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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)
  2. It should be less restrictive

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

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

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

    33 vote(s)
  1. mikefine

    mikefine Member

    May 6, 2007
    I predict two things are going to happen in 2009 with regards to the digital sign printing industry.

    1. Digital printing prices are going to continue to drop. This is due to the sluggish economy, more people getting into it, and the larger shops developing better capabilities to print cheaper and better than the mom and pop's.

    2. Customers will make more decisions based on cost and low bidders.

    As a result, I think it is a poor choice to restrict discussion on price -- on either paid or unpaid memberships. It is all getting too confusing! Can I post this here, can I not post there?

    The power of signs101 is communications. By restricting communications in any fashion, you're cutting your throat and hurting the very people that you are trying to help.
  2. Digitall

    Digitall Guest

    I agree here that the entire industry is going to dramatically change almost overnight. As always, in a recession, small shops tend to get gobbled up by the big boys. We're going to start seeing alot of this.

    Finding a solid niche market seems to be the way to go, where pricing is indifferent because of the uniqueness.

    In the month or so since I joined, I have yet to encounter conversations about wholesale pricing where it has been an issue, except the Lowen vs Signs101 case, and another issue where it shouldn't of been an issue anyway.

    Today, I got a call from one of my workers that saw a rolling billboard truck at one of our malls. I am in Cleveland, Ohio. I called the number on the truck and it was from New York City. Not going to mention the price that they charged to come out here with thier truck and advertising of a local company, but it was so low that I don't even see how they could of paid for gas, let alone the driver, truck, insurance,perdiam, printing and evertything else involved. GOOD GOD.

    So glad we have a couple of niche markets. We'll see what happens.

    Everyones comments on both side are quite understandable. It is definately a tough one for the administration here.

    Anyone know if this forum is a 501c3 charitable organization, if so our MM, CM are a nice write off, let alone advertising expense.

  3. SignTech

    SignTech Guest

    Expand a bit on the "gobbling" process in your experience. We are probably in the small shop category, although I have no idea where we are in comparison to the big boys.

    So share your knowledge of the gobble process during a recession. Maybe we can learn something and avoid ... the gobble.

    What's a small shop?

    What is the gross income per year that makes a small shop?

    How will that small shop fail during recession?

  4. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    it's not
  5. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    membership here falls into the legal and professional fees arena.
  6. Digitall

    Digitall Guest

    I am not insinuating that we will close our doors, what I am saying is the larger Standard Oil companies, that can get better price breaks will be able to drastically reduce thier prices due to volume. they feel thecrunch too and are able to cut back by lay-offs and drop shipping.

    The $3.00 sq ft was a good example> if they were doing fine with thier current pricing, why would they undercut.

    We are gearing towards our niche markets so we can focus our purchasing efforts where we can get our best deals to be the most competitive.

    I am personally more upset with the manufacturers and distributors who sell to some at so much lower prices then they do to others. It;s the industry that keeps the manufacturers alive, not just a few larger companies.
  7. SignTech

    SignTech Guest

    November, December and January are normally slower for us predictable each year. We promote our online nationwide sales to augment us during this time.

    However I have notice a 20% drop from the norm this year for local sale. No drop from online sales.

    We'll see what 2009 brings.
  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    I’m not sure I’m quite getting a grasp on what everyone is saying here. I see some saying they don’t care what their customers might see here at 101, others saying they’re not sure what to think of any of this, while still others could care less what anyone sees here or anywhere else.

    I guess anyone not caring could just take a frickin’ leap into the unknown of business and get lost because they don’t give a rat’s behind about business and what gets things accomplished in their own backyard let alone anyone else’s. Those that seem to care could keep on discussing in the premier section, but the little group that doesn’t have an opinion and thinks that total discussion on a totally open forum….. should probably just stay to their own stamp collections and scrap-booking hobbies and leave the real business of making signs to the real sign makers that know what they’re doing.

    Not sure I have enough input here yet as to what makes some of you tick or not, therefore don’t have a specific answer for those that don’t know what the heck they’re doing in this industry. However, I’ll vote soon, but only after reading a little more of these interesting studies of some of the more intense replies. :rolleyes:
  9. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    ya.. me too. I am not omnipotent enough to make this decision alone...
  10. Digitall

    Digitall Guest

    I think people care more about thier industry than some might think. It is12:30 sunday morning and 5 people are up reading through this subject. There is alot involved here and i believe people are putting some serious thought into this. I know I am, but I also worked Thanksgiving, Friday, today and tomarrow. i also think there would be alot more imput, but from what I gather, there are numerous people out there who might be alittle intiminated to post.
  11. RJ California

    RJ California Active Member

    Jul 19, 2005
    I like that "scrap-booking hobbies" line :biggrin:.

    I know that Fred walks a thin line here between MM's, CM's and the large majority of members who choose not to pay anything but still play a big part in the S101 show. I'm sure that the large, and mostly unpaid, membership is a big draw to the MM's. It seems to me though that if more members became Contributing Members (14¢ a day too much for ya, c'mon!) we could have more honest discussions about the sign and graphics business and fewer discussions about which $300 sticker machine to buy.

