WHAT TO KNOW WHEN PRICING SIGNS
At Signs of SA, we strive to be the best value provider in the industry. In fact, it’s one of our core values. That said, we won’t always be your lowest-cost option. When calling around for prices, too often customers will assume the quotes they receive are “apples-to-apples”, when in fact, there can be some significant differences.
Here are some key points every customer should consider when pricing signs:
1. Will there be a “set-up” charge to design your sign?
Rarely are customer files “art-ready”. Usually, they only have an idea or sketch when it comes to the sign they want to be made. Rightfully, they rely on the sign company to transform that idea into a scaled proof. Many sign companies will charge for this service, but not mention this incremental fee when pricing the sign/banner.
Signs of SA rarely charges set-up fees. We consider this a service to the customer and the price we quote for a sign is all-inclusive. (In the rare event it is necessary to charge, we’ll clearly state this in advance.)
2. Will you be charged for revisions to your design?
Most signs begin with a proof. Many proofs are then revised until the customer is happy with the layout. Some sign companies will charge you for these revisions – some as soon as the first – as “art fees”.
Signs of SA will never charge for revisions – we’ll do as many as are needed until you are happy.
3. Is the quote you received limited by the number of words or letters on the sign?
Many sign companies will lure you in with a low quote, only to reveal later the quote was limited to a few words or letters; then charge more for adding in all the words you need.
Signs of SA does not limit you to a pre-determined number of words or letters – our quotes are good, regardless of how many words you want on your sign.
4. Will your signs be made of quality materials?
This may be the most overlooked and important consideration of all. Customers often unknowingly assume that all signs are made using the same materials when in fact, there is a great deal of variability among sign-making materials. From banner weight to the type of vinyl used, to the quality of substrates, sign quotes can be dramatically skewed depending on the materials that will be used. It is worth emphasizing that the lower quality materials will have an adverse effect on the life of the sign. In other words, you get what you pay for.
Signs of SA never skimps when it comes to the quality of materials we use for our customers. Most notably, the premium media we use is guaranteed to last years. In fact, we’ve seen firsthand some of our work that is 10, 15, even 20 years old that still looks good today! [Read more about the importance of vinyl and the potential costs associated with using generic materials here]
5. Turnaround Time – how long will it take to have your sign completed?
Many sign companies are inconsiderate when it comes to valuing customers’ time. Once they land the sale, they put their schedule ahead of the customer and too often take one, two or even four weeks to complete the work. Assuming they can do it sooner, many will charge a “rush fee” if you want it in a day or two.
Signs of SA places an extreme emphasis on having all signed work completed by the following day, with much of it completed the same day. For excessively large orders – or in times of extraordinary demand – where we may require an extra day or two, we will definitely let you know ahead of time.
6. Price Consistency – if you re-order the same sign later, will the price have changed?
Over the last few years, the costs of sign-making materials have fluctuated a great deal, and some sign companies have used these price changes to increase the cost of their signs. The result? A banner or sign that once seemed like a good deal now costs quite a bit more.
Signs of SA prefers to use increased efficiencies and reductions in operating expenses to offset any price increases we may incur. In fact, we’ve had almost no price increases this decade and have instead lowered the cost of some of our signs as a result of securing a lower contract and volume pricing. This means our longtime customers can place repeat orders and not be surprised by prices increases.
7. Sign Permits – are your other quotes missing a necessary component that’ll cost you in the long-run?
Unfortunately, the City of San Antonio requires one to file for a permit and pay a fee for most signs installed within the city limits. Some sign companies are completely unaware of this requirement. Worse, others will turn a blind eye to this fee for fear of losing the sale.
Believe it or not, the City is surprisingly adept at spotting new signage and cross-checks that each have the requisite permit on file. Signs of SA recognizes permits as a necessary evil and – if needed – will clearly quote this in our estimate and pull the permit on your behalf to ensure you’re in compliance. This avoids an unpleasant surprise visit from the City’s Code Compliance Department and penalties. You can learn more about the ins-and-outs of permitting here.