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How much to charge for printing?

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by JLD984, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. JLD984

    JLD984 Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Hi, wondering what people are charging for printed & laminated signs. I'm mainly using Concept 701 vinyl and Concept laminate. I was paying $120 per metre for my laminated prints before buying my own equipment last year but this seems way too much after adding labour and the panel costs. Do most people charge labour as well or is that usually factored in to the printing costs? I've been charging $70 per metre plus $60 per hour in labour and haven't had too many complaints, but this way can be a bit inconsistent.

    For example, I'm currently quoting on a job which involves (Dibond) 24 1000x500mm signs, plus 48 500x500mm signs. I rarely have to do quantities like this so I thought it'd be a good time to ask. Sorry about the metric measurements, I'm in Australia (but our dollar is similar enough to USD).
  2. neil_se

    neil_se Member

    Jan 21, 2012
    Qld, Australia
    For me, calculating for materials costs plus labour is too inconsistent. Could you really estimate exactly how long it'd take you to make 48 signs, and be confident that you'd estimate the same amount in 3 months time? Or accurately estimate time to print and produce 1000 die-cut stickers for an infinite number of size possibilities?

    At my company I've got at least 6 people who might be giving quotes on any given day, and most of them aren't signwriters. I price based on competitive market square meterage rates that started out based on the Image Sign Price Guide a few years ago, but has been modified based on my own experiences and local market. When I moved to SignVox 18 months ago I spent dozen of hours perfecting my prices and discounts to take into account hundreds of common material, size and quantity combinations. The few variables left to estimate are really graphic design time, installation, routing and welding times, which they'd ask the designers or a senior signwriters to estimate if necessary.

    For your example, my quotes (excl graphic design time) for Avery polymeric vinyl and laminate on 3mm (0.21mm skin) ACP would be:
    24@1000x500mm - $1690+GST (that's approx $140/m2 incl a 15% volume discount)
    48@500x500 - $1590+GST ($132/m2 incl a 20% volume discount)

    That particular example highlights one anomaly in that the total sq meterage is the same, but the higher quantity rewards a greater discount. At larger sizes it does start to allow for a range discount to reward the larger area. Eg. For the same total materials, 6@2000x1000mm = $1520 +GST (10% volume disc plus 15% range discount).

    Despite some anomalies, I'm yet to find a better way of quickly and consistently pricing any combination of 3 printer types, 35 substrates, 30 vinyls, and 6 laminates, in any combination, at any size and quantity, quoted by any staff member, and know that I'm still turning a profit.

    I hope that helps somewhat! Really the best place to start is with the Image Sign Price Guide.
  3. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    First off you need to know your overhead, what the market will bring, how much do you want to make, and HOW GOOD is your work....lot of factors.
  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
  5. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Trenton NJ
    What you charge?
    Well that depends on how you and your customer perceive your work.
    If you view it as a commodity and it's just ink on banner material with a design no different than the guy next door who has a printer you will probably have to charge what the guy next door charges.
    On the other hand.
    If you can produce something that blows people away and no one else around you can produce you can charge what ever you want.

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