Print Cost Markup

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by design-is, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #1
    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!

    /Doug
     
  2. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #2
    Some of my competitors mark-up printing 40% or more. That's too much, in my opinion.

    I prefer to keep my mark-up around 20%. If the job is bigger, I'll cut it to 10%. For non-profit charities, I don't charge a mark-up – I have them pay the printer direct.
     
  3. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502

    UTclassof89

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #3
    Remember that handling the print job incurs risk (if something goes wrong with your digital files, or the printing, and the printer won't make it right, you're on the hook for a potentially expensive mistake--possibly thousands of dollars). Make your markup reflect not only the time of dealing with the printer, but the risk you're taking on.
     
  4. Woodrow72 macrumors member

    Woodrow72

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    Utah
    #4
    I work for a printer and am a freelance photographer. Often I design invitations or announcements for my clients.

    At my shop we usually mark everything up 35%, we also give non-profits 10% off of that.

    I have worked out a special price with my printer so that she can make money and so that I have enough room to mark it up and make money as well.

    The thing you need to keep in mind is that you dont want to kill the market, find out from other printers and free lance designers what they are charging. Dont be the cheapest but dont be the most expensive. Try and be in the middle.

    I dont think there is a end all be all percentage, do some research and find out what the market is doing. Make it worth your while but give you client a good deal as well.
     
  5. design-is thread starter macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #5
    Thanks for the responses guys :)

    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).

    Again, all advice very much appreciated :)

    /Doug
     
  6. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #6
    Print this out large and hang it on your wall if you want to be successful.
     
  7. a cat *miaow* macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #7
    +1
     
  8. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #8
    20% here. though on smaller jobs that price can go upward to 40% as the % isn't as much as time spent saving files to printer's specs.
     
  9. design-is thread starter macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #9
    Thanks for the reply :) Do you mind if I ask where you're based in the world?
     
  10. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    #10
    25% to 35%, depends on the size of the job. To mark up a large print bill by 40% is a good way to lose business to competitors... plus it is a little bit greedy, especially when you are already charging for design & production. I do know some agencies who routinely add 40-50% on to an estimate in the middle of the price range, and then use the lowest bid for printing. Paying a printer does however involve a degree of risk, and you are the one holding the bag if the job prints badly, or the client just won't pay after the job had been printed. To offset this you should charge something for tying up your credit line. Probono or non-profits I NEVER markup at all, however I always make them pay the printing directly. Big, big print bills (10-50K) I also never markup either, as I make the client pay those directly as well. Bad debt from clients has killed many a business and I have no intention of joining those ranks.

    Actually on that note... choose your clients well (easy to say I know), and always try your best to keep your good clients happy. When I was starting out on my own I took everything that crossed my desk out of the fear of not knowing what jobs will come (or not). Turned out to be a big mistake. There are a lot of folks who routinely stiff businesses or worse... take your designs & concepts and turn it over to someone else who is cheaper, or just decide they don't want to do the project after all. Red flags are asking for work on "spec" (never, ever do that), or start off by saying how easy the job is, and that they can do it themselves in a few minutes (if they had the time). After a few years you will be able to spot the "type" quickly and steer clear...
    cheers,
    michael
     

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