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Printing in the US costs 3x as much as in Europe?

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  • Printing in the US costs 3x as much as in Europe?

    Hi everyone,

    Please excuse if this is not the right place to ask this question, but we currently publish small magazines (A6 brochures) in the UK and Germany, and are looking to do the same in the New York area.

    We've been shocked so far to find that it seems to cost three times as much there, is that normal? If so, can anyone explain why?

    Would be much appreciated, thank you.

  • #2
    Would you still be profitable if you printed it there and shipped it here?
    Would your customers except a slower turn around for delivery?
    Costs = Overhead + Materials + Labor


    • #3
      What you're saying about overheads, materials and labour may stand in some situations, but not here. The US, UK and Germany are equally developed countries with similar economic circumstances. For the price to be literally tripled doesn't make sense.

      All I can fathom is that either a) this is simply the market value they have achieved over there somehow or b) there is some reason that stock is more costly over there, for reasons that I am unaware of? Like environmental regulations? But again, I would expect this to be comparable in Germany and the UK.

      None of this is meant to be taken as a complaint by the way, it just seems odd and I'm unsure if what we have uncovered is standard or not. Very curious as to the reasons behind it.


      • #4
        I would be interested to know if it was simply a location price difference. Like New York vs Chicago vs Los Angeles vs Dallas. It might not be country wide, only that specific geographic areas.


        • #5
          Yes me too. There have been some slightly cheaper options on the West Coast I think, but still a lot more expensive that the UK and Europe. Transport, again, adds to that cost making it basically the same as where we are looking to work — NYC.

          I find it really strange that there wouldn't be a cost-effective option in the entire North East (where we have been looking). Another note, our UK and Germany-based printers serve us in London and Berlin respectively, so it does not relate to NYC being a large city.

          I'm wondering if Canada would be cheaper or not at this stage, that will be a task for this week.


          • #6
            What size are you printing for the U.S.? Could there be a large waste factor to print an A6 piece on US standard sheets, with proper grain etc.? There may be multiple factors. Also, make sure you are matching your job to the properly equipped shop. Is it better suited to toner based digital, offset, DI offset, Indigo? More specs, quantity, may help us find the issue.


            • #7
              I expect gregbatch's comment about sizing is a good insight. We provide fullfillment for a UK customer who needs fast turnaround on a specialty product. They had commented that US prices were higher than Europe. Once they resized the product to make better use of our production capabilities that reduced waste and reduced their cost.
              Last edited by Lorenzo, lab guy; 04-01-2019, 06:09 PM.


              • #8
                Wierd stuff, European print buyers look to the eastern parts of Europe because they complain that print in the western part of the EU is too expensive. It has brought out a great print scene in Poland and the Czechoslovak repubic and Ukraine. But now buyers are complaining that print from there is too expensive and are looking to the further eastern parts of Europe for cheap print. Sooner or later cheap print will have gone around the globe and be back in the US, just give it a decade or two.


                • #9
                  Gregbatch / Lorenzo — yes this was my first thought too! However the printers so far have assured us that there is nothing about our spec pushing it particularly high. Do you recommend off-hand a common US paper format which is close to A6?

                  Slammer — ha!


                  • #10
                    Perhaps the Europeans may be complaining about the comparative cost of their print versus that of China. Just a thought, not certain.



                    • #11
                      Last I heard, the EU's environmental rules mean that anything ordered from outside is expensive, because of duty added, mainly for sustainable forest reasons. I'm no expert though.

                      But again, Europe and the USA are equally developed, so it's not the same comparison. In fact, I believe the US has a lower minimum wage than the UK and Germany.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LokiL View Post
                        Gregbatch / Lorenzo — yes this was my first thought too! However the printers so far have assured us that there is nothing about our spec pushing it particularly high. Do you recommend off-hand a common US paper format which is close to A6?

                        Slammer — ha!
                        If the paper wasn't a big factor then I wouldn't stress over it. What quantities? What paper? Is this a saddle-stitched booklet about 4.125"x5.875" finished?


                        • #13
                          We were looking at 90gsm, 5,000 to 10,000 qty, and yes saddle not perfect bound. Finished to standard A6, which is similar to the measurements above yes.

                          If there's anything weird about that spec for the US then I'd love to hear it, from anyone. But again, the price is 300% of what we pay in other Western countries, so it would have to be something quite poignant to make that much difference.

                          Thanks everyone for your interest in the thread. Just trying to get my head around the situation.


                          • #14
                            How many pages?


                            • #15
                              Apologies – 48pp at this point.


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