How to cut your printing costs (without making your printer hate you)

As we deal almost exclusively with not-for-profits who are always trying to save money in every way they can we often get asked about discounts."Any chance you can do something about the price?" turns up a lot at the end of the order process. The answer is "well no and yes". To start with the "no" part - we do our best to keep our prices fair, we make a profit but it's not enormous. A portion of the profit gets given away as part of our company's commitment to operating in a socially responsible fashion, a portion is reinvested in new plant, equipment and staff training so that we can provide a better more environmentally-friendly service and whatever's left we keep for the occasional rainy day. If we simply provide print for less money it makes the company less viable, less able to invest and less able to do some of the social good I like it to do. (Our current project involved the provision of a wheelchair accessible minibus for a charity that provides respite care for children). There'll be a bigger post about this soon.

Now to get to "yes" - there are a number of ways in which we can work with clients to help them save money on their print costs. By working together we can cut our costs and we're delighted to pass on the savings to our clients. So in no particular order here's a list of tips for reducing your print costs:


  • Ask about discounts for off-peak ordering - our offering envelope business is seasonal so we'll happily reduce costs for clients who order and pay during our quiet periods.
  • Ask about discounts for early payment - most businesses will give a discount for payment with order. Bank interest rates are low at the moment so it might be well worth using the cash you hold on deposit to get cheaper goods/services
  • Use our web to print service - our web to print system streamlines our order process and also require early payment so we can provide cheaper print for clients availing of it.
  • Ask about volume discounts - set up time is the same whether a client requires 500 copies of a book or 5,000 so as volume goes up unit costs go down. For some products it might be worth buying more than one year's supply to avail of cheaper prices.Some companies will warehouse the goods until they are required.
  • Provide ready to go artwork - we'll happily design items for you and tidy up files you provide but it does involve a cost. Providing your job in a format that the printer can use straightaway can help cut costs n.b. be sure to check what files will work best for your print provider high resolution pdfs are normally very acceptable something designed on an old copy of Word from 2003 may not be as good. Alternatively use web to print systems which let you personalise pre-designed templates.
  • Order all your print from us - This isn't just me being cheeky. In common with most companies we'll be very happy to provide keen prices in return for getting all the print business. So if you're getting envelopes from one supplier, receipt books from another and letterheads from a third consider buying the lot from one place.
  • Ask about value-added services - we provide a range of other services which can help save time or money. We provide personalisation and fulfillment services which can save a lot of time and a bit of money. Our web to print service lets you provide products for resale - branded mugs, calendars, charity cards. We'll even set up an online store for you.

Most importantly - talk to us. We want our clients to be happy and successful and we're happy to work with you in whatever way we can.