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  • Ridiculous Quotes

    So I'm sure I'm not the only one that does this, but I was online using some random websites instant quote features to see how much people would charge for a job. Not too long ago there was a quote request for perfect bound booklets. 9x12, 262 pages, full color, 70# gloss text with 80# cover. 500 quantity. So I clicked on a random website and used their calculator. I wont mention the company but they are in California, and it gave the the option for digital or offset. So I used both, thinking there wouldn't be much difference in price. Offset was $19k for the job. Digital was $56k. $56k! I was flabbergasted. I thought he offset quote was high and the digital would be less. WAY wrong. Just wanted to see if anyone else has seen things like this. Hey more power to them if someone actually orders that job from them.

  • #2
    The moral of the story: until there is horse poop on the road, there will be sparrows around.

    I see the logic in this price calculation.
    A.: they don't care how many people get turned down, the rare ones who order something on these prices, will generate pure bullion.
    B.: they push out these prices 'blind', to unknown partners, on unknown jobs. It's just a 'safety' margin, priced like a worst case scenario.

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    • #3
      Press usually out wins digital on large quantities. If I read your specs right that would be 131,000 clicks on digital which would be a big part of the estimate. $56k still seems awfully high though.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AC Prepress View Post
        Press usually out wins digital on large quantities. If I read your specs right that would be 131,000 clicks on digital which would be a big part of the estimate. $56k still seems awfully high though.
        I came up with 65,000 clicks as it would be printed 2 up. I came up with roughly $4k on clicks and paper. Maybe I’m doing the math wrong but pretty sure I’m not.

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        • #5
          As always: Caveat emptor.

          An offset price in the $15K-$20K range is reasonable trade market.

          The digital price of $56K is either wishful thinking, mental laziness, or something else for the seller.

          $4K for clicks and paper as incremental supply costs is reasonable, but unrealistic for either production cost or as a selling price: labor, overhead, and of course profit must be considered.

          I'd say a reasonable trade market price for digital would be in the $13K-$16K range.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AP90 View Post

            I came up with 65,000 clicks as it would be printed 2 up. I came up with roughly $4k on clicks and paper. Maybe I’m doing the math wrong but pretty sure I’m not.
            It seems like their website has a minimum cost per copy that it will go down to. Many shops will do a color copy (regardless if it's ran 1 or 2up) for anywhere from $0.19 to $0.59. Looking right in the middle, which seems to be where this website stops, is $0.39 x 131,000 color copies = $51,090...then add the cost of the covers, some bindery/finishing and you get to $56k.

            Clearly this is out of line and the website should trigger a "Call for Custom Quote" when the total exceeds a certain amount.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AP90 View Post
              I was online using some random websites instant quote features to see how much people would charge for a job. ... it gave the the option for digital or offset.
              I'm curious if this website was targeted to the general public, or if it was the website of a trade printer.

              If this website's audience is targeted to the general public, I believe it failed. These days, do print buyers even care if it's printed digital or offset? Print buyers just want something that looks good, they don't care how it's produced! In my opinion, this website would be more effective if it presented just ONE price that reflects the printer's preferences for economy and efficiency. If, during the course of preparing for production, conversations between printer and print buyer determined that this job needs to be an offset or digital job, then the specs and price should be adjusted accordingly.
              Last edited by davehultin; 08-14-2019, 06:55 AM.

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              • #8
                Those of us who have set up web-to-print websites would probably recognize this behavior.

                They probably didn't quote digital books at those high quantities so it's just using the per-piece price of the next-closest pricing point it does have a price for (probably a way lower quantity), even if it results in an outrageous price. Toggling between "digital" and "offset" probably switches price sheets.

                They're assuming/hoping people will toggle between the two price sheets and pick the cheapest so they don't have to figure out how to configure each product correctly on the fly based on the value in the quantity field. More than likely this printer is using vendor software that gives them little control over customizing or fine tuning the functionality of the website.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by alibryan
                  Printing companies are still, thankfully, for-profit entities.
                  Printing companies are HOPE-for-profit entities. Fixed it for you

                  Comment

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