View Poll Results: What should be the forum policy as to price discussion and price posting?

Voters
203. You may not vote on this poll
  • It's fine the way it is

    69 33.99%
  • It should be less restrictive

    27 13.30%
  • It should be more restrictive

    69 33.99%
  • It should totally forbid any price discussion or posting

    4 1.97%
  • It doesn't matter to me

    34 16.75%
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  1. #31
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    I think pricing should be in the open. Those that are asking pricing are typically new to the trade and if not helped, would undersell for fear of being high priced. In essence, it benefits all if those that are learning are not underselling. At least that way there would be some guidance for pricing. If others are fearful of putting their pricing up in public then simply PM the person.

    That said, pricing does vary from place to place and business to business. e.g. if it cost $200/hr to run my shop (an exagerration) then I will have higher prices than someone that works from home. The experienced understand that asking pricing on this forum is highly generic. Therefore, having a private forum wouldn't really be a benefit since the information proferred may not and probably isn't accurate.

  2. #32
    PhD iSign's Avatar
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    If we simply don't answer pricing questions unless it shows up in the CM section, problem solved.
    correct, if everyone thinks & acts the same, never changes or forgets, simple!

  3. #33
    Master of Arts luggnut's Avatar
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    i don't see much of a problem... i can't see one of my customers searching and finding prices here and confronting me with the info. i sell my products based on my overhead and hourly rates and such, so others prices don't really reflect what i charge. like someone said earlier about the HVAC business , you can't get the cost unless you are in the biz, but i for one would not spend a lot of time searching for that cost either and i don't think many others would. and the ones that would do that probaly aren't going to be the kind of customers you want.
    i also agree that pricing question out in the open can help newbies to not undercharge.

  4. #34
    PhD Jillbeans's Avatar
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    I think DPD just put a really good spin on things.
    Some newbies simply do not realize that they are leaving money on the table.

    Wholesale stuff needs to be restricted to the CM forum, in my opinion.
    Love....Jill

  5. #35
    PhD bob's Avatar
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    Some prospective client or another stumbling upon this site and being privy to someone's prices and those prices reflected badly on my own would put the 'O' into obscure.

    Even in that unlikely event, what would I possibly care? When anyone tells me that "They can get it cheaper down the street" or words to that effect I always tell them that's where they should go if that sort of thing is important to them.

    Never, ever, defend your pricing model as compared to someone else's. It is what it is and must be justifiable all by itself.

  6. #36
    PhD Mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DPD View Post
    I think pricing should be in the open. Those that are asking pricing are typically new to the trade and if not helped, would undersell for fear of being high priced. In essence, it benefits all if those that are learning are not underselling. At least that way there would be some guidance for pricing. If others are fearful of putting their pricing up in public then simply PM the person.

    That said, pricing does vary from place to place and business to business. e.g. if it cost $200/hr to run my shop (an exagerration) then I will have higher prices than someone that works from home. The experienced understand that asking pricing on this forum is highly generic. Therefore, having a private forum wouldn't really be a benefit since the information proferred may not and probably isn't accurate.
    Exactly.

  7. #37
    PhD skyhigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luggnut View Post
    i don't see much of a problem....
    Not bashing you in any way, so please don't take it that way.
    That being said, I can only make the observations that, 1 you are rather new in business and possibly need the pricing guidance...and 2) you have chosen NOT to be a contributing member, so if there were to be any changes it would put a damper on either your viewing pleasure or you wallet.

    Question for you....Why do you suppose most of your suppliers don't publish pricing that is open for the general public to view? Are they paranoid? Don't they realize that no one really cares?

  8. #38
    PhD skyhigh's Avatar
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    One more thing.....
    Lets be clear as to what this poll is actually going to determine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Weiss View Post
    The current policy is:




    Authorized merchant members are not prohibited from posting pricing in their advertising announcements or replies to the posts of others.
    So the question is: How do you feel about the current policy?
    This topic is alot more complex than some of you realize. As Fred stated, the current policy does not prohibit merchants from posting their WHOLESALE pricing. We're not just talking what YOU should charge retail (which I'm opposed to also), and educating the "newbie".

