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When you want to strangle the competition

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Denise Goodfellow

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Post Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:57 pm

When you want to strangle the competition

Sorry Monday rant.

Sent the lad out to price a window graphic, in fact it turned out to be 1 door window.

900mm X 1200mm. 4 shoe manufacturer logos, files supplied. An arrow with some more text to direct customers to another door. Then fully frosted.

Priced it at £75+ vat.

The customer emailed to say they've had a quote of £65 and £35... :yikes:
£65, not a million miles from ours, but £35, are they crazy.


15 mins to get there,
15 mins to measure up and chat what she wanted,
15 mins back to base.
10 mins to sort the artwork out and email it over, assume it's perfect first time.
15 mins to cut the graphics
15 mins travel there
15 mins application
15 mins travel back to base.

Approx 2 hrs for £35, not forgetting minus the material, petrol and the lads wages, at £10 an hr, it'll be cheaper to give her a £10 er to go else where
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Phill Fenton

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Post Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:23 pm

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Not worth worrying or getting upset about. Anyone under pricing to that extent won't remain in business very long. Busy fools...
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Ruel Maxwell

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Post Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:54 pm

When you want to strangle the competition

Lol I've faced this too often
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Martin Pearson

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:30 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Phill Fenton wrote:Not worth worrying or getting upset about. Anyone under pricing to that extent won't remain in business very long. Busy fools...


While it doesn't bother me Phill the problem with people under pricing, being busy fools & going out of business quickly is that there is always another one waiting to take over from them :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Denise Goodfellow

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:41 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

I'm not really bothered.

But these people who quote cheaply are in a way educating the customer and new signmakers to the price they should be expecting to pay or charge.

So when he goes out of business, another start up sign maker thinks that's the price he should be charging.


Last week a local sandwich shop rang to get his 5ft X 30 inch aboard relettered, he told me I was too dear and should be charging £30 cash to do both sides is a good price.
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NeilRoss

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:15 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Martin Pearson wrote:
Phill Fenton wrote:Not worth worrying or getting upset about. Anyone under pricing to that extent won't remain in business very long. Busy fools...


While it doesn't bother me Phill the problem with people under pricing, being busy fools & going out of business quickly is that there is always another one waiting to take over from them :lol: :lol: :lol:


Too true!
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Hugh Potter

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:34 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

I was doing a shop facia yesterday and the builder there (from Bristol) said he had a 35' motor home he wanted wrapped black, his local place quoted £4k, reckoned he could buy the film for £200 and the YouTube tutorials would see him through... good luck said I
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David Hammond

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:10 pm

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

It's recently come to light that we've been undercharging by some margin on some things we do, and for quite some time too :blushing: It was by shear luck something prompted me to look at it. Once I'd got over the shock of how much we've lost, and thanks to some advice and pointers from the boards, we're on our way to charging what we should.

Sometimes the competition could have just got it wrong (like we did) or just not have a clue, and think being cheaper will make them successful. We genuinely didn't have a clue we were undercharging some work. Luckily being quite diverse it's not had an adverse affect.
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Chris Ranner

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:53 pm

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

I'm finding this more and more recently, more bedroom/kitchen table workers happy to earn and extra £20-50 a day off the books, there are a few co's out there who are just hoovering the work up by pricing cheap and then letting the customer down with timescales
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George Neagu

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:19 pm

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Denise Goodfellow wrote:Sorry Monday rant.

Sent the lad out to price a window graphic, in fact it turned out to be 1 door window.

900mm X 1200mm. 4 shoe manufacturer logos, files supplied. An arrow with some more text to direct customers to another door. Then fully frosted.

Priced it at £75+ vat.

The customer emailed to say they've had a quote of £65 and £35... :yikes:
£65, not a million miles from ours, but £35, are they crazy.


15 mins to get there,
15 mins to measure up and chat what she wanted,
15 mins back to base.
10 mins to sort the artwork out and email it over, assume it's perfect first time.
15 mins to cut the graphics
15 mins travel there
15 mins application
15 mins travel back to base.

Approx 2 hrs for £35, not forgetting minus the material, petrol and the lads wages, at £10 an hr, it'll be cheaper to give her a £10 er to go else where


It depends where you are located but £75 plus VAT for that job... is it not a too cheap?
I would do it but without frosting. Because what you say, 15 min here, 15 min there, petrol, materials, this, that...

