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Print Cost Markup

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by DougBarned, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. DougBarned

    DougBarned Member

    Hi all

    Just wondering about your thoughts on markup... As a freelance designer I accept that I should markup the cost of printing to address the cost of handling of the job through the process and liaising with the print supplier on behalf of the client. However, I'm always wondering how much of a markup I should apply.

    Can anyone offer any advice and/or let me know what level of markup you apply? Can't seem to find this elsewhere.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. Pulse Print

    Pulse Print New Member

    Hi Doug,

    I don't think you should work on a set percentage for this, as adding a the same percent to a large booklet order as you have to a small flyer order will have drastically different results. I think you should do it on a job by job basis. Think to yourself, how much work did that particular job take to finalize? If you charge in terms of the cost of your time rather than taking a percentage or getting greedy you'll keep a lot more customers happy and should end up making more in the long run anyway!
  3. DougBarned

    DougBarned Member

    Thanks for the response :icon_thumbup:

    I've read elsewhere that it's best to have a set percentage, but I happen to agree with you on varying it dependent on the product/project. However, I'm still a little in experienced when it comes to print items in my freelance business (I don't have to deal with pricing in my full time print orientated work and tend to do web stuff in freelance mode).

    For a business kit type scenario of say 3 x 500 4/0 BC and 5000x 4/0 letterheads and comp slips, what kind of markup would be acceptable... 30%? For file prep, pre-flight, liaise with printers, check proof, receive product & check, then ship to client.

    Again, all advice very much appreciated :)

  4. Pulse Print

    Pulse Print New Member

    Again, some people might disagree with me, but with the above example you're looking at around a £400 job as you get it form the printers (if bought from us). If you add 30% to this the job now becomes a £520 job, which may no longer be as competitive (you'll still be around half the price of some shop front printers - but in the online marketplace the print tends to be a lot better value). You just need to look at it from the customer's perspective and wonder if the new price of £520 will keep them ordering from yourself, or make them consider shopping around to find a better quote - then your margin suddenly turns to 0%.

    If you want to put a percentage mark up on this particular job then 10-15% will keep you competitive. Or you can think of it in terms of your time - liaising with the printers on this particular example and checking the products will rarely take more than half an hour in total - then of course you need to add your additional shipping.

    Many of the designers we work with ship directly from ourselves without seeing the products for this reason. You just need a reliable printers that you can trust to get it done without you having to check things over.
  5. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Online print is cut throat nowadays and customers will go elsewhere just to save £1.

    If your printer is well priced then you obviously have room for a decent mark-up, on the above spec we would charge you around £370. A 30% mark-up although much much cheaper than local printers is too much in my opinion. Personally I would rather put £50 on top and ensure they use you again, repeat orders and re-prints are where the money is....

    smaller mark-up = repeat orders = volume = profit

    Remember, as a print reseller you are not looking to compete online, you should be targetting your local market who still pay through the nose locally....these are the people you can help.
  6. DougBarned

    DougBarned Member

    Thanks guys, really appreciate it.

    You are both touched (quoted above) on my original thoughts. Which were along the lines of "I can't hope to compete with dedicated print services or even freelancers who have a lot of print projects. So as longs I undercut the extraordinarily marked-up prices offered by local printers, I can make it worthwhile for me, without being greedy."

    I'll take what you guys have said into account and see what I come up with :) I do think that small markup, encouraging re-prints, is the way to go when possible.

    Thanks again

  7. theGicleeService

    theGicleeService New Member

    Surely quality should be your no.1 aim as a designer?

    I would charge a reasonable hourly rate for the hours you put in getting the job printed for them.

    Like Boss Hogg said people want to save a £1, but then they find out it's printed on toilet paper which you can't even wipe your bottom with.
  8. Pulse Print

    Pulse Print New Member

    Haha - toilet paper you can't even wipe your bottom with - :icon_thumbup:
  9. printinglocal

    printinglocal New Member

    all very valid points.

    We markup on a risk to reward basis.

    High risk = high markup, even as much as 100% should we need to reprint without making a loss.
    Medium risk = 40-60%
    Low risk 10-30%

    again its tiered to the value of the print.

    As for Boss Hogs comment in regards to competing on a local basis. I know of a few local printers that are now outsourcing to Germany, because its cheaper than producing the jobs themselves.

    I tend to disagree that volume = profit. Purely because unless your doing something magical, getting volume in the print business is easier said than done. Take for example financial year 09-10, sales of £60k, profit £10k, again based on volume and low margins. Last month: profits £3k based on same order numbers but much higher margins.

    Adapt your business to the demand.
  10. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    Go to Germany and we lose printers and print companies here in the UK. Puts more people on the dole. . . and we lose yet another skill / manufacturing base to Johnny Foreigner (cars, steel etc all gone!)

    All we will have left are banks and insurance companies!
  11. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    For now anyway, it's only a matter of time!!

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