How to price products

hotrod796

New Member
Can some of you seasoned veterans give me a lesson on pricing products and installation? My focus is automotive graphics (fleets, race cars, etc) including cut vinyl which I do in-house and printed vinyl which I outsource to a local shop. I've been in the business part-time for the last year and have been able to get some of my estimates close to competitive by calling local shops and getting bids from them but this is not a viable option in the long-term. I don't want to undercut the market and I also don't want to price myself out of business. I want to grow my business to full time and make sure I have a solid pricing structure before I get in too deep.

Thanks,
Tony
 

hotrod796

New Member
Dang you guys are quick! Thanks for the info. I noticed a post mentioning a pricing forum. I'll sign up for the premium forums and check that out too.
 

Mike Paul

Super Active Member
Subscribe to SignCraft Magazine. The subscription comes with a pricing guide issue every year that has a breakdown on many items.
 

igneous

New Member
what are your guy's thoughts on estimate? i still need to purchase pricing software but am still unsure what to get. i've used estimate before and thought it was a decent program. your thoughts?
 

Kottwitz-Graphics

New Member
what are your guy's thoughts on estimate? i still need to purchase pricing software but am still unsure what to get. i've used estimate before and thought it was a decent program. your thoughts?

I have it (the older version), and I like it. The hardest part is trusting the #s when you get a price.

There are a couple of things that I like about it is the fact that you control the costs it generates. When you first install it, it gives you a worksheet to fill out on operating costs, and then it generates an hourly wage you should be charging.

The one thing that I don't care for, as having the older version, there is no price break to upgrade to the new version (or a very small one), and in a couple of months, you can't buy the plug ins for it. I paid almost $700 for the version that I have now, and they want a pretty penny to upgrade, which I can't justify.:banghead:
 

johnny_loves_amy

New Member
I have always priced my product on what it cost me to produce it. Any questions?
Thats what I say. No book can tell me what I wanna, or should make. I know how much my time means to me, and at what pace I can do it. I guess I am just stuck in my hard headed ways. Maybe one day I'll get a price guide.....Nah
 

BobM

New Member
Being in business is all about covering your costs for time, materials, overhead, and making profits. Pricing software has been developed to help you include those fundamentals.

I suspect that you feel the prices from the software and price guides are "to High". In some case they are high because they include items that you may be overlooking. They are guides. They are a compulation of hundreds of sign shops and based on solid business experiance.
 

luggnut

New Member
i have estimate 2.0 and it has been a great help to me... as i was always a wimp with pricing. it gives me a price based on the hourly rate and material markup. i just check to make sure the time it estimates the job will take is right and it comes up with the price.

i was just like Bob M said... always too low and the software helps keep me inline and making money. keeps my pricing consistent too. and when i plug the products in the computer and give the price ... very few question it!! they figure thats what it is.
 

Checkers

New Member
If you're familiar with EstiMate, get it and use it. The learning curve will be minimal.
That being said, there are many programs available that basically do the same thing.
If you use the search button, you'll find a lot of good research/reading materials.

Checkers
 

imagep

New Member
Try to break down your competitors pricing into a forumlua.

$X for artwork (base on an hourly rate)
$Y for materials (maybe take actual cost and double or triple it)
$Z for installation (base on an hourly rate)

Then X+Y+Z = Price

You just have to take the time to figure out approx. how long it takes to do a particular task and how much the materials actually cost you (adding in for reasonable waste)

I also charge a setup fee for each job - just to have a base price to build on and to cover customer serive costs.
 
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