    When you have reputable MM's on THIS forum that oppose published wholesale pricing (which may hurt them, but helps the industry as a whole), I think you should ask yourself why that is, and give your vote a second thought.

  9. #39
    Merchant Member Fred Weiss's Avatar
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    As of this post those who would leave the policy the way it is (32) or make it less restrictive (11) total 43 votes. Those who would make it more restrictive (39) or totally prohibit price posting or discussion (4) also total 43 votes.

    With the 11 votes for "Don't Care" you have a total of 97 votes out of 678 thread views which is 14.3% actually care enough to vote.

    Does anyone yet begin to see the difficulty for me in setting the policy in this matter?
    Fred Weiss
    Allied Computer Graphics, Inc.
    Lake Worth, Florida

    Expert Gerber Edge printing for the trade.
    Prices Slashed 50% to 80%! Clip art and seamless texture tiles, collections and individual images, lowest prices ever at www.allcompu.com. Come have a look.
    Our Latest Collection! Plotter Art™ Seamless Texture Tiles Volume Three is now available.

    fred@allcompu.com
    www.allcompu.com

    Always Remember ... STICKY SIDE DOWN.

  10. #40
    PhD skyhigh's Avatar
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    should we worry about the silent majority? If they don't care enough to even vote, then I can only assume they don't care about the outcome.

    I feel your frustration.

    keep in mind Fred, I'm not looking to add to your workload. A simple rule against (or more restrictive to) pricing in the open forum is what I would like to see. From there, its our job to police the masses.

    again, I'd like to remind you of the "isag" vs "tecdady" debate. If there had been a rule in place, tecdady would have said "sorry". No harm, no foul instead of the pi$$ing match that followed.

  11. #41
    PhD D&Tgraphics's Avatar
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    I don't see what the big problem is here. It's simple. Wholesale pricing stays private. Retail can be discussed. I don't see any harm in discussing retail pricing in the general area. What the hell is that going to hurt? It might even help Joe lowballer price his jobs properly. But, DO NOT POST WHOLESALE in the open area. That's just friggin commen sense people. What's the issue?

  12. #42
    PhD iSign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Weiss View Post
    ... you have a total of 97 votes out of 678 thread views which is 14.3% actually care enough to vote.
    678 unique views, or just views? I'm only asking because I have no idea how complex the stats you have can be.

    I've been back to this thread at least 10 times to read others comments, so I just wondered if all 97 voters who cared enough to vote, also cared enough to monitor the voting, I presume we are not being counted as non voting viewers, but just wanted to check.

  13. #43
    PhD skyhigh's Avatar
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    Thanks Dennis. (and a great wholesale MM)

  14. #44
    College Senior WILLIAMS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luggnut View Post
    i also agree that pricing question out in the open can help newbies to not undercharge
    My vote is for more restrictive... I believe all pricing (wholesale or retail) should be in the premium sections and not in the open. If newbies are serious about this business they should pony up the few bucks to become a CM.

  15. #45
    PhD iSign's Avatar
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    when a bunch of intelligent people are examining a complex problem for days, spread over multiple threads & turning the problem upside down & inside out to explore multiple ramifications, consequences & considerations...

    ... I always wonder about the simpletons who think it is simple? Are they stoned, stupid, or shallow? It is obviously not simple, so what kind of lack of understanding or lack of introspection leads to so many drawing that incorrect conclusion?

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by D&Tgraphics View Post
    I don't see what the big problem is here. It's simple. Wholesale pricing stays private. Retail can be discussed. I don't see any harm in discussing retail pricing in the general area. What the hell is that going to hurt? It might even help Joe lowballer price his jobs properly. But, DO NOT POST WHOLESALE in the open area. That's just friggin commen sense people. What's the issue?
    Hey Dennis ...

    My passion for this subject comes from a couple angles. The primary angle is one of which I am guilty of as well as many on signs101. We start talking about pricing and then we get off on tangents about the CUSTOMER.

    Poconopete posted a good example yesterday.

