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Printer time charges

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by dicbason, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. dicbason

    dicbason New Member

    Jun 28, 2013
    I am new to the large format printing part of sign making. How much should I charge for the time it takes for the printer to print the job?
  2. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    That's a question that only you can answer. Start with your annual budget. Determine your "per-hour" cost of doing business, and then add in your profit margin. Compare it to your competition for a reality check. JB
  3. mark in tx

    mark in tx Very Active Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Harker Heights, Texas
    You can really get down in the weeds when trying to figure costs like that.
    Cost per picoliter of ink per print, large coverage or small coverage.
    Define large or small coverage.
    Cost per square foot, per running foot of material.
    Cost per minute of print time.
    Cost per minute of RIP processing time.
    Cost per minute of material change on machines.

    Or you can try other ways,

    Banner - .17 per sq/ft
    ink - .03 per sq/ft

    .20 per sq/ft cost

    magically wave your fingers and come up with retail at 5 dollars a square foot.
    Or if you are tired of eating Ramen noodles, then $7 dollars a square foot.

    You need to figure out your total costs, Rent, electric, insurance, etc... per year, per month, per working day, per working hour, in dollars, then figure out a markup that will cover those costs, and then make a profit, and make a living.

    With this kind of business, you have to weigh the cost vs. benefit of doing that type of precision accounting with doing a looser type of accounting.
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Welcome from PA..................................
  5. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    printer runtime is a cost of operation, as is flipping on the lights to your office, which you should have covered in a proper upcharge of materials/labor.
    you've got your numbers, and only you should be able to figure it out.

    look around for websites selling decals/vinyl/etc, if you need a starting point (for using the WORST materials possible, to keep price competitive), but don't assume that if you sell for what they do that you'll keep your company profitable.

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