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Your views on OUR trade suppliers competing against us?

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Post Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:24 pm

Your views on OUR trade suppliers competing against us?

Hello,

Recently I have been quoting work for a client of mine, all the jobs have to be quoted by two sign/graphics companies. Im very lean on my prices for this client as they do have alot of regular work.

One of the biggest providers to the trade is also now pricing for the work that Im pricing for.

Im just wondering about your views,

If you had to price a job up against one of the biggest uk importer of printers, vinyl, ink.

How could you price the work to make any money out of it.

Is this a sign of whats to come from large firms with millions of pounds worth of stock and not alot of sales?
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Post Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:34 pm

Be confident and price it the same way you would normally price the job. You cant work for a loss and if the big company wanted to undercut you the they probably will anyway.

Try to offer a more personal service, its something the bigger firms dont seem to achieve as well as smaller guys.
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Post Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:57 pm

welcome to the boards Luke.
Paul has summed it up quite well,
but just because the "competition " have a percieved advantage, they could have far higher overheads than you, so quote to your own margins,
if you dont win the quote then thats just business. some you win some you loose

Peter
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Post Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:22 pm

pet hate of mine sell you a printer then undercut your output. :(
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Post Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:41 pm

I concur with my learned colleagues.

Large companies are nothing to fear, their overheads are much greater than yours.

In fact you can often increase your normal prices and still get the work.
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Post Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:03 pm

maybe an idea to tell us who within the industry is trying to undercut the same folk they are selling machines to then? I'm curious as i am sure others are too...

on a side note, might be a good idea for an intro post? :D
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Post Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:10 pm

Hello Rob,

I'm pricing against B&P, at the same time I'm getting phone calls off them trying to sell me printers and media. I know they have another side to them that produces prints but I would like to think that they will sell to trade only and not sell direct to the customer. I see it as a conflict of interest, the production side to the company is attached to the retail printers and media side of the company. I now have a good idea of what price I need to charge to come in around the same price as them, Its about half the price they recommend to sell print for but also with a laminate.
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Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:57 pm

I have to agree with you luke... certainly a conflict of interests. :-?
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Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:25 pm

victory another unless i got it wrong

chris
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Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:31 pm

I know they are a manufacturer but epson do printing as well.

Steve
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Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:31 pm

are victory offering direct to public printing services also chris?
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Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:33 pm

I have to say that this might just put you off buying from B&P?
Or am I missing something.........they sell you a printer by telling you how much you can/may make from it then undercut you?

I was aware that they now sell prints via their 'print broker'

What goes around comes around...........

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Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:49 pm

The more i think on this the more i think Victory and B&P could be really damage their own credibility as a trade supplier. Not only this, they are, in effect, damaging the value of our products. Something the cowboys are already doing at a blistering rate!


We go to these companies and buy a printer on the basis that we can print our own products. we calculate the possible profit based on the going rate.

If we don't buy a printer from them, then we buy our prints from their trade services division. again, basing the profit on the going rate.

now the same companies that supply us all with our machines and/or our trade prints service, are now undercutting us all and going for the same work.
in effect, Victory and B&P may no longer be deemed as our trade suppliers but now or competitors?
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Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:58 pm

Well if these firms want to start playing dirty like that perhaps their days are numbered?
I've never rated either of the 2 named companies as good people to do business with.
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Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:58 pm

Could this be a panic measure because not enough people are buying printers? Hence the need to bring in income any way they can?

just a thought....

john
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:32 am

When B&P introduced trade brigade i honestly thought it was a good idea and a natural addition to their business.
However, i wouldn't sub my work to my local competition in the off chance they now HAVE my "customer info" and "artwork" to approach them direct.
this really is no different...

B&P, now Victory Design... with all the industries slowing down just now, who will be next? :roll:
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:40 am

If we are trusting them when we buy a machine from them they shouldn't stab us in the back and take our work at the same time. Not professional at all but bl00dy 2-faced tactics. :evil:
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:45 am

well i am disappointed to learn about tradebrigade... must find out how well known they are on google and what advertising they are doing.

I can see this could be a big problem
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:19 am

Our Suppliers do something similar here I guess. Spandex are the biggest culprit.

