Pricing help

I’ve been approached to laser engrave a companies computers in place of traditional asset tags.

Essentially duplicating this, but with laser engraving instead:

What should I charge?

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Rule of thumb. Cost of the blanks plus reasonable hourly rate for you to set up and run times 4


Well as far as pricing advice, my go to is always “as much as you can get them to pay” but that’s not what is prompting this response.

I’m sure you’ve already thought of it, but in the event that you have not. You really want to make sure you have them sign some release of liability or something. Say the GF goes off the rails and you burn a hole through a $2,000 laptop. That is going to wipe any/all (probably cost you out of pocket) more than you’ll make doing it. Or even if you dont destroy one but the engrave goes wrong.

I’ve been burned on this type stuff before and wanted to just share some potential 20/20, just make sure you either charge enough to cover the cost of replacing what you are working on or make sure they sign away their rights to make you pay for a mistake that you could not help or predict.

Good luck!


Just to make sure I understand, you’re going to be engraving directly onto the computer? No other materials involved?

yes this would be to mark the asset instead of buying asset tags.

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Will you be able to get all the different items to fit in the GF :glowforge:?


Not sure lol. I was picturing laptops, which should totes fit.

Macbook should work fine, as the GF is great on anodized aluminum, but Windows laptops (typ. plastic composites) might be risky to you, your GF, and the customer’s property. Be careful, be safe!


Correct. I tried something similar on a LED projector. It engraved okay but the plastic was discolored (it was white) so I got a muddy look to it. I wouldn’t do plastic bodied things again.

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Whatever you’re thinking of charging for the job itself, charge a chunk extra for the verification/proofreading step to make sure that the right tag image is going on the right asset. You may want another person there with you.

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There’s some good advice here. Two additional thoughts I’ll add that I would process before landing on a price.

  1. What is the value of this service to the client? Is it worth $5, $10, $25, etc per computer to them?
  2. Don’t forget to consider the cost of your GF itself. In other words, you spent $5k+ (retail) to get a machine that can do this.

Those questions alone don’t give you a formula for pricing, but you should consider them as you’re thinking.

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If you take the job do only metal bodied devices like hp elite books or apple. Last I knew Lenovo enterprise class devices had a rubberize on them, and the dells we recently evaluated for enterprise use where very on the plastic side.

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Also to consider: legal liability of any work you doing that causes irreversible damage to the clients equipment. What happens if you make a typo on the power settings, and completely destroy the case of their equipment? Or the laser misses aluminum, hitting a phones camera?