    A pricing discussion went sideways on how Garbage truck companies should not be trusted ... and all payments should be upfront. Maybe this is true ... but in open forum maybe we can bash each other but we are doing ourselves a disservice by trashing certain industries about pricing publicly ... just my view.

    The other passion I have is that yes a majority of people in signs101 are legit sign companies or part-timers. There are many that are not. Trollers getting free information .... in and outs ....... I prefer to keep it in private. Like others have said if one is serious they will understand a private pricing area.

    Some say us people who get involved in pricing are inexperienced, maybe so, maybe we don't have 30 years in the industry, however 30 years from now I will still price compare nationwide ... it's wise business practice.

    I know this not from signs101 but from other education sources. Ask Trump about knowing your market and the market of others.

    But what DROVE me passionately on this subject is that I was blindsided by what the Premium Pricing area was and is or designed for. That's already been discussed.

    You're right wholesale is a must. As far as retail personally I am finished with any discussions regarding pricing period. I have some excellent resources in PM and will utilize them. I am also allowing my CM to expire. It will not be needed.

    The unnecessary argument with tecdady has taught me to take a different stance and view. And this must happen for myself. I argued a point that was not even a rule or fact, yet it was believed to be and insinuated as such. Very disappointing.

    So .... it may seem like a simple topic, but in reality it's not. I have the utmost respect for you as a wholesaler and signs101 member ... I hear your frustration. But please understand ...... the frustration from others .... the rules and communications on here can be very vague.

    The best thing for me is to step back and wake up.

  17. #47
    PhD Billct2's Avatar
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    The one thing different about signs is customers ARE LOOKING ONLINE.
    I have had people tell me they can get it cheaper on line, and I say go ahead.
    But that does mean that some of my potentila customer base may stumble on this forum and so I try to say only what I would want anyone to hear about my prices and/or opionions of customers.
    This applies mostly to the people looking for simple stuff like banners, coro, RTA truck and boat stuff. But it can apply to someone looking for carved, blasted or other higher end stuff.
    And I believe that the loss of those simple jobs hurts my business, because a lot of customers start out buying a sinple job site or set of magnets and if they're sucessful they're back for bigger and better stuff. If I don't get that first sale because they find they can buy it for half online (or down the street at the lowballers shop) then I'm losing a lot of potential future sales too.

  18. #48
    Merchant Member Fred Weiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D&Tgraphics View Post
    I don't see what the big problem is here. It's simple. Wholesale pricing stays private. Retail can be discussed. I don't see any harm in discussing retail pricing in the general area. What the hell is that going to hurt? It might even help Joe lowballer price his jobs properly. But, DO NOT POST WHOLESALE in the open area. That's just friggin commen sense people. What's the issue?
    It isn't that simple at all when you get into different opinions expressed by different individual members along with examining a few examples of how that would work in practice.

    For example, under more restrictive rules we would be saying to all merchants that they are not allowed to mention any actual price in any advertising announcement they make here. Carrying it a step further, since there is also strong objections being expressed to website displays of any pricing that the general public can see, we would also have to turn away any merchant who displays prices on his or her own website. That would mean that I would not be allowed to display prices for my clipart and Steve C would not be allowed to display prices for his SignFonts. We would also have to disallow SignWarehouse from being a merchant here along with any other merchant who has prices displayed without a password on their websites.

    It also puts Signs 101 in the role of censoring all advertisers which, to the best of my knowledge, does not occur with any other forum or publication servicing our industry.

    Placing a requirement that all advertising containing wholesale price information or links to a website that contained it only be visible to premium members would have the effect of eliminating about 98% of the exposure advertisers are paying for.

    On the retail side, there are arguments on both sides of the question which each side feels strongly about. And again, our decision to move the topic to the premium forums is not the norm at all and many other forums have no restrictions at all on price discussions. Articles discussing pricing appear regularly in trade magazines (which anyone can get ... not just sign companies). Signcraft even gives away a price guide with a subscription. I would strongly doubt that any publisher of a sign price estimating program turns away any orders from non-sign businesses.