My biggest client some time ago was Moveiworld here, a theme park owned by Warner Bros. I did the work for the movie making division. I supplied vinyl and computer cut stuff, and in the early days, did labels with my PC50 for mock-ups of everything from cigarettes packets to labels on machine. We even signed a chopper to look live an American rescue chopper.

I was talking to the Spandex rep one day, looking for a marble effect material for a movie set. Within days, spandex approached movieworld to supply direct. They finished up selling them a complete sign making system.

I also used to do a lot of business for the racing car industry. Spandex approached the racing teams and sold them their own kit too.

All they see is sales, and demonstrate absolutely no loyalty to anyone.

3M here will actively get work for their sign shops that are loyal, that is a bit different, but if they, or the other suppliers, were to go the spandex route, it would be devastating to the industry as a whole.

We have a new sign supplier on the coast that has just started up supplying printing to the trade too. I wonder how long before they find the need to go direct to the public?

I can imagine why you guys are upset.

Vote with your feet. Stop giving them business, and they'll feel the protest in their hip pocket. Its sounds like the only language they understand
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:19 am

IF B&P and Victory are doing RETAIL supply, then it is unacceptable to me, in respect that I wouldnt buy from them. (equipment or print)

however if they only supply TRADE then I dont have a problem.

A trade customer needs to be defined though, so is say, Marks and Spencer "trade or retail" is a design agency an end user? or The small business that needs 3 shops and a couple of vans branded?

Do B&P and Victory fit their prints? (including via subcontractors) if they do, then I would say that is NOT trade, as the job is not passed on to someone else to add value.

I would be interested to see any adverts that imply that B&P/Victory are openly competing with the industry they supply, or other factual evidence, before we all go off on a whitch hunt.

Peter
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:02 am

i was only reading there web site
www.victory-imaging.co.uk

make your own mind up

personally from my experience i would not buy a paper clip from them :(
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:50 am

In answer to your question Peter. Victory.....They are producing signs for anyone be it trade or to the public. I've just rang them and they were more than happy to supply to me.
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:56 am

Chris,
It does say No 1 Trade supplier on the website..... BUT I have now read the "case studies" And yes looks like they are competing for the retail side, I dont think I have ever bought from victory, and very much doubt I will in the future.


I just thought it necessary to point to some factual evidence, so we can all make up our minds in an unbiased way,

Peter
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:08 am

The Brief: To provide livery for the Yeomans delivery truck.
After having had some full colour printed banners from us, Yeomans decided to brand their delivery truck. The customer had a rough idea of what they wanted based on their corporate colours and company image, we discussed these requirements with them. They then provided their logo and a range of images to use and we produced the artwork accordingly. We had close customer contact throughout this stage to ensure that the requirements were being met. The job was colour profiled and a proof was signed off by the customer. It was printed on to semi gloss vinyl in sections which were then to be fitted flush against each other along the sides of the truck. The production turnaround was 3 days and we then arranged for the graphics to be applied on site at Yeomans premises.


I read the case studies too. Seems they print and arrange fitting. I can't imagine Yeomans, as an outdoor store, would qualify as a trade print supplier/reseller?

Seems they are supplying everyone.

I'd black list the company for sure.
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:22 am

According to their telesales staff they are willing to quote anyone with an interest in purchasing signs. Then I'm told they only provide to the public on a minimum order. Then I am also told they no longer supply machines but pass the enquiry on to an outside company. They claim it's the same for signage....they sub it out to local businesses who buy off them.
Correct me if I'm wrong but the case studies read as if THEY do the work themselves. During the conversation they changed their story a few times.
As Chris said I wouldn't make a purchase off them either. Back in the 90's they were a good firm to deal with when they operated from Worksop
but over the past 5 years or so the service has gone down hill with more than an arrogant attitude. This sums up their arrogance if they believe an industry as large as ours will continue to support them.

Rant over and time to pop a pill!
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:30 am

I buy some materials from Victory and have never had a problem with them that way, however if they are going to compete for the same clients then I doubt I'll buy from them again.
Re them subbing work out I did get a call off them last year asking if I could do some work in Carlisle for them so maybe they do, I didn't do it as Carlisle is 50 miles from me plus I had plenty of my own work.

