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Best Buying Practice – Print 3/10

3)      ALWAYS demand to be billed and to pay at the time you pickup the job. The temptation will be great to get the invoice in the mail and pay in 30 days but here’s what you get when you pay at time of pickup:

  • Cash Savings – you can get as much as a 2% price reduction if you pay at the time of pickup – just ask for it. If you print a lot in a year that 2% adds up to a good chunk of money. I get 1% cash-back from my credit card and I’m very happy when I get that check at the end of the year. I remember my first bosses pocketed tens of thousands in a year doing just that – demanding to pay right away for a little cash discount.
  • Priority Service – most customers don’t pay at the time of pickup which means the printer has to wait at least 30 days to get paid for his work. Whom do you think he will offer greater favours – the guy who pays in 30 days or the guy who gives him cash at pickup? A recent project landed on my lap on a Friday afternoon at 2pm. It was an odd size 12 page plus cover coupon booklet with every page perf’ed. I had to have 7000 on Saturday by 12 noon. One phone call, and the following morning I paid cash, picked up my order and delivered to my customer. Because the saying does not go… Invoice talks…

Best Buying Practice – Print 2/10

2) Insist on getting a quote based on the specs you provided but be open and look well upon the printer that also offers alternative suggestions.

Printing is a custom manufacturing process and it has been around for over 500 years. Printers have “been there” and “done that”. They carry a wealth of knowledge. Be open to the printer who asks questions, more likely than not, that is the printer who will save you money and/or make you money.

A printer has printed your type of project for your type of company for your type of campaign in the past. Your type of company has given him feedback on the outcome, made tweaks to the project, reprinted it again and reported feedback again – and you don’t want to hear about it? That’s like trying to reinvent the wheel. My advice, get quotes from order takers but give orders to the printer who asks questions and offers advice, even if the final outcome will be exactly to your specifications.

Best Buying Practice – Print 1/10

1)      Give specs, Get quote – make sure you provide the right specifications to the printer when obtaining a quote and/or placing an order. The most basic information is:

  • Specify what the product is, ie. Brochure, postcard, booklet
  • Specify the number of pages if it’s a brochure or booklet  and whether it is self-cover or plus cover (Self-cover means that all pages print on the same paper; Plus cover means that the cover prints on a different paper)
  • Specify if the job prints colour or black only, example
    i.      4/0 which means full colour on one side and nothing printing on the back
    ii.      4/4 which means full colour on both sides
    iii.      2/1 which means 2 colours (a PMS and a Black) on one side and Black on the back
  • If it’s a booklet with a cover than you should specify what colour scheme the cover uses and what colour scheme the inside pages use, example
    i.      Cover – 4/4; Inside Guts – 1/1 which means the cover prints in full colour and the inside pages print only in one colour (ie black)
  • Specify the Flat size and the Finished size of the piece
  • Specify the type of paper to use and the proper weight, examples:
    i.      Weight – 70lb, 80lb, etc.
    ii.      Brand – specify the brand of paper, if you don’t , the printer will use his house stock meaning the paper that he orders the most of, which in most cases means most economical.
    iii.      Finish – Coated : Gloss, Matte, Silk or Uncoated/Offset: Smooth, Regular
    iv.      Type: Text weight (regular “flimsy” paper;
  • Specify the type of finishing, ie. Trim, Fold,  Score, Stitch, Glue, etc.
  • Specify how you want this packaged: Bulk in cartons, Shrinkwrapped in bundles of #,Banded in bundles of #
  • Specify the quantity – number of finished pieces