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  • Board Patron

We all know times are tough.  How do y'all feel about your local Sign, Metal, Plastic Supplier transitioning into selling direct to the public?  I like many other sign shops have added Social Safety Barriers to their portfolio.  What's your alls take on this?

Example, I was just talking to my main metal wholesale supplier.  The CSR told me to check out their new line of Barriers.  Needless to say she got a polite earful from me.  I for one am not going to compete with my suppliers.  When this CV19 bs is over.  Will they start selling pre built cabinets, or offer channel letters direct to the public as well?

Erik, this isn't in any form directed to you.  You've always been upfront with your sign/supplier sales.  This is directed towards the big guys who have always sold only to resellers.  

I will not be giving them my business for eternity.

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It's no shot at me, no worries.


I'm semi -retired on sign production.  I only have a handful of clients that refuse to go elsewhere.  Also, it's only in my local market.


Our Electric Sign Supply sales don't amount to much here locally because our market is all based on lowest price NOT quality....it's a shame really


The upside to the few items I distribute is that I know what I'm talking about unlike the distributor/sign supply rep most talk too on product information or questions.  I give customers and sign shops my first hand knowledge on use and testing and won't read them info from the product "Faq" page, or rely on info from some manufacturer rep if a product is going to "last"


Staying somewhat active in sign production/installation also keeps me up to speed with the Electric Sign Industry trends and active demand as well as codes, unlike a sign supply rep who was selling cars one week to selling sign components...or a sign supply rep who has been around for years but yet never produced or installed a sign.


The Sign Syndicate Members and Customers worries, are also my worries...it's always been that way  


I only distribute products I have tested, used, and or created ourselves like our new BrightON LEDs which has been taking the best characteristics of LED modules from all our testing over the years and putting it all into one product line.


I'm not looking to be the next big sign supplier, far form that.  I just want to sell high-end components to shops looking to produce high-end signs that last...and work efficiently.



But I feel you on the COVID shut down, how it's making for desperate times.  People loosing their jobs, working minimal hours, schools shit down and requiring zoom only and requiring parents to stay home and not work if that is possible.   Making people get into areas they might not normally dap into


I could write a long thread with all the BS Kirstie is dealing with at the hospital and how the medical community is widening/broadening COVID symptoms to count more people all to get paid more by MEDiCAL, and to politically keep the number positive cases higher.  In my state, with what they're doing...we will never open up.  It's not testing more to get a higher number of +'s....it's broadening and changing what can lead to + symptoms...


Sorry for taking a medical tangent on your thread....it just pisses me off

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You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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  • !llumenati

 Sign Suppliers selling to anyone for that extra dollar.  I know it well.  
I can not blame anyone for trying to make more money or extra money on the side. We all have done it.
When a supplier goes into business selling to the trades, that is his profession and that is what he is building his business on

If the Supplier wants to sell to the public and or manufacture themselves and sell directly. Let them.
You can do the same.  Buy Direct. Buy someplace else. Knock them out of the picture. Make them hurt.

I did it several times with a supplier. I stopped ordering from them.  Sometimes I paid less, Sometimes I paid more.
But that supplier lost everything from me. That was a big hit to them and they felt it immediately.
New Suppliers want your business and want their competitors out of business also.

The suppliers came back to me and with better pricing and service. They also changed their policies.
Get a few shops together on this and watch the impact you will make. 


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  • Board Patron

We have been a wholesaler for over 20 years now and we only sell signs wholesale to the trade period.  For example we used to buy and resell gemini products. They started sellinning channel letters and we dropped them. Same when france tried to sell cabinets.  I have only done machine work for the sneeze guard stuff for other sign shops and am pissed that some of our suppliers sell them. I would be just as pissed if we did printing.  The plastic distributors are selling everything they have, no need to cut into my and or my customers work. I also know that they have increased pricing because of high demand. If I catch them taking advantage of that situation I will drop them as well. Some of our vendors are only a 100k or so a year in sales but some are close to a million.  I hope they look at that losing a million dollar account that will increase next year for the sale of 100 thousand that will be a 1 time shot. Now is not the time for losing customers.


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