Steve
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:36 am

This doesn't look to me as if it's subbed out.

http://www.victory-imaging.co.uk/The%20 ... 0study.htm
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:52 am

So we stop buying from them.

It is lucky we can do this to make them realise their actions (in this area) will have a negative effect on them.

We are not so lucky if a 'larger than us' sign company (whatever size company we are) move from what they have been doing for years and only supplying large 'corporate' sign work (that are totally outside our capabilities) into individual shop signs and one off vehicle liveries. I have noticed this happening locally on more than one occasion.

These companies are entirely capable of doing this (and do) and there isn't much we smaller guys can do about this.

As Gandalf said - we all have a part to play - but it looks like the goalposts are moving further than ever these days and our parts are being played by them. Not good.
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:46 pm

So if B&P & victory are doing it, i wonder who else is selling equipment to us under the opinion we should/can make ex-amount per metre from our purchase, only to then undercut us all?
I had a look at the victory website... they seem to be pushing all types of signage, even vans as opposed to just prints! :roll:
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:53 pm

Well by screwing us they're screwing themselves. The people on this site aren't stupid. Without getting into playground tactics anyone on here who does buy from them should stop trading with them. I know I've had my fall outs with Graphityp but even I don't think they'd entertain that kind of trading. The crap firms are starting to struggle so they're trying to take our cake.
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:58 pm

Karl Williams wrote: I know I've had my fall outs with Graphityp but even I don't think they'd entertain that kind of trading.


Me too.....still got the lawyers letters to prove it!............but don't be too sure.....UKSB are the biggest buying group in the country.............hit them in the pocket! ........Take your business elsewhere.

john
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:04 am

It's a condescending and complacent attitude towards the folk that put their trust in them. Take our money and screw us at the same time.
I totally agree with your comment John.
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:17 am

Gareth Lewis wrote:We are not so lucky if a 'larger than us' sign company (whatever size company we are) move from what they have been doing for years and only supplying large 'corporate' sign work (that are totally outside our capabilities) into individual shop signs and one off vehicle liveries. I have noticed this happening locally on more than one occasion.

These companies are entirely capable of doing this (and do) and there isn't much we smaller guys can do about this.

Good points Gareth, but there is another side to that.

Surely the reverse can happen, when a small company succeeds and becomes big, then starts taking business away from the existing "larger than us" companies.

If these people are flogging printers on the basis that the output can command, say, £50 per metre, only to undercut their own clients by selling themselves at £40, I think it's disgraceful. I also think they should be penalised by withdrawal of custom.

However, at the end of the day, we mustn't lose sight of the fact that none of us has a right to a living and we must compete as best we can.
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:21 am

This is different though John. They must stick to there side of the business
and stop making business relationships based on deceit.
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:04 am

I have been reading this post with quite a lot of interest. I am a trade supplier, but we have seen many of our so called "trade suppliers" supply direct to end users. As a trade supplier I know we couldn't offer the service like a sign maker (having been a sign maker for twenty years) - we are not equipped with the right skills set to give the end customer the complete service: Design and installation being key parts to most jobs.
I'd like to think these are isolated incidents and that sign suppliers do what they are best at - supporting the sign maker and helping him/her to provide the right materials for each and every job. :-?
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:27 am

John (Childs)

Right again!

But, (in my selfish, small minded way) I see a director of a large company sitting in a bath of cash, laughing his way to bankruptcy less of a horror than me sitting in a bucket of poo counting my pennies while the bailiffs sell my tiny house to a company director.

And your point of 'no one has an absolute right to a living in any game' is very true and we should all remember that. We could all go and work in Tesco/B&Q/McDonalds, for example, tomorrow I would assume if things got tough.
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:18 am

It is something we (Grafityp) have thought about several times and we always end up with the same conclusion.

We don't want to be in competition with the people we already supply with vinyls etc, if we did do it then I think the long term loss would easily over shadow any short term gain.

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:53 am

I think its an advantage if anyone is going to offer everything to anyone. Most successful businesses operate in a niche and dominant that niche. I highly doubt that one large company is ever going to occupy every niche in the signage digital printing world.

