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Software / Equipment Purchase - What seals the deal?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by CS-SignSupply, Aug 29, 2011.

When investing in new equipment/software, which seals the deal?

  1. Price

    28 vote(s)
  2. Shipping Costs

    1 vote(s)
  3. Technical Support/Training

    31 vote(s)
  4. Supplier Relationship

    26 vote(s)
  5. Other

    7 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. CS-SignSupply

    CS-SignSupply Very Active Member

    When it is time to invest in software or equipment (new or upgrade), which is most important to you in the final purchase decision?

    - Price
    - Shipping Costs/Time
    - Technical Support/Training
    - Supplier Relationship
    - Other
  2. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    If the rep straight up told me... "look, my competition, who you will most likely ask a quote from, in my experience will be a touch cheaper than us, but here's what you get if you go with us"... and listed a bunch of good reasons, I'd feel more obliged to go with the honest good bloke who isn't just about price, and no service.

    Of course, it would have to be a reasonable price difference, not a rip off.

    I also like going with companies who know what they're talking about. I find it quite disturbing when someone like myself, knows more about a vinyl or a machine than a guy who sells them full time for a living. It's both insulting and time wasting.
  3. jayhawksigns

    jayhawksigns Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2005
    Completely agree.

    We have a supplier that we have dealt with all the way back to when we were trying to get our Colorspan Displaymaker up and running. And if he was a little higher then a competitor I wouldn't hesitate to go ahead and buy from him because I know the type of support that I will get from him. So for me a supplier relationship counts for a lot, unfortunately brand selection weighs more then that.
  4. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    Ultimate value in a dealer should be easy to establish if it is a true "apples to apples" comparison regarding brands. For instance, if I KNOW I need to buy a Roland XC-540 printer then it is a pretty straight forward decision regarding a handful of Roland dealers based on price, customer feedback and reputation. I already KNOW the Roland is what I need to buy - so the rest is just deciding who I am most comfortable giving my business to and who I believe will be there when I really need them.

    However, my experience is that the final decision for an expensive piece of equipment is more complex than that with MANY more variables to consider. Instead of KNOWING I need a Roland XC-540 what if my decision is based upon finding the best "overall value" in a 48-64" printer? You have to consider brand reputation, print quality, print speed, ink costs/types, RIP compatibility, material size/handling, etc. Only after I can establish what MACHINE/BRAND is best for MY NEEDS do I worry about the dealer.

    So instead of a Roland, if I decide a Mimaki JV33 is the best machine for my needs and you don't carry Mimaki - then your price/service/technical support/shipping matters not.
  5. rfulford

    rfulford Active Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Quality? Why wasn't this listed?
  6. CS-SignSupply

    CS-SignSupply Very Active Member

    Was taking the apples vs. apples kind of approach in relation to the software and equipment... you want Graphtec Cutter, quality not a factor when comparing one supplier to another. See your point if we were talking Flexi vs. CiberCut or Graphtec vs. Redsail cutter.
  7. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Other..... for me it has always been about these in the following order.

    reviews (must be many positive and a proven workhorse of a machine)
    manufacturer reputation for support (firmware, parts, etc)
    ease of use and repair
    dealer support

    My view is a bit skewed though as I'm a tech in a former life. From a technical aspect (even going to shows like ISA) in 7 years or so I've only met maybe 5 or so salespeople for a machine like this that actually understands the technical details of this better than I do. If you were to ask the majority of salespeople (not all, I know there are a few out there that actually know something about the machines besides the engineer at the tradeshow) to explain to you the difference between a Epson DX4 head versus an Epson DX5 head they will likely get that deer in headlights glazed look in their eyes for a moment while they struggle to make something up that sounds intelligent or attempt to change the subject. So that being said - even when under warranty - I generally dont have the time to wait for a tech to come fix something. Send me the part and I'll fix it myself.

    Dealer support can be a great thing though is the dealer happens to have a knowledgable tech or two on staff. Years ago I did call Andy at Grimco on more than one occasion and he was immensly helpful in helping me solve a problem or figure something out.... for me it's not a deal breaker though as you have sites like this where you can get the help and answers you need usually just as fast and without cost.

    I do see many though who have absolutley no business whatsoever even thinking about removing a service cover on their machine. For them dealer and manufacturer support is crucial and should rate near the top of their list.
  8. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    For software it's other: I upgrade as fast as possible. If it's software I haven't used before it's reviews from people I trust and hands on demos.

    For equipment it's a mix of all of the options plus hands on demos, reviews from people I trust, industry adoption rate, cost of supplies, market timing...
  9. Jim Doggett

    Jim Doggett Very Active Member

    Feb 17, 2008

    Price 24 46.15%
    Shipping Costs 1 1.92%
    Technical Support/Training 23 44.23%
    Supplier Relationship 25 48.08%
    Other 7 13.46%

    That's 153.84%!!!! :^)
  10. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    [​IMG] It's a multiple choice poll Jim. :ROFLMAO:
  11. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    84 votes, 55 voters... every voter (so far) is placing 1.53 votes on average
  12. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    sadly in my experience (25+yrs in the trade) PRICE*

    *but then after they make their purchase from someone else they call saying they made a bad mistake, can't get service or timely service, that their equipment is sitting there unsetup, their training was **** poor, the list goes on and on and on...heard it all TOO many times.

    then you bend over backwards to help solve the issues...and then the next time they need a new piece of equipment it all happens again...

    good thing the real money is made on consumables.
  13. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    price period.

    your not selling me anything. i know what i want before i buy it.

    warranties seem to be the same across the board.

    how much i like you mean diddly sh*t. im not here to make friends.

    get it to me now, and get it to me cheap. aka, im doing the same thing to you, my customers are doing to me. i have to.
  14. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    but if that is the mentality....don't call other's to solve your problems. don't call other's when your equipment isn't working properly and your discount dealer won't reply..etc etc.

    i've played both sides of this fence from the position as a salesman and as a buyer/end user. in my opinion building an honest relationship with a reputable dealer who cares about your success (because it will in turn further their success) it will make you more money in the long term than short term savings.

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