I always get more than one price quote before ordering a print job. Usually I get at least three. And I recommend that you do the same. Sometimes these “little details” can make a big difference in your bottom line.
Does getting several quotes seem like too much trouble to you? Well, whether it’s “too much trouble” depends on how important it is to you to save money. Maybe a recent experience I had with one of my clients will show you the value of doing a little investigating before selecting a vendor.
Getting Quotes Saves Money
I had two printers bid on my client’s job. We’ll call them Printer A and Printer B. I’ve used both printers on jobs in the past, and usually they’re VERY competitive in price. But I always go through the bidding process, and this time it really paid off, because there was a HUGE difference.
Printer A bid the job at $4,430.65. Printer B bid the job at $9,707.18 – almost $5,300 more! More than twice as much for the exact same job!
Obviously, we went with Printer A – on THIS job. I don’t know about the next job yet. I won’t know until I get the bids from the printers and see how they compare.
ALWAYS get more than one bid on every job – and for every type of vendor. Whether it’s the printer, the lettershop, the fulfillment center – or any other vendor for your business – GET THOSE QUOTES! Do it even though you’ve worked with these vendors for years. You never know what the results will be on a particular job, and as we just saw, this one action could save you thousands of dollars.
One thing that can save you time when getting quotes is to work with a printing broker. Printing brokers work with more than one printer (just like an independent insurance agent works with more than one insurance company.) You can sometimes get a price advantage when working with brokers because they send a lot of work to the various printers all over the country.
You should look at printers in different regions, not just in your local area. It could be that the best printer for your job is located thousands of miles from you on the other side of the country. It doesn’t matter where in the USA the printing gets done, as long as it is mailed in the USA and the printer does a good job and delivers on time.
It always pays to get quotes from printers, especially if the piece is new or a different format. If the sheet size changes, or the number of pages changes, or there is some other change in the job, always get new quotes.
The reason for the big difference between Printer A and Printer B was that the piece that I was printing didn’t fit the high cost printer’s press very well. Different presses print different size sheets or rolls of paper, and depending on the size of your brochure and how many pages it is, it may be able to be printed on a particular press for much less than on another press.
Use Their Expertise
Ask your printers and your printing broker if there are ways to print your sales piece that would be bet¬ter or cheaper. Often, they will just quote the job the way you submit it, without thinking about whether there is a better way to do it or not. If you ask, though, they will “put on their thinking cap” and see if they can come up with a solution that is better for you.
Sometimes you’ll be surprised because something doesn’t make sense. For example, you might be able to print a magalog much cheaper than a brochure, booklet, or letter, even though the magalog has bigger, glossy pages, and more pages. You’d think that the magalog would cost more, but it turns out to be cheaper!
You’ll never know for sure if you don’t get quotes. Investing a bit of time could save you a lot of money in the long run.