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Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Deaton Design, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Deaton Design

    Deaton Design Very Active Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    I sometimes get referrals from other people or shops, and most just send them to me, but some want me to price it and then they price it so they can make money on the job too. How do you guys handle this? I mean sometimes, I think they price it too high and the job is lost. Do you work with others who refer to you but actually do the selling and such like it is them?
  2. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

    Mar 25, 2006
    Mars Florida
    I've run into the same problem John. I quote it and then they tack on their percent. Not sure what they add on, but they always lose the job and I've wasted my time on the quote. So I stopped quoting work for other shops who just want to broker my stuff.
  3. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I do a bit of business this way though the local printing companies.
    I give them my "suggested retail price" and my "re-sellers price" in my quotations.

    A LOT of these companies are shopping around, so be ready to lose some of the printing (especially at first) to the online wholesale printers.

    The benefit that the company gets from using you is what you need to be selling them on, as there will always be someone cheaper. Some potential "clients" will never look past the dollar point, so let them go that route & forget about them.

    Some will get frustrated with not being able to talk to someone specific. You have that going for you.

    Some printers normally just print what is sent without any checking colors, etc. Many jobs sent to us by these "professional designers" have incorrect colors/sizes/resolutions/etc that we check and notify them or fix & print them. This makes for a much happier customer.

    Most of the wholesalers have longer turn-around times than the smaller shops. We turn many projects around in 24-48 hours, so when they get an emergency/rush order you can satisfy that need.

    Another good point of having two local companies working together is that you can both send business back and forth. If they are an offset printing company, then use them for your customers who need business cards. This will help them steer more business your way also.

    I'm sure you have other "advantages" to you & your shop that you can sell yourself with.
  4. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    Take a salesperson or two out to lunch from a good potential re-seller company & let them know your capabilities. Many of them receive requests frequently that their in-house machines cannot produce & they have to tell the customer to go elsewhere. Everyone wants their existing customer base to call them for "everything", as when they call the other company that CAN produce that product, they now have a new relationship that can draw business away from them.

    If the salesperson realizes that there is someone trustworthy to send the work to, and they can make money off of just picking it up and delivering it; they can & will tell the customer "yes we do that also".

    Edit: Just received a quote request for 24 yards signs from one of the re-sellers while typing this! :)
  5. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

    Jun 8, 2004
    do you sell wholesale to the trade? if so, wouldn't it be up to them to mark up, if not, there isn't much of a chance of them getting the job unless they do a pass thru of the cost which wouldn't make much sense.
  6. john1

    john1 Guest

    I have a good relationship with a partner locally here and what i do is a higher percentage off for wholesale design work and prints and then a smaller percentage for flat panel sign manufacturing and such since there is much more work involved. They have a print shop only and doesn't do sign related jobs themselves.

    We discussed what margins they would like on the smaller orders and the larger ones. Works out great for both of us. I can't imagine not having this relationship.

    I'm sure you can't work like this with everyone but we both give each other work so it works well.
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Locally, we give the other sign shops a nice discount, but not as good as the discount we give to s101 members.​

    I'll then tell them what we would get for the finished product and what they could get for it.
    If their customer comes to us for a quote, then I quote them full price, plus about 20% to protect my wholesaler. That's happened quite often and ya know what... we generally get the job direct cause the other buffoon went higher then I told them to go.

    I had a guy one time actually came back to us for a quote on another job and he said... hey, that's the sign I was bidding on. :noway: You went behind my back.

    No, I didn't. You evidently quoted them too much and I went in at about 20% over my normal street price and you were still higher. This means you were greedy and didn't get the job.

    If your people aren't getting the job, don't worry about it. They're just trying to find the cheapest guy in town and come in just under your suggested retail price. It's just another name for a 'broker'. :Oops:

    Just recently, we had a potential customer come in, so we quoted the signs for them. We talked back and forth and finally agreed on prices, turnaround and terms. They were tickled pink with the complete job. Gave the deposit and paid the balance immediately. Great customer and looks like they're gonna be around a long time according to what they told me. Later, one of the people we do a lot of work for comes storming in the shop, demanding his cut for the order we just did.

    Whadafug ?? :help

    Turned out, it was a company that we were doing work for through this guy, but he kept everything so secretive, we had no idea it was the same people. We never knew his customer's name or put two and two together with the copy. It's all different and could really be for anyone.

    Anyway, our prices were far lower than this guy's...... and he was steamed. Told him to settle down. Nothing we can do about it and if he wants them back, he's gonna have to go lower than my prices and he said that wasn't fair. Well, ya win some and ya lose some and this guy just lost a good account. I felt bad, but I'm no dummy. I called my new contact and explained what had happened and their response was quick and direct. They had no time or room for a middleman, such as this one... plus they were dissatisfied with his prices going up and up and up and blaming it on the economy and all kinds of other bogus excuses. That's why they started looking around. When they found out we did it all before, that just endeared them to us, just that much more.

    Like they say [for those whom believe]... there is such a thing as karma....... and it comes around quite a bit when you play fair and honest. :thumb:
  8. 2B

    2B Moderator

    May 5, 2011
    +1 for this approach. the personal touch and proofing before production is a BIG PLUS in keeping customers happy!
  9. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    I broker some work to get done mostly printing and some cut vinyl.

    I sell the job then go get it done, knows the cost ahead of time cause I've already sold work before or if not take the risk.

    I purposely sell higher geez advertising has alot of value, to sell on sq ft only is leaving money on the table.
  10. nwsigns

    nwsigns Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    Monroe wa
    I do a lot of wholesale work and work with other shops in a couple of different ways to suit their needs. What it really boils down to for me is what does it cost to get the business?
    For example, I figure the cost of advertising, sales, time for proofing, closing etc and see that as a considerable amount of time and discount the wholesale work anywhere from 15% to 30% if they send me ready to go art and I just build it. If I am providing concepts or art or even visiting the site and clients with them than that number decreases accordingly. Other shops want nothing to do with the process and just want a commission which I am very happy to give them for referrals.

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