Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Discussion Why is this so common in most threads concerning costs........................??

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Gino, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    32,489
    2,066
    113
    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    I've seen threads on here for many years and listened to discussions at sign mixers and also read, in magazines about various costs on things. Mostly.... things to do business. The problem is.... or should I say the observation is, everyone wants to shy away from costs, but yet charge for them.

    How many people have gotten an air-conditioner, refrigerator, vehicle, new deck, swimming pool, stereo..... just about anything..... to when getting it, say to the saleman or owner of the business...... I don't wanna pay for this or that ?? Why should I pay for that wrapping paper or.... those bubble wraps are totally unnecessary. Take your logo off the outside of the cardboard box. How much to deliver this ?? Is all this really needed ??

    Yet, we as an industry keep looking for ways to send packages cheaper and cheaper, or not use top notch vinyl.... ( ahh, this one will do), I can save $1.37 if I use this ink and no one will ever suspect. I need this fast and cheap, my customer won't pay the going rate. Is there a cheaper vinyl I can use but still get the job done, without too much headache ??

    All these short-cuts and cheap creep price cuts, but the customer never sees this sh!t, other than some fantasy story about how you magically found something less expensive than all the other signs shops.

    Why not just charge the going rate and keep this industry lucrative..... anyway at least til I'm outta here ??


    :thankyou: Gino :wavingflag:
     
    Tags:
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    3,728
    1,384
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I think your getting near retirement age.

    When one stops learning, trying new things, questioning why certain things are done the way they are... basically when you can't or won't keep up with change, your pretty much done for in the business world. You think William Levitt of Levittown thought he should do things like everyone else?

    You've had a great run, and I hope my career could be as long as yours.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    • Like Like x 2
    • OMG / Wow! OMG / Wow! x 1
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    32,489
    2,066
    113
    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    Nope, you're not even close. Your keen observation is not only way off base, it has nothing to do with what I brought up. One of the most basic problems is the ability to focus and remain focused.

    Whether or not I'm gonna retire or not has nothing to do with the way business..... and as I mentioned in the OP, in any kinda business works. You read the last sentence and ran with it. That's the extent of your focus. That was put there just for that reason. I figured people would wanna take hits at me, so have it it, but it still doesn't change the facts of why so many people young or old, new or nearing retirement just cannot charge for what they do and continue to race to the bottom. In fact, you're a hard worker, but you're always trying to re-invent things. It's one thing to invent something new which works and will continue to work, but to skirt around solid business decisions and take either the easy way out or in most cases the cheap way out and still charge for it, is just plain dumb.

    As for me, I'm still learning, not on a daily basis, but I will try, test and do things many ways, before pooh-poohing something. However, like said so many times, if something ain't broke, why fix it ??

    As for keeping up with change, we have a lot going on here, but with all the one-night stand shops, it's hard to compete with stupidness, so we just rely on professionalism and solid craftsmanship to pull us through. Sometimes it's a tough road, but it is better than short changing customers all the time like so many do around this forum. Just listen to what 85% of the people are asking and/or doing. Cheap creepy deals.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    3,728
    1,384
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Because someone asking about cheaper shipping options will DESTROY this industry. ;)
     
  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,294
    282
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    It's not just the sign trade, I see it in my trade as well.

    Sometimes, I have to wonder if it's the knowledge base of the shop itself. I can't tell you how many times people try to cheapen out on digitizing, ironically it is already the cheapest part of a project, but so much of the quality is dependent on it, yet we have customers and even other shop owners that try to circumvent it. I can't tell you how many times that I've heard that someone else was a much better business person because they didn't charge for digitizing. Well, if they are so good, why aren't you still with them? And ironically, the cost of said digitizing translates to like $.07 per item.

    I think some of it's that knowledge base, the other is that they don't want to say no to a customer. I don't really think it's any one thing.

    Should always be willing to try new things. While something may have been good enough yrs ago, it may not be the same today. Always should be willing to put what you think/believe up to the test. Now, with more experience, it's easier to do away with the obvious less then stellar alternatives, but should always be willing to put something up to something else. If it holds up, great, if it doesn't, need to decide if it's worth implementing or not (cost of "retooling" may not be worth it etc). However, even though something may still get the job done, it may not be the best way to get it done like it once was.
     