You have to be nimble and adaptive if you want to survive in any market place. Look for gaps in the market and analyse if they are viable to make a profit out of servicing that gap. If your loosing your market share in any business its time to analyse.

If your loosing work to a trade supplier find out why? price? quality? service?
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:58 am

I wonder how many times Victory's phone will ring today?
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:02 pm

HELLO ALL

LUKE SORRY TO HEAR YOUR PROBLEM, AS JASON HAS SAID YOU CANT BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE, WELL PUT JASON MAY I ADD,
I STARTED TO GET BIG MANY YEARS AGO, MAY I ADD NOT IN HEIGHT, AND FOUND MY TURNOVER WENT RIGHT UP AND MY PROFIT WENT THE OVER WAY,
WE DO SIGNS AND SELL KIT, BUT OUR SIGN CUSTOMERS HAVE BEEN WITH US YEARS AND WE ARE NOT REALLY LOOKING TO ADD TO THEM, WHILE WE CAN KEEP THE ONES WE HAVE ALREADY GOT, WHICH ALSO SAVES ON ADVERTISING.
OUR MACHINE SALES WE AGAIN HAVE A LOT OF CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE USED US FOR YEARS AND WE RUN SMALL ADDS AND A ADD FEW MORE HERE AND THERE, BUT WE CAN ALSO TELL PEOPLE WHAT A MACHINE IS REALLY LIKE WITHOUT THE NEED TO HAVE TO MAKE A SALE, SOMETIMES ITS BETTER NOT TO MAKE A SALE THAN SELL SOMEONE THE WRONG MACHINE,
SO I THINK YOU CAN OPERATE IN BOTH MARKETS AS LONG AS YOU ARE FAIR AND LOOK AFTER YOUR CUSTOMERS IN BOTH AND KNOW WHEN NOT TO CROSS THE LINE
REGARDS
ALAN FLYNN
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:11 pm

But you wouldn't sell a machine then go to their clients to sell them signs direct would you? Or try and sell them a kit to enable them to produce their own signs? I don't believe your the kind of man to act as the above named firms are doing.
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:49 pm

Alan, I'm also a sign shop with a retail trade, and I'm a wholesale print supplier to the sign trade too.

I offer two prices, and I make sure I look after my wholesale trade.

My sign shop clients know they will get a discounted price that my retail customers will not get.

If two sign shops bring me the same job to quote on, they know that each will get the exact same price from me for the job, depending on the material they specify they want it printed on.

And, if a sign clients own client happens to ring me for a quote on the same job, the sign shop will be told I'm quoting on the job, at a retail level, so they know I'm not trying to white ant them. I'm as upfront as I can be.

Victory in this instance are different. They are selling machines and material to their client base, then competing with the very same clients for the same work. Of course, they don't pay the same price for either their material or their machines. Hardly a level playing field.

I agree with other comments here, but its as much a morality thing as well as an ethical thing.

These guys have every right to be outraged. Respect in the trade is not a given. It has to be earned. These guys are earning no respect from anyone at the moment, and I suspect their business will suffer as a result.
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:00 am

karl i think you might have your rose coloured specks on again, unfortunately if you biggest customer decides to do his own stuff there will be a line of printer suppliers at there door, sorry Allan included.

but i doubt if he will be after there work unlike others

chris
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:40 am

Hey Karl, I wasn't trying to say you shouldn't feel bad a trade supplier is doing this. What I was trying to get at was that why are your customers giving them the work.

We're like Shane we have a two tier pricing system. Our trade customers can sell what we sell to them at our own retail prices and still make money on the job. That's what we consider a trade service. We even drop ship items for our trade customers so their own customers don't even know that we exist.

If we know a customer is being supplied by one of our trade customers and they ring us direct we kindly tell them our trade customer is the point of contact for that work and they'll get the best possible outcome from them.

I've been on fitting jobs where the job wasn't taken by us. Some people would walk past and ask me for a business card. I'd pass them onto the person who took the job. I don't see its fair that I'd take potential work arising from being on that job when I didn't secure the job myself.