    And... Blah, blah, blah... time to get off my soapbox.
  12. sarge

    sarge Active Member

    Oct 18, 2008
    i gave my imput and when i did someone suffering ols jumped my 6 .. imo some differences are healthy .. but because my view is different from yours why be contrite .. something for all to know . .watch the bridges you burn .. you might need to cross that gap .. 2 mm in here have already done that with me .. i am wondering how many others .. i am a small shop .. but i bought about 60k in wholesale supplies this year .. pi$$in me off could have cost you .. in 1 case he did .. remember to watch the hand you bite .. cuz it might be the one that could feed you!
  13. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    yeah, and if more stepped up, and then we all agreed to pay double (28¢ a day too much for ya, c'mon!) ...we could quite likely eliminate the merchants completely. We would still use them of course, & they could still join the fun for 28¢ a day, but no more spamming & there would never be a topic that had to be handled in such and such a way so as not to **** off our meal tickets (not that this really happens here... but you get my point... Merchants are cool, but could become like lobbyists, that we owe some form of allegiance to)
  14. Doyle

    Doyle Very Active Member

    Dec 4, 2006
    It's 1:23 am and I'm drunk as a skunk and still think that there are a bunch of crybabies here that expect everyone to feel the same way that they do about how the sky is falling and that their so called "customers" shouldn't be able to search on google and find out how much a 4X8 sheet of MDO costs or how much a 6X12 digitally printed banner costs them.......

    If they want to know THAT BAD, they will FIND OUT ANYWAY..... and if YOU also believe that your job simply entails MARKING UP a printed banner or some other stupid %^&*$ than it is no wonder you are so pissed off........ I am not a middle man.... and my job is much more complex than that. If my customers view my product as a commodity, and they are searching for a source to get it cheaper and cheaper, then I don;t want them as a customer anyway.... they have absolutely no respect for the service that I provide and I probably shouldn't be serving them anyway.

    Maybe I feel this way because I come from a small town, I don't know...... but it sure seems to me that a lot of members are awfully worried about their customers logging onto Signs101 and cutting them out of the equation...... I am sorry that this is an issue, but it simply is not a worry of mine, sorry I can't share the frustration with you...

    however, out of respect for everyone's wishes, I will keep my discussions of wholesale pricing out of the open forums and will keep it in the premium forums, next time I have a price question, that is......

    Forgive me if I seem out of line, but this is really how I feel about the situation....
  15. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    One of the things running Signs 101 has shown me is the incredible numbers and diversity of people who are in some way involved in providing signage to the buying public. The current voting stands at

    60 for the same or a less restrictive policy

    60 for a more restrictive policy

    Your post is decidedly protectionist and highly intimidating to a lot of members. Disregarding the "I don't care" votes, it also represents a valid viewpoint that is shared by half of those who expressed themselves in a vote. The other half have just as valid a viewpoint.

    It just depends, I suppose, on what matters to you. Right now in another thread, a major arguer for more restrictive policies is talking about software prices. He obviously makes a distinction between software prices and prices for services and commodities. One's okay and one isn't okay to post in the open. As a publisher of software, I'm bothered that he doesn't see the contradiction and expand his thinking to cover not discussing any price in an open forum.

    All things being equal, everyone acts and thinks in their own best interests. You are protectionist because you have already built a successful business. Those who haven't are seeking answers so that they can also be successful. The small number of votes show an even divide in thinking and needs. Hardly a compelling expression of any need to favor the preferences of either side of the question.

    It just depends, I suppose, on what matters to you.
  16. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

    May 5, 2005
  17. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

    Nov 19, 2006
    Sun City, AZ
  18. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

    Jun 16, 2005
    Here we have both the reputable sign shops, voting right along side of those that have bastardized the industry. Kinda like having the fox and the rooster, both having a vote whether or not to eat the hen.

    I guess the real question is....What is Signs101?
    If your answer is, "A professionals sign forum" , then your vote is restrictive.
    If your answer is, "A free enterprise website", then your answer is less restrictive.

    No matter how much some of you think (or wish) it can be BOTH, your dead wrong.

    NOW..... can anyone (that voted less restrictive) tell me why these PROFESSIONAL SIGN companies don't, & will not give prices to the general public or online? (Jump right in there Vid).

    (just a few of my wholesalers)



    PS. I did say I would not post again, but Vid posed a question for me.
    Vid..... IF "Sir Weiss" :wink: (your benevolent king) gives the ok for a change, I will be happy to donate my time & efforts to draft something up.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008
  19. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    Oct 10, 2005
    Lawton, OK, USA
    I tested this about 2 years ago and found that it did in fact, register my presents for each visit. Most threads will be visited by posters each time it receives a new post because you will only get notified once. If you don't go back, you will miss what others have said about a subject you were interested in enough to post.

    The visitor numbers are pretty much useless.

    I have never posted my prices here. Most of my sales are to people that are new sign writing and vinyl application. If anything, the CM has hurt my business. When I advertise, I try to find a forum that is public.

    The chances that a customer would see your post in this forum is pretty remote. If one goes out of their way to check what you are paying for materials then, he is not the kind of customer you want anyway. You want customers that are willing to pay you for your time and experience. If they do not want to pay your price then they are not of value to you. You can spend your time doing things that pay better.

    With that said, I guess I better find something else to do.:banghead:
  20. SignTech

    SignTech Guest

    I just noticed your call out Vid.

    As I have said all along one of my biggest concerns and positions on public pricing has to do with the WAY we talk about how we get to pricing amounts and HOW we talk about customers in the open. Some comments about customers and pricing belong in NHB. If you ask me. It protects our industry as a whole. It's not all about the pricing information for me.

    Skyhigh ... Harbor Sales in another wholesaler that does not disclose their wholesale pricing.

    Vid ... I do not make the policies at signs101, this not my business or position I just give an opinion or perspective. Also ... there are specific reasons why I will not give a policy recommendation.

    I am happy to return to square one and start over on signs101. I have learned a valuable lesson during these discussions regarding this pricing issue. I am back to a regular small shop owning member. I am confident the powers to be will work all this out.

    Have a great Sunday.


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