Making your own Stickers VS Using Manufacturers
by Anika Byun on Oct 27, 2020
*DISCLAIMER* ALL INFORMATION IS A MIXTURE OF MY OWN EXPERIENCE AND RESEARCH. PLEASE TAKE WHATEVER INFORMATION GIVES YOU VALUE TO FORMULATE YOUR DECISION. IN ADDITION, THERE MAY BE AFFILIATE LINKS WITHIN THE POST WHERE ARTS BY BUN MAY RECEIVE SOME TYPE OF COMPENSATION FOR YOUR REFERRAL. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ARTS BY BUN.
This is definitely something that most sticker shop owners decide between during their journey. There is definitely no right answer, I believe that it is purely based on our own personal situation. Based on my experience ,this is how I would break it down:
1. Making your Own Stickers
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Start up Cost: 💸💸💸
Cost per sticker:💸
As someone who makes all of their stickers at this point in time, I can definitely vouch that there are great pros, but also definite cons.
When it comes to efficiency, it can go both ways depending on the rate of error each person may have. When you make your own stickers, there can be so many factors that can go wrong such as going through trial and error to adjust to a new printer or cutting machine, messing up when laminating stickers, or cutting machines that provide imperfect cuts; not to mention the amount of time put into all of these factors. Once you can master these factors and more, efficiency can increase. One can say that you may experience more losses during production in comparison to buying from a manufacturer.
As stated in the efficiency section, accuracy contains the same context. Accuracy truly depends on your own personal skills when it comes to applying laminate accurately without any air bubbles or applying the stickers onto the cutting machine to make sure that it will cut properly.
I will say, it is very convenient to make your own stickers because if you are low in stock of a certain sticker, you can restock ASAP. On the other hand, buying from a manufacturer is also convenience; however, it will take a long period of time before you receive your stickers (approx. 1 week depending on the manufacturer).
Start Up Cost:
I would like to think of making/cutting your own stickers as a long-term investment. There is a higher up front cost; however, the price per sticker will most likely be lower than buying from a manufacturer. A general start up cost can be:
- Cutting machine: (approx. 190-400) $200
- Laminating machine: Approx $20
- Sticker paper/ laminate: Approx $80
- Printer: Approx $150
Cost Per Sticker:
The cost per sticker will vary depending on size, printer ink cost, and more; however, it will most likely be cheaper than buying from a manufacturer.
This is an aspect that is definitely important for sticker shop owners to consider. If you are looking for sticker quality that is durable for multiple years, scratch resistant, waterproof, weatherproof; it will require more time and cost (ex. Addition of laminate onto stickers). You will have to do your own research in order to find out what products will help you achieve the quality you desire.
2. Buying from a Manufacturer
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Manufacturers are companies that can turn your designs into very durable stickers! Popular manufacturers include Sticker App and StickerMule
It is definitely efficient to buy your stickers from a manufacturer because you do not do any of the work! All you have to do is submit your designs, agree to the art proof and just wait until you receive your stickers in the mail. Of course, during the time you would have been spending cutting each individual sticker for hours, you can reinvest that time to create more designs, work on marketing, dealing with other components of your business.
For the most part, the manufacturer products will be 99.9% spot on as long as you purchased from a reputable source. For the majority of the time you do not need to worry about whether or not your stickers are cut evenly.
As mentioned above, the major benefit of buying stickers from a manufacturer is that you do NONE of the cutting work. All you have to do is send your designs over and wait.
In terms of cost, it will most likely be more expensive per sticker in comparison to cutting them yourself or using a cutting machine. You are paying for labor and convenience when you purchase from a manufacturer.
When you buy through a manufacturer you trust, you will always be ensured with the best quality that fits your needs. This can include weatherproof stickers, holographic stickers, glitter stickers, clear stickers, and more! If you feel uneasy from buying from a manufacturer, you can always test our their quality through sticker samples you can purchase.