NPRC Launches Financial Benchmarking Survey

NPRC Launches popular survey – NPRC is proud to announce it has just launched the industry’s most popular and longest running survey – The 2019-2020 Financial Benchmarking Survey. Improving financial ratios is the key to success in this industry, and that’s why we bring you this survey every two years!

Firms of all sizes are encouraged to participate. The Benchmarking Survey is open to firms ranging in size from $300,000 to $3 million in annual sales. Printing firms that participate in the survey and return it by the March 1, 2019 deadline will receive a FREE copy of the final report in April 2019.

Click Here to download and print out the Survey Worksheet. OR, if you prefer, you can go directly to our on-line Official Survey and complete the survey in one sitting.

The survey will offer  key breakouts and financial ratios related to annual sales, cost of goods, payroll and overhead expenses. Reports will be broken out based upon profitability quartiles as well as population, sales per employee and geographic density.

This popular survey, published on a biennial basis since 1983, has been hailed industry leaders as the most important survey conducted in the printing industry. In response to requests from many printers, this year’s survey has eliminated “all balance sheet” data, and concentrates strictly on profitability ratios, notes John Stewart, Executive Director of NPRC.

Remember, the deadline for returning surveys is March 1, 2019. To participate in this survey follow the link below or click the artwork to the right to download and print our Survey Worksheet.

http://printingresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019_NPRC_FBWorksheet_F.pdf

 

 

Printing Association Releases 2019 Goal Sheet

Interested in boosting profits and becoming a “Profit Leader” in 2019? If your answer is “Yes,” we suggest you Click Here and download NPRC’s latest publication – The 2019 Financial Model & Goals sheet.

Click JPG to Download 2019 Goal Sheet

At a quick glance, you’ll discover what the top 25% in our industry are reporting in terms of :

  • Cost of Sales
  • Payroll Expenses
  • Operating Expenses
  • Owner’s Compensation
  • Sales Per Employee

The data provided is based upon statistical data reported in various research studies and reports published by NPRC during the past 18 months. For additional information about our industry, visit NPRC’s website at www.printingresearch.org and scan the various articles under our “blog” tab.

Industry Wage Study Officially Released!

NPRC has just announced it has released the 2019 Wage & Benefits study two weeks earlier than previously planned. Participants were sent their FREE copies of the study on Dec. 11, 2018.

2019 Wage & Benefits Study

Sample pages from 2019 Wage Study

The new 2019 Printing Industry Wage & Benefits Study  was previously scheduled for release on Jan. 2, 2019 but, “We were able to put in some overtime on this project and release it early,” according to John Stewart, Executive Director of the National Printing Research Council. 

Priced at only $179, the new 118-page wage study reveals average and median wages and benefits for 24 key positions in the printing industry.  The soon-to-be-released study also includes detailed sales and compensation practices for outside sales representatives. To order your copy, visit the NPRC Bookstore.

This information-packed study reports wages for popular positions such as general managers, CSRs, and graphic designers. Other positions surveyed include digital operators as well as mailing and large format specialists.

“This study is invaluable. It can easily prevent you from losing a valuable employee who offer his or her two-week notice because of a better offer from one of your competitors,” notes Stewart. “It’s not as if we intentionally underpay employees, it’s just that we sometimes take them for granted and fail to periodically review their salaries as we should,” Stewart adds.

More than 200 firms participated in this most recent survey. Participants reported average 2018 (projected) sales of $1.7 Million and median sales of $1 million, according to NPRC. Average SPE for participants in this year’s survey was $139,000 while median SPE was slightly lower at $134,000 – both remarkably similar to what was reported in 2016.

The new study provides wage and salary data based upon population density, geographic locations, sales and SPE levels.

Order Two Pricing Studies & Save 25%

Order Two Pricing Studies & Save $84.50!

Ordered separately, these two popular studies would normally cost $338! However, order these studies together and you will pay ONLY  $253.50  – a savings of 25% off the retail price. This sale applies only to PDFs. NPRC Members pay only $126.00! To place your order, visit the NPRC Bookstore Today.

2017-2018 Printing Industry Digital Printing Pricing Study

2017-2018 Printing Industry Digital Printing Pricing Study

These two pricing studies reveal up-to-the-minute pricing detail on literally hundreds of services and products available in the printing industry. Check-out exactly what is covered in these studies by clicking the links below.

