Should I print 500 or 1,000?

Did you know that there are instances when the cost difference between printing 500 and 1,000 quantities is minimal? I mean really small. For instance the difference between 500 and 1,000 business cards printed on a conventional press in 1 or 2 colors, 1 side on a standard stock is usually less then $10! On a 4 color business card it may be only $25 or less.

In the digital world things are different however. Jobs are based on a “per click” basis so a color flyer job of 1,000 may be almost twice the cost of a 500 run. But if this same job was printed on a conventional press, the 1,000 run would be just a little more than the 500 run.  This is because much of the cost in conventional printing is in the set-up time, which is the same for a job of 500 or 1,000.

The only difference in cost comes from the running time and the paper.  And these are minimal. Since the press generally runs at 5 to 10 thousand sheets per hour, it’s a matter of a few minutes between the 500 and 1,000 run.  The difference in paper cost is also negligible.  Assuming the job is on standard 100 lb. coated text, 1,000 sheets of 8.5 x 11” may only cost about $50 more than 500!

So to recap, with conventional printing, it’s not a bad idea to request a quote for a few more copies than you need. It’s always more cost effective to run more than to go back on press to reprint. If printing digitally, printing the quantities you need is more economical, and a few extra reprints are not much more! The major drawback with digital is that quantities of over 1,000 are more expensive, so with large quantities, conventional printing is the way to go!

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