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Sign Suppliers

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by race5125, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. race5125

    race5125 New Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Can anyone help with finding a sign supplier that will give discounts to business owners? I have done business with sign-warehouse and beacon but neither offer a discount to businesses. The reason I ask is I had a customer question me on my prices because they got their hands on a sign-warehouse catalog, so I contacted sign-warehouse they told me they are already at wholesale prices and when I contacted Beacon I received no response, I still can't even get them to send me a catalog.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    you need to find suppliers that will ONLY sell to sign shops...
  3. CS-SignSupply

    CS-SignSupply Very Active Member

    Are you asking for products at a discount in order to resell or use within your sign shop?
  4. TyrantDesigner

    TyrantDesigner Art! Hot and fresh.

    Mar 9, 2011
    Amarillo, TX
    +1. Sign Warehouse isn't cheaper than a wholesale to the industry supplier. Then again, they also require the TAX ID number and a few other things to sell to a company anyways.
  5. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    try Hart, New England & Garston sign supply
    there's also Glantz, Hyatts and Grimco
  6. TyrantDesigner

    TyrantDesigner Art! Hot and fresh.

    Mar 9, 2011
    Amarillo, TX
    I just re-read that for the heck of it ... and please tell me your customer isn't trying to low ball you over probably the cheapest thing in a job is he/she?

    I had a customer a month ago who came in with a roll of vinyl wanting me to re-quote a job for him since he "already had the materials" (... and it was 3 year intermediate for a vehicle graphic) and when the price difference was only $4 a linear foot he finally got the point that he's paying for more than just vinyl, he has the transfer tape, knife blades, overhead, cleaning solutions, man hours, etc.

    If they want to bring in their own materials, want to wait for a few days to get it and pay the shipping on it then have a whole roll of vinyl, let them. just price for your labor. Just be frank with them and tell them that you only charge for what is used, not what you have to order.
  7. race5125

    race5125 New Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    I am looking products at a discount to use within my sign shop.
    I did have a guy that used to work at sign-warehouse that would cut me deals if I called in phone orders to him, but unfortunatly he no longer works for them
  8. Kentucky Wraps

    Kentucky Wraps Kentucky Wraps

    Mar 6, 2009
    LOL. Look that customer in the face and ask them if they have a printer/plotter worth thousands of dollars and the know how to run it. Or if they expect you to make them a sign and NOT make any money. They apparently don't understand the difference between a roll of blank vinyl and what it takes to get the finished product into thier hands.
  9. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    tell them you'll use their media, subtract the price they paid for it from your quote, and remind them that you cannot guarantee the product once it leaves your shop since you cannot trust where it came from.

    E Z P Z, pay up front.. yes plee-Z
  10. MontereySigns

    MontereySigns Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    That's too funny. It's hard to even dignify that with a response. Imagine walking into a restaurant with your own steak and asking for a discount- a "steakage fee?".

    It's not about the vinyl. It's your skilled experience and investment in store and equipment.

    That customer can take their no-profit business elsewhere....

  11. race5125

    race5125 New Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Well I feel the same way. My wife was standing there as the customer made the comment about my prices and she asked me why would you even say that that to someone. I did kindly respond with you can go elsewhere if you like and I kinda encouraged him to check out what other people are charging. In the end I am still doing his job and charging my rates.
    I am looking for a good supplier
  12. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    I guess I'm confused. Is your issue that your supplier publishes a catalog with prices in it or that you think those prices are what they sell to the general public at?

    When I look up an item in the catalogs I have, I know I am looking at what I will be paying as a sign manufacturer. It is already "discounted" and it is assumed that if an end user got hold of the catalog that ...

    • They wouldn't be in the market for what is shown there.
    • They would have to register with and be approved as an authorized customer by my supplier.
    While opinions may vary on who such a vendor should deal with, my policy is that if I become aware that they are selling to the general public, then I will either reduce them to the lowest tier on my approved vendor list (only buying from them what I must have and cannot get elsewhere) or remove them from consideration completely.

    It used to be that a supplier would publish a catalog without prices and then supply a separate price list. That allowed sign shops to show items without providing their cost to their customers. With the growth of the internet, anyone can easily determine your costs, so you have to ignore those that try to beat you up with it and focus on the fact that you're providing much more than raw materials.

    Suppliers like those you named do provide you with prices on products that are intended to be part of something greater. You can call them wholesale or distributor or dealer or jobber prices. The prices they pay are based on their ordering volume. The prices they charge you, which are often negotiable depending on your volume, are for you to acquire them for your needs as a jobber/manufacturer. If your customer wants to try to qualify him or herself to buy from the supplier and is willing to accept the quantity needed to order, then that isn't your concern any more than if he or she went to an art supply store or Office Depot and found the same or similar items. Or consider that one can buy a case of paper at Office Depot for a half a cent a sheet. That doesn't mean that my printer is going to print finished work for me at that price.
  13. cha88

    cha88 Member

    May 14, 2010
    are you buying printable media? There are a few dealers here in NYS...
  14. SolitaryT

    SolitaryT Member

    Apr 29, 2010
    I'm sure Fellers operates out of New York. We use Fellers and MidWest up here in Alaska, and both of those and Denco in Denver. I've been pretty happy with all of the above. (Plus the Fellers catalog is fun for drinking games.) Usually if you stay with a supplier for a while, regardless of which one, they cut you breaks. Good business practice.
  15. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Excuse me if I'm wrong, but the whole scenario sounds .... almost impossible. :rolleyes:

    • You've been a member here for over 4 years and you have no idea yet, where to buy your supplies ??
    • You also state in your profile that you don't have a company ??
    • Why would you only want to buy supplies for around the inside of your shop ??

    I know I usually doubt those that keep everything a secret, but perhaps you are coming across to the various distributors as an end-user and don't deserve any discounts, let alone the opportunity to buy at a sign shop's discount. The mere fact that you dealt with one company and the only guy that would give you a discount is gone and now no one will help you is suspect, to say the least.

    Do you have a business license, EIN,tax exemption number or any references when they ask for credit references ??

    Perhaps when you say your customer saw the catalog and saw the prices... you are actually talking about yourself, because........ in the next post, you say these products are for you and make no mention of needing a discount to turn a profit. It sounds more to me that you want OUR discount, now that you've come across some new suppliers.

    They won't give our prices to an end-user in most cases and even if they would, an end-user is not going to buy a roll of vinyl for one small job and then throw it in your face about a few bucks. Could/would you explain a little more ??

    You have to lead your company in a productive manner. If you find yourself trying to be accommodating to low ball pricing. You might as well ask fotr a job with that client. If they are in the position to tell you what they want to pay then just walk away. Use your talent to make money not share it.

    In the last three years I have fired 5 clients for late paying or trying to tell me what they will pay. That was the best thing I ever did in my business.. I now work smarter not harder. It also helped that another on this forum mentioned that if you are too busy you are not charging enough! Love that quote & have stayed on it raising my pricing Bi-annually.

    there is plenty of businesses out there that will pay you for your service & value.

    Sign Up!

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