How to earn money with a laser engraver?

Personalized and individualized products create significant added value for customers. This means that higher prices can be achieved than for items without a personal dedication. With a laser engraving machine, many products can be personalized with designs, logos, and lettering. This creates unique pieces that increase the value of the product many times over the original product. Therefore, these items generate a very handsome profit.

What price can you charge for laser-engraved items?

End consumers are generally willing to pay higher prices for products with a personal touch. The price for items with an individual laser engraving is therefore often determined by the price per product achievable on the market. It is common for end customers to pay 5 to 10 times the standard product price for personalization.

Example: Laser-engraved ballpoint pen with surcharge for laser engraving

For example, high-quality ballpoint pens with individual engraving are sold for €15, these can be purchased for as little as €1.50 per unit depending on the order quantity. In the laser processing industry, “laser costs” are usually calculated at €1 per minute to cover the laser time. Thus, different graphics or the duration of the engraving can be quickly quantified in terms of costs. Using the example of the ballpoint pen, this is 25 cents per unit in laser costs for an engraving duration of 15 seconds. Taking labor costs into consideration, it is nevertheless very easy to see that laser engraving can make good money.

Laser engraving ballpoint pen: 150 units
Purchase price of 150 ballpoint pens: € 225
Engraving duration for 150 units: 15 min
Engraving costs for 150 units (€1/min): € 15
Labor costs (€40/hour) € 10
Retail price with engraving per order at 150 units: € 2,250
Profit per order at 150 units: €2,000/order at 150 units
Laser engraving ballpoint pen: 1 unit
Purchase price of a ballpoint pen: €1.50
Engraving duration for 1 unit: 15 seconds
Engraving costs (€1/min): €0.25
Labor costs (€40/hour): €0.11
Retail price with engraving per order at 1 unit: €15
Profit per unit: €13.14/unit

Which laser-engraved products are most in demand?

Products that include a personal dedication are gaining in popularity. The field of application is very wide. The offer for end customers is as varied as the materials. Whether you’re talking about picture frames, wine glasses, gifts or ballpoint pens – a personal dedication with names, text, logos or photos make these types of items very unique. But personalized signs, stamps, medals and trophies, data plates or various types of contract engraving of components can also be a lucrative business for companies, both as individual pieces or in mass production.

Unique items for customers create higher profits for the supplier

Unique, individual and personal - nowadays, customers are placing greater value on the qualitative and quantitative value of handicraft work and prefer creative individual items. For example, individually designed jewelry, creative artwork or decorative accessories for interior design are among the most popular customer requests. Practically any design can be implemented with the laser. With individuality and attention to detail, products or artwork can be easily and quickly created and upgraded with a laser. Whether you are working with wood, glass, acrylic, leather or paper, contactless material processing with a laser also saves time and money. The effort for these unique items is manageable. Due to the high prices that can be achieved for creative, individual pieces, the profit is very handsome.

Laser technology also makes personalization efficient for high-volume production

It’s not just the personalization of individual items or small batches that can be implemented cost-effectively with a laser machine. Larger orders of personalized products can also be economically produced using a laser, so even more money can be earned. Templates are an extremely useful tool for larger orders, allowing you to engrave multiple pieces in one operation and save time. The output is maximized when the template is adapted to the work area of the laser machine.

We will illustrate this using the example of a ballpoint pen. Engraving a single pen takes approx. 15 seconds. Engraving 150 ballpoint pens using one template over the entire work area takes approx. 15 minutes. All of the ballpoint pens are engraved in one go. Time-consuming handling due to individual placement and removal is eliminated. Click here to find out how to easily create the right template for your workpieces:

Create templates

Profitable product mix: Specialization versus wide product portfolio

A variety of materials can be processed with a laser and thus many customer requests can be realized. To begin with, a wide range of laser-engraved products is certainly a great way to find out which items appeal to the market and which products can be used to earn good money. Whether a specialization in certain products and materials takes place over time or a deliberately broad portfolio is offered, is a strategic decision for every company. This decision is significantly influenced by the competitive situation in the region in which you operate: Are you the sole provider of laser services? Or is there already a specialist? For example, are glass engraving or wedding decorations sold around the corner?
As an entrepreneur, you should carefully consider your business model and weigh the advantages and disadvantages for yourself.

In terms of specialization, the workload and output can be optimized as best as possible, as the applications are always similar and you develop into a true specialist. Thus, set-up times are minimized and profit maximized. From a broad product portfolio through to individual customer projects and individual pieces, however, although you’re not a specialist in a certain area, customers for custom-made items are willing to pay more, which in turn leads to higher margins.

Check out the Speedy laser engraver series

The Speedy laser engraving and cutting systems are perfect for first-time users as well as established laser users. All platform sizes from 610 × 305 mm to 1016 × 610 mm are available with a CO₂ laser, a fiber laser or also both laser sources in a single laser system. The patented flexx technology™ allows endless applications.

Click here to find out all details about the Speedy series

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