strips are not exempt from UL listing requirements, and that UL2108 (IFDR) is the standard that should be used in evaluating LED strip products.
     
  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    So, the other day, I walked into a Chinese Restaurant with a little dog under my arm and when I placed the order they said...... oh no, we ron't use your dog, we onry use da best dog meat aroun. We use our own. Chop-chop.
     
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  15. burgmurk

    burgmurk Member

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    Most of our suppliers here in NZ are just selling us chinese parts. Once you figure that out it's not a huge step to start sourcing them yourself. We've started doing it with things like big expo walls and the like, but haven't had a full-blown illuminated sign made (yet). We did get some RGB faux-neon led tubing which worked pretty well.
     
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