If we loose a job from it then we loose a job. I'd rather be a year years down the track with a solid reputation then with a few extra dollars in our pockets in the short term.
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Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:33 pm

I have just come across this, It appears that yet another TRADE supplier sees the need to dip into our side of the market? :roll:

Raccoon Digital:
http://www.raccoon.displaygear.co.uk/index.html
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Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:06 pm

Its a bit dodgy all this trade supplier direct supplier.

look at this:

Fabricut is owned by aboutsigns

http://www.aboutsigns.co.uk/home.htm

What I don't understand is how can you go to ANY trade supplier linked to a normal sign company with a tender you are hoping to win using their prices, yet they could be quite easily quoting on the same job or even worse you could tip them off a big job is in the offing.
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Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:26 pm

gordgeko wrote:Its a bit dodgy all this trade supplier direct supplier.

look at this:

Fabricut is owned by aboutsigns

http://www.aboutsigns.co.uk/home.htm

What I don't understand is how can you go to ANY trade supplier linked to a normal sign company with a tender you are hoping to win using their prices, yet they could be quite easily quoting on the same job or even worse you could tip them off a big job is in the offing.


I agree mate but I use fabricut and find their prices and service excellent as well as the quality, JMHO :roll: I think it would quickly become know if a "trade" supplier did this and would lose a lot if not all their trade work by doing so. As far as I know they have made no secret about it and so far I only have good things to say about them, although they have been a bit slow lately with returning emails :wink:

again, JMO
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Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:29 pm

Also..... in a way it is the same as asking on the forum for somebody to print something for you, they may not be a "trade" printer but are still handing over your customer details to them :-?

I recently ordered some print from a trade printer and had to send them the artwork which I bought off istock, they now have that artwork and could use it themselves free of charge, but what else can you do :-?
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Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:33 pm

Not a lot...
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Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:19 pm

Hi luke

Why not go onto BP's web site on the trade printing part and use there
pricing system . Key in the job and you get an instant quote, then you can decide whether you want to undercut them or not.
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Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:33 pm

This seems very ignorant but can you post a link to their website?
Regards
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Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:42 pm

Jason Davies wrote:This seems very ignorant but can you post a link to their website?
Regards
Jason


http://www.bplightbrigade.com/
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Post Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:44 pm

Seems their online quoting system is "offline" at the moment..
http://www.lightbrigade.bplightbrigade.com/onlinequote/
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Post Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:19 pm

Warren Beard wrote:...I recently ordered some print from a trade printer and had to send them the artwork which I bought off istock, they now have that artwork and could use it themselves free of charge, but what else can you do :-?
Very subtly 'watermark' it with your company name in non-obvious areas? :wink:
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Post Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:37 pm

I know it's late but thought I had to tell my story.

We to are victims in this trade/customer print war. We had a fairly large job of printing large banners for an Ad-Van customer that we gained by spending well over £3000 advertising in the yellow pages. The Ad-van was two large for our value jet 1604 so we looked to outsource it. BP Lightbrigade came up with a decent price that we marked up. The customer accepted this quote and we placed the order asking BP Lightbrigade to discreet mail with no reference to their company what so ever. We had the banners delivered to our workshop as we wanted to see the print quality and check them over and delivered them to our customer. They were perfectly fine and the customer loved them. They went up nicely and we were proud of the job.

The next lot, the customer was in a bit of a rush so we had the banners delivered straight to the customer again DISCREET PACKAGING was the main issue. They were delivered fine and again, were on the ad-van and looked great.

One problem tho..... BP Lightbrigade did not send the banners discreetly and now we have lost a client. They did appologise which is like shutting the stable door after the horse has boltled!!!

We will not use them again....
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Post Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:46 pm

A trade customer needs to be defined though, so is say, Marks and Spencer "trade or retail" is a design agency an end user? or The small business that needs 3 shops and a couple of vans branded?

Surely a trade customer is potentially an individual or a company that operates in business i.e they "trade", Any prospecting public who wish to use a trade print supplier should have to prove they are "trading" before allowing them to purchase.

