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

LokiL

Member
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.
 

SteveSuffRIT

Well-known member
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
 

LokiL

Member
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.
 

scotts

Well-known member
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.
 

LokiL

Member
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.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
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.
 

Lorenzo lab guy

Well-known member
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.
 
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Slammer

Well-known member
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.
 

LokiL

Member
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!
 

D Ink Man

Well-known member
Perhaps the Europeans may be complaining about the comparative cost of their print versus that of China. Just a thought, not certain.

D
 

LokiL

Member
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.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
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?
 

LokiL

Member
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.
 

Slammer

Well-known member
Europe still has a lot of mom & pop shops working out of a garage but they are dying at an extinction event level because they can no longer compete, the middle sized companies are still hanging on by the skin of their fore while complianing about rising costs. Investments are way down and that is a big red flag. The larger companies are still going strong but a lot of them have their stuff printed in cheap countries and only collate the half ware to the finished product.

Just heard from a friend in Saudi Arabia that prepress shacks are selling 520x410 plates for 30 cents a pop.
 
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LokiL

Member
Europe still has a lot of mom & pop shops working out of a garage but they are dying
The larger companies are still going strong but a lot of them have their stuff printed in cheap countries and only collate the half ware to the finished product.
As an independent company ourselves I really hate to hear of small businesses going under. The companies we use are mid-level as far as I can tell, and they print on-site (our t/a are 5 days). I looked at cheaper European countries like Poland and Lithuania just out of interest, and they were a similar price to the UK or Germany, when all was said and done.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
Thanks gregbatch. What would it be for 5k? Just so I have a range.
5,000 - $1,906.00 I am sending you a message with the link. I have no affiliation. I use a number of companies for jobbing out work and this one happens to have a 4x6 booklet as a standard size. Not exactly the A6 size, but very close, so should be a rather painless adjustment to your layout.

I think part of the problem you are facing is that most shops I found are not set up for a small booklet like that. The smallest for most I found was 5.5x8.5, so that makes me think they are producing a 5.5x8.5 piece and doing a heavy 3-sided trim to give you the size you requested. Lots of waste.
 

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