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Price Posting and Discussion at Signs 101

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Fred Weiss, Nov 27, 2008.

What should be the forum policy as to price discussion and price posting?

  1. It's fine the way it is

    66 vote(s)
    34.0%
  2. It should be less restrictive

    25 vote(s)
    12.9%
  3. It should be more restrictive

    66 vote(s)
    34.0%
  4. It should totally forbid any price discussion or posting

    4 vote(s)
    2.1%
  5. It doesn't matter to me

    33 vote(s)
    17.0%
  1. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,866
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    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    Wrong !!! you can view a "NO PRICE" catalog, unless you supply a customer number.

    Now, why do you suppose that is????

    Fellers will have to give me a commission for a new customer. :Big Laugh
     
  2. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    9,515
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    Oct 5, 2005
    Penn
    Sarge if people keep feeling the same way as you the value of signs is going to keep going down and you will eventually be one that will not be able to replace your worn out equipment with out getting a part time job!

    I would like one other person to show me what the wholesale cost is for either a 100,000BTU gas furnace or at 480v delta transformer 15Kva?
    When you go to the auto parts store do they tell you what the garage pays for the same parts, or what they charge to replace it? Do you know if they use the Mitchell labor rate chart or do they charge you how long it actually took to replace the part without interruption?

    I have said since I have gotten into this (profession) line of work, that these distributors should be more like the distributor for HVAC, Laminating (counter tops) and several other true professions! Try going to a HVAC distributor and getting a part to repair your furnace even if you know the part number! They will not sell it to you unless you supply them with you business info and you EPA certificate!
     
  3. Poconopete

    Poconopete Very Active Member

    1,299
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    Feb 23, 2007
    You can view the discount products section
     
  4. GP

    GP Very Active Member

    1,728
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    Dec 12, 2007
    SC
    Though I voted "more restrictive," I am some what torn.

    Stacey and Fred do an incredible job (and I would imagine, spend an exorbitant amount of time) mediating this forum and I would hate to give them even more responsibility.

    As professionals, I think we should be able to keep this in check. Upon registering, it should be stressed that we are here to protect the integrity of our trade by sharing ideas, knowledge and experiences. Pricing structure and, moreover, business management is a huge part of this forum. But discussion of cost of goods sold (and wholesale pricing) should be discussed only in the private, contributing member forum.

    If it arises, we, as members, should try to encourage the evil-doer to register as a CM and re-post in the private forum. End of discussion. No personal attacks, no harm done.

    Fred, what sort of feedback are you getting from MMs? Do they feel slighted in any way? Is there are way to email blast pricing specials to the private mail accounts rather than on the forum board? Sorry, thinking out loud.

    Great job everyone. Thanks!

    GP
     
  5. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,866
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    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    Literally a handful of discontinued items. From what I just saw, you can't even get a picture of the item, just a product code. Some of the items, I didn't even know what they were, without referencing the catalog.

    Hell, the ONE roll (item) of HP vinyl they listed didn't even state a width. I don't think I'll ban them from my list of suppliers over this.
     
  6. Jon Aston

    Jon Aston Very Active Member

    1,448
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    0
    Mar 4, 2004
    This is a simple problem to solve, from my point of view. Make all pricing discussions available to premuim members only...in a "Compare pricing" forum. The average "sign customer" is unlikely to pay for membership, and it might help motivate more people to become full members.

    I have often thought that price gets too much ink in the "Marketing" forum anyway, and would love to see it broken out.
     
  7. RJ California

    RJ California Active Member

    984
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    Jul 19, 2005
    California
    I agree... and I think it's a good idea to keep our sign pricing comments and questions from popping up in Google searches, especially those about wholesale pricing.
     
  8. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    13,027
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    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    Jon,
    I don't think that represents much of anything different then we have today. It's not really simple, because this is anarchy, and there is little to no control over what people post. Forums can be named for pricing, but people are posting prices everywhere, so the only way to make pricing only available in premium forums is to police all price posts elsewhere. Just asking people not to do it will not work. Policing people not to do it probably won't happen, but I think that is the only way that it ever could work.
     
  9. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    6,746
    4
    38
    Jun 18, 2004
    Orlando
    didn't know there was a problem...thought it was fine the way it is ...it seems that the most price talk is a minumin....
     
