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Thread: Wholesale cheap vinyl signs for tommorrow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    LaGrange GA
    Posts
    590

    Default Wholesale cheap vinyl signs for tommorrow

    Why not right? This is tomorrows signs that I do at wholesale prices on ebay. They get printed on outdoor vinyl and "stuck" so to speak to plastic or AL.

    Printer did the hard work today, 30 min. Tomorrow I will spend 1hr or less to mount vinyl with laminator to substrate, print label and shove into a bubble envelope. My blanks are stacked by the hundreds for these dime a dozen signs.

    I mix wholesale with retail. These signs are cookie cutter. It is all about volume with these particular "quick signs" but priced right, and with proper prep, I am glad to have these as a dependable monthly income.

    Calling all sign shops with a Shopbot.......lets share some of our stuff. Even if its boring like mine. Techingues, pics, description. That's whats going to get the new SBers coming into the business to get creative.

    Dave
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    gleason, wi 54435
    Posts
    427

    Default

    David how do you compete with the big sign catalogs for this business. Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    LaGrange GA
    Posts
    590

    Default

    Bob,
    I don't compete....IMO. Ebay, or the Internet is nationwide. There is plenty of business for all of us out there who want that easy high volume production stuff we do with our eyes closed. But yagota be ready to do 30 signs an hour if needed.

    The easy part is thinking it, second half is making it happen and turning a profit.

    I got the vinyl stuff down to a science. (started working with vinyl when I was 15 and the gerber 4b plotter was "IN".)

    It is the dimensional signs off the Shopbot I want to demand top dollar for in my industry going forward.

    Dave
    Last edited by David Iannone; 03-04-2015 at 01:26 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norman, Ok
    Posts
    3,251

    Default

    Dave,

    I'm glad you posted your business model because the SB community come to the sign trade without any experience in this field. There's lots of good money to be maid by branching out like you're doing. That's the future for many small sign businesses. When a person buys a CNC, with the intent of going into the 3d field, without a good understanding what drives this field there's going to be financial losses.

    We need more fellows like you leading the way. With professionals sharing their business and technical techniques a forum like this gains value. But it's hard to find or encourage successful sign business to post. That's because there's nothing in it for them. But without the skilled pro's you're left without the germ of what it takes to make a business go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Bluffton SC
    Posts
    65

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    I see you are selling those signs for $6.99 including shipping. How many do you have to sell to make shop rate? Or you do it after 5 for a beer money?
    My cost to print 1 sq. ft of vinyl is about $1-1.25 (vinyl, ink, and laminate)
    My problem it takes to much time out of my day to do small things. I can do them in bunches but not one by one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    LaGrange GA
    Posts
    590

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    Hello Alex,
    Thanks for taking the time to read my post and look me up on ebay.

    In the photos attached please see my cost of 3M vinyl rolls and 4x8 sheets of polystyrene. I am at .41 cents per sq/ft vinyl and print cost. These signs are done with 3MIJ35 with comply adhesive. No laminate used. 3-5 year outdoor before fading.

    The 10"x7" plastic signs for $6.99 free shipping go like this:
    - Mutoh Ecosolvent ink .15 per sq/ft
    - 3M vinyl .26 per sq/ft
    - .060 polystyrene .93 per sq/ft
    - shipping $2.37 (this includes the bubble wrap envelope too)
    Total Cost per 10"x7" Poly sign on ebay $3.16

    The 18"x12" Aluminum signs for $10.99 go like this.
    - 18"x12" .040 Alum blank $3.15
    - Mutoh Ecosolvent ink .15 per sq/ft
    - 3M vinyl .26 per sq/ft
    - shipping on these is auto calculated so buyer pays ship on these. (and the auto calculate ship cost figures in for the larger bubble wrap envelope)
    Total Cost per 18"x12" Alum sign on ebay is $3.76

    So I can easily do 30 in 1 hour. Lets just say the 10"x7" = $114.90

    I do them in bunches 2 or 3 times each week. Free scheduled pickups by the postal service come to my shop and pick the piles up. Last screen shot is my Seller dashboard.