If you’ve ever thought about ordering one or both of these industry pricing studies now is the time to act. You will never be able to purchase these two studies at a lower price.

 

Covering Dozens of Products & Services

2018 Printing Industry Bindery Services Pricing Study

2018 Printing Industry Bindery Services Pricing Study

These studies provide average and median prices for literally hundreds of products and services offered in the printing industry.  Combined, these two studies cover both digital printing and bindery services. Best yet, these are prices provided by printers just like yourself.

We aren’t suggesting that you raise or lower your prices to match what we report, but we do note that profit leaders in our industry do a much better job in monitoring and adjusting their pricing practices than their competitors. There’s no better way to do that than to check-out the printing industry’s most popular pricing studies.

To NPRC,

“It is great to see what other printers are charging for the same products and be able to compare those prices in an organized fashion.”
Kevin Williams, Systems Print & Mail, Laguna Hills, CA

Dear NPRC,

“While we have not gone thru the report from front to back, the report has shown us several areas where our pricing needs to be adjusted. It is helpful to be able to access data from all sizes of shops in all sizes of towns and use that data to increase our profitability.”
Doug Carlile, President / CEO, Professional Print & Mail, Inc., Fresno, CA 

2018 DIGITAL COLOR PRICING STUDY…
TABLE OF CONTENTS

2018 BINDERY SERVICES PRICING STUDY…
TABLE OF CONTENTS

100% Money-Back Guarantee – Remember, these studies, like all publications sold by the National Printing Research Council (NPRC), are sold on a 100% money-back guarantee.  Most orders are shipped and processed within four hours or even less. Orders received on Fridays, however, are typically mailed the following Monday morning.

Wife Needs Help Pricing 24-Page Booklet

Wife Needs Help With Pricing
24-Page Booklet With Cover

By John Stewart, Executive Director NPRC

Last week Mary (my wife) came into my office and asked me to help her price a 24-page booklet. A woman had just come into the shop and asked for a quote and Mary needed to get back to the customer quickly. She asked me for help in working up a price. “Of course I can,” I said. “I’m the expert on stuff like this. In fact, I can even sell you a copy of the latest 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study at a heavily discounted price.”

“Oh shut up,” she said. “Just work out the price for me and then you can go back and play with your Excel files.” she added. With no real options to consider, I grabbed a nearby copy of the pricing study and started jotting down some notes.

“Oh shut up,” she said. “Just work out the price for me and then you can go back and play with your Excel files.” she added.

The problem with using many of the pricing studies that we have published over the years is the fact that no matter how extensive they are, it is virtually impossible to find a nice, neat answer for every job, every quantity and every size that comes in the front door.

Why? Because there is no way our pricing studies (or any pricing study for that matter) can anticipate every possible scenario. Cover or no cover? Finished size 5.5 x 8.5 or 8.5 x 11”? Bleed or no bleed? How many pages? And of course, what’s the finished quantity? Also, what kind of delivery time is the customer requesting?

It is virtually impossible to provide easy-to-read tables that can provide pricing for all the possible scenarios. What often ends up happening is that we end up using interpolation and other simple math tricks to arrive at our best estimate for a job, using data available in one of these pricing studies.

As we often note in the introduction to pricing studies – the prices we report are not necessarily “prices as they should be, but rather prices as they are.” There’s a big difference. Nonetheless, the average and median prices we present in this and other studies tend to represent “fair market” pricing for the products we survey, especially if you are interested in comparing your price to what others might charge for the same job! 

Mary’s Specific Project

I asked Mary to give me the specifics and I would help her come up with a price. Here’s what she provided:

  • A 24-page booklet with a separate cover. (6 11×17 signatures, 4/4 on 100# coated text and a 4/4 cover on 100# coated cover.) No bleeds. Saddle stitched with a face trim.
  • Quantity: 750 copies
  • Normal, 4-5 day turn-around required

Ok, so I grabbed a copy of the 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study and dove in. First, I checked pages 58 and 59 where we report pricing for newsletters & booklets. The first problem, is that while we provide pricing for 16-page booklets and 32-page booklets, we don’t report pricing for 20-page or 24-page booklets so we would have to do some interpolation with the prices that were provided.

