Flatbed Printers..... The Cost of a Yard Sign?

BluetailGFX

Journeyman
Really curious if somebody out there could shed a little light on cost of flatbed yard signs?

Would Qty 40 - 24 x 18's, single sided, full color, with the wire stakes included, be profitable at $1.80 per sign?

I was shocked to hear another local shop offered that price to a client.
 

CanuckSigns

Active Member
I don't have a flatbed, but I'm going to say no. A sheet of coroplast costs around $10, you get 10 signs from that, a step stake costs around $0.50 and your ink would be around $0.30. if you buy coroplast by the skid you can get the price down by about 10% same with the stakes.

Add in a lease payment on a $150,000 printer and an employee to run it, and you are loosing money on every sign you print.

This industry is full of shops that don't know how to properly price there work, don't count any expenses other than raw materials into their costs. Unless the shop down the road from you is printing out 5,000 or more of these signs a day they are loosing money on them.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
Really curious if somebody out there could shed a little light on cost of flatbed yard signs?

Would Qty 40 - 24 x 18's, single sided, full color, with the wire stakes included, be profitable at $1.80 per sign?

I was shocked to hear another local shop offered that price to a client.
Let me get their number, I'll sub some jobs out to them at that price! I don't have a flatbed either, someone else will chime in surely.
 

CanuckSigns

Active Member
My guess is that individual job is likely to be “profitable” but absolutely not worthwhile. The good news is, if they keep offering prices like that you’ll eventually get a cheap flat bed once they need to close up.

There is no way it's profitable, it just barely covers material costs, and leaves nothing for overhead expenses. Unless it's a charity that the owner supports it's stupid to do the job for that price.

Hopefully someone like FireSprint.com can chime in, I'm willing to bet even with the massive scale of their operation they wouldn't do that job for that price, even for wholesale.
 

iPrintStuff

Prints stuff
Yeah probably need a little more info, that and I converted it to £ and worked out my rough material costs so there may be some differences there.

Even with vinyl on Coro my material cost would be ~£0.80 for that size, and with current £ to $ the $1.80 = around £1.50. So without vinyl and with the stake I’d estimate around £1.00 all in for materials. Adding in the rest it’s probably still in the profit but not by much at all.

Typically we’d sell one that big for anything between £12.50-20 based on quantity but we aren’t massively into Coro.
 
screen printers can be that cheap...low overhead...that's why a lot of schools have simple 1/c signs for seniors...at least around me they do..I have a flatbed...150+ wholesale to another printshop is $5 but you provide the stake...
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Was the client an end-user or another sign shop for re-sale ??

Regardless, that is too cheap in almost any case. 40 at a time on a flatbed is nothing. Take under an hour to print and cut them out. For most flatbeds, cost of of ink is about $5 a 4 x 8 per side. Cost of material is maybe about $9 and the stand maybe around $5 per 10 signs and stands. That's cost and it comes to $1.90 a pop. No overhead, handling, conversations, computer work, insurances, profits..... no nothing is in that cost, yet...... not even labor costs. Anyone is a fool selling at those prices for 40 pieces.

Now, if we're talking 1,000's, you can cut some corners and working for pennies makes more sense, but still, you'd hafta have some pretty nice equipment and buying power to get street cost down to $1.80.
 

FireSprint.com

Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing
I don't think we have the whole picture here. Maybe it was a typo, closeout, donation or part of a larger deal. Not for 40 full color signs on a flatbed anyway.

$1.80 roughly covers raw material costs for digital printing. No labor, electricity, machine payments, etc. We buy truckloads of coro, and I promise you the cost of coro isn't much less than what you can pay for 100 sheets at your sign supplier.

Now 1000+ signs, screen printed 1 color, we're near that pricing. You can quote that yourself here: https://www.firesprint.com/yard-signs/

But our screen equipment is paid for, doesn't need much maintenance, and a good operator can output 4000+ sqft/hour on a nice 1 color design. Not to mention you can get a gallon of screen ink for less than the cost of a liter of digital ink.
 
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BluetailGFX

Journeyman
Was the client an end-user or another sign shop for re-sale ??

