Copy Job vs Printing Job Pricing...

kdw75

Well-known member
When one of our business customers brings us a file, we charge them more money, to cover checking the file, setting up the digital press, and running their job, than we would a guy that walks in and says he wants 500 color copies from his file. One is trusting us to look over their file for problems, bring any typos to their attention, and alert them to poor composition, while the guy wanting the color copies, just wants you to print his file as is.

Of course when a new client comes in and wants a price, you sometimes don't know if they are the type that has been going to a copy center, and doesn't expect any hand holding, or if they are a client that will pay more for your personalized time and care.

With some clients your competing with Office Depot's copy center, and with others your competing with other printing firms and their professional CSRs, but you sometimes don't know which they are when they as for a quote.

So my question is do you charge a guy walking in off the street wanting copies, different from a purchaser for a large corporation?

If they initiate contact and want pricing, how do you determine which pricing to apply to them?
 

mattbeals

Well-known member
Charge everyone the same or eat the cost for everyone. How much more or less effort do you put into one versus the other? How many more or less steps does it take?
 

Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
Start by knowing your costs and then add a markup/margin.

Many use a “copy price list” shaping method, where say 1-10 copies may have a slightly more expensive unit rate than say 100 copies.

It may also depend on if you service a B2B or B2C sector.

A “copy on glass” job from an original would have the least labour and effort (cost) involved for you, thus the lowest selling price. Even better if you had a “self service” unit for walk in customers with a notice that assistance from your staff is at a different, more expensive rate.

For walk-in clients with say a USB stick etc., you may need to factor in the time to virus scan their media, and the surcharge added for maintaining anti-virus subscription and or recovery on such the computer that your staff will use to load their media etc. This may or may not be added on as an extra cost/sell price, however it should be considered in your overall pricing structure.

For clients that email or FTP work in, then there may be a slightly cheaper rate as there may be less to do.

A client could potentially have a client level discount applied if they say hit a certain volume per month.



Stephen Marsh
 

auchprinting

Active member
I find the most expensive copy is the file that is all messed up. I could spend an hour fixing the file, imposing the file. So I have to charge hourly for prep. It is incredible how much work I did for free. I now have a time clock next to my desk, and just punch in and out on the job. Usually everyone is willing to pay extra to make the file, print job perfect. If someone wants copies on 50 offset, that is the cheapest. I charge more for coated.
 

dabob

Well-known member
We just don't do "copy" work - our digital "press" is just that a press with all the required prep work for a quality job.

Don't advertise for it and if you want to compete with the local kinkos/fedx or UPS store go ahead but we find that it's just not worth it . . . .:)
 

Keith

Well-known member
...If they initiate contact and want pricing, how do you determine which pricing to apply to them?

Ask them. "Do you have a digital file or a hard copy, Mr. Customer?" You're not a mind reader and probably don't have time for guessing games. My estimating program has separate pricing for copies and digital. Copies are treated as a simple product price list and digital is treated more like offset printing, with make-ready and spoilage.

I hate it when people call me up and say, "How much for flyers, ball-park figure, I won't hold you to it."
"Um, I don't like guessing because I'm usually wrong."
"I want 500 on glossy paper."
"Ok, one hundred dollars."
"Sounds great! I'll email you the Word file. There's two on a sheet and I need fifty of 'em by tomorrow; the rest later. And you score them before folding so they don't crack, right?"
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
"Also, my wife is going to be down in a few minutes to breath down your neck while you make them. Here's my credit card number, but only charge $15.00 to it and email me a copy of the receipt. My wife will pay the rest. I hope a Word 2002 file with Comic Sans is what you need."
 

kdw75

Well-known member
If it is a copy job, we have a receptionist plug in their USB stick to the copier, or put the copy on the glass and hit print.

If it's a print job we send it to our typesetter to evaluate, then to our digital press. All of which takes more time, and requires that time from higher paid people.
 

csawatzki

Well-known member
I would treat it like you would at an auto center. Take the job, and let them know that you will reach out if there are issues. If there are, reach out and let them know what and why there will be an extra charge.

Done.

Cory Sawatzki
 

Possumgal

Well-known member
"Also, my wife is going to be down in a few minutes to breath down your neck while you make them. Here's my credit card number, but only charge $15.00 to it and email me a copy of the receipt. My wife will pay the rest. I hope a Word 2002 file with Comic Sans is what you need."

We've got good art on the flyers - we didn't use the art that came with the Word program. No sir, we got it straight off the internet. We know what we're doing.
 

BobRym

Well-known member
We have been strictly digital (no offset) for over 20 yrs. and have tried many different ways of handling this. The most successful has been to have a charge (and yes Staples et al do this too) for handling an electronic file. We apply a minimum charge (typically $2.50) for any electronic file regardless of how we receive it. Then we price per print - sliding scale. Copy jobs are from hard copy only (we get fewer of these each year in volume jobs). If we need to do any further work on a file than open it and send to a printer - we charge for time spent BUT we contact the customer before we impose any extra charges. When a customer questions the file handling charge we explain it this way - this is our pricing model - print price is shown as a separate item as it takes us the same amount of our time to open a file and print 10 prints as it does to open a file and print 100 or 1000 or whatever quantity. If pushed on why we do this - we explain that we need all of the computers, software, high speed internet service, etc. etc. has to be in place to even be able to open a file and process it - either we build it into the price of the print or account for it as a separate item. If we are copying from hard copy - all we need is the copier.
 

keith1

Well-known member
I no longer handle simple copy jobs from people that have a 'pet project' on the go. More hassle than it's worth. I do refer them to others who I know wants that sort of business.

I also have always completed tons of uncharged pre-press/design, simply because it's easier to do it than explaining why I have to charge. Sometimes it works well and develop good relations. Other times not. I won't continually work with those that just don't get it.

Keith
 

kdw75

Well-known member
We have been strictly digital (no offset) for over 20 yrs. and have tried many different ways of handling this. The most successful has been to have a charge (and yes Staples et al do this too) for handling an electronic file. We apply a minimum charge (typically $2.50) for any electronic file regardless of how we receive it. Then we price per print - sliding scale. Copy jobs are from hard copy only (we get fewer of these each year in volume jobs). If we need to do any further work on a file than open it and send to a printer - we charge for time spent BUT we contact the customer before we impose any extra charges. When a customer questions the file handling charge we explain it this way - this is our pricing model - print price is shown as a separate item as it takes us the same amount of our time to open a file and print 10 prints as it does to open a file and print 100 or 1000 or whatever quantity. If pushed on why we do this - we explain that we need all of the computers, software, high speed internet service, etc. etc. has to be in place to even be able to open a file and process it - either we build it into the price of the print or account for it as a separate item. If we are copying from hard copy - all we need is the copier.

You only charge $2.50 for file setup??? If we had a hundred jobs per day, that would work, but we are busy if we have 50, so we charge about $30 to preflight a file, impose it, and setup the digital press. Since we are far from the most expensive printer in town, I guess we are much cheaper in some other part of the process, but having such a fee for us, makes it seem extremely high, if we apply it to a copy job, so that is why we try to differentiate them, before giving a price. As noted, we have people say they just want copies, then end up taking half an hour of our time, emailing back and forth, getting new files because they found an error, or whatever. Our $30 is there to cover the time we spend giving customer service, but a true copy job doesn't need that.
 

BobRym

Well-known member
The $2.50 charge is a basic for strictly receiving a file, open and print. If there is any further work to be done (imposition, file correction etc.) it's charged as time spent. Copy jobs do not incur any extra charges as they do not need anything other than put it on the glass or in the document feeder and press the button.
 

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