    So it really isn't simple at all. The industry benefits from frank discussions of retail price as some realize that they are leaving profits on the table and bump up their margins. At the same time, there is legitimate concern that end users may also see and use such information against a sign company. And while "in your face" displays of wholesale pricing may be objectionable to many, any attempt to control it or prohibit it would both cost the site most of its advertising revenue and be legally questionable.
    Fred Weiss
    Allied Computer Graphics, Inc.
    Lake Worth, Florida

    Expert Gerber Edge printing for the trade.
    Prices Slashed 50% to 80%! Clip art and seamless texture tiles, collections and individual images, lowest prices ever at www.allcompu.com. Come have a look.
    Our Latest Collection! Plotter Art™ Seamless Texture Tiles Volume Three is now available.

    fred@allcompu.com
    www.allcompu.com

    Always Remember ... STICKY SIDE DOWN.

  19. #49
    PhD signage's Avatar
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    I think most people in general are LOOKING ON LINE for items and if they find info on things costing less than local they feel that the local guy is charging too much! Why do you think that the other professions don't have their pricing online? If you would see what a furnace really costs you would be upset! The problem is even if you know they are almost impossible to get that price unless you are in the profession or know someone that is that will sell it to you for their price, most will not they want to make something for their time/effort of being able to get them!

    How many on here go to ebay and other sites to get things cheaper? Do you think that maybe this has been part of the problem for the smaller business to survive, and part of the reason for more of the Wal Marts/big chain stores?

  20. #50
    PhD Flame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D&Tgraphics View Post
    I don't see what the big problem is here. It's simple. Wholesale pricing stays private. Retail can be discussed. I don't see any harm in discussing retail pricing in the general area. What the hell is that going to hurt? It might even help Joe lowballer price his jobs properly. But, DO NOT POST WHOLESALE in the open area. That's just friggin commen sense people. What's the issue?

    Thanks, I agree!

  21. #51
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    People, Fred is running a business here and he has to do what is best for the business. He gives us pretty much everything we ask for as it is.
    If you want to post your pricing wholesale or retail in the public area, do it. If you want to keep it hidden post in the premium section. If you see it where you don't agree with it just walk away, getting into a heated discussion won't help anything.
    Being a CM helps support this site. I don't understand how so many people don't see the value of s101.

  22. #52
    College Junior thmooch's Avatar
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    Could there be a way of Merchant Members PM their wares/sales, etc. to members? Some kind of "reply all" sort of thing? That way when members log on they can check their PMs & reply. Just an idea.

  23. #53
    PhD D&Tgraphics's Avatar
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    Thanks Fred. very well put. I was just venting my frustrations. I can see your point and it is well received.

    Quote Originally Posted by iSign View Post
    ... I always wonder about the simpletons who think it is simple? Are they stoned, stupid, or shallow?
    Thanks isign. Much appreciated.

  24. #54
    PhD iSign's Avatar
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    that wasn't directed at you Dennis, as you can see in post 32, it has been my standard line of reasoning long before you entered the thread.

  25. #55
    PhD iSign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iSign View Post
    678 unique views, or just views? I'm only asking because I have no idea how complex the stats you have can be.

    I've been back to this thread at least 10 times to read others comments, so I just wondered if all 97 voters who cared enough to vote, also cared enough to monitor the voting, I presume we are not being counted as non voting viewers, but just wanted to check.

  26. #56
    Merchant Member Fred Weiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iSign View Post
    Doug, I'm pretty sure that the views count is handled in the same way that the forum software keeps track of unique members logging in each day. it's possible I may have it wrong but I'm pretty sure that once you view a thread a second clicking into it is not recorded as a second view.

  27. #57
    PhD iSign's Avatar
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    cool!

  28. #58
    PhD Graphics2u's Avatar
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    Isn't this about wholesale pricing? Retail pricing shouldn't be an issue because you can go to many, many websites and find price lists or quick quote calculator. And if someone wants to advertise cheap signs that way our customers will find them.

