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Overseas Vendors for Fabricated Backlit Letters

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by signsvisual, May 14, 2019.

  1. signsvisual

    signsvisual Member

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    Hello, have any of you had experience ordering custom fabricated logos/letters with backlit effect, from overseas vendors such as China? If so , can you recommend the reliable ones, because there are several ones out there who market this type of signage.
     
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  2. Jay Grooms

    Jay Grooms Printing, Printing, Printing......

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    Can't help you in finding one, I did have a customer (years ago) have their sign delivered to our shop from china for installation. He got an amazing deal on it, but the sign was absolute junk. He paid us to rebuild it then he paid us to install. Also, the prices may not be really competitive with all the new tariffs. Just a thought.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    any reason for desire to go to china? If you're looking for reliable, look into Bitro Group or Gemini.
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Personally, not for me nor anyone I know. However, I have been called to instal some over the years and more than that, fix A LOT of them. Seems they are nothing but crap, so be careful regardless of the price. Oh, and we won't touch them to fix, either. Be careful.

    Just out of curiosity..... it appears to be quite out of your realm of doing things. Are you licensed and capable of doing them...... the installation part ??​
     
  5. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    If you are looking for a fabrication partner to make custom signs for specific client applications, I would recommend staying in the U.S. There are many high quality fabricators that will work for reasonable prices.

    If your business plan is to make hundreds or thousands of identical items that can be shipped in containers, my understanding is that there are many fine businesses in China that can help you locate a factory and set up the necessary assembly lines and supply trains. American companies that do this already are usually reluctant to give out names. It really helps to have someone who deeply understands China and the Chinese marketplace to get involved in any of this. The result will be cheaper labor and fewer restrictions on manufacturing.
     
  6. signsvisual

    signsvisual Member

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    I have explored the conventional US suppliers, but this particular project calls for thinner stroke letters/logo that cannot be manufactured with backlit LEDs here in the states, but apparently is done very commonly overseas. So that is the main reason.
     
  7. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    Can you show an example?
     
  8. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    The laws of physics do not change from country to country. You just haven't located the right fabricator. Try US Sign and Fabrication.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  9. signsvisual

    signsvisual Member

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    US Sign and Fabrication outsources to Thailand so their prices are triple what the overseas would sell for. The letters are example 5" tall x 1/2" stroke and would be 1" deep and need to be backlit.
     
  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Just a question..... if they cannot be made here in the states, will they meet code when installed HERE in the states, regardless of where they are made ??
     
  11. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    not to braaaag, but i'm currently making 4" tall letters, with 1" thick acrylic, aluminum face'd, edge-lit with .375" stroke. fun stuff.
    however, most LED's have a ~.25" wide "footprint", so for a 1/2" wide letter that has what... a 1/8" stroke? depending on the remaining spec's, I'd be exploring other means of fabrication regardless of supplier....
     
  12. henryz

    henryz Member

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    Is this what you had in mind, they are doing these types of letters in malls. These are from AA leds in CA. They are from China so cost is reasonable and short lead time. The #2 is 2.5" Tall. 20190514_134546.jpg
     
    • OMG / Wow! OMG / Wow! x 1
  13. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Well you're buying a product that is FOB USA and know what youre going to get which comes at a cost. It's not cheap to ship and import items from out of the country by the time you pay sea shipping, customs bond, all the nonsense warehousing and handling fees, customs broker etc. This is where the small guys get taken for a ride. It's not like ordering something on Amazon where you push a button and it shows up at your door. If you order from the right person here, they have spent time vetting their overseas suppliers which they have to recoup. Even if you found their supplier and went to them, you may still end up getting crap because that's just how the Chinese play. They don't replace broke things or poorly built stuff and half the time they send you what they want and not what you order. The large resellers can do it because they actually go visit the vendors and do regular quality control checkups. With container loads, it's cost effective to fly over and inspect things before paying and shipping. That's what they do and that's what youre paying for.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. Hero Signs

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

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    Looks like someone is about to find themselves a headache rather than show the client a better alternative.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  15. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    Depending on your application, you could route out "push-through" letters and mount them on a shallow internally illuminated box. The top surface could duplicate the existing finish of the intended application surface. Cheap and easy.
     
  16. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    So what? If the client doesn't like the price, either design something different or walk away. Or build your own factory in China.
     
  17. printguyjohn

    printguyjohn Member

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    One suggestion: Always pay via an American Express if doing small orders in China. It's my absolute go to rule. If they won't take Paypal (via my American Express) then I won't even consider them. You need to have recourse should they decide to give you bad product.
     
  18. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Doesnt every credit card allow you to do this?
     
  19. signsvisual

    signsvisual Member

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    Great tip about the amex. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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