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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. D&Tgraphics

    D&Tgraphics Very Active Member

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    I don't see what the big problem is here. It's simple. Wholesale pricing stays private. Retail can be discussed. I don't see any harm in discussing retail pricing in the general area. What the hell is that going to hurt? It might even help Joe lowballer price his jobs properly. But, DO NOT POST WHOLESALE in the open area. That's just friggin commen sense people. What's the issue?
     
  2. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    678 unique views, or just views? I'm only asking because I have no idea how complex the stats you have can be.

    I've been back to this thread at least 10 times to read others comments, so I just wondered if all 97 voters who cared enough to vote, also cared enough to monitor the voting, I presume we are not being counted as non voting viewers, but just wanted to check.
     
  3. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    Thanks Dennis. (and a great wholesale MM):thumb:
     
  4. WILLIAMS

    WILLIAMS Active Member

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    My vote is for more restrictive... I believe all pricing (wholesale or retail) should be in the premium sections and not in the open. If newbies are serious about this business they should pony up the few bucks to become a CM.
     
  5. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    when a bunch of intelligent people are examining a complex problem for days, spread over multiple threads & turning the problem upside down & inside out to explore multiple ramifications, consequences & considerations...

    ... I always wonder about the simpletons who think it is simple? Are they stoned, stupid, or shallow? It is obviously not simple, so what kind of lack of understanding or lack of introspection leads to so many drawing that incorrect conclusion?
     
  6. SignTech

    SignTech Guest

    Hey Dennis ...

    My passion for this subject comes from a couple angles. The primary angle is one of which I am guilty of as well as many on signs101. We start talking about pricing and then we get off on tangents about the CUSTOMER.

    Poconopete posted a good example yesterday.

    A pricing discussion went sideways on how Garbage truck companies should not be trusted ... and all payments should be upfront. Maybe this is true ... but in open forum maybe we can bash each other but we are doing ourselves a disservice by trashing certain industries about pricing publicly ... just my view.

    The other passion I have is that yes a majority of people in signs101 are legit sign companies or part-timers. There are many that are not. Trollers getting free information .... in and outs ....... I prefer to keep it in private. Like others have said if one is serious they will understand a private pricing area.

    Some say us people who get involved in pricing are inexperienced, maybe so, maybe we don't have 30 years in the industry, however 30 years from now I will still price compare nationwide ... it's wise business practice.

    I know this not from signs101 but from other education sources. Ask Trump about knowing your market and the market of others.

    But what DROVE me passionately on this subject is that I was blindsided by what the Premium Pricing area was and is or designed for. That's already been discussed.

    You're right wholesale is a must. As far as retail personally I am finished with any discussions regarding pricing period. I have some excellent resources in PM and will utilize them. I am also allowing my CM to expire. It will not be needed.

    The unnecessary argument with tecdady has taught me to take a different stance and view. And this must happen for myself. I argued a point that was not even a rule or fact, yet it was believed to be and insinuated as such. Very disappointing.

    So .... it may seem like a simple topic, but in reality it's not. I have the utmost respect for you as a wholesaler and signs101 member ... I hear your frustration. But please understand ...... the frustration from others .... the rules and communications on here can be very vague.

    The best thing for me is to step back and wake up.
     
  7. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    The one thing different about signs is customers ARE LOOKING ONLINE.
    I have had people tell me they can get it cheaper on line, and I say go ahead.
    But that does mean that some of my potentila customer base may stumble on this forum and so I try to say only what I would want anyone to hear about my prices and/or opionions of customers.
    This applies mostly to the people looking for simple stuff like banners, coro, RTA truck and boat stuff. But it can apply to someone looking for carved, blasted or other higher end stuff.
    And I believe that the loss of those simple jobs hurts my business, because a lot of customers start out buying a sinple job site or set of magnets and if they're sucessful they're back for bigger and better stuff. If I don't get that first sale because they find they can buy it for half online (or down the street at the lowballers shop) then I'm losing a lot of potential future sales too.
     
  8. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Olympia, WA
    It isn't that simple at all when you get into different opinions expressed by different individual members along with examining a few examples of how that would work in practice.

    For example, under more restrictive rules we would be saying to all merchants that they are not allowed to mention any actual price in any advertising announcement they make here. Carrying it a step further, since there is also strong objections being expressed to website displays of any pricing that the general public can see, we would also have to turn away any merchant who displays prices on his or her own website. That would mean that I would not be allowed to display prices for my clipart and Steve C would not be allowed to display prices for his SignFonts. We would also have to disallow SignWarehouse from being a merchant here along with any other merchant who has prices displayed without a password on their websites.

    It also puts Signs 101 in the role of censoring all advertisers which, to the best of my knowledge, does not occur with any other forum or publication servicing our industry.

    Placing a requirement that all advertising containing wholesale price information or links to a website that contained it only be visible to premium members would have the effect of eliminating about 98% of the exposure advertisers are paying for.