  6. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

    3,059
    1,726
    113
    Dec 9, 2015
    buffalo ny
    So Tex does not know what f’ing vinyl to put on a trailer to wrap, no shop, no printer but can give retirement planning advice.
    Glad I won’t be around when Tex starts telling about his 40 years in the business. Or, Tex wants to move to Redding, PA and buy Wise Signs.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

    1,033
    295
    83
    Dec 12, 2013
    Kentucky
    Capitalism?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    1,855
    531
    113
    Oct 10, 2014
    Florida
    It's definitely everywhere. This isn't addressing the ones that roll over when a customer tells them they are too high with no backup. There are multiple reasons but Id say the rational one from a business that has a fairly good grasp on their costs is to stay competitive. Being the highest priced company puts you in a vulnerable spot.
    It seems that there are multiple posts on overhead and calculating costs to determine your hourly rate. What is never talked about is efficiency, how long things should take, managing expectations and controlling time on employee tasks. An hourly rate means nothing if you cant properly manage time.
    With that being said, Id say that sometimes people are not efficient so they are heavy in time on a job. They either price it that way and are high or price it competitively and eat their shirt. When it's all said and done, they look at trimming materials or other fixed costs rather than addressing time management.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    1,855
    531
    113
    Oct 10, 2014
    Florida
    but charge like you do...
    There are many days that I think that this would make someone the smartest person in the room
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

    868
    184
    43
    Feb 5, 2004
    WA
    Tex,
    I don't think this about learning new things, new techniques or about new products. I think that the post is more about not diving to the bottom of the price pool, where there's no money to be made. I had a customer long ago tell me, after I told him about an increase in the price of the ballast I was selling him, that he wasn't worried about the price increase - he marks it up the same no matter what, so a price increase to him meant more money in his pocket.
    I'm not saying that the cheap stuff doesn't have a proper place in the market, but using it as a replacement for a quality product isn't a winning strategy in my mind.

    Gino,
    Unfortunately, with the pool of participants in the sign making business growing faster than the pool of those participants willing to take the advice of someone who has lasted as long in this business as you have, the spiral will continue. If you can't sell on quality or ability, you have to sell on price. If you're selling on price, you still have to make money, so why not try using something cheaper (notice I didn't say less expensive). Hopefully it will still work. If not, the end users are probably not all going to expect much, so there will be little backlash and the expectations of our industry will dive accordingly.The ones that do catch on will demand rework, meaning that all the money saved/earned from the first job just went down the tubes.
    I get into a lot of sign shops and it seems that many sign shop owners are proud that they keep their prices down - way less than the competition. These are usually the ones that aren't around beyond a few years. Some will make it till their equipment fails and then they have nothing in reserve to fix or replace it.

    Hopefully some watching this thread will gain and/or provide insight that will increase the profits of the industry. While this may not be the primary goal of everyone in this business, it is a necessary goal for long term success.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    1,559
    481
    83
    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    Same reason you shop at grimco for their $20 house brand coroplast instead of fellers $25 house brand. (Made up numbers).

    Why pay more if you don't have to? Just because I can source material and produce stuff for cheaper doesn't mean I'm going to sell it to the customer for cheaper.

    McDonald's, walmart, pretty much every shop cuts corners where they can to save pennies.

    If you can save money, while not sacrificing quality... I see no issues with that. If your buying $100 a gallon ink from China that's going to fade in 2 months to save a few bucks... Well keep it up, youre saving a few bucks here and there, but odds are you'll be losing clients left and right. And usually they come to our shop, we may be a few bucks more expensive... But we have Signs that have been out for 15 years that still look great.

    A lot of people come to us based on recommendations from others. So reputation is important in this business.

    We just won a contract that was 26,000 instead of $19,000, because of our reputation and samples of work that's been up so long.

    Let the crappy shops race to the bottom and price themselves out of business. If you put out a good product, the customers will still come no matter what other shops advertise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    1,855
    531
    113
    Oct 10, 2014
    Florida
    There's a difference between cutting corners and shopping prices to stay competitive or increase margins. I won't cut corners, even if comes down to me losing money on a job.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    32,489
    2,066
    113
    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    That's exactly what I mean.....:thumb:

    Also this.......... :thumb:

    However, somewhere along the line of keeping your head above water or diving down with the other bottom feeders, you have the distinct ability to say yes or no to anything that comes down the pike. You either compromise your skills, craft and reputation on what YOU say, what YOU do, how YOU respond to any given circumstances. You are where you are due to YOUR OWN decisions. Please do not balme others for your own decisions.... right or wrong. You have the last say.
     
