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-Hypothetical- Legal Question

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Banners Signs Etc., Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    Say your company is making yard signs for candidates. I would assume every candidate has to pay the same price per sign? What if you wanted to lower the price to get the sale...is that ok? Hypothetically.
     
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  2. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    I never think it's Ok to do that, as it devalues an already dying trade.
    And as for political signs...are you kidding? Those are about as bottom-feeder as you can go.
    Always get paid up front for those.
    Love....Jill
     
  3. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    Wait...its a dying trade?! Seems to be moving ahead. If you've got a flatbed you've got a little wiggle room.
     
  4. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    You should always wiggle up, never down. Never leave money on the table. Are you that desperate for work that you just want to keep busy?
     
  5. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    Let's see, I can turn out about 200 full color yard signs a day without breaking a sweat...or I can watch my machine sit there....of course the original question was a legal one, not a should one.

    Myself personally, would rather have the business than have them send it off to one of the big boys...again, I am speaking as the production manager..not the owner.
     
  6. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Or, you could outsource them for less than you can make them in-house and go golfing, all while you are making money! :cool:
     
  7. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    I don't know where you outsource, but after 1 color we're doing pretty good on the flatbed...tempting though. Edit: I see you're from Vegas...in your case much easier to use another big player in town.
     
  8. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    This is a good question. I think what the OP is trying to figure out is whether or not it would be considered a campaign contribution to "discount" the price of the signs.

    My gut tells me you're safe. Your half safe because on a small level, no one will likely find out, but to be positive, I have sent an email to our company attorney about this. I will let you know (Posting the answer here) what he says about it.

    BTW, be sure to compare your costs for flatbed printing vs. what we can screen and/or digitally print and ship for. In some cases, you might make more money letting your machine sit idle while you help other customers. You'll just need to weigh that out.
     
  9. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Correct... although, I'm next to a part of town called "China Town" and it's a really long stretch of Asian businesses. Which is why I don't bother printing banners in-house anymore. $1 sq. ft., hemmed and grommeted, same day. And that's retail pricing.

    We have lots of golf courses too... I make money with a few phone calls in the morning, and enjoy my time the rest of the day. Everybody wins! I put people to work, stimulate the local economy! Rarely do I actually have to work in the shop.
     
  10. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Not sure why you would assume such a thing. I know of no regulations that such a thing would fall under unless you are large enough and dominant enough to fall under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act or are attempting to dictate prices to a group of distributors of your products. What is illegal is to get together with your competitors and fix prices or restrain trade in any way. By and large, U.S. law favors free markets and competition while avoiding dictating to you what prices you must sell for.
     
  11. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    Yeah, its one of those situations where you have the machine and seeing it idle is painful...I can definitely see your point where if you're swamped then it would be cost effective to sub it out.

    Besides its a simple matter of loading a board clicking print then taking it off or flipping when done....not much babysitting involved if you're working on other projects.
     
  12. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    And do you have an automatic trimming machine? That's extra labor and shop time if you have to cut them out by hand.

    Seriously, I'd hate to waste my ink on political signs. They often are solid full coverage, super temporary. I like running my printer on jobs that matter. Signs that stay up, make an impact, help a business etc.
     
  13. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

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    Ok, so you are really a BROKER (golfer), not a sign shop, I get it now!!!

    :ROFLMAO:
     
  14. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

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    I guess its one of those things that you may be knowingly violating the law...or at least the spirit..if you lowered prices for a friendly candidate. But if you're just trying to drum up work it would be ok....

    Kind of like if you tell the cop that you knew your brake lights were out vs telling him you had no idea?

    I dunno, I think this thread has jumped the rails lol.


    (To Biker) We have a panel saw that can cut 5 sheets of coro in a pass.
     
  15. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Nope, full on sign guy. I've even got a channel letter bender in-house, plasma table, full on metal shop with all the welders, even aluminum TIG! Metal benders, ring rollers... tube bender, and I've even got a mandrel tube bender! Trusty 48" Graphtec plotter, 64" wide format printer, plus a huge digital laser printer for in-house short run printing and off line UV coater is coming in next month. I just wised up after being shown the light about time management vs. dollar output and gain.

    (And I don't really know how to golf. I've only been to the driving range 3 times in my life)
     
  16. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    Not sure if there is a single thread on this forum that stays on course...unless there is only one comment :)

    Q: What font is this?

    A: Arial

    Ca: I hate that font and your stupid for using it.

    Cb: I make money on that font.

    Ca: No way you do, your a fool.

    Cb: I work from 8-9a everyday and surf from 9-5, and I know how to properly use "your"

    Ca: Liar!

    Cb: Liar!


    :Big Laugh :toasting:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    It jumped the rails by making your question about political campaign signs instead of just signs thus adding an extra level of confusion. If a customer wants 100 signs the first time and 1,000 the next time, are you somehow obligated to charge the same price? No, because the volume is greater. If a customer wants signs advocating a position which you find repulsive, do you have the right to refuse the job or charge them double? Yes, you do. If a customer wants an order and you are backed up with work for two weeks do you have the right to charge more than if you have no orders and want a job today to make the rent? Yes, you do.

    One could go on ad infinitum. The simple fact is that there is nothing in campaign regulations or anywhere else in the law that would prevent you from lowering a price for any reason.
     
  18. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I'm not entering into the p!ssing match of doing it in-house or subbing out, but if you wanna work and you're not hurting anybody, why not just do it yourself and make the money and THEN go play ??


    I don't know why it would be wrong to give someone fair prices regardless of a good client or bad client be it political or not. Unless you are stacking the deck against another candidate and you're the only shop available.... that might look a little sleazy, but then, that falls into the political realm of just about anything and everything.

    As long as somewhere on the sign it says paid for by the committee for so & so...... you should be perfectly fine.
     
  19. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    Ok, so I spoke with our attorney about this. I'm really glad you brought this up so we could be clear in the answer here.

    Quantity discounts, artwork "easiness" discounts/extra "PITA" charges, loyal customer discounts, price matches, first time customer discounts, first time customer extra artwork fees, etc are all just fine to charge or discount to a politician - as long as you would normally offer these same discounts or additional fees throughout your normal operation of business.

    Selecting a particular politician or political party and offering a discount to "All Democrats" or "All Republican Candidates that will lower taxes in Pawnee County" is crossing a line into a political contribution.
    Basically, you should be safe as long as you treat them all fair, like any other paying customer.

    ***Please note I am not an attorney and don't know the laws in your state or country, so don't take my advice at all. :thumb:
     
  20. gspinc

    gspinc www.bannersignsexpress.com

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    I say your business your rules.
     
  21. sardocs

    sardocs Active Member

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    Now that the election is long past, are you still glad you did them at a discount?
     

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