Let’s be honest, across almost all industries there is always someone who’ll “do it cheaper” and in print we’re no different. Where we do differ though is that we’re selling both a product and a service, so when comparing estimates be wary that things aren’t always “like for like” as they would be when buying baked beans from either Asda or Tesco!
As a buyer you’d be quite right to ensure you’re incumbent printer is giving you value for money, but be sure if you’re making checks that you know you’ll be getting the same product and the same service. If you simply ask for a comparable estimate for a 64pp perfect bound brochure you’d be amazed at the differences there could be:
- Materials – that doesn’t just mean weight but also quality. If someone simply states “130gsm gloss” you can be damned sure they are allowing for buying some clearance line or just anything they can get hold of at the time. Make sure your supplier specifies the brand – that way you know they are using a quality paper and not trying to hide it.
- Environmental – in this day and age your existing printer should be FSC/PEFC certified, enabling them to help you gain the “green PR” so associated at no cost. Is printer B offering this to you? If not specified then they’re almost certainly not using approved stocks. And then doubtful they’ll use vegetable based inks, have energy on renewable tariffs, have a committed recycling programme etc etc
- Perfect Binding – are they using just standard brittle glues or do they specify PUR? The latter will allow your book to be opened almost flat whereas use the former and you risk the spine cracking and pages falling out
- Equipment – if you’re printing a simple looking piece then this shouldn’t matter, but a brochure of this spec I’d expect would use loads of images, have heavy ink coverage and the like. So does your “super cheap quote” allow for printing on a new Heidelberg with latest technologies or some old 25 year old press. I promise on any “good looking” job you’ll see a massive difference. Colour consistency, image quality, streaking……
- Delivery – You may well be used to getting things done in a hurry, perhaps even over weekends. Your current guys probably accept this as being part of the service as they work day and night and weekends too as a standard, so all part of the service. Mr Cheap may take 7 days therefore to do what you’re used to getting 3….and to do quickly will probably charge you double. Who’s cheap now?
The point really is that things aren’t always what they seem, so if you get a “comparable” estimate that seems considerably cheaper be sure to ask yourself if you are going to get what you really want in terms of finish and service. Just be sure that if “getting cheap” your finished product doesn’t “look cheap” – you’ll only regret it.
Contact us for a detailed quote.
Dan Jacobs is the Sales Director of PrintHouse Corporation. You can contact Dan on 020 8963 0123 via firstname.lastname@example.org or using this form.