Mind you, when we report pricing for specific quantities and sizes of booklets, we provide a lot of info like average and median pricing for completed quantities, pricing per individual book and we even suggest a range in pricing within which you are probably “safe” to quote. We call it a “majority low” and “majority high” range. Nonetheless, we cannot provide pricing for every possible size and format. Sometimes, that’s up to the reader to tackle.

Second problem, although once again minor, is that while we may provide pricing for quantities such as 100, 500, 1M and 2.5M booklets, we don’t report pricing for 250 or 750 booklets. Another interpolation being required.

Here Are My Notes For the Quote

Raw Pricing from 2018 Pricing Study

Booklet Size                Qty 500       Qty 1,000

 16-page + Cover             $1,987              $3,415

32-page + Cover              $3,246             $5,762                

 

Revised Pricing Notes (with 24-page booklets added)

Booklet Size                Qty 500       Qty 1,000

 16-page + Cover            $1,987                $3,415

24-page + Cover*           $2,616               $4,588 << simple interpolation prices

32-page + Cover             $3,246               $5,762

* With a 24-page booklet being precisely between a 16-page and a 32-page in terms page quantity, it was simple math to add the lower quantity price and the higher quantity price and then divide the total by 2. Some folks might consider using a weighted average, but that’s probably overkill for most.

Ok, we’ve got pricing for the right size of booklet, but we don’t have pricing for the right quantity. Once again, at least in this case, we turned to simple match to calculate the price for 750 copies. We kept it simple. ($2,616 + $4,588)/2). The final answer for a quantity of 750, 24-page booklets with a separate cover was $3,602 or $4.80 per book.

Finished? Not quite! When you start looking at all the pricing information available just on these two pages it can be overwhelming. Is some of the pricing data skewed by a few high numbers in our data base? Possible but not likely, but we nonetheless offer both average and median numbers so that folks can consider modest differences in those two prices. The median price is sometimes a safer bet, but the averages are typically what we use. Sometimes (as in this example) the difference between the average and median price at the 500 quantity was less than $150 or about $0.20 cents per book.

Someone looking at just these two pricing pages (pages 58 & 59) would also see that we offer a “majority low” and “majority high price” as well – thus throwing another variable into the pricing mix.

Mary’s Final Price

Ok, so what did Mary finally decide to go with after looking at the $3,602 price I provided? After looking at that price and considering various alternative prices, she decided to go with $3,189 or $4.25 per book.

How did she select that final price to quote? In all honesty, she says she sort of used her gut instinct, then reached up into the air and came down with that final price.  Less than two hours transpired between the time the customer first walked in the door and the time Mary emailed her with the final price. Within 15 minutes the customer email Mary and gave her the Ok to proceed. They stressed the fact that it was definitely needed by Friday end of day.

A bit of background is in order. The client is a fairly large Baptist church that does an amazing amount of outreach and fundraising for charitable projects around the world. Although Mary and I are not Baptists, we found ourselves agreeing and admiring how much outreach this church does around the world. The church plans to distribute these booklets this weekend to solicit contributions for its ongoing efforts. Looking at the dozens of photos demonstrating all their projects and outreach, even Mary and I were impressed. 

The woman who originally brought the job to us to quote apparently had full authority to make the final decisions. As it turned out, we surmised, based upon teh fast response and Ok to our quote, that we were the only vendor they had turned to – whether it was due to our reputation or a reference we will probably never know. By the way, this is a good time to note that not every customer in every market is looking for the lowest price. Far from it, despite all the naysayers out there that keep insisting how their markets are different and that most customers are only concerned with price.

By the way, I also know that some of the good marketing experts out there would also be yelling and screaming at us that we should follow-up and ask what else can we do for them. We didn’t and probably won’t.

Oh, by the way, this article is being written on Thursday, Oct. 18th.  The job was due tomorrow. I just checked with Mary and asked her how the job is coming. Remember, I have no day-to-day involvement with the operations of our small printing firm, so I know very little about what is going on most of the time. Mary told me that the job was actually picked up about an hour ago (24 hours earlier than promised) and the customer was really pleased.

Second Thoughts & Fears

If you’ve been in this industry for 10 years or more there are always lingering fears and questions when running what for us is a fairly large job.

