Regardless of what type of business that you own, your clients expect you to produce quality marketing and print materials for them to look at and use. In an effort to save money, you may be tempted to purchase a desktop printer as a means of production. But in the long run, desktop printers will cost you more than they help you save.
1. Desktop printers are often highly specialized in their printing capabilities. For example, laser printers can print high volumes quickly without smudges. However, laser printers often have low print resolution and offer fewer choices for color. Inkjet printers have high print resolution and offer many choices for color, but often print at a slower speed and copies are at high risk for smudging. Photo printers allow for users to print high-quality photographs, but are not designed for any other use. To obtain the benefits of all 3 types of printers, you have to own one of each.
2. Desktop printers can be costly to afford. Photo printers range from $100 to $200 at big box stores. Quality desktop laser printers and inkjet printers can cost as much as $1000 for the machines alone. For non-profits and small businesses, this can be a considerable expense.
3. Desktop printers can only print on particular types of paper. For instance, you cannot use printer paper that is “inkjet only” in a laser printer. You also cannot use laser printer paper on an inkjet printer because the ink will smear and bleed through to the other side. You cannot simply buy one type of paper to use on different types of printers.
4. Desktop printers used for business purposes need a constant volume of paper. For inkjet paper (ranging from 50 to 100 sheets), expect to pay $10.00 for low end $50+ for high-end inkjet paper. For laser printer paper, expect to pay up to $10.00 for a high volume (i.e., 500-750 sheets). For a 25 sheet pack of premium photo paper, expect to pay $10-$20. If you are constantly printing brochures, informational packets, and forms, the cost of paper can add up quickly.
5. Inkjet and photo desktop printers need frequent replacements for ink cartridges. Because these printers have a relatively high resolution for desktop printers, their ink cartridges have to be replaced every few months on average. Inkjet ink costs between $20 to $100 from anywhere from 50 to 1000 pages. Photo ink costs around $50 for 100 sheets of photo paper. Organizations that own these types of printers often use them for external marketing materials, such as fliers, posters, and brochures. If your organization is constantly producing these promotional materials, the cost of ink can become considerable.
6. Desktop printers, like all machines, break down. Perhaps your printer eats your paper. Or it does not print what is on your screen or in your document. Or it prints random black dots in the right margin. Or it is giving you an error message. Unless you have IT in-house that can troubleshoot, you will have printer repair costs sooner than you think. It will cost at least $15.00 per hour to pay a technician to diagnose and potentially fix your computer. But if you need parts replacement or if your printer has outdated capabilities, it may make sense simply to replace your printer instead of repair it.
7. Desktop printers usually do not allow for “bleed” on larger documents. “Bleed” refers to the ability for printers to print exactly to the edge of a document. If you are printing a document with background graphics or artwork, you may want to print to the edge of a document for your desired effect. Many desktop printers will cut off the edges of your background, even if you set the margins to zero (i.e., get rid of the white space in your document on the edges). If you print larger documents yourself, you can purchase a specialty printer that can cost up to $800. Even if you have a specialty printer that allows for bleeding, you’ll need to crop your own documents, which requires a paper cutter and precision. Professional printers allow for bleed by using larger pieces of paper than traditional printers allow for and cropping the edges. This allows your print documents that rely on graphics and artwork to be printed perfectly for a fair price.
Given all of the hidden costs of printing with a desktop printer, it makes sense to trust a professional printer with producing your organization’s print marketing materials. Client expectations for print quality from organizations have soared with enhancements in print technology. If you rely on desktop printing for your professional image, your organization is likely to run into issues with print quality and ongoing machine maintenance. These issues will cost you time, money and potential clients.
At Morgan Printers, Inc., no print job is too small. We offer high-quality service and competitive pricing on brochures, flyers, business forms, letterhead, invitations and a variety of business-related materials. Visit us at any time at morganprinters.com, or see us in person at our Winterville, NC location.