Regardless, that is too cheap in almost any case. 40 at a time on a flatbed is nothing. Take under an hour to print and cut them out. For most flatbeds, cost of of ink is about $5 a 4 x 8 per side. Cost of material is maybe about $9 and the stand maybe around $5 per 10 signs and stands. That's cost and it comes to $1.90 a pop. No overhead, handling, conversations, computer work, insurances, profits..... no nothing is in that cost, yet...... not even labor costs. Anyone is a fool selling at those prices for 40 pieces.

Now, if we're talking 1,000's, you can cut some corners and working for pennies makes more sense, but still, you'd hafta have some pretty nice equipment and buying power to get street cost down to $1.80.

The end user is a local elementary school.
I had just completed around 500 signs for one of the local high schools, after developing some discounted pricing for yard signs strictly for my local schools, when this small elementary school contacted me.

It could be possible that the shop printing these has a student in that school, so they decided to donate the job to them.
 

BluetailGFX

Journeyman
I don't think we have the whole picture here. Maybe it was a typo, closeout, donation or part of a larger deal. Not for 40 full color signs on a flatbed anyway.

$1.80 roughly covers raw material costs for digital printing. No labor, electricity, machine payments, etc. We buy truckloads of coro, and I promise you the cost of coro isn't much less than what you can pay for 100 sheets at your sign supplier.

Now 1000+ signs, screen printed 1 color, we're near that pricing. You can quote that yourself here: https://www.firesprint.com/yard-signs/

But our screen equipment is paid for, doesn't need much maintenance, and a good operator can output 4000+ sqft/hour on a nice 1 color design. Not to mention you can get a gallon of screen ink for less than the cost of a liter of digital ink.

There is a place in Orlando, near here, that I think is cheapyardsigns.com or something similar. I have heard from other clients that they do 12x18 Single Color, Single Sided with half stakes, Qty 50, for $2.00 per. So could be more of my local school district tax dollars once again going to a cheap out of county, out of town vendor, not knowing the difference in products. Happens nowadays more than I like to hear.
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
The end user is a local elementary school.
I had just completed around 500 signs for one of the local high schools, after developing some discounted pricing for yard signs strictly for my local schools, when this small elementary school contacted me.

It could be possible that the shop printing these has a student in that school, so they decided to donate the job to them.
I would say you are right. My son is a senior and the school asked me to print 100 2-sided full color signs for them, one for each senior. I did them a little over cost just to cover my time and I donated for the stakes.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
I just realized this is straight in line with a job we did a couple of weeks ago, but with a standard printer onto clear applied to sheets and sheared to size.
I did 40 18x24, full color, no laminate for the price of... $22 per.
 

Ardor Creative

New Member
I do wholesale, and basically charge $7.50 per DS sign for printing on vinyl and mounting. 95% of the time I just order them from signs365 and make the $15 for my client's laziness to order it from there themselves. For me yard signs are the giveaway product I supply. In the past I ran a flatbed, an older machine, could only produce 100 DS a day (maybe 150 if it was a good day. Still was basically a breakeven product. All that being said, under $2 for flatbed printed coro signs is a steal.
 

Andy D

Active Member
I just realized this is straight in line with a job we did a couple of weeks ago, but with a standard printer onto clear applied to sheets and sheared to size.
I did 40 18x24, full color, no laminate for the price of... $22 per.
(40) @ $22 per? Good gosh! Why clear vinyl? Why not cheap white vinyl?
 

Sdegen2008

New Member
I have a flatbed printer (Arizona GT365) and my price for that job would be about $10.50/sign (including stake). That wouldn't include any design setup fees.

It seems incredibly difficult to price these signs well for places like schools, churches, etc. - they obviously have a tight budget. In order to secure jobs like these, I usually throw in the design for free and that typically clinches the deal.

I have no idea how $1.80 could be possible though unless you have cheap labor, buy in huge quantities, and have paid off your equipment.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
(40) @ $22 per? Good gosh! Why clear vinyl? Why not cheap white vinyl?
My go to white is ij35c, clear is arlon 4500g clear. They price out about the same, but the ji35 unlaminated is not as stiff. I just printed 4x8's worth of signs, laminated to a 4x8 of coro, then sheared them apart.
Actually, I think I used clear because it was loaded...
 

Andy D

Active Member
I keep a couple rolls of mactac on hand for coro type signs, it runs around $80 less than the IJ35.
The only thing that would worry me about clear is a smudge or hair would stick out, but I understand what
your saying...I hate changing rolls & miss my flatbed printers :(
 
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