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  • Banner off-cuts and pricing help, please?

  • Leslie Anderson

    October 17, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    Hi everyone, the pest is back with another pricing question for you. 😊

    i do lots of things for the theatres and dance schools in my area. but i think i need to have a better way to price banners.
    most banners i print are long and narrow and the off-cuts can often be huge and not worth keeping and just end up in the bin after trimming up.
    next comes the price. customers tend to check banner pricing on google and the prices that are being charged for banners are horrendously low.
    how do i compete? because i have design work> printing> hemming> eyelets… big off-cuts of waste and not forgetting my newly acquired machinery to pay for. so my question is, is there an easy formula to price banners or is it a case of just charging what i think i want for the job?
    I tend to go with the latter but i do not want to lose repeat business because i do not understand how to price jobs. 😫

    thank you ever so much for any advice. ❤

  • Martyn Heath

    October 18, 2021 at 4:34 am

    Hi leslie, forget about comparing yourself to google searches if you try to price your business this way you will go skint. Compare yourself to local competition, your customers are paying for a local, reliable service with no risks attached (unlike if they buy online).

    Pricing wise its a tricky one regards to waste. I simply charge a Metre price plus artwork setup.

  • Graham Scanlan

    October 18, 2021 at 5:28 am

    Hi Leslie

    As Martyn says, price in the waste. The banner market is one of the most difficult to compete in. Mainly due to the type of printers that are around. You can’t compete with someone that has a grand format 3.2 mtr wide running at 100 plus m2 an hour, and has digital finishing and High frequency welding. That why they can offer £10 – £15 a m2, plus they buy their banner by the pallet or even container.

    Whats your most common width of banner you produce? I only ask because

    You can buy 970mm / 1100mm / 1370mm / 1600mm will any of these sizes give you a better yield ?

  • Phill Fenton

    October 18, 2021 at 8:23 am

    It’s the same with pop up banners – these used to be sold for £100+ but the online competition has reduced the price to such an extent (£30 or so) that it is no longer viable unless you specialise in doing these in high volume. But for a one off you might as well forget it. The bigger problem is if you do quote a price that is viable you look like you are trying to rip people off when they see the on-line prices on offer. Why not charge a fee for producing the artwork only and allow the customer to pay you for this service then order the banners themselves on line? There’s no point in trying to compete with prices that do not allow you to run a profitable and viable business. It’s better to concentrate on activities that are more profitable for you.

  • David Hammond

    October 18, 2021 at 8:53 am

    I recently changed to charging per linear meter for this reason.

    I rarely do PVC banners, or roller banners for the reason Phill points out, the prices have plummeted.

    Look at the screenshot attached from an online trade printer, they’re suggesting a local RRP of £22 Sq/M – Perhaps fine if you’re just buying and selling print online with little to no overheads.

    @graham-scanlan is correct you can stock multiple rolls to accommodate the different sizes, however, you’ve got to sell the stuff, or it’s just money say on the shelf.

    One thing you could perhaps do, is standardise the sizes, offer set sizes, at set prices, charge for artwork – What we used to do, is offer buy 1 get 1 1/2 price on 2ft wide banners, as we could run them side by side on 1370mm media.

    Sadly the days of charging nothing less £30 Sq/m for anything seem long gone 👎

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  David Hammond.
  • Allister Wells

    October 19, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    price it at your costs etc and what you need to make ..sod the online busy idiots ..if your gear is quality they will buy and come back ..we never price compare ..when people collect or receive banners from us its always a positive response on the quality etc … then we also get …we once bought 1 on line it was rubbish compared to this … you get what you pay for like anything in life

  • Dan Evans

    October 20, 2021 at 9:32 am

    If the banners are generally the same size, I would buy in the media based on that width so I have less waste.

    I tend to buy 1600mm banner, I don’t have much room for storage so I know that will cover everything. If I get a job with a width of 700mm for instance, The banner will be priced as normal and if possible I would throw another job in at the same time so I have little waste, if I don’t have another job, I would offer them a discount if they took a second one and explain why I am offering it.

  • Leslie Anderson

    October 24, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    wow! thank you for all the replies.
    That is really useful.

    basically, i started out just doing graphic design and also creating stage props for theatres and dram schools etc. This led me onto getting a printer and laminator prior to the first lockdown. I am now trying to make full use of the equipment but pricing is a struggle.

    I have always charged for my design time. but having been buying things locally from signmakers i found it a hit or a miss from order to order. the worst part was how quickly I could get them.

    Now i have the equipment i need to make it pay for itself and this is where i must get my margins right or it is pointless.
    Martyn and Alistar, yes i am quickly realising now i shouldn’t be trying to compete with online prices. I think it is the first thing i did was to google banners. But most are novelty banners or in volume as you say.

    So, Phil, you are correct, i do charge for the design work and now want to add the banner to up-sell but prices are silly. I just wondered are the customers playing me for a fool?

    Graham and Dan. most banners are long and narrow, so i like the idea you have suggested using narrow rolls. the downside is it’s another roll i have to stock but does limit the waste.

    David, standard sizes is what i was aiming for but it is difficult for me due to my customer base as they normally specify the sizes based on allocated spaces on stage sets or promotional areas. but it would work for general banner enquiries.

    on the bright side, i did manage to pick up a good few orders for banners for the upcoming COP26 event in Glasgow. Grinning
    thank you everyone for the help. Heart

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