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  1. #31
    College Junior ColoPrinthead's Avatar
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    I'm a little surprised at people talking down on the 5000s series dye inks; Years ago when I worked for a $10 million a year company I ran 6 of the 5000 series printers producing the push pull door stickers for 7-11 and backlits for the drive throughs of several national chains with no issue, I guess those things aren't expected to last more than 3 years. We tested our materials under the Texas sun.

  2. #32
    PhD OldPaint's Avatar
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    WELL......SIGNAGE CHRISTMAS PAST...... has to say it this way YES......MOST STUFF WAS 1 AT A TIME... but like i said PROFIT WAS 50-80% ON EVERY JOB..... kinda like "work smarter not harder" and spend as little as needed to get the job done.
    most of us "old brush guys" werE ALSO FAST......"TIME IS MONEY" you cant do that today printer only will go so fast.......
    I COULD LETTER A 5' x 5' STORE WINDOW.........from opening my truck doors to get the brushes.......to closing the doors......less then 2 hours!!!!! collect my pay of $100-200 depending on how detailed......and used maybe $5 worth of paint))))) so $95-$195........was PROFIT.
    i also lettered 3 roundy round stock cars..........from blank car to finished 3 numbers, 3 color, 3-4 sponsors....... $300 EACH......$900 AND $10 worth of paint))))
    in 8 hours.............do the math...........no payment for printer no need of an employee, no waiting for it to print, or god forbid it breaks down.......then you got $1000 repair bill....))))))))))))

  3. #33
    College Freshman
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    OP, you sound a lot like me when I got started. I owned 3 other businesses and signage was costing me a fortune so I bought a vinyl cutter to start doing some of my own stuff. I am not creative at all. I'm a total left brain type of person. Once I made my first couple signs, I found a real passion for that end of things so over the next few years, I got rid of the other other 3 businesses and began doing this as my only business, only advertising through Craigslist and word of mouth since I also have real estate investments and at that time also had a full time job. I found that having individual customers come in was not for me because I couldn't design their pieces. I could lay them out if they knew what they wanted, but not do creative work. As a 1 man shop, that's a major ingredient I was missing. As it turned out, there are several small sign shops that are ran by creative individuals who hate technology or the costs/learning curve that is associated with them. Since then, I have changed my business to over 90% wholesale printing to the trade and am running a latex printer, eco-solvent printer, direct-to-garment printer, screen printer, embroidery machine, as well as finishing equipment out of a few thousand square feet climate controlled building I built behind my house. I have a 100ft commute to work each day and my dog hangs out with me. I'm not getting rich from it, but I enjoy what I'm doing and really, that's a lot more important. This coming year is going to be much bigger than last year, possibly double after having a customer that used a major wholesale to trade printer decided to shift all of his non-fabric printing over to me and we are working on another underserved market segment together to develop print products he can sell.

    My point is, if you follow your passion and work within your talents, you can make whatever it is into something so don't let them tell you that the magnetic signs won't work. I will say that if this is all you are trying to do, you are trying to climb Mt Everest in shorts and sandals. Even if you make the best magnets in the world, Vistaprint does them for pennies and they are crap and will show it in 6 months, but you have to educate the consumer when doing the sale. A local sign shop I print for ordered full color prints from me for some magnetics and when I dropped them off, I saw what he was replacing. The materials and print quality weren't anywhere near what they should be for a quality product, and this one time, the customer found that he got what he paid for and sought quality, but that doesn't happen often. I'm in a suburb of Indianapolis. If you want to come hang out, I'll teach you what I know, but there are a billion things I don't yet know so make sure you learn from more than one person. As far as your printer is concerned, it is a decent machine. I imagine you got a good price on it because it's old technology. I have done that many times in the past and that's how I got to where I am now while only financing one piece of equipment. It is definitely not ideal for what you are attempting to do. Read more about what this machine is good at and offer those products to people. If you want to call me or pm me here, I'm happy to give you a lot more info than anyone else want's to read here. Good luck!

  4. #34
    PhD 2CT Media's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPaint View Post
    WELL......SIGNAGE CHRISTMAS PAST...... has to say it this way YES......MOST STUFF WAS 1 AT A TIME... but like i said PROFIT WAS 50-80% ON EVERY JOB..... kinda like "work smarter not harder" and spend as little as needed to get the job done.
    most of us "old brush guys" werE ALSO FAST......"TIME IS MONEY" you cant do that today printer only will go so fast.......
    I COULD LETTER A 5' x 5' STORE WINDOW.........from opening my truck doors to get the brushes.......to closing the doors......less then 2 hours!!!!! collect my pay of $100-200 depending on how detailed......and used maybe $5 worth of paint))))) so $95-$195........was PROFIT.
    i also lettered 3 roundy round stock cars..........from blank car to finished 3 numbers, 3 color, 3-4 sponsors....... $300 EACH......$900 AND $10 worth of paint))))
    in 8 hours.............do the math...........no payment for printer no need of an employee, no waiting for it to print, or god forbid it breaks down.......then you got $1000 repair bill....))))))))))))
    Not to continue to pick on you, I respect you and every other Long standing member of the sign community that came before me. But our industry is now one of scale, 1 person simply can't scale due to the fact that there is only 24 hours in a day.

    Based on your financial logic you used $100/hr as your basis, Taking that and applying a 10 hour work day you top out at $1000/day. As a comparison I will use my shop, we currently are averaging $2780/day in income and our work day is 9 Hours (6 productive). We are a 4 man shop (Admin, Production Operator, Designer, and Shop Help), Our labor costs per day is $380 and our Overhead (Payments, Utilities, rent, general shop expenses) not including materials is $625 so in total our running cost is $1005/day. Materials is typically 30% of our jobs so $834/day, so our operating total is $1839/day which leads to $941/day in profit. This is a similar profit to what you have said in your math but we we can scale with more machines, streamline with better efficiency, or we can add 3 more productive hours to our current work day.

  5. #35
    Bachelor of Arts TammieH's Avatar
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    The magnetic market is shrinking, more and more cars and trucks are made with plastic and aluminum, ...you will find that most sign companies have figured out to be more diverse. You will not be able to survive making one type of sign and targeting such a small market.

  6. #36
    College Sophomore decalman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPaint View Post
    2 HOURS TO LAYOUT/DESIGN/PRINT CUT......... whatever you have to do to complete the project....
    MATERIAL COST CAME OUTA FELLERS CATALOG.......2016..... 2 12" X 24" MAGNETIC BLANKS.......$9.95))))) yes at $50 you can make a couple bucks....... BUT most shops will sell em for $29-39.00)))))))

    I bought a 50 foot roll of magnet stuff for about 135. couple of years ago

  7. #37
    College Sophomore cgvginc's Avatar
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    I got into the sign business cause it seemed like fun!

  8. #38
    PhD OldPaint's Avatar
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    AND I GOT INTO IT CAUSE.... i can draw, design, paint, pinstripe and started this at 12-13 years old......and BIG DADDY ED ROTH.....was my idol))))i drew so many RAT FINKS, the crazy cars he drew with the big motors head sticking thru the roof and pounding a gear......and I COULD COPY HIS WORK..... with ease...... i could draw most of these.......then guys wanted them painted on the rides.........
    ed roth art gallery - Google Search

  9. #39
    College Freshman Johnny Best's Avatar
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    THe future:
    So this guy took everyone's advice, even OldPaint, and started to make his dream come true. Made his mark stick on Raleigh, NC.Big time newbie starting business making magnetic signs-magbillboard-jpg

  10. #40
    PhD OldPaint's Avatar
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    You get what you pay for)))

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