  • The nightmare scenario has always been receiving a phone call from the client within 30 or less after have delivered the job. When someone announces Mrs. Smith is on the line nobody wants to talk to her about the job because we assume the worse, like a complaint about missing signatures, or a misplaced photo or one entire signature being out of place in the booklet. Yes, that happens, but then again they sometimes just call you to thank you for a job well done.
  • Of course, there is always the second guessing about the price. Would we have gotten the Ok to print had we quoted an extra $200 or $300? The answer in this case is almost a definite “Yes.” Nonetheless, we know the price was inherently fair. As it turned out, it actually ran much smoother than expected, even with a couple of minor problems with our booklet maker.

 

NPRC Releases Signs & Wide Format Pricing Study

NPRC Releases Signs & Wide Format Pricing Study

The 2018-2019 Signs & Wide Format Pricing Study is NPRC’s newest research study, and it is now available for immediate shipment.  This study has already proven to be a real eye-opener for many firms!

Order this new study  today by visiting NPRC’s Bookstore at http://printingresearch.org/products-page/ Remember, 98% of  all orders are processed and mailed same day as received. 

Covering dozens of products & services – This new, 110+ page study details real-world pricing practices for dozens of the most common products and services in the signs and wide format industry. Click here or the artwork below to view and download two sample pricing pages. 

Click below to view
Table of contents 

OWNERS PRAISE NEW SIGN
PRICING STUDY PUBLISHED BY NPRC

 “After reviewing the latest Sign & Wide Format study I realized I’d been leaving money ‘sitting on the table’ on some products. Literally within minutes of receiving the study, I was able to confidently revise a quote for a customer, knowing the price would still be fair yet competitive. The resulting revenue increase nearly covered the cost of the study—and that’s just one project! Thank you for all of your hard work.”

James Jepsen, General Manager
Local Copies Etc. Santa Maria CA 


“The work that John and his team do is so great for our industry and I would hope more companies invest the time in taking part in the survey every year. We all rise up together and this work is a great step for all of us! Our company is only 4 years old so this information is invaluable.”

Zeno Signs & Chesterton Printing Co.
Chesterton, IN


“Hi John. Got the study, printed it, and now using it. Every time we get a survey from you we spend a good deal of time reviewing our pricing. I know we should do this more often but your surveys are the ‘kick in the butt’ that we need to make sure we are getting the best return on our work. I have been doing these surveys for more than 20 years. While I own other businesses, there is nothing in those industries to compare with the surveys you produce. Thanks.”

Jon Robson
Auburn Document Centre, Auburn, NY

Survey Participants?

What about those who participated in the survey? Firms that participated in the original survey received an email and a PDF of the 2018 Signs & Wide Format Pricing Study on Tuesday, Sept. 11th, so if you participated in this survey you are urged to carefully check your email for Sept. 11-12th for an email with a SUBJECT LINE: “Urgent, your Signs & Wide Format Pricing Study is attached.”  

NPRC makes every effort to process and send copies of its studies on a timely basis to all those who participate, but participants also have a responsibility to promptly open and download the attached PDFs. In most cases, folks who call us and complain that they never received their copy typically end up finding it in their spam or trash folders. Please check all of your folders before emailing us about a missing copy. 

This information-packed study offers average and median pricing for dozens of products and services offered in the sign industry, including the following: 

  • Laminating Services
  • Substrate Pricing Retail and Discounted)
  • 3′ x 6′ and 4′ x 8′ Banners
  • Vertical Banners & Stands
  • Feather Flags
  • 4MM Coroplast Yard Signs (1-S & 2-S)
  • ACM Panel Pricing (18″ x 24″ and 24′ x 36′)
  • Magnetic Signs
  • Decals – square and contour cut
  • Vehicle Decals
  • Flat Surface Vehicle Wraps
  • Window Perfs
  • Basic Pricing Charges for Vinyl Signs

The study is available in both PDF and Hard-Copy formats.

 

Selling “Partner” Increases Business Value!