  14. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

    624
    138
    43
    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey
    Simple: Cost is a major consideration in making just about any purchase. Lower cost = more appealing.

    From a value for dollar standpoint, looking at increasing efficiency is best. For a simple cost perspective, cheaping out is by far the most effective way.

    I should make it clear I'm not recommending you cheap out and sell crap nor am I suggesting everyone should lower their price to gain more business. I'm simply answering the question why people are concerned about costs.
     
  15. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

    1,321
    239
    63
    Dec 3, 2015
    Niceville, FL
    Just as I was about to add my 2 cents I decided it'd be cheaper to not comment.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,294
    282
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    I think one factor is missing here and that is what they (buyer) put a premium on. Commodity products (and products that are perceived as such (correctly or incorrectly)), it's really just the above.

    There are times when people (the same ones that would cheap out on the commodity product) will throw out the ole "you get what you pay for" line on other items. It's amazing what people will place a premium on and what they won't.

    Don't also disregard the "feeling of exclusivity" as well (even though one may not go that way for the same product, doesn't mean others won't).

    So was that just 1 cent on that comment since it wasn't your full comment?
     
  17. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    32,489
    2,066
    113
    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    Hahaaa..... no, no money whatsoever, it was a credit card comment and then he took a charge back. Exactly what I'm talking about. :big laugh:
     
  18. night eagle

    night eagle Active Member

    607
    26
    28
    Mar 9, 2009
    Crowley tx
    A long time ago I actually listened to peeps here on this and other industry forums and raised my prices to something that most times equate to profit. Prob the hardest lesson is to not be ashamed to make profit...the customer is always right...not everyone is your customer
     
    • Like Like x 7
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. AKwrapguy

    AKwrapguy Active Member

    969
    281
    63
    Sep 6, 2014
    Anchorage, AK
    I think that we've gone down this road several times and have all come to the conclusion that while it sucks this is just the current state of the industry. The sign/graphic industry used to be technical, skilled, and artistic. You often had to apprentice with someone, and it took years if not decades to hone the craft. As technology progressed it also lowered the bar of entry, that coupled with economic and generational changes means that people are now looking for more, for less. Graphic software became more stable, less expensive, faster, more capable and easier to use. With the growth of a global economy, competition in materials has driven to newer better material that are much easier for the average person to use. As the cost of entry continues to get lower and access to software becomes cheaper, social media and digital marketing, changes in consumer patterns such as online stores, market saturation is becoming an actual concern. This along with corporate graphics companies 'outsourcing' for large national campaigns for a fraction of what we should get has led to what I like to refer to as a 'race to the bottom'.

    While I'm afraid that the proverbial genie has been let out of the bottle and I understand the frustration often expressed in this forum, I don't think that all is lost. Solutions are out there and those willing to adapt will succeed.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

    297
    93
    28
    Oct 5, 2015
    Edmeston, NY
    Use the appropriate material/specs for the job...it’s not considered cheaping out if you use a removable calendered aka “cheap” vinyl on the door of a truck for a 45 minute parade...it IS considered knowing your tools/materials and not overkilling a job resulting in extraneous costs for you and your customer. But when wrapping a 50’ state of the art mobile MRI that will be on the road for 5+ years then use laminated 3M 180 and charge appropriately. Educate your clients on the difference in prices/goods and let them make an educated and guided decision on what suits their needs/budget. It’s easy for one shop to say “we only use the best” at an attempt to come across as a top notch outfit, but true experience and knowledge of the available tools/materials means using the appropriate spec for the job. Generally those less experienced default to the “best” aka most expensive materials or processes because they know it will work as opposed to doing their homework and testing/researching various processes/materials to provide empirical data to make informed decisions. This will keep your shop efficient with excellent quality all the while not passing any unnecessary costs onto your clients. I wouldn’t rent a Uhaul to transport a tricycle, but I might to move a Harley...
     

Share This Page

 


Loading...