The other day my 10-year-old daughter asked me what a “bait and switch” is. I told her it is when you are led to believe you would receive one thing and at the end, you might receive something of lesser quality or value. It’s trickery, I told her.
At Kona Impact, we never want our customers to feel like they were going to get one thing and receive another. It’s bad for the client and the business. Over the past ten years, we have had very few times, perhaps two, when we’ve had to deal with the accusation of a bait and switch or just a customer asking for something we did not include in the sale.
We make great efforts to be very forthright and transparent to avoid surprises—for our clients and us.
Here are a few things ask your sign company when purchases a product:
- Are design costs included? Sign shops will often separate design/setup costs from the cost of materials and the production costs. For an intricate sign design, the design costs will exceed the cost of materials and production. At Kona Impact, we usually include “basic design” in the sign cost for banners or simple signs, but if you want something that will take a lot of design time, that’s extra.
- Can I have the sign design file? If you pay separately for design, we will gladly give you a pdf or jpeg of what we have done. If you have not paid for design time, ask if you can buy the design afterward.
- What is the material? Is this material suitable for my intended use? Discuss this in depth before you order!
- How long will the sign last? This to a sign professional is like asking how long a marriage will last! There are many variables: use, location, material, orientation to the sun, environmental wear, and so on. Most signs are printed on vinyl should have a 5-10 year expected life (or more), but one facing South next to the ocean will likely have less, and one facing north at a higher elevation in the shade will likely have more.
- Will the sign be ready to mount? Yes, but if you want holes in the sign, you need to be very specific about the locations. The standard real estate sign is 24” x 18”, but mounting poles and brackets might be two to six inches in. If you want the holes drilled, most sign shops, including Kona Impact will drill them for you, but we need to know where.
- Is installation included? Installation might double the cost of a sign, so be sure to ask. I should not be assumed.
- Can I self-install? For most small signs, we highly recommend self-installing, because our time to drive to your location, install and then return are costs we need to recoup.
- Do I need a permit? We do not advise on County of Hawaii permitting. The sign and construction codes are on the County’s website; read and decide what you want to do.
- Does it include mounting hardware? We can certainly provide mounting hardware, but you can save a lot of money by going to the hardware store—the same one we would go to—to get you stainless screws, washers and brackets.
- Is there a warranty? Every sign shop, including Kona Impact, wants your signs to last a long time. That said, where and how a sign is mounted are huge factors in the life of a sign. As such, we give broad guidelines—based on our product manufacturers’ information—for the life of signs, but we do not warranty anything once it leaves our shop. That said, if material fails prematurely—and it does on occasion—we want to hear from our clients, as we will do our best to make it right.
Everyone likes to believe they are getting what they think they are paying for. In our experience, most issues come from a misunderstanding or lack of clarity at the initial stages of the project. At Kona Impact, we try to go through all the eleven points above at the quote price stage, as we know nobody likes surprises—us or our clients.
If you are looking for signage on Hawaii Island, give us a call. We are happy to help!