Digital Volume Discounts


Posted: 9 November 2010

Ok. I have a question for Hal and other digital printers on this forum. From what I understand, toner and inkjet based production costs are the same throughout a run. So unit cost is pretty much the same no matter what the volume. But, I was wondering if anyone offers quantity discounts. On certain products, like post cards, the price for a few thousand seems to be high and when I look at my costs, I think, "Hey, I have a lot of room there to offer a more competitive price." I mean, I know digital machines are slow but they run unattended. With a little scheduling acrobatics I don't mind letting the machine do it's job while I work on something else. So my questions are these:

1.Is it possible to have MF discount at certain quantities? (If it doesn't already do that)
2.Would I be aiding in cheapening the industry?

. . . . .  Keith

Well I use a price break system. The price goes down the more you buy. So 1 to 100 may be $1.00 each. Yet 1,000 would be .35 each. Really I guess you have to know who your competition is and what they do. You want to be in the ballpark when you price. Here I have Staples, Office Depot, and Kinkos, to name a few. Most of the time we are fine. I do keep my eyes on them though. Office Depot is a killer when it comes to b/w copies.

. . . . .  jerryjfm

Thanks for the reply, Jerry! I love beating the pants off of Staples prices! But not by much, don't want to leave too much money on the table.

. . . . .  Keith

Last question first, Keith: Absolutely not. As you know, I'm a big fan of value-based pricing and have no use for cost-plus. If you think about it, cost-plus is what cheapens the industry. If everybody has basically the same costs to contend with, the tendency is to lowball and try to beat the competition on price.

In answer to your second question, the line between copiers and digital used to be that copies came off the glass, digital off a computer. That line is now so blurred that we can easily put both into the same pot. To discount a specific item based on quantity, simply take it out of MF's digital category and make it a copy product. To quote Staples, your favorite nemesis, "That was easy, wasn't it."

. . . . .  Hal Heindel