Sign companies raping other sign companies

J

john1

Guest
Well, I have a backlit job to quote out. It's about 14' in the air and the side of the pylon you need to take off so the signs can slide out is up another 4 or 5'.

I had done the exact same job for another store that opened last year in the same center just this one was at eye level so i was able to swap the panels myself. Took me and my partner 15 minutes to do both.

Called two companies i know who do installs for other companies and they wanted $250 to come out and take the old 30x60" panels out and put new ones in. Another company wanted to charge me 4 hours of labor at $105 a hour to do the same job. Said they have a 2 hour minimum for removal and another 2 hour minimum for install. Mind you, The last company i mentioned is 1 mile from the shopping center! The first company couldn't tell me if it was a wholesale price or not, They said "I think you got 25% off retail". Do you know or not?

I am supplying the fresh faces with vinyl, They are just swapping panels.

No wonder places are going out of business with clowns like this charging a arm and a leg for simple work. If it wasn't for me not having access to a bucket truck or scissor lift the job would be done already.

:covereyes:
 

tsgstl

New Member
Rent a lift
Try to find a place that will let you do a half day

And for gods sake change the title of this thread. So tacky to use that word like that.
 

iSign

New Member
making the faces is "simple work" ...the real job is the R&R... if it was "simple" you would do it... what do you mean having "access" ...people rent those every day... and they probably pay $250 to do so... if someone actually owns one already... they have a lot of overhead you don't have... how can you be missing those basic facts? try buying an $80,000.00 machine some day & tell me what you would charge for the simple work you would then be able to do?
 
J

john1

Guest
making the faces is "simple work" ...the real job is the R&R... if it was "simple" you would do it... what do you mean having "access" ...people rent those every day... and they probably pay $250 to do so... if someone actually owns one already... they have a lot of overhead you don't have... how can you be missing those basic facts? try buying an $80,000.00 machine some day & tell me what you would charge for the simple work you would then be able to do?

It is simple work, Give me a lift and i could have those faces swapped in 1/2 hour tops. I did the bottoms without a lift in 15 minutes.

There is nowhere around here that rents these things, I been calling and calling.

Closest place is about hour and change away.

What i am getting at is i was being charged retail pricing when clearly it should been wholesale due to me being another sign company. Hate away.
 

HulkSmash

Member
John, you're really missing the point. Any bucket truck install will be a 2 hr minimum. 250-300 is not that far fetched..
you have to pay the operator, gas, the machine and insurance cost... do you know the price for bucket truck insurance .... absurd.

it's not that simple.

As for Labor.... I never wholesale labor... most places don't...
 

SignManiac

Member
There is no rule that states I'm obligated to sell wholesale to other sign companies because I chose to invest in equipment that would benefit me financially.
 

qmr55

New Member
Place by me rents scissor lifts in hour increments I think it's like $75/hr...try and find a place like that around you.
 

CP Signs

New Member
$250 is good. I pay a company that all the time to hang banners and such. It's covered in my quote and while they go install it I'm in the shop making more money.
 

John L

New Member
These responses to this post make me proud to atick around here. Good posts.

John, you're going to need an understanding as to why their costs are at the level they are if you would ever like to sell these services successfully yourself. As touched on above, the costs go way beyond the 10 minutes it takes to slide in a blade....

You must be able to some day afford to invest the (non-billable) time commitment it will take to research and obtain the correct license and permits; purchase trucks and equipment for enormous amounts of money and pay the maintenance, outrageous insurance premiums, tags, title, DOT, PAPUCA, registration fees, loan interest, fuel, operator smoke breaks, text messaging breaks, wrong-turn delays, truck tires, accident deductibles, premium increases, etc etc etc.

... and after all that - try to squeak a profit, sideways, out of an already very saturated market.

So, if i were you, I'd accept that quote and mark it up by 100% (as a minimum amount). Now, if you find that your customer wont pay that cause he can get a better price somewhere else... then thats NOT necessarily an indication that you have paid too much for your subcontracted services. It is more likely an indication that you are going after the wrong market. It may be the wrong market because the market is broke. It may also be because you haven't invested and dont currently posess the items listed above (in this case) to make you competitive.

Also, I have seen some creative marketing to get work from other sign shops. But I have never seen a wholesale sign installation service. It's not a commodity item.... yet.
 

Techman

New Member
It is simple work, Give me a lift and i could have those faces swapped in 1/2 hour tops. I did the bottoms without a lift in 15 minutes.

It isn't easy work. You got lucky on the lower one. 98% of the time there is some problem with the frame or some other interference. But two hours is about right. charging another two hours to reinstall on the same job is not so right. You sure he knows its all one job?
 

FS-Keith

New Member
It is simple work, Give me a lift and i could have those faces swapped in 1/2 hour tops. I did the bottoms without a lift in 15 minutes.
thats the point, you didnt make the investment to have the capability, the other companies did and need to charge accordingly.



What i am getting at is i was being charged retail pricing when clearly it should been wholesale due to me being another sign company. Hate away.

and why would you get special pricing unless you are feeding them install work every week. My trucks do install work for other companies daily and I only can discount my labor rate by about 20hr
 

401Graphics

New Member
Find somebody that has access to car auctions and get a bucket truck cheap. I got my old verizon 97 bucket truck for only $3500. (half the price i have seen them selling for on craigslist for the same year/make/model)
I rent out my truck for $100 first hour, $50 each additional hour, 1 hour minimum.
 

FS-Keith

New Member
p.s. i just dropped 800 on new front tires last week for new tires on a crane and, blew out an outrigger line on a truck yesterday....yea, we really make money hand over fist!
 

CanuckSigns

Active Member
What i am getting at is i was being charged retail pricing when clearly it should been wholesale due to me being another sign company. Hate away.


This is a pet peeve of mine, we get other sign shops contact us to do things for them all the time (mostly engraving) and they always assume that they get wholesale pricing just because they have to resell it.

I'm not a wholesaler, at best I will offer a trade discount, and the amount of that discount ranges from 0% - 20% off retail, depending on how much of a PITA you appear to be. Sign shops are some of our least favorite customers, don't get me wrong, we have a few great ones, but for the most part they expect you to drop everything and work on their project for nothing.

You are not entitled to wholesale pricing just because you happen to own a sign business.
 

Pat Whatley

Member
That's only a working height of 14'. You can always go the redneck route, rent a uhaul truck, climb on top and get to work.
 

Techman

New Member
go rent a set of scaffolding with soem giant wheels,, set it up and use a running board,, then u can take all the time you want..
 
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