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short to medium runs label printer and finisher with laminate

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by StickerBee, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. StickerBee

    StickerBee Member

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    Oct 26, 2018
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    Good morning guys,

    A friend of mine wanted to give his business with at least 5000 to 7000 stickers a month and with my BN20 there is no way can survive with the turnaround. Currently, he outsources his stickers from the US but his problem is the turnaround. If I can deliver the stickers in at least 2 days for every short run like 500 to 1000 stickers then I can have the business. He mostly deals with car dealerships in all 3 provinces. I'm in the market right now with the combo machine printer and finisher. I'm looking at Afinia right now and looks very impressive but I want to know if there is out there with the same price range and capabilities. Budget $50k Canadian.

    Thank you!
     
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  2. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    Don't buy a $50,000achine based on a vague promise of possible future business.

    500-1000 decals in 2 days should be well within your capabilities with the small Roland machine, it's not ideal, but possible, or step up to a 54" printer and be done in a few hours
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. StickerBee

    StickerBee Member

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    They want it rolls. Plus label printer has the lowest printing cost. The reason I like to venture in label printer becuase of their low printing cost where sticker at 4 x 1.5 inches it will only cost 5 cents to print. Is that something we can do with solvent printer though? In addition to that, I can service my region with lowest labels and stickers for wine and food.
     
  4. so you want to spend $50 so you can offer the lowest price in town on penny stickers....

    your business model sucks
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  5. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    I just order from Sticker Mule. They come on a roll, haven't had any complaints yet. I think you can order as few as 50.
     
  6. zspace

    zspace Member

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    Jul 9, 2013
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    There are a few systems in that neighborhood. We run an Afinia 801, it's fast - 500' roll in about 10 minutes. The printers is <$10k. We run pre-cut rolls, so we didn't get a finisher, but I remember them being in the $25k range. I believe Nuera Label also has a system in that range.
     
    • I Appreciate You I Appreciate You x 1
  7. StickerBee

    StickerBee Member

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    Oct 26, 2018
    Atlantic Canada
    How will that a penny? You dont print just 1 sticker
    LOL! you dont print for just a penny! Sticker mule charged you 40 cents for each sticker when you order 500 stickers at 4x2 inches and the cost to print it is only 5 cents. Thats how low the printing cost for label press.
     
  8. StickerBee

    StickerBee Member

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    How much is you cost if you use pre-cut rolls per sticker?
     
  9. zspace

    zspace Member

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    Houston, TX
    A 5x3 gloss polypropylene label runs between .05 and .07 each and matte paper labels .025 to .04 each. Ink will run from .01 to .10 depending on the image and material. My printer is aqueous dye based ink, so the label stock is coated, which makes them a little more expensive than if we had a toner based system.
     
  10. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Check out all graphics supplies. They have a few different label printers... Usually some demos you.can get for cheap also.

    But to echo what others have said. Even buying a 10k machine to service one customer is iffy.

    There isn't too much demand for labels.

    I remember you wanted to setup an online shop to compete with sticker mule for Canada... How's that venture working out? Sometimes if you spread yourself too thin, you're going to fail in all areas.

    I'd focus on one thing.. Once you build up one aspect of your business and can afford both money , and time wise to look into adding to your offerings... That's when you buy another machine and expand your business.
     
  11. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    This applies to sooo many things in life.
     
  12. AGCharlotte

    AGCharlotte Member

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    I demo'd an Afinia 801... great machine. I was less sold on the laminator/cutter option they had me demo though.
     
  13. StickerBee

    StickerBee Member

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    Oct 26, 2018
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    My friend has at least 30 customers that he wants me to take over as he will focus mostly on his primary business and stay away on stickers which only 5% of his annual income. I can upgrade my printer to 54 but I dont want to go in that direction as I only operate in my basement. With the current customers I will be servicing, I have more than enough on my plate and I dont have the plan to sell online maybe in the future but not very soon.
     
