Thoughts on Digital Press charges/contracts


Hi guys,

Speaking form the UK, I have heard a bit of chatter about some of our European friends having printers on a click only charge basis and not paying a monthly lease fee on them?

Is this a thing? Does anyone have experience of this in the UK? If so, I would assume it's with an inflated click rate compared to a lease and pay click/service contract charge?

Hopefully I have made sense and thanks for any and all responses.


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In NL here. Haven't heard any offers of click only without any other charges. have only heard of that being offered to e.g. schools in the US

What I will say is that several manufacturers have offered us a zero prints contract, as opposed to a bundled monthly quantity of prints. We find it much more advantageous to just pay for what we print. It's still including lease and service charges of course

Digital Insight

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Here in the USA we CAN get "zero" base contracts.

Meaning ZERO monthly "service base"

We can also get a ZERO "minimum" monthly "click"

We will ALWAYS pay a monthly "lease" cost and a PER "click" fee

If ANYONE is offering a "no lease fee" machine then they are just HIDING the fees by RAISING the "per click" fee

The money is in there....


Well-known member
I used to sell production gear and I would occasionally come across customers who had a click only program and no lease payment. However, their CPC was really high...I don't remember exact numbers, but something like $0.25 per click instead of the typical $0.04 range. The standard setup is a lease payment, and a $0 base for service, only pay for the clicks you use.


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Under the Heidelberg subscription model, customers only pay for the number of sheets actually printed. Under a conventional business model, printing companies typically buy the presses and pay separately for consumables or services. With Heidelberg’s new digital business model, all the equipment, all consumables required – like printing plates, inks, coatings, washup solutions and blankets – and a range of services geared to availability are included in the price per sheet to be charged.

Heidelberg explains this new approach also differs significantly from the click-charge model previously introduced by digital press suppliers. Although these suppliers also charge per sheet, explains Heidelberg, they mainly base this on their own costs and not on the customer’s business model.

“Under the Heidelberg subscription model, the economic responsibility for optimum technical availability, increased productivity, and maximum utilization of the installed equipment no longer rests solely with the customer, but for the first time also with the supplier,” said Hermann. “After all, a customer only enters into a long-term agreement with us if the benefits are permanent. We ensure this will be the case with our operator model.”



Well-known member
Ours might be a very different market than yours, but we occassionally see such deployments here, in Eastern Europe. And no, the click charges are not higher on these contracts than on normal contracts.

What I understood at these sites are that a.) the supplier was desperate, had some kind of pressure to sell the machine whatever it takes, b.) the machines are of age, they're making their 3rd or 4th circle on the market, c.) the sites are always 'changers' eg. the old machine is Xerox, and the 'free' machine is a different brand. KM is very aggressive in that regard, I feel that they're cheating their loyal, paying customers with this practice.
Also here in the U.K. and yes many vendors offer this option.
A common trick employed by print management companies is to offer extremely low cost or “free” hardware (copier / printers) in return for a higher click cost. They also recommend an organisation wide pot to charge all printing rather than make departments accountable for their print spend. This is obviously moral jeopardy. You will end up paying much more for your printer costs than you can imagine. Local Authorities are often lured by this trick as there are no upfront costs to pay out. Remember vendor sales persons are out to make a profit at your expense wherever possible.

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