Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Just lost a bid by HALF!

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Border, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Border

    Border Very Active Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    I was concerned my bid may be a bit on the low side when I submitted it.

    The job was for 4 vans. Graphics on the doors only, in and area of 20 x 20 inches. Plus USDOT numbers on all doors at the lower part. Artwork needed to be tweaked to set correct pantone colors prior to production. These were combination of print/lam/contour cut and vinyl lettering.
    Not to mention the need to bring the vans in and warm them up.

    So 4 vans, 8 doors total. The winning bid was $475.00, installation included. That's the total for all 4 vans!

    This was from one of the major Franchises in the area.

    Could I really be that far off? :banghead:

    I think I'm gonna knock off early today and drink heavily.
  2. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

    Jun 8, 2005
    Sunny Florida
    :bushmill: :toasting: :wine-smi:

    have one or two on me...
  3. tanneji

    tanneji Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    no we definitely would have been in the same ball park as you. Maybe a little lower as in the 850 range. Someone outbid us on an ADA bid because we included installation and they did not. It was part of the original bid request so they got screwed when they got it. I laughed a lot about that one because they did it in order to be sneaky and win the bid and then discuss the installation cost later. Shifty sign companies give us all a bad bad name
  4. high impact

    high impact Very Active Member

    I don't know what your bid was but the winning bid is INSANE! That should be a $800 job minimum, with a simple layout with-out pantone matching and digital printing. WOW.
  5. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I'm w/ H.I. That's nuts. Let them work for free, then let them come back to you in 3 or 4 years when that Avery is peelin'.
  6. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

    Apr 26, 2006
    I'd be $700... guess I'm on the low side of things. Weird. This doesn't include tweaking or artwork of course, just print and install. I could print & install those in a morning without breaking a sweat.

    Normally doors are $150 + artwork here, but if they're just simple labels and I have them in quantities, I've gotten them down to $70 a door. Labeling fleet vehicles and accenting a semi are 2 different ballgames.
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006

    Sorry, had too much pricing information for this section.

    You might want to consider what other shops can really do a job for these days and take that into your daily quoting program if this sort of thing continues. Shops underbidding for the sake of keeping their doors open is going to hurt everyone in the long run.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  8. Sign Works

    Sign Works Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    I'm running into this a lot lately and I think a lot of shops are making the mistake of now pricing jobs out at digital sq. ft. pricing not even comparing it to what the cost used to be for layered cut vinyl, painted, airbrushed, etc.
  9. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    agrees at a $120 a van for 2 doors color matching print/lam/install

    WHERES THE PROFIT ..... egad got to do a bunch more today just to make some profit ..insane

    I don't know about the rest of you but to me ..... we do signage on a van door,.... front of a building, ...... side of a wall, ... a simple card to hand out .....WE CREATE ADVERTISING.....ADVERTISING HAS VALUE

    it's obvious the vinyl and laminate used is a small part if one person did all labor in at night out next day ...money in pocket.....but that just really paid one maybe 2 bills

    now if double that amount .. some advertising value has been paid ... and ya paid several bills... plus ya can eat
  10. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    around here we gotem doin 2 doors for bout $50 each.........and i sell my mags(12"x24" for $70 a set)i remember getting $200 a set of doors for a tow truck...WITH PAINT & 1980's $$$$$$ that would be close to $400 now))))
    but from what i understand its better to GIVE printed stuff away then to have to REPAIR/CLEAN the printer)))))
  11. Border

    Border Very Active Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I wanted to be somewhat vague about the specifics due to the fact you never know who is a member here.

    This was a print/ laminate and then contour cut job, so not just a real quick print lam and install a square piece of vinyl.

    They were fully half my price. Sure, I could've wiggled a little but not like that! I know it's a pretty fast job but around here at least, ya gotta factor in heating your install bay 4 times for each job too. Plus they did not want to drop off all 4 vans at once but rather schedule them individually. Another reason to pad the pricing a little, in my book.

    Well, true my word, I am working on my first beer right now!
    Just got 2 yards of frozen sand dumped in my shop for this weekend's big Mid-Winter beach party so it's time to shift gears for a couple of days.
    I'm gonna make a valiant assault on my last 2 remaining brain cells.
  12. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    Let them price themselves out of business then scarf up their equipment.
  13. luggnut

    luggnut Very Active Member

    yeah i'm always wondering how some keep going... compared to most here i'm usally on the low side but like i posted earlier there was a large sign shop in near by auburn pricing mags $25 a pair!!! i'm like OP i sell'em for $70 and want to go up but i guess i ain't got the guts. shops around here bid on banners at $2.50 a sqft!!!!
  14. Big House Signs

    Big House Signs Active Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    we've been losing jobs too. Has totally destroyed my confidence when pricing. When I first started the biz here I used to sub my screen printing out to a local guy now I use
    I45 here. Anway just lost a screen job to the local guy who's retailing with wholesale pricing. For the past 2 years I have been making banners for County Gov but this same guy just undercut me by $3 a sq. ft. Scary.
    And on that note...I believe it is beer oclock!
  15. cptcorn

    cptcorn adad

    Jul 16, 2007
    Two Harbors
    It wasn't me!!!
  16. Mason

    Mason Very Active Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Im with Jill !
  17. Signalaugh

    Signalaugh Member

    Jul 17, 2008

    You are going to win some and lose more. You can't have them all. Competitors will come and go. They might learn after screwing with these vans, cleaning, complaints, etc. 4 vans ain't gonna come in all nice and shiny ready to go.
    But, in their defence, I have found at times, I have underbid the job and end up getting shafted in the end and probably shafted someone out of some good profit. Such is the nature of business. I try to price jobs by the hour with a slight markup for materials, printer cleaning, printer replacement etc. It works out pretty good. I don't lose my shirt but you don't see me on sign web with a 250,000 dollar latex printer, either.
    I don't know the size of your shop but the bigger you are the tougher to play with the small guys and win the 500 dollar bids. So, then you have to go National/International.
  18. Red Ball

    Red Ball Very Active Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    That is about what we would get for a simple plotted cast vinyl lettering job.
    No printing, laminate or art.

    And yes it is pretty quiet here this afternoon.
  19. mikefine

    mikefine Member

    May 6, 2007
    Border Patrol: What was your estimate of time to complete the project? What is your hourly overhead cost?
  20. cdiesel

    cdiesel Very Active Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I just bid a two truck job (larger doors, but basically the same) for $695 for both trucks. I had a feeling I was a little high, but thought I could get it and did.