The Endowment Principle
And Valuing Your Business

By John C. Stewart, Executive Director, NPRC

“The endowment principle suggests that an owner of an object tends to attribute a higher value to that object because he owns it. Consequently, the owner of a business may think that the business has a higher value than it actually does, merely because he or she started it, nurtured it, etc. You should take this into account if your valuation falls far below the owner’s asking price.” (From Print Shop for Sale, Chapter 1)

I would love to have $10 for every time I have heard an owner tell me that they would rather shut the doors, close the business and walk away before they would accept an offer they consider too low. It is amazing how many owners simply point to the many years they have worked building the business, the sacrifices they have made, and the “blood sweat and tears” they have invested to build their businesses to justify the value they have placed on their business.

Tell owners that they have made a major mistake loading up their small businesses with equipment that really isn’t need, or tell them that after all is said and done they have earned a decent salary over the years but they really haven’t generated any significant “excess earnings” and as a result their business is worth very, very little.

Sadly, many owners wait too late to sit down and attempt to value their business. To be blunt, some put this task off because they suspect the value will not be what they were dreaming of or counting on a few years ago. Other owners simply have little or no idea as to how to arrive at a value for their business, and they are unwilling to take the five or six hours it might take to get a better grasp on valuing a business.

Some make a half-hearted attempt by using some outdated multiplier, while others rely on advice offered by a well-meaning uncle or business broker, most of whom know little about valuations in the printing industry.

Valuations Based Upon Earnings

Most important of all, many of these owners simply do not understand the basic valuation principle that notes that, “for a business to have any real value to a potential buyer, it must be able to produce enough cash flow to pay the new owner a reasonable working salary and then produce enough ‘excess earnings’ for the buyer to be able to purchase the business from the seller over a 4-6 year period of time.”

“For a business to have any real value to a potential buyer, it must be able to produce enough cash flow to pay the new owner a reasonable working salary and then produce enough ‘excess earnings’ for the buyer to be able to purchase the business from the seller over a 4-6 year period of time.”

The biggest mistake made by many owners contemplating the sale of their business is to initially combine the salary and perks paid to both the husband and wife and look at that combined total as the “profit” generated by the business. Once combined, the owners then use some type of multiplier, add a value for assets, and arrive at a final selling price for the business. Oh, if were only that simple!

Let’s clear up something immediately. Combining your salary and perks with whatever is paid to your spouse and then claiming that represents the “net profit” or “net earnings” of the business is simply wrong, wrong, wrong!

Only If You Are Selling Your Spouse

Of course, the only exception to the discussion above would be in the event that you are actually including your spouse (husband or wife) along with the list of other assets that will convey when you sell the business. I know at least some readers are whispering to themselves,“Oh, if I could only do that I would…”

“Ok Mr. Stevens (the new buyer), here is the final paper work for the sale of the business, and you will notice that it includes a Ricoh digital printer, a state-of-the-art estimating system, a Heidelberg folder, padding rack, a Sakuri 40” cutter and my wife. She will stay on with the business until you decide to trade her in or sell her to another print shop.”

The point in the sarcasm noted above is that when a husband and wife sell their business to an individual buyer, it is typically assumed that the buyer will assume some or all of the responsibilities of the primary owner, AND if there is a “working” spouse involved in the business, the new buyer will also have to hire someone to replace that spouse or partner. So the money paid to the spouse that was initially classified, counted or included as part of “net profit” or “owner’s compensation” is really nothing more than payroll that must be assumed by the new buyer.

What about the value of the hard assets that are normally sold and conveyed with the sale of the business? Yes, the value of assets used in the business are also included in most valuations, but in the end, the value of assets are typically modest or minimal compared the value of the business when considering “excess earnings” or profits.

A Disgruntled Client

I once had a client who actually stopped communicating with me (he was acting like a small child) when I told him that his decision to purchase one piece of equipment after another, especially in the past 3-4 years had actually negatively impacted the value of his business. It seemed like he was bent on buying equipment and he bought and bought, using the argument that the more production capability he brought in-house the better and more productive he would be.

Sometimes it is better to broker than to invest in equipment that is only used two or three times a month. Just remember, the very last thing you want to do in the last few years before you sell your business is to start adding a bunch of new assets.

Assets never contribute on a $1 for $1 basis when it comes to valuing a business, but “excess earnings” can easily end up being multiplied by a ratio of 3 to 5 in caluclating the final value of a business.

