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What to do

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by JBurton, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    So, we get an order for directional signage with premium reflective. Great, the folks down the road do almost all interstate signage in the state, and they have been helpful by selling us short runs of the diamond grade reflective. Last time that we got some it was $3sq/ft for 12'x3', in 2018.
    So this past week we ordered some. Once I got around to sticking it, I immediately notice its not 3m diamond grade, but rather nikkalite HIM. Looking over the invoice, it's calling for DG material, priced at $9sq/ft! Talking to the other company, they get this for a 'steal', and they haven't had issue with it. He said he would reduce the price of what we had received, since it is not what we ordered.
    I told him I could tell my customer that they could take a small discount for a second tier material (10 year warranty vs 12 year), but that would be up to the customer. In the end he is reducing the price to $5sq/ft, and wants to give me a credit in their system.
    What would any of you do? I have 3 options as I see it.
    1. Ignore everything and just produce the signs.
    2. Tell him to shove it, just give me what I asked for, and get the 3m diamond grade.
    3. Offer the customer an inferior product for a discount.
    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. Boudica

    Boudica Active Member

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    Hmmm, we would probably go with door #1.
    Keep a good relationship with the guys down the street, and not worry the customer that they are getting an inferior product - they most likely won't know the difference anyway.
    Now, if the customer would indeed know the difference - then door #2
     
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  3. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    That's my concern. The lady was very particular about the covid signs we did before they placed this order. I figured they'd accept signs with a little bit of black on the edges from trimming, I mean c'mon, they're temporary! Nope, and since it was only about 50 sq/ft, we just redid it with no lines, set up to plot.
    Diamond Grade, my understanding at least, is a 3m brand. Holding these two side by side, they are drastically different in appearance, but whether or not the customer looks at highway signs this hard is unknown to me. Here's a photo, 3m on bottom, nikkalite on top. IMG_3468 (1).JPG
     
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  4. Boudica

    Boudica Active Member

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    Ahh, those are quite different. Heh, now I'm leaning toward door #3. Since she is so particular, maybe be honest and upfront about the availability of this type of material, and "would this work" kind of approach.
     
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  5. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

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    The relationship isn't really worthwhile anymore if you get rack rate and a product that you don't want? If you return it, Id throw it all on your client not wanting it just in case you need them down the road.
     
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  6. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    I hate to break it to you, but I dont think thats DG On the bottom. We go through rolls a day.... Both VIP (3990) As well as Regular 3M Diamond grade (4090) Just has a diamond pattern with no lines inbetween it.


    It's very hard to say what it is without seeing it up close... Maybe the photo added some reflectiveness and it looks like theres lines. Does it look like a solid pattern like the nikkalite, or does it look line theres lines? That looks more like 3930 to me (HIP) but still looks a bit off.

    https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media...atic-grade-reflective-sheeting-3930-white.jpg Here is 3930 - if you can see those lines in your media, it's not diamond grade... unless US Diamond grade is different from Canadian.. but I doubt it!

    diamond grade should look like this -

    https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media...dg-durable-reflective-sheeting-4090-white.jpg

    Tell him you want more of a discount. 3M DG Is Type 9, while Nikkalite is a type 8 reflectiveness... So not only do you get less warranty, it's also not as reflective.

    The customer wont know a difference either way, unless theyre used to 3M DG. But again... I dont think what you have is DG3... looks more like HIP to me. $5 a sqft is also pretty high considering it costs him around 2.... let alone the $9 he originally tried for...all just to cut a few FT off for you! We usually markup 20% to people who need a few ft, since it's no effort and all pure proffit. I'd find a different traffic company and see what theyd charge!

    [Edit] Also... Nikkalite does meet traffic spec, and is a great material. It's not AS good as 3M, but that doesn't mean it's bad. If the customer doesn't care... or didnt ask for DG specifically... And just wanted a type 8 reflective (Avery and nikkalite and 3M offer 8, 3M is unique and the onlyone to offer 9... but all MOT Specs are for 8, so 3M is just a bonus) I say give it to them.... I'd still complain and tell them if they want to sell you a different product... tell you before you get it, not after you complain. But it's a great product... it will last as long as 3m, warranty or not... And unless the customer cares... it shouldnt be an issue. AND if your above photo is a 3930 from 3M and not DG... Then nikkalites will be more reflective and a better product.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  7. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Well son of a b*tch. So I think I will take it to the customer, explain the issue at hand, and tell them "I know you are anxious to get your signage, here's my situation" explaining that there will just be a delay in getting her products to her, unless she would like to take this product at a discounted rate. This will give her the option, without implying that I want her to take it. I am fuming even more this morning over the $2,200 we dropped on nikkalite, so I'm very inclined to let the sign company eat that material back up.
    Can somebody tell me what they are paying for Nikkalite 92802 (this is what they sent over a certification of compliance ticket for, though I doubt this is the same material since it does not state it has HIM printed into the reflective) and Nikkalite 94802 (this is what I believe I recieved, as HIM is printed on every sq/ft of it)? None of my distributors sell it, or would have to special order it. I want to make sure I'm paying over wholesale cost, just not 3x wholesale cost...
    I think you're right, it is 3m 3930. The other being Nikkalite 94802. Between those two, you'd say the nikkalite is brighter?
     
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  8. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    3M would have my head if we posted pricing on it / nikkalite, so I sent you a message.

    Nikkalite HM is a type IV... so is 3930. it should be the same brightness... but 3M is a better brand, so I'd go with 3M if given a choice.

    If you asked for Diamond grade... I'm surprised they gave you HIM. Nikkalites equivlant to diamond grade is called Crystal grade...92xxx series. There is quite a difference in brightness with HIM/HIP and DG/CG... And a pretty big price difference. So even if youre ok with nikkalite... I would tell them from now on you want CG for the price youre paying since it's the DG Equivlant
     
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  9. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

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    Call them, they sell direct no need to go through a distributor. Min order is around $500 free shipping after $600 if I remember right
     
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  10. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Thanks guys!
     
  11. Woocity

    Woocity New Member

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    The biggest difference between HIP and Diamond grade is that the prisms on Diamond reflect light better for overhead signs than the HIP. I am a sign maker for a city. I only use DG for overhead signage. Each manufacturer has a different layout on the prisms also.
     
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