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We’re Cheaper Than Kinkos! January 19, 2010

Posted by yellowdoggraphics in Uncategorized.
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When it comes time to buy something, you have a decision to make. You have to decide where to go to buy it. This decision can be influence by many different factors. You might need toilet paper ‘right now’ will help you decide to go to the closest place that sells toilet paper. Then again, the closest place might have a cute girl and you don’t want her to see you walking funny, so that makes you choose the 2nd closest place.
Luckily, this sort of emergency isn’t involved in most decision on where to buy things. The three main things that people look at when deciding where to purchase items is price, quality, & time.

The toilet paper incident is an example of time. Probably the biggest example involving time is deciding between ordering something online to be shipped to you, or going to a local store to buy it. Instant gratification and procrastination are two little gremlins that sometimes make the decision for you.

Deciding based on quality can be split into two parts. The first is the quality of the product. Is it the best tasting cheeseburger, longest lasting deodorant or safest child car-seat? To find these out you either need to have experienced the product before, get a referral from someone with experience with the product, or get your hands on a trusted review. The other side of quality is your experience in purchasing the product. Was it easy to find, were the employees friendly and helpful, did everything in the transaction go as smoothly as promised? All of these normally fall under the catch-all of customer service. The quality that you are satisfied with is a very individual preference.

The most obvious of the deciding factors for many people is price. If it wasn’t for price, I would guess that 90% of transactions that happen on the internet wouldn’t take place. Especially since the recession, people are a little more price conscious. There is nothing wrong with that. You do need to understand that in many cases, you will have to sacrifice some part of quality to get the lowest price. If you are in Costco, you are going to get some great prices, but if you need help finding something, it’s not always easy to find an employee who can help you out. Costco, Wal-Mart and Home Depot are all great examples of large chain stores where you can get items for less than most other places.

Now if you read the title of this article and made it this far into it, you’ve probably wondering if somebody added the wrong heading. Well, this is the paragraph where I tie it all together. Everyone knows that large chains get better discounts and can sell their products for less. Many people know Kinko’s is a huge company, so they should have good pricing on all their items. I decided to go on their website to see if I could see their sign pricing to see how Yellow Dog Signs & Graphics compares. I was blown away. I couldn’t believe their prices. For every person who believes that Kinko’s must have the best pricing around, well, you’ve been bamboozled, hoodwinked, hornswoggled & any other funny sounding words like that.

If you look at Kinko’s website, they list their pricing for a couple different size banners. If you want a 3’x5′ outdoor banner with grommets, they show that it will cost $134.99. That same banner at Yellow Dog Signs & Graphics is $105.00 and includes the edges being hemmed and grommets. The next step up for Kinko’s is their standard 3’x5′ banner which is the same thing, except they laminate the banner. Their price for that is $179.99. Once again, the same banner from Yellow Dog is $105.00. We don’t laminate the banner because the inks we use are scratch resistant and have UV protection. I did find where Kinko’s will make a 1 color 3’x5′ banner with 8 words or less for you for only $99. For six dollars more, we will give you unlimited colors and unlimited wording.

I looked at posters, Yellow Dog is less. I looked at foam core signs, we have them beat there too. I honestly understand why they would charge more, because they don’t specialize in making custom signs. It’s an additional service they added on. For our shop, its all we do. Kinko’s is lucky that it benefits from the notion that bigger stores mean better prices. As an independent sign shop whose only location is in Fresno, how can I possibly let people know that we are cheaper than Kinko’s. That we have better quality than Kinko’s. That our turn around time is faster than Kinko’s. That we pride ourselves on customer service and have years of experience to get the right sign for the customer. I’m not sure what the best way of trying to get this message out to people. Maybe I’ll start with writing a blog post about it…