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Need some opinions, I think I stepped into a pile of you know what

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by StopSignGraphics, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. StopSignGraphics

    StopSignGraphics Active Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    So I've got a customer who approached me about doing a couple of wraps for them and something is screwy. They already have a bid from another company and I'm not sure if I just should walk away.

    Here's what the customer thinks,

    1. Part of their logo is stock art and according to the other company they can't use it because of low resolution but they are going to duplicate as a higher res image for a fee. Duplicating a stock image? Why not just buy the proper license and a high resolution version of the image?

    2. That 3m will replace the wrap if they should have problems for 5 years after the install date. This included the window perf.

    3. They've already paid the other company for "recreating the stock image" and designing the wrap. The customer thinks that the art is his and he can take it to me and have me do the printing. He was very adamant about this point.

    4. My price is a lot lower than the competition, I'm not sure if we are even talking about wrapping the same square footage.

    5. Spoke to the other printer and he thinks that he already has the job.

    I want to be clear that I'm not accusing my competitor of misleading the customer or violating copyright but this is what the customer thinks is going on. Customers often have selective hearing.

    This customer wants me to give him a formal quote and meet with him later to discuss my take on wrapping his vehicles.

    I'm not sure what to do? Go forward with the meeting? Get a payment for doing some designs? Walk away?
  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Lay your cards out on the table with this guy.

    Explain to him how YOU do business and you'd appreciate his being honest with you about who has the job, since the other guy evidently thinks he has it. Why spin your wheels unnecessarily, if the other guy has the job ??

    Also, explain to him how things work in the 'who owns the artwork' world. Tell him your take on the whole situation and what are his real intentions. You don't want [or need] some guy playing one shop against another for no reason.
  3. k.a.s.

    k.a.s. Very Active Member

    Aug 8, 2003
    NE ohio
    I'm not interested in anyone that would come back in 4.5 yrs and want his wrap replaced. That would be the biggest red flag for me.

  4. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    Oct 5, 2005
    Meet with him and ask for a signed licensing agreement on the artwork/logo! If he doesn't have one tell him you would need a deposit to do a design and give him the price for design and transfer of ownership!
  5. SEOR

    SEOR Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Run, Forest, Run.
  6. Stealth Ryder

    Stealth Ryder Very Active Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Yep Yep
  7. signgal

    signgal Very Active Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    I wouldn't run necessarily and I'd want to give the customer as little ammunition as possible to go around shootin his mouth off about you but it doesn't feel right and I'd find a "reason" to not do the work :)
  8. JR's

    JR's Very Active Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    swansea Ma 02777
    Originally Posted by SEOR
    Run, Forest, Run.

  9. dwt

    dwt Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    We do glass tinting as about 50% of all our business and the WORST client is always someone with a USED luxury or sports car. They always need the the most coddling for their ego. For all the babysitting that comes with these people I find it's almost never worth the time for the pennies they want to spend. :frustrated:
  10. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    may be thinking too much about this... i wouldn't worry what happens on your competitor's end. If the client wants to come to you with a file for you to print and wrap onto his vehicles... why not just give him a quote for setup/print/wrap?

    he may just be pimping you for pricing to go back to the other guy and haggle down the install... give him a quote+X% and see if he comes back to you.

    Let the client deal with the juggling act, keep your focus on what you do and what you want to get paid to do it. Also make him clear that 3M's warranty doesn't cover everything under the sun... i wouldn't be surprised if he's convinced himself that the 5yr guarantee is a 5yr service lease on him graphics... "this covers hail damage, right?"
  11. UFB Fabrication

    UFB Fabrication Member

    Jan 26, 2010
    I have a question. First of all I like 3-M and the products the sell. What does 3-M cover ? I assume material replacement only. If thats the case how long do you warranty the project? The material IMHO is the smallest portion of the work.
  12. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    just warranty material only - not labor (or labor for 6mo's, material for 2 years or something...) 'cause if it falls off in 6 mo's its probably your fault anyway :thumb:
  13. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Quote it like any other job, quote it assuming print ready customer supplied artwork. Don't worry about what the other shop said, just worry about how you do business. Explain to the customer the real 3M warranty (haha), show them 3M documentation about the warranty, show them in writing your warranty if any, show them a written price that clearly spells out what you are providing, what they are providing, and what you have to charge if they do not provide what they say they will (print ready art). Get it all in writing. Be clear and concise. They either understand what you're saying and selling or they don't. I woudln't loose sleep over it if they don't get it or only hear what they want to hear, but don't let them leave your shop without a crystal clear understanding of the whole deal.
  14. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

    Feb 11, 2007
    Pretend you are the other guy.... teh customer comes into your place. You do some design work, client likes the art, but now you find out that he is STILL shopping the job!?

    If the other guy was YOU, and the customer was treating you like he is treating the other guy how would you feel about that customer?

    I'd say no thanks, if he is has no loyalty to the other guy then he will screw you just as fast. Especially NO about the 5yr vinyl thing!

    This is the kind of guy that will jack you around to get the price lower, then make a million revisions.. THEN he complains about the colors "it just doesn't look like I thought it would!". Then he nit picks the installation, especially corners, alignment, panel overlaps, etc. FINALLY he hits you in 18 months to redo the job (or get his money back) the first time he sees a perf corner lift off a little.

    And since you lowalled the job you didn't make nearly enough money to make it worth dealing with this guy. You just bought a 5 year headache that you only made $250 on to begin with!

  15. Sticky Signs

    Sticky Signs Very Active Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Are you a 3M certified installer? I'm not 100% on this, but doesn't the 3M warranty require the wrap to be installed by a certified installer? They have some pretty strict guide lines and in my experience are pretty tight with warranty stuff.
  16. StopSignGraphics

    StopSignGraphics Active Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    I agree basically with what people have said...as far as the warranty I'm making no promises. I agree with Jiarby,"what if I was the other guy", but I haven't lowballed my price and these guys came to me.

    I haven't seen the guys estimate, but from the price they told me it was quoted at based on the areas they wanted to cover, this guy is charging $25 a square foot. Either way he's overpriced or we aren't quoting exactly the same thing. I'm not sure.

    This customer is shopping around because this guys price is either over the limit or near the limit. I'm not sure about that either.

    Here's my real issues, either the other printer is way over priced and misinformed the customer or the customer didn't pay attention and doesn't understand exactly what's going on and what the other guy is quoting.

    I got no clue... it's a fair sized order and I'm interested in doing the work but I don't want to spin my wheels either.
  17. tanneji

    tanneji Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Might want to make sure its not a quantity of 2. like 2 semi trucks and he forgot to mention that. Probably after design, having to recreate a photo, install etc, we would be a little less than half of that 25 bucks.
  18. B Snyder

    B Snyder Very Active Member

    Jan 25, 2004
  19. StopSignGraphics

    StopSignGraphics Active Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    I thought it was the price for two as well but the customer insist that the price they told me was per vehicle.

    I'm going to call the customer this afternoon and be honest about my concerns. If he wants to go forward I'll need a deposit.
  20. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    A BIG deposit.

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