    And as was mentioned there are many sign supply companies that have pricing on the internet, only a few of which do you need to log in to view. Just do a Google for sign supplies and see what comes up. Now whether or not these companies will sell direct to anyone accessing their website is up to them but I bet many of them will.

    To me here's the thing if our customers want to find wholesale prices they can and will. That's the Internet world we live in. I think what is more at question here is whether the $50 for CM was intended to stop all threads where pricing was mentioned. And I didn't get that impression. It was to give those who wanted a private place to talk pricing a place to do that if they wished to.

    The sign industry is made up of so many part timer's and hobbyist's ( I'm not trying to pick on anyone, just stating a fact) that you can't compare it to say the heating and cooling industry and the availability of wholesale pricing. It's just not the same.

    Thanks Fred for a great place to learn and get help with problems and hopefully help someone else. Personally I don't ask what people are pricing things at or what I should charge for something, and honestly I've never seen other industry's that do that like this one. Can you imagine a bunch of car dealers asking competitors if their pricing looks good to them??

  29. #59
    PhD skyhigh's Avatar
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    Fred, can you put up with just one more post from me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Weiss View Post
    Carrying it a step further, since there is also strong objections being expressed to website displays of any pricing that the general public can see, we would also have to turn away any merchant who displays prices on his or her own website.
    I respectfully disagree
    That would mean that I would not be allowed to display prices for my clipart and Steve C would not be allowed to display prices for his SignFonts. We would also have to disallow SignWarehouse from being a merchant here along with any other merchant who has prices displayed without a password on their websites.

    I don't think you can cover all the bases as far as links to others websites, but we can curtail it on this site. There is no "cure all" for the problem. So far we've heard from a couple MM's who agree with no wholesale pricing on S101..

    Placing a requirement that all advertising containing wholesale price information or links to a website that contained it only be visible to premium members would have the effect of eliminating about 98% of the exposure advertisers are paying for.

    Dennis and Justin don't see a problem. Jurious if you have taken a poll with the MM's?

    Articles discussing pricing appear regularly in trade magazines (which anyone can get ... not just sign companies). Signcraft even gives away a price guide with a PAID subscription.

    Anyone can get if the PAY FOR IT. (kinda like the CM section here). I mean cammon, its not like Signcraft is on the shelf at waldenbooks, and I've have never seen a copy at the doctors office, or my friends coffee table. Even if it was the readily available, you still have to pay for it. Customers are not going to take out a $40 subscription to SC, just so they can get our pricing guide....nor are they going to take a CM subscription here to get this information. THEY COULD, BUT.....$$$ is a pretty effective deterrent

    So it really isn't simple at all. The industry benefits from frank discussions of retail price as some realize that they are leaving profits on the table and bump up their margins. At the same time, there is legitimate concern that end users may also see and use such information against a sign company. And while "in your face" displays of wholesale pricing may be objectionable to many, any attempt to control it or prohibit it would both cost the site most of its advertising revenue and be legally questionable.

    Only legally questionable if you refuse them as a MM based on what they advertise on their OWN website...not yours. As I said before, we can only help to curtail what happens here. There is no blanket answer.
    Fred, I'm pretty sure you consider me a thorn in your side reguarding this topic, right about now. I will say, its not my intention to cause you grief. Also, this will be my LAST post on this subject....we disagree, and I can live with that.

    I realize this is your "business", and if I thought for one minute that you would lose MM accounts, then I wouldn't even have posted. You sacarfice enough for this site, without sacraficing the loss of profits....but I don't believe that would happen....Hell I don't remember the last time I saw a MM post their pricing in a thread (I'm sure it happens, just not much). What I do see more often, is regular members stating what they paid for goods and services from their suppliers & wholesalers.

    Seeing this is my last post on the subject, I feel pretty comfortable wishing you a pleasant afternoon, and a wonderful weekend.

    For the record, the positive experiences I have on S101 far far far outweigh the negative.


  30. #60
    PhD D&Tgraphics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iSign View Post
    that wasn't directed at you Dennis, as you can see in post 32, it has been my standard line of reasoning long before you entered the thread.
    Cool Doug, I just thought with my "it's simple" comment that it was. Carry on.

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