    I am not doing it for the beer money. I work to support my wife and daughter. However I do enjoy cold beer at home after an honest days work. It is not glamorous by any means, and I will not get rich off of it either. But my ebay sales monthly pay the rent at the shop. It has stayed dead on consistent for the last few years. The funny thing is I haven't added product listings in years either. I could easily double or triple my volume just by adding some more auctions. I plan on taking my top selling two dozen products and starting to sell on Amazon some time this year.

    Its all about how efficient your process is and if you want to pursue that type of work. Me....I get up every day and right after I check my emails on my Iphone, I open up the ebay app and see how much money I made while I was sleeping.........

    It is something anyone can do, and by the way I am a one man sign shop right now too,so trust me I stay moving all day. I don't advertise my ebay locally. (although I don't hide it either.) If someone comes in for the same sign in my front door the 10"x7" Poly is $15 Retail and the 18"x12" .040 Alum sign is $28.50 retail. If they were to say "I saw it cheaper on ebay", then I would say "order it from ebay please".

    These files are pre setup and organized properly in directories on my hard drive. click, click, click and the stuff is shooting out the printer.

    I do a lot of wholesale printing for a local sign shop. My charge to them is:
    Zeelon 13oz banner $3 sq/ft
    3M calandered vinyl printed $3 sq/ft with lam add $1 sq/ft
    3M Cast Wrap Vinyl $4 sq/ft print with lam add $2 sq/ft
    They supply the files in flexisign to me to size, color, etc. I basically just click print.

    If I sell a job to a customer who comes in my door on the above material, my retail price is double what I charge wholesale.

    I do about 200-300 12"x24" Magnetic signs per month for Charter Communications, Comcast, Mediacom. Ship magnetics all over the US to thier sub contractors $15 per mag/ $30 per set. Again, I can do 50 mags in an hour by myself using my laminator to "apply" the roll of printed vinyl to the roll of magnetic material. Super easy and fast.

    I am not suggesting for people to follow what I am doing, but anyone interested I would encourage you to think it over. There is nothing like hearing your Iphone chime throughout the day with ebay sales while maybe the CNC is running, the printer is printing and I am working on stuff in the production room. When I am doing more than one thing at a time, well then I am making more money per hour. But you have got to keep all the robots moving. (Shopbot, printer, plotter) Ain't technology great?

    Dave
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    Last edited by David Iannone; 03-04-2015 at 12:30 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Bluffton SC
    Posts
    65

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    My wholesale prices for printing same is yours. we were thinking to start selling some signs on ebay but did not get around it. Thank you for all helpful information. I wish I would be as organised as you are.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    LaGrange GA
    Posts
    590

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    Alex,
    No problem.

    Now that I just got my vac hold down table working for my shopbot I am going to buy the Donek drag knife so I can throw a full sheet of .060 polystyrene on the table and hold it so the drag knife can do all the scoring of the poly instead of my doing it with a tape measure, rulers and knife.

    I go through a lot of cardboard too for my magnetic shipping material. Same thing with the Donek knife. Gonna start making my own boxes out of sheets instead of buying and altering boxes like I have been doing from Uline.

    Dave

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Cleveland TN
    Posts
    345

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    David,

    Cool idea. I hand cut and make my own boxes that aren't stock sizes but never thought of doing it with the shopbot. I will have to revisit that idea and next time I go to ATL I'll pickup sheet material. I have a good friend that owns a packing supply company that I get my big rolls of bubble wrap from and some boxes but he also gives me his scraps of sheet cardboard that i make most of my boxes from. I found ultralight mdf at Atlanta Hardwood and will be going down there in the next week or 2 and will pickup 2 or 3 sheets so I have some spare. They also have Baltic Birch in stock so I plan on getting a half pickup load of several items. I have decided to wait on putting on the bleeder board until I get the ultralight. No sense doing it twice.

    Joe
    2005 PRT Alpha 48x96
    2013 Colombo 3hp spindle
    Indexer (converted lathe)
    Aspire 9.0

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,292

    Default

    I use a 1/8 bit to cut my boxes

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