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Small Run Printed Coro Supplier Needed

Discussion in 'Product and Supplier Referrals' started by BrianKE, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. BrianKE

    BrianKE Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    I have a fairly robust niche market of selling cut-vinyl bandit signs (18x24 coroplast yard signs). I would like to start offering full color bandit signs but have not been able to find a wholesaler that will do small runs (1-5 per order), most require a full 4x8 sheet of coro printed or are too expensive to be an option. I also don't have the volume (yet) to justify buying a printer for this.

    I am looking for a supplier or another sign shop that would be interested in doing this. I would supply ready-to-print files in whatever format is required.
  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    At that small of a quantity, you'll probably hafta find someone local. Til someone further away prints a few, packs them up and sends them out, you'll have more in shipping and handling, then in the signs themselves.

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

    Jan 5, 2012
    Lone Star State
  4. Drip Dry

    Drip Dry Very Active Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    Long island NY

    They do 1 offs also. They also do a great job

    You could find someone local or someone here to print for you, and you mount it
    make sure they laminate it. It makes it easier to mount
  5. +1 for Signs2Trade

    I use them for all my printed coroplast now.
  6. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    If you have that many orders just group them into a full sheet.
  7. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    The trouble you will face is that the cost of running a 4x8 is about the same as running a sheet half its size. It's just the way the whole industry is set up.

    It will generally be best if you can get your orders grouped up to run a full 4x8 sheet at a time.
  8. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

    Jun 8, 2004
    me too
  9. oksigns

    oksigns Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    I've used B2Signs and 4Over. I have a preference with 4Over as B2Signs sometimes has issues processing files as their preference is CMYK, JPG.. they come in fast and smelling fresh of ink
  10. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    Jun 13, 2013
    Please define "robust".

    Just so I fully understand the dilemma, you have a robust niche market that you are still cutting vinyl for on a product and substrate not worthy of the time and effort to do so, but don't have enough volume to even make up some full 4'x8's worth of material or afford a printer to still slap an inefficient material like applied vinyl over?

    That's only ten signs per 4'x8' where I come from. For what most of us have been forced to now charge for this type of work thanks to the online "signs as a commodity" crowd, how can you even afford to buy vinyl, cut it, weed it, apply transfer tape and mount it?

    As I write this, I'm engaged in an email dialogue with a returning customer who my predecessor did 50x 18"x24"s for $5.90 each for in 2010. So, despite owing on an $80,000 machine he had just bought in 2009 that each pouch of ink costs $300 and unless you're buying coroplast by the pallet, its $10 a sheet, the previous owner charged her $60 each 4'x8' for 5 whole sheets worth of signs. She now wants 200 to 300 of a new full color layout and thinks even the $8.00 per sign I'm proposing is too much.

    Even with a flatbed printer to knock stuff like this out with and feeling like we barely make anything on jobs like this, I'm at a loss for how anybody can do these type of signs with vinyl or digitally printed media material and labor costs added on and make any money on them.

    The question is how can you NOT afford to outsource this to somebody with a flatbed printer and focus your efforts onto far more profitable types of work?

    If you look hard enough, there has to be somebody near you that has a flatbed, that offers wholesale pricing for the trade and doesn't mind short runs.
  11. BrianKE

    BrianKE Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    I cannot speak to your costs but I make over $20 PROFIT from each vinyl cut amenity sign I make and can do 10-12 / hour so I have no problem doing this kind of work and making a good profit. I also don't have an $80,000 machine that I have to pay for. I don't currently offer full-color signs because I don't have a printer, I would however like to offer them and until I know that I will get the same volume of full color signs as I do with cut vinyl I am not willing to invest $50,000+.

    Isn't that exactly what this post is about, trying to find a source to do these printed signs??
  12. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    Jun 13, 2013
    It certainly wouldn't cost you anywhere near $50k to get set up with a decent large format printer, laminator, software, etc...

    Without knowing what you actually charge for each of these, your overhead costs, material purchasing power and economy of scale, this is all just talkin'

    Most of what occurs on this site is just talkin'. I'm just hoping you can teach this old dog a new trick on how to turn the lowest priced item in our shop into such a profitable one.

    I believe you when you say you make a $20 PROFIT on a single color diecut 18"x24" coroplast sign, but your niche market appears to be filled with customers willing to overpay for them which for that type of sign. Its both surprising and refreshing to hear that. I assumed that the entire global shopping market for coroplast signs had gotten used to them being a very low cost item. You do have yourself a good niche there if you can keep bucking that trend.

    I don't know how you can design, cut, weed, apply, pay for the rent, equipment and material costs, utilities, telephone, internet, advertising, labor, etc. etc. etc. 10-12 of these in a hour and make $200+ PROFIT, but thats great if you actually do. I'd say if it isn't broken, don't fix it. Most of us would be delighted to make $200,000 PROFIT per year on just coroplast signs. I took your 10-12 signs per hour and multiplied it by just 5 hours per day and 200 work days in a year and that is a tidy sum you are producing the way you're doing it.

    Most everyone else replied with the same sources I would have offered up.
  13. Charlie J

    Charlie J Very Active Member

    Oct 1, 2006

    Set a minimum order of 10 signs for your customers. Outsource and get paid.
  14. Showoffs

    Showoffs SHOWOFFS

    Mar 31, 2013
    Supplier for printing

    http://www.indyimaging.com/ Indy Imaging Quick and great turn around time they will even blind ship to your client for you! Jason Taylor is my Rep Love these guys!

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