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Thread: Pricing vector cutting

  1. #1

    Pricing vector cutting

    Hey everyone. I have been in the business now for little over a year and a half. Still learning how to price stuff. I have a potential customer who does books across North America, and one of the options they have is a laser cut design in the cover. I have priced many different jobs before, but I often come out to be lower priced than my competitors. This is potentially my largest customer to date, so I don't want to mess it up. So my question is, how do you price cutting out the designs? A jig will need to be made, each cover needs to be masked as I would be cutting the finished product and I can't have any burn marks, and then it needs to be cut. They would be supplying the vector files.

    Thanks for the help!
    Rabbit QX80-1290
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  2. #2
    Pricing based on time alone will usually end up with you losing work the first time somebody with a bigger and faster laser comes along.

    I found the best way is to look at what the market seems to be currently, work out how long it will take you to do the job, calculate what sort of money those prices will bring in per hour then decide if you are happy with that.

    Right off my first concern would be the machine you list in your signature, 80 watt 1200 x 900 Rabbit? if it's an ongoing job and worth some sensible money you run the risk to having to fight the CO2 Galvo owners if the material being cut isn't thick and can be cut at lower power than you have. It pays to plan ahead and try to cover eventualities that may come up later
    You did what !

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sheldrake View Post
    Pricing based on time alone will usually end up with you losing work the first time somebody with a bigger and faster laser comes along.

    I found the best way is to look at what the market seems to be currently, work out how long it will take you to do the job, calculate what sort of money those prices will bring in per hour then decide if you are happy with that.

    Right off my first concern would be the machine you list in your signature, 80 watt 1200 x 900 Rabbit? if it's an ongoing job and worth some sensible money you run the risk to having to fight the CO2 Galvo owners if the material being cut isn't thick and can be cut at lower power than you have. It pays to plan ahead and try to cover eventualities that may come up later
    I kind of figured so, which is why I am hoping to get a little input.

    That is the hard part, I can not seem to find any pricing for that kind of work. A few prices here and there, and then the rest need a quote for pricing, which I understand as I do the same thing.

    The material is a 4mm compressed hard cover, so it takes a fair bit more than paper or cardboard to get through. Perhaps I don't understand the power of a galvo, but I don't think I will have to worry too much about that. Besides which, I think the company is coming to me as I am a local provider. I am one of the few laser businesses within 100 miles. Their previous vendor also used a gantry type machine as far as I can tell.
    Rabbit QX80-1290
    LogoJET UV2400

    CorelDraw 2018

  4. #4
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    I would ask for a group of maybe 3 or 4 sample graphics and unless you actually have run this material for them, a couple of samples that you can use to testing.
    Just let them know it is new material for you and you don't want to be off on your quote based on you guessing speeds it will take.
    I usually don't quote unless I see what they are looking to do before hand. (at least on an industrial quantity like this.)

    Put their graphics in and test. Get good times and back into costs. Add Masking, and is it packaged or not? if individually packaged, it is MAJOR pain and cost to you.
    Oh, I just did 20 Cross pens for a customer. My fiber took 1.5 seconds and I took about another 2 seconds to pick and place, so 5 seconds per pen.
    But removing from the individual retail package took me 2 Minutes each.... (customer actually did most while I engraved)
    Packaging can be BIG time waster, and you are selling your time.

    I had customer last year that I hoped would be a long term customer (they killed the product line late last year, new CEO)
    I quoted a fixed price on wood and fixed price on their jewelry. I lost money on about 10% of the wood, as I had to dismantle and reassemble. Laser time I made money on that item.
    The rest of the items I made money on, but really was 20% too low. Jewelry, 3 of the 4 items I made good money on, one I didn't. I needed 10% more to make it look good to me.
    But at least the one item I had issues with was only 5% of their sales.

    It sometimes is still a guess, but If they really want local, they should be willing to accept a slightly higher price.
    Are you saving them shipping? Obviously you should be able to beat anyone's total turnover time due to the time in transit.
    That may be worth something, or not, depending on customer.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by John Lifer View Post
    I would ask for a group of maybe 3 or 4 sample graphics and unless you actually have run this material for them, a couple of samples that you can use to testing.
    Just let them know it is new material for you and you don't want to be off on your quote based on you guessing speeds it will take.
    I usually don't quote unless I see what they are looking to do before hand. (at least on an industrial quantity like this.)

    Put their graphics in and test. Get good times and back into costs. Add Masking, and is it packaged or not? if individually packaged, it is MAJOR pain and cost to you.
    Oh, I just did 20 Cross pens for a customer. My fiber took 1.5 seconds and I took about another 2 seconds to pick and place, so 5 seconds per pen.
    But removing from the individual retail package took me 2 Minutes each.... (customer actually did most while I engraved)
    Packaging can be BIG time waster, and you are selling your time.

    I had customer last year that I hoped would be a long term customer (they killed the product line late last year, new CEO)
    I quoted a fixed price on wood and fixed price on their jewelry. I lost money on about 10% of the wood, as I had to dismantle and reassemble. Laser time I made money on that item.
    The rest of the items I made money on, but really was 20% too low. Jewelry, 3 of the 4 items I made good money on, one I didn't. I needed 10% more to make it look good to me.
    But at least the one item I had issues with was only 5% of their sales.

    It sometimes is still a guess, but If they really want local, they should be willing to accept a slightly higher price.
    Are you saving them shipping? Obviously you should be able to beat anyone's total turnover time due to the time in transit.
    That may be worth something, or not, depending on customer.
    Thanks for the input John!
    Rabbit QX80-1290
    LogoJET UV2400

    CorelDraw 2018

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