Buyers Like Profits, Not Assets

Newly acquired assets are quickly depreciated, oftentimes far faster than shown on the balance sheet. To consider the investment cost for a new piece of equipment can or will be recaptured at the time of sale is pure folly. Buyers are not interested in buying shiny new equipment. They can do that on their own without your help.

On the other hand, buyers are interested in buying businesses that produce real “excess earnings,” “cash flow” or “profit” above and beyond what required or necessary to pay a single working owner. The bottom line? Excess earnings are always far more valuable than even the best net assets, no matter all the bells and whistles.

Drop me a line with any of your questions at: johnstewart@printingresearch.org

 

Major Pricing Variations a Myth!

Pricing Variations Between Markets
A Myth Says Industry Pricing Expert

By John C. Stewart, Executive Director, NPRC

As publisher of key industry pricing studies for the past 30+ years, there is one recurring comment I  hear repeated week after week and month after month from printers around the country, and those comments deal with pricing variations from market to market.

The comments go something like this: “John, just received the latest pricing study and I really like it, but I couldn’t help but notice that many of the prices in the study are much higher in my market than what is noted in the study.”

Of course, I also hear the reverse as well, “John, just received the latest pricing study and it has been a real eye-opener, but I couldn’t help but notice that many of the prices in the study seem a lot lower than what is charged in my market area.”

When it comes to pricing practices, printers, don’t like to hear the validity of their pricing assumptions being questioned. For 10-25 years, they’ve always heard statements like, “Hey, pricing is far different in my market” or “I could never charge those prices in my market. If I did I would be out of business.”

“I could never charge those prices in my market. If I did I would be out of business.”

Many printers simply make assumptions about pricing, as well as repeat things they’ve heard in the past. They will state things like, “Obviously prices are higher in densely populated markets than they are in smaller markets,” or they will note something like, “Prices on the West Coast are typically higher than other regions of the country.” The latter being pure conjecture on their part, and is lacking any substantive evidence to back up such a claim.

Do Prices Vary by Market?

Too many times I hear well-meaning printers claim that pricing obviously varies from one geographic market to the next as well as from markets distinguished by population density. While sincere and well intentioned, most of these comments are not based upon hard cold facts, but rather more so on “gut feel.” Labor costs may indeed be higher in one area than the next, but those costs may be offset by lower material costs. 

The hard cold facts are, with rare exceptions, that you will find far greater variations in prices for specific products and services within a single market than you will find as you explore and compare pricing from one market to the next, or from one region  the next. 

“The hard cold facts are, with rare exceptions, that you will find far greater variations in prices for specific products and services within a single market than you will find as you explore and compare pricing from one market to the next, or from one region  the next.”

So, when someone emails me as they did the other day and says he is from San Francisco and the prices there are much higher there than they are in other places in the country I politely tell him/her that unless he has already conducted a professional pricing survey and “shopped his competitors” that he will generally discover that his assumptions are simply incorrect.

Pricing Digital Envelopes

Industry Pricing Studies Validate Pricing Practices

Industry Pricing Studies Validate Pricing Practices

Here’s a perfect example of what I am talking about. According to one of our newest reports, the 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study, the national average price for 1M 10/24# 4C digitally printed envelopes is $291. The median price is $281.

According to the recent 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study, we know that franchises are about 11% higher than independents. We also know that when we look at average pricing based upon population density, we find that average prices vary between $271 and $294 for that specific product. That is equivalent to 5% +/- of the national average. If we examine average pricing for this product based upon geographic regions (Northeast, Central, Southeast, West, etc.) we find that prices vary by less than 5% from one region to the next.

However, while prices for these #10/24 digital envelopes vary only modestly when looking from one region to the next, or from one geographic market to the next, we know the situation is far different when we drill down to individual markets.

We know for a fact that when we look at individual markets such as Oskosh, WI, Jacksonville, FL, San Francisco, CA or Greenville, SC or similar markets we will discover far greater (sometimes huge) variations in pricing for a specific product WITHIN each of those markets, than we will discover going from one market to next. 

Small Markets & Pricing Variations

As an example, let’s take a relatively small town or city where there are 10 small format quick printing operations. Now let’s survey the price for those 1M 10/24# 4C envelopes. What do we find? We will find a much larger variation in pricing for these envelopes within this small market than we will find when we look at national or regional pricing for this product.