    On the retail side, there are arguments on both sides of the question which each side feels strongly about. And again, our decision to move the topic to the premium forums is not the norm at all and many other forums have no restrictions at all on price discussions. Articles discussing pricing appear regularly in trade magazines (which anyone can get ... not just sign companies). Signcraft even gives away a price guide with a subscription. I would strongly doubt that any publisher of a sign price estimating program turns away any orders from non-sign businesses.

    So it really isn't simple at all. The industry benefits from frank discussions of retail price as some realize that they are leaving profits on the table and bump up their margins. At the same time, there is legitimate concern that end users may also see and use such information against a sign company. And while "in your face" displays of wholesale pricing may be objectionable to many, any attempt to control it or prohibit it would both cost the site most of its advertising revenue and be legally questionable.
     
  9. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    I think most people in general are LOOKING ON LINE for items and if they find info on things costing less than local they feel that the local guy is charging too much! Why do you think that the other professions don't have their pricing online? If you would see what a furnace really costs you would be upset! The problem is even if you know they are almost impossible to get that price unless you are in the profession or know someone that is that will sell it to you for their price, most will not they want to make something for their time/effort of being able to get them!

    How many on here go to ebay and other sites to get things cheaper? Do you think that maybe this has been part of the problem for the smaller business to survive, and part of the reason for more of the Wal Marts/big chain stores?
     
  10. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    Thanks, I agree!
     
  11. Poconopete

    Poconopete Very Active Member

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    People, Fred is running a business here and he has to do what is best for the business. He gives us pretty much everything we ask for as it is.
    If you want to post your pricing wholesale or retail in the public area, do it. If you want to keep it hidden post in the premium section. If you see it where you don't agree with it just walk away, getting into a heated discussion won't help anything.
    Being a CM helps support this site. I don't understand how so many people don't see the value of s101.
     
  12. thmooch

    thmooch Active Member

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    Could there be a way of Merchant Members PM their wares/sales, etc. to members? Some kind of "reply all" sort of thing? That way when members log on they can check their PMs & reply. Just an idea.
     
  13. D&Tgraphics

    D&Tgraphics Very Active Member

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    Thanks Fred. very well put. I was just venting my frustrations. I can see your point and it is well received.

    Thanks isign. Much appreciated. :thumb:
     
  14. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    that wasn't directed at you Dennis, as you can see in post 32, it has been my standard line of reasoning long before you entered the thread.
     
  15. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    :help
     
  16. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Doug, I'm pretty sure that the views count is handled in the same way that the forum software keeps track of unique members logging in each day. it's possible I may have it wrong but I'm pretty sure that once you view a thread a second clicking into it is not recorded as a second view.
     
  17. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    cool!
     
  18. Graphics2u

    Graphics2u Very Active Member

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    Isn't this about wholesale pricing? Retail pricing shouldn't be an issue because you can go to many, many websites and find price lists or quick quote calculator. And if someone wants to advertise cheap signs that way our customers will find them.

    And as was mentioned there are many sign supply companies that have pricing on the internet, only a few of which do you need to log in to view. Just do a Google for sign supplies and see what comes up. Now whether or not these companies will sell direct to anyone accessing their website is up to them but I bet many of them will.

    To me here's the thing if our customers want to find wholesale prices they can and will. That's the Internet world we live in. I think what is more at question here is whether the $50 for CM was intended to stop all threads where pricing was mentioned. And I didn't get that impression. It was to give those who wanted a private place to talk pricing a place to do that if they wished to.

    The sign industry is made up of so many part timer's and hobbyist's ( I'm not trying to pick on anyone, just stating a fact) that you can't compare it to say the heating and cooling industry and the availability of wholesale pricing. It's just not the same.

    Thanks Fred for a great place to learn and get help with problems and hopefully help someone else.:clapping: Personally I don't ask what people are pricing things at or what I should charge for something, and honestly I've never seen other industry's that do that like this one. Can you imagine a bunch of car dealers asking competitors if their pricing looks good to them??:biggrin:
     
  19. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    Fred, can you put up with just one more post from me?

    Fred, I'm pretty sure you consider me a thorn in your side reguarding this topic, right about now. I will say, its not my intention to cause you grief. Also, this will be my LAST post on this subject....we disagree, and I can live with that.

    I realize this is your "business", and if I thought for one minute that you would lose MM accounts, then I wouldn't even have posted. You sacarfice enough for this site, without sacraficing the loss of profits....but I don't believe that would happen....Hell I don't remember the last time I saw a MM post their pricing in a thread (I'm sure it happens, just not much). What I do see more often, is regular members stating what they paid for goods and services from their suppliers & wholesalers.

    Seeing this is my last post on the subject, I feel pretty comfortable wishing you a pleasant afternoon, and a wonderful weekend.

    For the record, the positive experiences I have on S101 far far far outweigh the negative.:U Rock:

     
  20. D&Tgraphics

    D&Tgraphics Very Active Member

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    Cool Doug, I just thought with my "it's simple" comment that it was. Carry on. :thumb::corndog:
     
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