View Full Version : Advice Please

Liesl Dexheimer
01-28-2010, 11:30 AM
I have a customer who wants us to quote him on approx 1,000 pieces of either plastic or acrylic. He wants 3" circles, laser engraved with 1 to 2 lines of text & possibly a hotstamped logo & has a budget of approx $0.50 - $1.00 each (though he is really pushing for $0.50 each). Now is it just me or is this virtually impossible? I think I pretty much know the answer...it is impossible. Especially with the cost of plastic & acrylic being so high. I think he is either thinking of the good ol' days or it's because he was getting it cheap in Pakistan (he told me he had a supplier there but then I guess they closed).

Any other suggestions? I was thinking of wood as being the most cost effective option. Any suppliers you know of?

Dan Hintz
01-28-2010, 11:45 AM
How thick? If it's 1/16", that should cut pretty quickly, but at $0.50 you'd have to cut/etch a piece every 15-20 seconds just to make a good shop rate. I don't see that happening, and forget about adding hotstamping to the mix.

Liesl Dexheimer
01-28-2010, 12:24 PM
Yes, the hotstamping is out of the question at this point, especially if it's over 1,000 pieces. I try to avoid hotstamping unless it's on an order of under 50 name tags, too time consuming. As far as the plastic is concerned, it prob would 1/16" thickness, but if I calculated this correctly, I would need to be making at least $2.00 per piece to cover stock, labor/cutting/engraving costs (that's just a rough estimate out of my head).

What about wood? Does anyone know of a place that sells sheets of wood relatively cheap & approx 1/16" thick? I bought some small 3" wood circle discs @ Michael's but I know I wouldn't be able to get my hands on 1000 of these.

Doug Griffith
01-28-2010, 12:47 PM
I don't see the option of wood or plastic being the major cost factor here. It's the labor. Have him source and provide the disks to you. Create a fixture to hold about 50 at a time. Get them screen printed. Then charge him $1.00 each for the labor.

Gary Hair
01-28-2010, 12:53 PM
(he told me he had a supplier there but then I guess they closed).

Hmmmmm, I wonder why they closed??? Maybe because they couldn't turn a profit?

Material cost X 3 (or whatever works for you)
Laser and labor at $2.00/minute (or whatever works for you)
the price you need to charge and stay in business

Simple enough...


Ron Chapellaz
01-28-2010, 12:54 PM
You could try 1/8" Baltic Birch as an option. Here in Canada it is approx. $22.00 for a 5' x 5' sheet. It would be cheaper to do it that way, and you could cut out the discs yourself. I get mine at Windsor Plywood. If you're from the States I'm not sure where you'd get it, but some other Creekers here would know...

Mike Null
01-28-2010, 1:10 PM
I doubt that I would do the job for less than $2.50 regardless of the material.

If I could sublimate on metal discs then I could get to $1.00.

john passek
01-28-2010, 1:43 PM
I charge a minimum of $3:00 ea for name plates (1X3) engraved and $3.50 ea if there is cutting involved.

My 2 C

Mark Winlund
01-28-2010, 1:55 PM
Hmmmmm, I wonder why they closed??? Maybe because they couldn't turn a profit?



Bill Cunningham
01-28-2010, 10:52 PM
If it's the same text on all of them, and the same colour as the logo, and they were supplying the disks, hot stamping would work, but pad printing would be faster. If their all different texts, he's living in a dream world no matter what process is used.

Liesl Dexheimer
01-30-2010, 11:35 AM
Thanks to everyone for offering me some advice. I have quoted a price to the customer and suggested if he could supply the material that would help but it would cost more than $0.50 per piece to engrave. Now I will just have to wait & see what happens...