The other thing is, tell customers that the price is not all about getting the job done. It is also about the quality of materials and the quality of the work itself. If that is long term signage, maybe they want to spend a little extra if you give them some guarantee like it won't peel off next summer (whenever that will be :))
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Kevin Mahoney

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:50 pm

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Let them have it I say, these amateurs working out of the garden shed will soon find out it's not all about cheap cheap when their eBay equipment packs up & the vinyl off the back of a lorry fails dismally. Rolls Royce don't feel the need to justify their costs against Kia. You get what you pay for.
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Kevin Mahoney

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:58 pm

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Got this on the wall in my reception area:

It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When
you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you
bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The
common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well
to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will
have enough to pay for something better.
John Ruskin
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Chris Wilson

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:58 pm

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

David Hammond wrote:It's recently come to light that we've been undercharging by some margin on some things we do, and for quite some time too :blushing:.


Aye been there once or twice.
Can be a bit tricky sometimes. Recently put on the spot for a quote for a job. Turns out we were £600 cheaper, but I was still pulling at good £700 profit for a days work :s
I don't like putting in quotes and then no getting the job. But everyone nearby to us pricing is all over the place.

Customer recently asked my how much for a job they had already done. We said £125 + VAT. Company that did it were £140 inc VAT. Another well known came in at £710 + VAT though. *major shocked face*

I suppose a few bad jobs and people will start avoid them and hopefully benefit yourself in the future.
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KevinGaffney

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Post Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:25 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Loballers have always been around. Many signmakers arent good business people and explains the daft prices. In my years at this game, Ive probably seen thirty sign businesses come and go, mainly for similar reasons. Crap prices, eventually cant pay for machinery, rent, taxes etc and they move on. Used to worry me but not anymore. Do good work at a fair price and youll retain 90% of your clients and add new ones every year. 70 or 80 quid jobs arent worth tendering for. Only worth doing if for a regular customer who isnt pricing all over the place
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Kevin Mahoney

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Post Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:30 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Completely agree, i look for a better Calibre of client, we no longer feel obliged to do business with everyone who contacts us looking to pay peanuts. Whenever we have dealt with these types, those jobs always end up biting you in the backside, they still think they deserve premium quality workmanship even though they are paying next to nothing.
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Duncan Wilkie

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Post Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:37 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

So many good points here. I've been making signs full time for over 45 years. Technology has changed, but bonehead competitors and customers haven't. Our current and theory is buy a lot of product from other sign shops, Mark it up and sell it to our customers. This mostly applies to anything digitally printed. People are fighting it out in a ditch they've dug for themselves trying to make their equipment payments. We have a niche market in wayfinding and custom dimensional signage. We try to stick with that inhouse and sub out a lot of the other stuff. Our banners come from a company 300 km away, our Metal letters and coroplast are made at businesses over 1500 km away. They guarantee their work, and they turn it around quickly and it's shipped to our door. Is it a perfect solution? No, but it's way better than hoping into the ditch with the others. Advice to everyone. If you don't have business training, get some right away or hire a professional. I think I've made every possible business mistake over the years. You can't afford to wing it, trust me, please. Time for a beer.
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Tahsin Niyazi

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Post Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:05 pm

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

This is always the case. The other day I found out a local guy who does tints has wrapped a couple of cars in his spare time for £350. I did check over the car and as you can imagine he cut the vinyl on the vehicle and it was amusing to see the 'wave effect' finish he has in all the door shuts etc. He also used the heat the vinyl and stretch then lay down on the vehicle.

I did have to obviously act like it weren't the craziest wrap I have ever seen but the customer seems to be happy.

After all this he asked me to quote him for a couple of signs for his van........

I'm guessing If I said £5 I would probably be low balled down the road by the tint guy at £3.

In all businesses we will find people who will always be cheaper.

What I try and do is always try and improve my products and service. Offer customers something the guy down the road don't.

Fingers crossed one day the hard work pays off.
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Martin Cole

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Post Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:31 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Duncan Wilkie wrote: Advice to everyone. If you don't have business training, get some right away or hire a professional. I think I've made every possible business mistake over the years. You can't afford to wing it, trust me, please. Time for a beer.


Some of the best advice I have read on the boards in 12 years Duncan
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KevinGaffney

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Post Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:38 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

Unfortunately the ones who most need to heed that advice will choose to ignore it and carry on with their daft business practices
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David Hammond

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Post Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:47 am

Re: When you want to strangle the competition

KevinGaffney wrote:Unfortunately the ones who most need to heed that advice will choose to ignore it and carry on with their daft business practices



Yes a customer of ours, been printing since he was in his 20's, at one point had 4 shops, and at 60, got offered a free NVQ in sales, I took it up, he declined 'I've been doing this so long, I can sell snow to eskimo's'

12months later, he's lost everything.

There's always room for improvement.

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