Always Get Multiple Quotes:

Adventures in Manufacturing Inventions

We just received three quotes for a new product. It's a single piece but uses two different types of plastic, a soft plastic co-molded over a hard plastic. It's small too. I guessed and hoped the unit cost would be approx $0.50 per unit and the mold around $10,000.

  • Quote 1 / USA: Tool = $16,400; unit cost = $2.85
  • Quote 2 / China: Tool = $21,395; unit cost = $2.67
  • Quote 3 / China: Tool = $10,000; unit cost = $0.50

The China #3 quote was exactly what I'd hoped for! We've also worked with the factory before and LOVE them. We could seek more quotes, but don't feel the need. If volume gets high enough we might try seeking a factory in the US. As a rule I'm happy to pay 25% more to make in USA; shipping is easier and US customers prefer it. But China 3 is less than 1/5 the unit cost and 60% of the tooling cost, so there's really no discussion.

- Mike

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