  14. StickerBee

    StickerBee Member

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    Oct 26, 2018
    Atlantic Canada
  15. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I'm really very confused on your business plan, you say you have more than enough on your plate, but also want to purchase more equipment so you can take on more work. I assume you are a single person shop, I would honestly look into online wholesalers, you have no upfront investment, it at least lets you dip your toe in the water before buying a machine.

    Also, just as a personal anticdote, we purchased an existing company that made rubber stamps, he had a pretty good customer list and we negotiated a fair price for the business, his equipment was all old and went in the dumpster (we already sold rubber stamps so we had good equipment in place) When the customers found out the business had been sold, about 75% of them jumped ship, even though they were told we could still provide them with the service and pricing they were getting, turns out, the old guy who owned the business was just a really nice old guy and people liked dealing with him for that reason, as soon as he left, so did they. Moral of the story, don't expect all the clients from the other guys business to move over, in fact expect that most of them won't.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  16. StickerBee

    StickerBee Member

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    Oct 26, 2018
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    Sorry for the confusion, basically my friend outsources his stickers for 80 cents and selling it to his customers for 95 cents they have at least 5000 to 7000 a month requirements. My friend wants me to supply the stickers to him instead to have it outsourced and sell him the same price at 80cents where I can I produce the stickers at way cheaper than that if I invest on the machine. ROI will be 1.5 yrs which is not bad. Yes Im a single person shop. But yes you are right. I can look for a whole seller online but he wouldnt like that as he wants the turn around for less than 2 days. Basically im his new wholesaler. If I can make at least 50 cents net a sticker. Its not bad right?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  17. TomK

    TomK Member

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    Don't listen to all these naysayers! I think you should go out and spend $100K and buy 2 or 3 machines, you should also go rent 10K sq ft of industrial space and build it out ASAP.

    With all the business your ONE friend PROMISES to give to you, you'll soon own all label printing for all of Canada, and only for a small investment of $100K or so plus long term office lease commitments.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    It will take you much longer than that with a $50k machine, theres labor and materials in it too. If this is the route you want to take your business and focus on it than possibly do it but if its just for this 1 person, the money doesnt seem worth the risk.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Buy a latex printer, a graphtec and a laminator. Roughly 20k investment. Print the stickers all in a line on 30" media....graphtec the cut it, and the. Use a chopsaw to cut it into its own roll. We've done runs this way. If a customer wants 5000 4" stickers... Well print them in 7 rolls (30" media / 4" stickers plus crops) so 715-750 decals per roll. Laminate them.... Graphtec them... Reroll the media onto a core and use the cut lines to cut the media with a table saw..

    Then you have a bigger printer and more options for business.

    Label printers arent bad... I'd like one. But I don't see the money in them. And while.its.more.conveneint to have one... There's nothing it can do that a latex can't.

    Most are also aqueous... So the labels don't last too long compared to latex or solvent printing.


    If your Intent on getting a big new machine, ask for a guaranteed minimum order in writing. The you can get a real roi date. It's never good to rely on one customer, let alone buy a machine based on a friend's word. He may mean well, but let's face it... If he knew it was a guaranteed proffit, he'd become the wholesaler himself rather than ask you to be one. And if he's a good friend, you risk losing that relationship when in three months you start asking him where all these guaranteed orders are, that you need to pay off your loan to purchase the printer.

    8/10 small businesses fail. Mostly.because people over e tend themselves and try to dip their toes into everything and chew off more than. They can handle. It may seem like a good idea... And while I hope it works out for you, odds aren't in your favor.

    None of us are your competitors... We're all in different areas, we're not trying to screw you over to get the business your after. Most people here have been in the business for 10-20 years. I've o ly been for about 4... But I've seen so many sign shops fail in my small time, because everyone raced to the bottom or.invested too much without having enough customers.

    While people.here may be snarky... They're just using their experience to help you.
     
  20. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Lack of free cash / underestimating how much is needed is the biggest cause of failure. I guess you could argue spending too much burns it up.
    Anyways, what do you use for a blade to cut the rolls? Is it a clean cut?
     
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