I was bored at work today and had sort of an interesting idea.
I’d like to stress at this stage that it’s ONLY an idea, and I’d like some serious feedback. Please answer the poll above and post comments below.
You’ve all seen show plates placed on cars at motor shows and displays for clubs etc… and some of them can be quite expensive to buy.
In my office at work, I have a Multicam engraving machine, which we use to make (amongst other things) signs for customers as diverse as Qantas and Cadbury Schweppes. If you’ve ever seen those flexible plastic signs that look engraved as opposed to just having letters stuck on or printed on, you know what I mean.
It came to me today that there’s no reason I can’t make show plates for our cars to order on this machine. The image below is a demo of a 1200 x 600 sheet layout, showing possible plates. As you can see, these are based on the size of NSW slimline plates (approx 370mm x 110mm rear & 370mm x 90mm front), with a slogan and your wording – up to 9 letters depending on the combo and casing you use.
My bosses are okay with me doing this so long as I pay for the material I use – so here is my initial thinking – please feel free to poke holes in the idea.
Machine time and labour are not an issue, as my company and I will supply both for free, but material costs will have to be covered. A plain white sheet (which would give exactly the same sort of result as a NSW slimline plate with black letters on a white plate) cost approx $65. I can get 9 sets of front & rear plates out of 1 sheet. This breaks down to a little over $7 per set.
Plain white is not the only option though. There are about 40 different finishes, up to a very good anodised metal facsimile, though I’m told this material is about $150 per sheet (but it looks sensational), so those plates would be about $17.
As I must get 9 sets of plates from 1 sheet to pay for that sheet, we’d need to agree on a LIMITED range of colour (say red/blue/white/silver/gold all with black lettering) and material choice – I can provide small material samples at the FPV-TC NSW meeting next Tuesday for Sydney members to check out – but as I said that’s all in the future at this point.
Final costs would depend on material, but a range of $7-$17 is fairly solid. I’m not out to rip anyone off, so maybe the forums would come to the party – collect the money like they do for the stickers and anything left over from rounding up each set to whole dollar prices could stay in the forums kitty.
I will state up front that if it gets as far as actual orders, I won’t start a sheet until I have 9 firm orders for that colour. I’m happy to do it, but don’t want to get caught out with my bosses over paying for the materials.
I leave it open now to comments – is this worth pursuing, or are there already enough places around to do this that this is a waste of time?