No Time for B.S. Only Exact Strategies on How to Make Money with Vinyl Cutter
We all have been thereafter we bought something it dawned on us: How the heck do we make money with this?
I mean it’s all lovely to craft as a hobby, but why not make some money while at it?
The first time this happened to me was when I got myself a 3D printer. After I figured out how to get it started and learned some 3d design, I wanted to recoup at least the money that I’ve sunken into it.
What Will I Learn?
The #1 Lesson
Here’s the number one lesson that I learned the hard way — nobody cares. No matter what kind of super-duper machine you have, nobody cares. Everybody needs to learn how to market their skills. Without it, there will be no money coming in.
This might seem a bit harsh, and it’s none the less true. How would people know that you have something amazing without marketing? Yes, even word of mouth is marketing.
Let it be vinyl cutting or t-shirt business it doesn’t matter; you need to know how to find your customer and how to sell to them. But I’ll tell you more on this a bit later.
I’ve written this article to give you the hands-down the best way to make money with vinyl cutters. No matter what brand you have, you will be able to make money. Are you interested? Let’s get to it
Is It a Side Hustle or Full-Time Business
The first thing you need to decide if this will be a side hustle or a full-time business. I can’t choose for you because you know how much free time you have at your disposal. If it’s a side hustle, you can dedicate a few hours to it every week. If you want to treat it like a real vinyl business, then you will see results much faster.
The #1 step is to get a vinyl cutting machine. Now there are affordable machines that can do more than vinyl cutting like Brother Scan n Cut and Cricut, and we shouldn’t forget about Silhouette Cameo. And there are dedicated Vinyl cutting machines like the Titan and UsCutter has different machines to choose from.
The major difference besides price is that the dedicated Vinyl cutters can work on a larger format than the affordably priced ones. The first mentioned machines can work with other materials such as wood, paper and cardstock, and other stuff as well.
My best recommendation would be for you to spend as little as possible because the costs add up quite fast. The smaller the hole, the faster can you get out.
After you have gotten the machine, you have to learn to use it. No matter how easy it may sound, there’s always a learning curve. Put your nose to the grindstone and learn it until you reach an adequate level of expertise. Get familiar with the cutting software. First try simple shapes and letters until you get the hang of it. Complex jobs can come as soon as you master the cutting software.
This will give you confidence, and it will help you charge more for your work. The last piece of the puzzle is marketing and sales. I will cover that at the end because you need to learn something else before you get into marketing.
As vinyl cutting goes, I would suggest that you limit yourself to one thing. Produce one item and get good at it. I’ve picked the best niches to tap if you want to learn how to make money with vinyl cutter.
By accident or not I’ve picked those niches that have the highest margins. By margins, I mean % and not the highest priced things to sell.
Here are my best recommendations.
The Most Profitable Vinyl Creations to Sell
So what’s worth actually creating with a vinyl cutter? I have two items plus some up-sell techniques so you can squeeze the most money out of every sale.
The first thing I would recommend for you to do is vinyl decals. There are numerous things to create here. The biggest upside of selling decals is that the margins are sky-high. What do I mean by sky-high? 90+%.
Besides pharmaceuticals and illegals substances, nothing has these markups.
Best of all, the investment is minimal. If you have bought a vinyl cutting machine, you have everything you need to start selling decals.
Your next decision would be what kind of decals you will be making?
One of the most popular decals is for cars. Find any sport’s nut, and you can see that his vehicle has stickers on it. Another plus side for car decals is that they are evergreen.
Besides car decals, you can do laptop decals. You know that gamers are fanatical about them. They have money to spend. Maybe a new game comes out, and they want to plaster their laptop with that badge.
I remember a few years back when the Assassin’s Creed came out. Everybody and I mean everybody wanted the Assassin’s Creed logo on their laptop. On the front on the back, they wanted it everywhere. I believe Ubisoft was the one who launched the game and they did something genius.
Every Assassin’s Creed game had the logo tweaked a bit. This meant that gamers wanted the newest and best one. The gaming industry is excellent for repeat business.
I went a bit into gaming too much. Yet I wanted to open your eyes that there’s money to be made with decals. Now don’t get me wrong this isn’t’ easy. Gamers will want to get those logos either in one color or in multiple colors. This will make the production a bit more complicated. But it’s all good money.
Why are the margins so big? For example, the vinyl and transfer tape only cost a few cents. All in all, for less than $1 production cost you can sell a decal for $10. This means you will be keeping $9 or more.
Some people would be shocked that the payout is only 9$? Yes but look at how much is the investment and how much time does it take to deliver. Of course, the larger the vinyl decal, the more you can charge. But common sense pricing says that a decal the size of a palm goes for $10. To produce one, it takes around 4 minutes.
So in a matter of minutes, you are making good money. If you treat your customers right, they will be back for more.
One secret I want to share with you. If you are taking on bulk orders, the production time is significantly dropping. So even if you give a 50% discount, you will be making a killing.
Now, who’s an ideal client for decals? Well, I’ve already mentioned gamers, but besides them, you can target sports fans. Every city has some kind of team. Also, you can target people who support specific causes.
Create a nice decal for them, and they can brag about to anybody who sees their car.
And you can target businesses as well. You are probably asking how? Well, in this modern era, everybody has a website. And almost everybody has a car. It doesn’t take much convincing that the business who owns the vehicle can do lead generating if they have the web address on the car.