While we know the average price for 1M envelopes is indeed $291 with average variations in pricing running in the 3-7% range, if we conduct our local survey we will uncover pricing for this specific product varying between $175 (40% lower) and $350 (20% higher) among those 10 printers.

1M 10/24# White Wove, 4C envelopes (no bleed)
Average Price… $291

Median Price… $281

When we closely examine pricing variations within individual markets, we typically discover pricing variations of 20-40% +/- of what we report for national average price. Now, some of the erratic and inconsistent pricing can indeed be attributed to “real-world estimating mistakes.” However, the vast majority of pricing variations are more likely explained due to dramatically different approaches to pricing by individual owners and the perceived value they assign to various products  – as opposed to differences based upon market size, region, as well as differences due to material costs, labor costs and overhead costs.  

Most readers who call or write us with questions regarding specific prices published in various industry pricing surveys tend to do so based not out of sheer curiosity, but rather as a rationalization for justifying their own prices, especially when their own prices may vary by 30-40% or more from what we report in our pricing surveys.

My Challenge Today

Surveying and capturing pricing for specific products is not for the faint of heart or for amateurs. If you want it done right be prepared to spend $400-450 or more!

If you have some misconceptions about pricing, or would simply like to confirm that you are indeed “in the ball park” in terms of pricing, I would encourage you to consider hiring a professional price shopper to survey 10-15 printers within your own market.

For details on what is entailed in hiring a shopper click on the link below. Please, whatever you do, don’t take the cheap way out and hire your cousin Susie, or have your press operator Bob call around for pricing during his lunch break.

For years I have told clients that, “If you’re going to survey customers, at least do it professionally,” (Go here to read more about these surveys.) Don’t grumble about the cost. Be prepared to spend $400-450 because that’s my estimate of what you should be prepared to hire a “professional shopper.”

If you do act and hire a shopper I would love to receive a copy of their written report and your analysis. Thanks for listening. Send your comments, criticisms or questions to johnstewart@printingresearch.org 

 

NPRC Releases 2018 Bindery Services Pricing Study

The 2018 Printing Industry Bindery Services Pricing Study is now available for immediate shipment from the National Printing Research Council (NPRC). This brand new study is one of the most popular pricing studies published in the printing industry. Released May 15, 2018, this study covers pricing for dozens and dozens of bindery services and products. 

The new report also provides both average and median pricing, plus in many cases, the study provides per thousand pricing as well. Just Click here to view the Table of Contents for this just-released study.

These are just a few of the services and products covered in this new study: 3-hole drilling, cutting, folding, collating, numbering (both digital and crash numbering), perfect binding, booklet making, regular and NCR padding as well as dozens of other charges. Visit the NPRC Bookstore today to place your order.

Remember, all NPRC publications are sold on a 100% money-back guarantee. 

NPRC Member Price (PDF): $79.50
NPRC Member Price (Hard Copy): $89.50   

Non-Member Price (PDF): $159.00
Non-Member Price (Hard Copy): $179.00

Pricing Study – Table of Contents and Sample Pricing Page

You asked for it, so we did it! Recently we received some inquiries from owners who have been thinking about purchasing our latest pricing study – The 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study, but told us that before they placed an order they would like to view the Table of Contents – a pretty reasonable request, but something we had failed to think about. So here it is… Click Here to see exactly what products are covered. 

Although this new pricing study, like all publications published by NPRC, is sold on a 100% money-back guarantee, some folks would still rather just be sure what our studies contain before they place an order. Then visit the  NPRC Bookstore to place your order.

You can also  download three different sample pages from this just-released study. Click on one or more of the pages depicted below to download a complete full-page PDF.

The first page is a sample pricing page depicting pricing for 4 x 9″ Rack Cards. Click on the image to print-out the pricing sheet:

Rack Card Pricing is one of more than 30 products and/or services covered in the 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study.

The second is a pricing page covering 9 x 12″ Digital Envelopes printed in black as well as 4C.

Click here or the artwork above to download a PDF of one of two pages offered in the study dealing with envelope printing.

The third page is a pricing page covering 4/0 and 4/4 Digitally produced business cards.

Click here or artwork above to download a sample pricing page for 4/0 and 4/4 business cards.