  10. BobM

    BobM Very Active Member

    2,146
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    48
    May 31, 2008
    Cape Cod
    I think Fred is doing a super job. If we simply don't answer pricing questions unless it shows up in the CM section, problem solved.
     
  11. DPD

    DPD Member

    317
    7
    18
    Apr 3, 2005
    New Jersey
    I think pricing should be in the open. Those that are asking pricing are typically new to the trade and if not helped, would undersell for fear of being high priced. In essence, it benefits all if those that are learning are not underselling. At least that way there would be some guidance for pricing. If others are fearful of putting their pricing up in public then simply PM the person.

    That said, pricing does vary from place to place and business to business. e.g. if it cost $200/hr to run my shop (an exagerration) then I will have higher prices than someone that works from home. The experienced understand that asking pricing on this forum is highly generic. Therefore, having a private forum wouldn't really be a benefit since the information proferred may not and probably isn't accurate.
     
  12. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    13,027
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    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    correct, if everyone thinks & acts the same, never changes or forgets, simple!
     
  13. luggnut

    luggnut Very Active Member

    i don't see much of a problem... i can't see one of my customers searching and finding prices here and confronting me with the info. i sell my products based on my overhead and hourly rates and such, so others prices don't really reflect what i charge. like someone said earlier about the HVAC business , you can't get the cost unless you are in the biz, but i for one would not spend a lot of time searching for that cost either and i don't think many others would. and the ones that would do that probaly aren't going to be the kind of customers you want.
    i also agree that pricing question out in the open can help newbies to not undercharge.
     
  14. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    14,457
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    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    I think DPD just put a really good spin on things.
    Some newbies simply do not realize that they are leaving money on the table.

    Wholesale stuff needs to be restricted to the CM forum, in my opinion.
    Love....Jill
     
  15. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    5,273
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    Nov 4, 2005
    earth
    Some prospective client or another stumbling upon this site and being privy to someone's prices and those prices reflected badly on my own would put the 'O' into obscure.

    Even in that unlikely event, what would I possibly care? When anyone tells me that "They can get it cheaper down the street" or words to that effect I always tell them that's where they should go if that sort of thing is important to them.

    Never, ever, defend your pricing model as compared to someone else's. It is what it is and must be justifiable all by itself.
     
  16. Mason

    Mason Very Active Member

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    Aug 11, 2005
    Boston
    Exactly.
     
  17. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,866
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    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    Not bashing you in any way, so please don't take it that way.
    That being said, I can only make the observations that, 1 you are rather new in business and possibly need the pricing guidance...and 2) you have chosen NOT to be a contributing member, so if there were to be any changes it would put a damper on either your viewing pleasure or you wallet.

    Question for you....Why do you suppose most of your suppliers don't publish pricing that is open for the general public to view? Are they paranoid? Don't they realize that no one really cares?
     
  18. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,866
    10
    38
    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    One more thing.....
    Lets be clear as to what this poll is actually going to determine.
    This topic is alot more complex than some of you realize. As Fred stated, the current policy does not prohibit merchants from posting their WHOLESALE pricing. We're not just talking what YOU should charge retail (which I'm opposed to also), and educating the "newbie".

    When you have reputable MM's on THIS forum that oppose published wholesale pricing (which may hurt them, but helps the industry as a whole), I think you should ask yourself why that is, and give your vote a second thought.
     
  19. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    20,550
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    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    As of this post those who would leave the policy the way it is (32) or make it less restrictive (11) total 43 votes. Those who would make it more restrictive (39) or totally prohibit price posting or discussion (4) also total 43 votes.

    With the 11 votes for "Don't Care" you have a total of 97 votes out of 678 thread views which is 14.3% actually care enough to vote.

    Does anyone yet begin to see the difficulty for me in setting the policy in this matter?
     
  20. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    4,866
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    38
    Jun 16, 2005
    PA
    should we worry about the silent majority? If they don't care enough to even vote, then I can only assume they don't care about the outcome.

    I feel your frustration.

    keep in mind Fred, I'm not looking to add to your workload. A simple rule against (or more restrictive to) pricing in the open forum is what I would like to see. From there, its our job to police the masses.

    again, I'd like to remind you of the "isag" vs "tecdady" debate. If there had been a rule in place, tecdady would have said "sorry". No harm, no foul instead of the pi$$ing match that followed.
     
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