Need Help New to sign making and need lots of advice!

fusiontechs

New Member
I own a company that uses standard sized yard signs as our primary source for advertising. We use a LOT of signs per year, somewhere in the range of 25-30k signs a year. I've gotten our sign supplier down to quite a low cost on these but lately I'm starting to wonder if I were to purchase a machine for myself and print them myself if I were to save enough money to make it worthwhile.
Problem is I have no knowledge in this industry and not really looking to sell signs to anyone, rather just save myself some money over the long run. I understand there's an upfront cost to purchasing such a machine and I've come across global garage but I have no idea what I'd be looking for.
From what I've researched (which I'll admit isn't much) it seems like the flatbed printer with an LED UV bulb is the way to go? I've heard there are even printers with hoppers as well?
So if someone could point me in the direction of what kind of printer I should be looking for as well as suppliers I could get the coroplast and stakes from as well as ink that would be awesome! Thanks in advance
 

sardocs

Member
If you want to make signs for yourself, thats terrific, but you are asking people, who make their livings from signmaking, how to do it so you don't have to pay them. Have I got that right?
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
So, I take it, you wanna cut out your sign guy and do this yourself ?? That sounds about right. Like he said....... good luck.
 

fusiontechs

New Member
If you want to make signs for yourself, thats terrific, but you are asking people, who make their livings from signmaking, how to do it so you don't have to pay them. Have I got that right?

We currently are getting our signs from a large company. Want to give me a better price? Contact me and we can discuss that!
 

fusiontechs

New Member
So, I take it, you wanna cut out your sign guy and do this yourself ?? That sounds about right. Like he said....... good luck.

My "sign guy" is a very large company that will be just fine without my business. If you'd like to give me a better price than them by all means let's talk.
 

Reveal1

Member
Hey - it's free enterprise and the guy can run his company the way he sees fit. Being so focused on price not my idea of smart business but then he is in a commodity business so saving a few cents here and there might be critical. I never thought people would buy eyeglasses online to save a few bucks so what do I know?.
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
We are currently getting 18x24 signs with 2 colors and the tall stakes (30") for $2.55/each and that includes free shipping.

That's a very good price. Have you done a cost a analysts on running them yourself, including added labor, ink, use of shop space, cost of the printer and opportunity costs? (The $$ you could make doing your own business VS the time you spend in house running the printer?) Overcoming those costs would seem like quite a hurdle when you are paying $2.55 a sign.
 

fusiontechs

New Member
That's a very good price. Have you done a cost a analysts on running them yourself, including added labor, ink, use of shop space, cost of the printer and opportunity costs? (The $$ you could make doing your own business VS the time you spend in house running the printer?) Overcoming those costs would seem like quite a hurdle when you are paying $2.55 a sign.

That is a major reason I had come on here, to get that kind of information :)
 

Solventinkjet

DIY Printer Fixing Guide
Wasn't trying to be mean. Just giving you an anecdote to better understand the cold reception. As soon as I saw your post I thought, "Uh oh!"

Find a dealer near you and they will be very happy to quote you and educate you. In fact, it's their job to!
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
That is a major reason I had come on here, to get that kind of information :)

Research UV flat bed printers, there are a wide variety of them but it will give you an idea of what they run. 40k-100k+. Then you need to research costs of ink and wholesale prices or coro. Then you need to consider that you have to have someone trained to run the machine and babysit it while it prints. It's going to take up a decent amount of real estate in your shop so prepare for that. They need a clean environment to work in. They break, so you need to consider the costs of a technician when it does. Also, how are you going to cut the 4x8 sheets? You need a cutter too. You'll also need a supplier of yard stakes which is hard to come by now.

Honestly that's going to be a hard sell. I don't make coro signs in house, I sub all that stuff out because I can make better $$ doing other sign related tasks. If me (someone in the sign business) doesn't want to make them in house that should tell you (a non-sign business person) something.

There are endless wholesalers out there and it's an easy product to ship. Don't waste time bringing something like that in-house.
 
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