If your company or organization is in the market for metal wall letters of any type, it is highly likely in this decade that you’ll go shopping online for them. Everyone I know has, at some time, been ripped off by an unscrupulous company, either online or offline, or if you’re like me, both!
How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off When You Purchase Metal Cast Letters Online
Avoiding getting shafted when purchasing anything is a good idea, and if you’re purchasing any type of cast metallic signage, there are some ways that I’ve found that enable me to avoid losing money to the bad guys. They are not exactly cheap, either, so you want to do your homework on any company that sells lettering of any type.
What’s Available for your Firm – Materials used
There are a myriad of materials that you can find online, though today I’m only going to deal with cast metal letters or solid lettering materials. I’ll deal with the other kinds such as plastic or foam-based in other posts at a later date.
- Aluminum – Cost-effective, lightweight, durable. This is available in both cast and cut options. It has a low melting temperature, and is a favorite for lettering, is less expensive than bronze or brass, and is lighter weight as well, while remaining incredibly strong and durable. Signs from aluminum are available brushed, polished, and painted, and will last for decades or even centuries if well-maintained.
- Brass – An alloy of copper and zinc, have been around since the Roman era, but modern brass has around 1% tin added to alleviate “zincification” of the metal. Many companies that cast brass allow up to 2% lead to make the casting process easier. We don’t. Our brass products have 0% lead, and thus comply with any and all laws worldwide concerning lead. This can be brushed, polished, or oxidized (darkened), which can also be brushed or polished.
- Bronze – This is possibly one of the oldest forms. It has been used since antiquity (whenever that was…it was a long time ago) for signs, although plaques were all the rage in the Roman empire, not so much with bronze. This is an alloy of tin and copper and is suited for casting, and not usually found as a flat-cut like aluminum or steel. It is higher priced, and therefore it saves material to cast the lettering versus cutting them from a flat sheet. It is available in brushed, oxidized (darkened), polished, or with a patina finish (green-ish oxidized look).
- Copper – This is also typically flat cut. To keep copper from oxidizing, it needs to have a clear coat applied, similar to both aluminum and bronze. If you want a natural oxidized look (where copper turns a bluish-green over time), that is also available. This can be polished, brushed, or oxidized (darkened).
- Steel – Steel is very strong and is usually done in flat cut as it is not considered good as metal wall letters. It is available in stainless steel as well, which has the added advantage of not being susceptible to rust. Cold or hot-rolled steel can also be cut with a waterjet or router, and can either be left untreated for a natural look or painted to prevent rust. Stainless steel letter finishes include either brushed or polished.
Regardless of the Type of Metal Sign You’re Purchasing, Following these Simple Steps in Purchasing will Give You a 99.9% Chance of Not Being Ripped Off Online
I’ve stated in other articles that getting ripped off is easy. I know. I’ve done it several times. But you don’t have to. I now implement a series of three steps that helps me to not get taken in by the wrong sorts of companies. I don’t know about you, but I love to spend money, and I love spending money online even more than any other way to shop.
However, I have learned over the course of my 50 years that trust is not something you can do with everyone, and the lessons learned are quite painful. Among the worst offenders online and offline are credit card processing companies. But you need to follow my advice here when purchasing cast metal signs to make sure you get what you want, when you want it, at the price you were quoted.
Step 1 – check out any company you’re looking to purchase from on the Better Business Bureau website, www.bbb.org. Plug in the prospective company’s ZIP code and follow the instructions from there.
Step 2 – Now, because the BBB has some holes in their system, Google the name of the same company again, and check the first one or two pages (up to 20 listings) to see if they come up on www.RipOffReport.com. If they do, go onto this site and see how many complaints have been filed. A single complaint is not significant, most likely. There are some clients who won’t be happy with streets of gold in the New Jerusalem…make your decision at this point if you want to make a purchase from that company. Give them a chance, if you want to, to explain their side of the story.
Step 3 – If any other consumer complaint boards such as www.ComplaintsBoard.com come up on your previous search for this company, check them out as well. If there are several various complaints on different boards or the same board, my advice is to stay away from those companies…or use them at your own risk!
Learn more about these cast metal wall letters intended for walls: Go here.
Have you ever been ripped off when you made a purchase online? What other tips can you add to avoid getting ripped off? You can share it all on the comment form below.