New Neon Bar Signs

We've discussed the advantages of buying used and now we come to the advantages of buying new neon bar signs. A new sign is the only kind of neon that you'll get that's customized (unless you happen to have the exact same bar name as the sign you'll find at a discount store or elsewhere). The customized sign has more marketing leverage than a generic sign because of the custom message you'll be showing to your customers. Unless you have a friend that's a really good glass bender and electical technician, you'll have to purchase new if you're going the custom route. Another good reason good to purchase new is because newer bar signs are going to be in better condition and will be more efficient. Newer neons give off a stronger glow and the better wiring generally on the newer makes will be more energy efficient, thus saving you money. You likely don't need a detailed explanation of why brighter light is better for your bar. If your glowing white OPEN sign is vibrant in the middle of the night in a town where almost everything's closed except your diner, you're going to suck in the teenage kids driving around looking for a bite. If your OPEN sign is dim or fizzing, they may not see it and they'll just hit the Wendy's down the street that does have a bright welcoming glow. I've read that this happens oftens believe it or not. The biggest downside to buying new neon bar signs is obviously the price; however, don't be fooled. The best signs are not always in the $200-$300 price range. Will you find expensive, professionally made ones online or at local shops? You better believe it. But consider trying online auctions like ebay for new signs. As of this writing there's a simple white new OPEN neon sign that measures 12" x 9" going for $25, including shipping! Now I won't lie, it's a basic sign, but it's new and it's working and it's 110-120v USA compatible with hanging chain (or an optional 220-240v plug for overseas buyers). For serious business owners buying new might be the best choice. Buying used neon bar signs of course has its advantages, but you may be stuck waiting for the perfect sign or end up with an inferior product.

It can difficult trying to find the best place to purchase new if you are looking for the highest quality for the best price. I'm not at the point yet where I can tell you who has the very best deals on neons. There's so many reputable companies to choose from and it wouldn't be fair for me to say who "the best" is. Not to mention the fact that your local neon makers might be better choices than what you'll find online, not so much because of the quality of the bar sign but because sign manufacturers and dealers will know the local bar and club codes and laws. But let's face it, even if you spent $300 for a sign that you could have gotten away with spending $50 for, what's the difference if that sign brings in $500 worth of extra business for you in the next two weeks? I encourage any business owner to look for the best deal obviously, but figure out how much your time is worth. If it takes you months looking for that perfect "Sally's Diner now OPEN til 9PM" glowing neon, how much time have you spent when you could have just ordered a custom neon for maybe a couple of hundred more? How much time have you wasted tracking down that "perfect deal". I talked about my buddy Chuck finding his Houston Texans sign for $20 off Craiglsist. Great deal. But it took him about 5 months. I did a search today and found the exact same sign for about $90 after shipping (new). If you've got the time to hunt down exactly what you're looking for in your area, great, but I don't know any bar owners that are timerich.

Some of the things you should look for when purchasing new. Obviously the electrical outlet. Finding the perfect neon does you no good if the electrical sockets don't correspond with your sign. Usually you'll have a 110-120v electrical outlet so if your sign is made for that you're good. Find out if you'll need a transformer or not and if it's included or not. Don't be afraid to call or email sellers to make sure, they want your business and will be more than happy to assist you. Get a ballpark as to how much electricity you'll use as well. Most of the modern day neons are much more energy efficient than the old school ones, but make sure you're comfortable with your new electric bill, more typically if you plan on running many neon bar signs 24/7 nonstop. Which brings us to safety. Always know what your neon and/or transformer safety standards are. Make sure you're hanging the neon off of a stable material and using the proper hardware. How hot your neon gets will help determine where to locate it. Energy efficiency. If a newer OPEN sign costs $200 but is 50% more energy efficient than the $25 OPEN sign example we used earlier, you could make up the costs in less time than you'd think. I'm not trying to scare you. It's really not too too involved, but like anything else, a little research into even modest business investments can produce surprising results. Buying new neon bar signs is no different. Price is another factor. New neon is a great way to go but if a simple neon sign saying "Sally's OPEN" prices at $500, maybe you could get away with just OPEN, especially if you've already got a much larger beautiful custom neon of Sally's already. What's the purpose of the sign? If it's just to display that you're open, maybe you can save your money on the cheaper alternative. Think about the marketing purpose of the signs but also use your head and common sense as well.

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