With decals, you can do this quite easily. You need to be careful with smaller letters, but as the saying goes, the bigger, the better. The bigger the signage, the easier will be for people to see it.
Another target audience would be fresh parents. There’s no day going by me seeing “baby on board” decals on cars. Some are customized like Jonathan on board and so on and s forth. People love to brag about their kids.
Do you want more?
I have more strategies on how to make money with vinyl cutter.
Customized T-Shirt Business
We can leave the decals behind for a second. Another niche you can tap into is the T-shirt business. For this, you will need a few more items, and the inventory costs a bit more.
Besides the vinyl cutter, you will need a professional heat press. Without that, you will work slowly and actually struggle with bulk orders.
With a pro heat press, you can finish up a t-shirt in less than a minute. Vinyl is usually used with simple colored designs. When the design becomes complex, people tend to go with spray paint.
But let’s stick with the most straightforward approach just for now. Btw if there are 2-3 colors, you can stack the vinyl up and apply it to the shirt without a problem.
Again you can target similar demographics. Custom shirts and apparel are always in high need. People got bored of getting the same old same old. Nowadays, people want customized and individualized clothing. With a vinyl maker, you can tap that market with ease.
Not to mention you can create limited editions like bachelor and bachelorette t-shirts and parents are good targets as well. Even for babies, you can create clothes.
To have a successful T-shirt business, you needed to create a brand. This isn’t easy; it’s actually it quite hard to do. I have never gotten into brand creation, so I can’t help you with it. But if you read Daymond John’s bio and his books, you will be able to learn. Yes, he’s the guy from Shark Tank and the owner of FUBU.
So far, I mentioned targeting gamers, fresh parents, sports fans, and others. This is all nice and dandy, but where are your customers coming from?
This is why I mentioned you need to learn marketing. Without spreading the word, nobody will be buying.
Since the dawn of the internet, there are numerous channels to use if you want to carve a market for yourself. There isn’t something I would consider the best one. Each of the social channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, either of them, is good. You need to make a decision and pick one.
Yes, you need to pick one and master it. After that maybe you can start a new one. But by hopping from one to next, you won’t get far.
Let’s say you choose Facebook great. You can create a fan page, or you can use your personal profile. Now what you need to do is have plenty of examples. People want to see it with their eyes what you’re capable of.
Also, do ask your friends and family to like and share because that’s how you get traction. The more people are exposed to your work, the more likely there will be a potential buyer among them.
The biggest mistake would be for you to stretch yourself thin. Doing Facebook then you remember you need to update Instagram maybe a tweet here and there and your day is gone, and you haven’t done anything meaningful. This has happened to me far too often, so I wowed to single task from that point onward.
These initial channels are free. Well, there’s nothing free you pay with your time and not with your wallet. After you get the hang of the free method, you can jump into paid advertising.
Now that’s a whole different ball game, and there’s a steep learning curve. Make sure you have money reserves because you will make mistakes and that will cost you money.
Once you get the hang of paid advertising, you can quickly scale your vinyl business. You can start it as a hobby then go full time and actually hire people for doing the gigs.
Now early on, I’ve promised you that I will share with you how to maximize profits from every order. Have you thought about charging for applying the decal on a car or a laptop?
That’s another way how to make money with vinyl cutter. Initially, I would suggest that you do it for free until you become a pro at it. After that, you can charge some money for it. I assume you don’t have to send it across the country.
Now this concludes my article about how to make money with vinyl cutter. I put my heart and soul into this article. So put it to good use. If you have other ideas or tips on how to make money with cutting machines, please share it with me.
If they are interesting, I will investigate and maybe write about it.
I put every golden nugget I could think of so you can hit the ground running and know exactly what to do if you want to make money. As you can see, you can do it like a hobby or a side hustle or even you can grow to the level of a full-fledged business.
The sky is the limit. This article has put you on the right track. Now it’s time to put in some elbow grease and start working. My last piece of advice would be that marketing is the most important part of any business. Almost anything else can be outsourced.
Happy tinkering and start making some good money!
Frequent questions from our readers (FAQ):
What can I do with a vinyl cutter?
This comes down the machine you have. Some vinyl cutters only cut vinyl while others can handle paper and tougher materials.
There are numerous things to create with a machine like this: like stencils, car and laptop decals and of course T-shirt designs.
What is the best vinyl cutter for a beginner?
For a beginner I would recommend a fair priced one. For example Cricut Maker is excellent and it can be used for other materials than vinyl. Silhouette Cameo is an excellent machine as well. If you want to know the pros and cons then check out my reviews and comparisons. Check out my Best vinyl cutting machines article here.
What machine is used for vinyl decals?
There are numerous machines for the job. It comes down on what size are you working with. If you are doing large designs then UsCutter would be your best choice though they are expensive. If you are doing smaller designs Cricut and Silhouette have good options. By far Cricut is the best one in the field.
Does a vinyl cutter also print?
No it doesn’t print. Certain machines can draw but I haven’t seen any machine that can print.
Which Cricut is best for vinyl?
You can pick the flagship mode Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air 2. They are both excellent machines. The flagship model is newer and gives you way too many choices. If you are afraid that you would just go on and on testing new materials than Explore Air 2 is the best solution. For more info check out my reviews and comparisons.
Last Updated on May 25, 2020 by Emily