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Mkrichard

Pet Tag Engraving Machine

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Thank you for letting me join this forum!

For the last year I have had a hobby business selling dog products on eBay and Amazon. I'm now launching more products and my own website and one of the things I want to offer is engraved pet tags.

I'm not expecting to make alot of money from this as looking at the prices on eBay and Amazon people must be lucky to clear £1.00 on each one and that's before time is considered.

I simply wish to use it as a sales funnel process to aquire customers and then offer up sells.

I know nothing about engraving so I have been doing research which led me to this forum.

Can anyone suggest a very basic entry level machine for this. I'm even open to a manual machine in the very short term to start the service and test my ideas.

Long term I would need an automated CNC machine which would hopefully be very fast to operate? Any ideas on time per tag for both manual and automated? Can a professional finish be achieved with a manual machine?

I came across the VIP pet tag machines but it appears you must use their special sized tags with the machine and I would need to use my own imported cheap tags for my sales funnel idea.

Thank you in advance!

Richard

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https://www.u-marq.com/engraving-machines.html/gem-tx5-engraving-machine-em-00205

these machines, along with equivalents from Gravograph and Roland, are industry standard engravers. but don't buy a professional machine for a hobby business, and don't buy manual (pantograph) machine in 2019. Buying used is probably your best bet. 

If you wanna be real cool, check out the Uri Tuchman on YouTube and JBowerEngraving on Instagram and learn to do it by hand - you'll not make any money, and each piece will take forever, but at least your products will stand out - until the dog runs through a grassy field and loses the tag. Best of luck 

Edited by GLENGRAVING

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Sorry when I say hobby business I meant side line to my job. It is Amazon FBA so pretty passive and I have made more than my salary so I quit my job 10 months ago and I still had free time to set up my construction company.

My time is very valuable so I don't want to manually engrave for ever as it's not for a hobby. Sorry that was the wrong word I used originally.

I'm just being realistic I won't make money with pet tags alone. As long as it's low labour and fast and covers the cost of my marketing  and customer aquisition I make money on the up sells.

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Thanks for the recommendation. I would definitely favour a used machine. Or I am  also open to importing a cheap new one from China if anyone has done that and can recommend one?

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If you are going to be selling in volume then a computer engraver is the way to go. If you are only looking to test the idea and you are not wanting to spend a lot of money then a 2nd hand pantograph will do the job, it will take longer to set up and engrave with a pantograph.

Have a look here for refurbished machines http://www.ronamachines.co.uk/  A small umarq gem RX5 or similar would be sufficient if you are only going to be engraving pet tags.

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Thank you :D

Would a U Marq Gem Fx4 Engraver be suitable as well. My father also plans to opportunisticly engrave other items which I think this would be capable of.

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24 minutes ago, Mkrichard said:

Thank you :D

Would a U Marq Gem Fx4 Engraver be suitable as well. My father also plans to opportunisticly engrave other items which I think this would be capable of.

The fx4 is a flat bed engraver I think. You probably could use that machine but the TX5 or RX5 machine would be better suited for pet tags.

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A used RX5 sold for $300 in America on eBay. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for a bargain. Thanks so much for everyone's help.

Just so I can learn, what is the difference between a flat bed engraver and the RX5?

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Flat bed will be used for engraving flat surfaces like nameplates etc. The RX5 will engrave cylindrical items (up to 50mm in diameter I think)  as well as flat surfaces and curved surfaces.

 

$300 for an RX5 is a bargain, a brand new machine is about £4k. I would imagine it had some kind of damage at that price or the dongle was missing .

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I have been offered a GEM RX, would this be suitable or should I hold out?

 

When you say only good for nameplates do you mean rectangular 2D flat sheet? And cylindrical, curved as in 2D circle tags etc? Or is the RX5 capable of 3D curved like a ring, bracelet plaque etc as I don't really need it for that.

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9 hours ago, Mkrichard said:

Sorry when I say hobby business I meant side line to my job. 

My time is very valuable so I don't want to manually engrave for ever as it's not for a hobby. Sorry that was the wrong word I used originally.

I was being a bit facetious to be honest. If you aim for professionalism and not to undercut people using a machine from your garage, I wish you all the luck. 

 

Yes, by 3D it means a rotary motor on the machine for spinning cylindrical objects - pens, cups, etc. Larger rotary machines can do big tankards etc. With the right attatchment you can do rings. 

A flatbed machine will be able to do flat objects of any shape - the software will allow you to arrange the text however you like. flatbed machines will also be able to engrave items with a slight curve to the surface [like a hip flask] with a bit of finesse. 

The RX5 sounds like it's capable of more than you need, but if the price is right go for it. 

Edited by GLENGRAVING

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2 hours ago, Mkrichard said:

I have been offered a GEM RX, would this be suitable or should I hold out?

 

When you say only good for nameplates do you mean rectangular 2D flat sheet? And cylindrical, curved as in 2D circle tags etc? Or is the RX5 capable of 3D curved like a ring, bracelet plaque etc as I don't really need it for that.

Yes the RX machine can do rings, bracelets etc with the correct attachments. The RX machine is perfect for your needs. 

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4 hours ago, wellsy9 said:

Yes the RX machine can do rings, bracelets etc with the correct attachments. The RX machine is perfect for your needs. 

Thanks so much for the advice everyone.

I feel like the RX would be the sensible long term choice, what would be an expected price to pay for a good used machine.

Also pretty tempted with the FX4 I have seen, the seller told me it can do hip flasks as well. Likewise what would be a good price for a 5 year old machine?

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Late to the party. 

I'm sure there are similar machines out there by other manufacturers, but gravograph do the M10. 

It is a tiny machine. Hook it up to a laptop and use the easy ABC software. 

I believe the price is 2500ish.

It is a good machine IF you only do pet tags. Not much use for anything else. 

If you don't have a supplier of pet tags already then the M10 can be supplied with all jigs required to engrave our range of pet tags. 

If you already have pet tags someone will need to create jigs for you. 

Ben _ Gravograph

PS. Before anyone tells me that's a ring engraver... The M10J does rings. The M10 does tags. It used to be the Tagcube. 

 

Tagcube video: 

The M10 doesn't have the touchscreen but requires a laptop or tablet. 

PPS we might have an exdemo Tagcube available... 

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