On the point of discreet and unlabeled packaging when sending jobs directly from trade supplier to client, this can definitely prove hazardous as it doesn't take much to discover the origin by speaking to the carrier or studying the paperwork and labeling which usually bear clues.
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Post Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:18 pm

I must ask Neil have you lost the account to BP? If so that is not just disgusting but if they have offered discreet packaging and not done so they have broken their contract. Even if they have made a mistake on the packaging at the very least they should not supply the end user as a matter of decency. This obviously is if they are the replacement supplier.

As to Pauls point regarding discreet packaging, I've never used it but surely every courier has a system in place for such a service.
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Post Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:08 pm

Paul Munford wrote:A trade customer needs to be defined though, so is say, Marks and Spencer "trade or retail" is a design agency an end user? or The small business that needs 3 shops and a couple of vans branded?

That's an easy one.

If they're an end user, even Marks and Spencer, or a company with a thousand vans, then they're retail.

If your customer is selling on to another party, then they're trade. The distinction becomes even more obvious when your customer is buying stuff from you for more than one end user.


A related problem is the subcontractor who you send out to work on customer's premises, and then the subbie tries to steal your customer and deal direct. It's short-sighted on their part because they might gain one customer, but we won't use them again and so they lose any further work we might send them. But some of them will still try.
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Post Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:48 pm

We had this happen recently too with a certain product from a trade supplier. First one fine - second lot sent direct to customer had their branding we found out because we visited the site and saw their labels.

They recently phoned me to ask why i hadn't ordered anything for a while and I told them - they said is was a mistake and we should clearly mark our order as trade and it wouldn't happen - I told him i don't consider them a trade supplier if we have to do this. If a mistake was made once it could happen again. Trade suppliers should not be putting any branding on their products.

Unless a contract is signed regarding this though I suppose there is not much any of us can do. In these uncertain times it worries me more that any trade supplier feeling the pinch may start direct mailing or contacting their trade customers customers!

But in this life you reap what you sow, and anyone acting in this way will either go under eventually or have an unpleasant life! (thats what I console myself with anyway)
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Post Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:46 am

I agree with John with the distinction between trade and retail. If the person your selling to uses it they are retail. If they on sell it then its trade.
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Post Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:06 pm

Trade supply can be an mine field, I know, I work for a large one that actually supplies trade suppliers!
We have to be very very careful what we say on the telephone, in emails or on paperwork as our customers sometimes double up - i.e. we supply a set of letters to a sign firm direct, but also supply to their trade suppler a 4M totem onto which the sign firm fit the letters.

Price difference can come down to a regular customer getting more of a discount than an occasional customer.
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Post Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:58 pm

This is a cracker, the company is called 'signtrade' yet they supply direct to end users??? as well as the trade, but they do not keep it quiet, they put it in the news section on their website

http://www.signtrade.co.uk/news.htm

I think the recession is making a lot of sign companies become "trade suppliers" and a lot of so called trade suppliers 'sign companies', all very incestuous and confusing.

I think we will start to see a few going to the wall in the coming months, I have seen this all before, not good at all, but its our industry's way of weeding out the weak and allowing the stronger better managed companies to survive.

Discounting is the first sign in my opinion, not only do companies have to suffer with the downturn in trade, but they also add to their woes by reducing their margins by discounting.

Scary times
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Post Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:06 am

I am a supplier to the trade, as well as a retail supplier.

I have two pricing structures, but I'll tell the trade client what I'll charge if I was going direct as well.

So, on my invoice, I charge them my retail price, but then discount it as a trade discount.

The discount is substantial, and most use my retail price as a guide. Some increase the price, others chose to retail just under my price. Thing is, I try and be transparent as I can. My Trade client also get priority service, but having two machines, that is not really difficult for me. In most cases, the job is started the day it is sent to me. So, I like to think the get good value for money.

If I'm quoting on the same job for two trade clients, I'll tell them both that I'm doing a second quote for someone else, and my price will be the same for both clients.

If I'm doing a quote as a retail supplier, I'll also tell any trade supplier looking for me to supply their prints, that I'm also quoting as a retail. They'll know my price because it will be on their quote as a prediscouned price.

I can't be much fairer than that.

All I really want to do is keep both my printers working every day. I have very good relationships with all my trade clients too, which is just as important as price.

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