Activity Feed Forums Sign Making Discussions Vinyl Do you pay for your Vinyl swatch books?

  • Do you pay for your Vinyl swatch books?

    Posted by Karen White on June 30, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    Hi all.

    I am not ranting here, just more that I want to know if this is common these days?
    i normally never ask and haven’t for years now. But i was on the phone to a couple of suppliers the past 2 weeks and i asked if a current vinyl swatch book could be included with my delivery and i was told there would be a fee. One did say i could have a vinyl colour card for free, but swatch books were charged. I just wondered if this is the norm these days or was i being asked because i don’t buy huge amounts of vinyl in comparison to most?

    I don’t mind having the colour card but as many will know they are not the best when your talking to a customer trying to decide on colours and maybe even holding the colour against their car to give an idea of how it will look.

    anyway, just thought i would ask. 😃❤

    Karen White replied 1 year, 1 month ago 11 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • Gordon Smithard

    June 30, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Never paid yet but sometimes struggle to get them to actually send them out. I have seen a couple of vinyl companies stating on their websites that they charge for them though.

  • David Hammond

    June 30, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    The only ones I have paid for were Di-Noc and Cover Styl. I’ve never used them on a live job!

    I have a collection of swatches from over the years, however I have my ‘go to’ supplier, who provides me with swatch books… although I guard them like the crown jewels, as they’re hard to get hold of.

    Colour cards are great if they want to take away the colours.

  • Kevin Mahoney

    June 30, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    Have never paid for them & never will. Admittedly, swatches aren’t cheap to produce & not good business to give them out to Tom, Dick or Harry but if They want to sell their materials through my business, then they have to give me the necessary tools to sell them, plenty of other suppliers out there if I’m not seen as a worthwhile investment. A new supplier can be forgiven for saying no but regular suppliers will see how much you’re spending & decide if you warrant having a swatch or not. I suppose it comes down to your monthly spend.

  • Pane Talev

    July 1, 2021 at 5:45 am

    Never paid for one.

    I have been asked to pay.

    Will never pay.

  • Dan

    July 1, 2021 at 6:54 am

    I’ve been asked before from a supplier I hardly use.

    I certainly won’t pay for a swatch and agree 100% with Kev.

    The thing is, if we start buying them then they’ll start doing it every time. If everyone says no then we have the power not the suppliers.

    Don’t get me started on their price increases. Some certainly profited from Brexit.

  • Joe Killeen Killeen

    July 1, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Asked by a supplier if I wanted swatches of a new range of vinyl they started stocking, they arrived along with an order and charged for the swatches, told them they could have the whole lot back, got a credit note. As Kevin said if they want you to sell for them they need to provide tools to do so.

  • Colin Crabb

    July 1, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    Never paid. If I was asked, would move account 🤣 and my rep’s know that….

  • Mark Johnston

    July 2, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Swatch books are not something we have ever paid for but i understand the supplier will have a cost, so maybe only fair to pay something, but what is the something? 🤨
    as for the colour cards, i would think the vinyl manufacturers would supply these free to the suppliers surely?

  • Robert Lambie

    July 2, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    Paying £15-£25 for an actual swatch book isn’t out of the question depending on the material. I I think when you give them out for nothing your only asking for the freebie to be abused. if there is a cost, it’s amazing how valuable they become!

    colour cards are a bit different though. I think even a £1 or £2 per card wouldn’t be out of the question.

    if you are a good loyal customer, then I think maybe an annual free sample pack from the supplier with an updated price list of products you buy. would be a good gesture to receive at Christmas rather than silly calendars and mug coasters that most give us all at the same time!.

    • David Hammond

      July 2, 2021 at 1:54 pm

      Yes they should be updated, as I’ve occasionally wanted a colour from the book, only to discover it’s discontinued.

      • Graham Scanlan

        July 2, 2021 at 3:03 pm

        Updating Customers swatches is a nightmare to manage based on the amount of businesses suppliers trade with, together with contacts moving, businesses closing etc. If your lucky enough to have an account manager and you give them business, free swatches shouldn’t be a problem, I go over and above for my customers and in return I get their loyalty

        On another note guys, I heard today a major supplier have run out of ACM and Foam PVC today so keep an eye on your stock levels as this maybe the tip of the iceberg

        • David Hammond

          July 2, 2021 at 3:25 pm

          Oh yes I’m not saying suppliers should keep us updated, thats our responsibility.

          I guard my swatch books, but with no date on them a few times I’ve tried to order a colour for it to be discontinued, or just told its out of stock (again I don’t expect you to know it all)

        • Robert Lambie

          July 4, 2021 at 1:09 pm

          Updating Customers swatches is a nightmare to manage based on the amount of businesses suppliers trade with

          I understand and agree with what you are saying, Graham. I guess us signmakers are not taking into account the range of products a supplier may offer its customer base, but more “what we, the general sign maker” may use daily. in our own selfish way… 😀
          If I use the Christmas samples idea again…
          I would think Some swatch books of my most ordered vinyl, composite colour samples, some random current promotional products your pushing and the current price for the same. Don’t get me wrong, any Christmas freebie is nice to receive but like the samples, the calendar or whatever will also cost money but may get chucked in the corner on the pile of other ones and do very little as a way of promoting what your selling. whereas the prices and samples will be far more useful. as I said, I am only saying this for customers that are currently spending with you and a good loyal customer at that. then again, you may get the greedy gits complaining wanting their calendar or cholates. 🤔🤣

  • Karen White

    July 5, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Thanks very much for everyone’s replies. It is good to see I am not alone in the way I think but it is also worth giving more consideration to suppliers time and their costs. ❤