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Pricing to sub out print work

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by jpena9137, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. jpena9137

    jpena9137 Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    This my first post, I appreciate any help that is offered. I currently have a business that sells mostly Oracal 631 wall decals and Siser easy weed for t-shirts. My business is still small with 3 total full-time employees. We believe that our customers are ready for full printed graphics on wall decals and some other printed vinyl products.

    We are debating the classic question of buying a printer to grow into or subbing out until we have a proven concept. I am generally more conservative and lean toward the subbing out option. I suspect that my time might be better spent in the beginning developing the products and marketing in order to prove the concept rather than spend that time overcoming the learning curve that is likely going to be associated with this new venture. Money isn't a huge issue other than a normal caution when making a large purchase. I have a beginning grasp of print design concepts yet very little experience working with a printing plotter, however am very comfortable with many years of using vinyl cut plotters.

    I want to pose the question to shop owners that would have someone like me coming to them to do these subbed jobs. Information gathered here will probably help me go to local places to negotiate intelligently and sensibly for what is reasonable for the both of us.

    1. Are jobs typically priced out at a simple square foot price per each material?

    2. Is it reasonable (if there is mutual trust) to offer to supply the needed media, such as a roll of material, and price it jobs based on the printing or ink used?

    3. If you were quoting someone in my position to print on a material like Photo Tex (since I anticipate doing a number of wall decals), what would you charge a wholesale customer like myself.

    4. What does it on average cost for printing/ink. I've read ink costs anywhere between .16-.22 per square foot depending on saturation. Are these accurate ball-park figures?

    5. Are there other costs for the print shop apart from the ink, labor, and general overhead that I might not be considering since I am not experienced?

    6. At what time is it worth making the plunge? 5K gross revenue on printed goods, 10K, or more per month?

    I have other questions about buying a printer, but that might be best on a separate thread.

  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Welcome from PA........................
  3. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    a $6,000 laminator that you will need.

    Sub it out, Merritt on here prints for all kinds shops.
  4. studebaker

    studebaker Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Anderson, SC
    All good well thought questions!

    Sub out the work and expect to pay around $4.00 per SqFt for all different types of material except wrap vinyl.

    Please, don't "Cheap Out" on your supplier, and wheedle him /her for a lower than normal wholesale price, it only puts you to the back of the print queue. Just remember, you will be buying your own printer when the time is right. It won't be a permanent situation.

    It's time to buy your own printer when you are spending $2500.00 per month with your supplier.

    Supplying the vinyl to the subcontracting printer is a no win situation. (I am speaking from experience here.) Trust breaks down really fast.... I won't even keep unused rolls of vinyl from another sign shop. Bad Mojo.

    When you buy a printer, don't buy a cheap entry level model, it will bite you. Not from low quality prints, but from limitations on size and speed.

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