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Cutting Printing Costs On Business Cards, Part I


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Printing can cost a fortune. This article will show you how you can cut some of those costs.

So the problem to consider is this: how do you make your business card interesting while still keeping your costs down?

The obvious method, of course, is to shop around. Chain copy stores, as convenient as they are, tend to use machines that are specialized for printing on lower-weight paper, and that are designed to print in lower print volumes. The toner cartridge for a laser copier will usually cost something like $90 in stores (lower at wholesale costs), and will print about 5,000 sheets. This means that the printing costs remain fairly consistent, even over high print volumes, since the average cost per sheet of the toner needs to be factored in to every sheet. And this means that any high-volume printing you do-such as printing business cards-will cost you about as much as low-volume printing, even without considering issues of quality.

One good solution to this problem is offset printing. Offset printing works by first creating a “plate" of the page, which is fairly expensive at first-on the order of $5 per plate. Once the plate is made, however, the maintenance and ink cost of actually printing the page is extremely low-about two cents, as opposed to ten for a laser copier. So the price per sheet drops sharply with high-volume printing operations. At ten sheets (or one hundred cards), offset printing will cost about $5.20, while a copy store will charge about $1 (less machine cutting, of course. )

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