Affortable pricing program

I am tried of losing money on every job I print. It’s due to over looking a cost I forgot.

If I had a excel program ready to use for pricing, so I can just fill in the type of job, and not over look a cost it would help.


Customer driving crazy over this:

1,000 sheets ( bond paper) for note book, cut 6.5x9.5 three hole punched and perforated to tear out.

One day they want a cover, the next minute they do not want a cover, than the next minute they want a different size, than they want it in a book, not three hole punch.

It driving me crazy coming up with a price, as they text me every few minutes.

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Seems you attract the odd ball customers. I have had my share, (In business as a commercial printer for over 40 years).

That said what you might want to do after you look a job over to quote, is find a friend in the business that might help you look for a spot that might be a problem with that perticular piece.

I don’t know what your background is, Pressmen, Bindery, Office or non of these just a hobbiest
I can tell you one thing if the customer is beating you up for a quote on the spot, put your foot down and tell them you don’t want to screw-up the quote and overprice, a little extra time will help you find all your prices and problems that might be hidden.

Don’t be worried about losing them if you can’t price it then and there, tickets and BC’s sure you should have an idea or price list, but more intricate work needs time to crunch numbers.

I hope that helps, as for a program to do that for you, good luck, unless you have thousands of dollars for it, you won’t find one with all your check marks.

I still quote by writing it all down, the old way. Sure it takes time but I usually find a problem along the way, to point out to the customer and help get the extra dollar or two, for pointing out and being personal or helpful to them.
Good luck my friend.

I have been in the printing industry since 1964. Only until the past few years, I have problems with customers.

You are right, I need to stop telling the customer what they want to hear and start making some money.

The thing I have to stop doing is letting the customer tell they pay “X” amount for job. The price they tell is not correct.

So, if the other guy will do it for $100, I shouldn’t say, I’ll do it for that.

He might also being loosing money and is glad the customer isn’t coming back.

i don’t like a customer, or competition setting my prices. I am not in this for the fun of it. ( the fun is a bonus, not a business plan) if the pricing is close, okay fine. but, when the price differs say by $1,000.00, well sorry to see the job go, but let them do it. high maintenance customers are not fun, never happy, and usually contest a price once it is even agreed upon. sad to see the cash flow go, but happy to see the customer go. Key point there is “Cash Flow” if there isn’t a profit, or at least “break even” what is it worth?


Ditto, ericm he hit all the good points!

Customers are always right. Customers must always win. As Henry Ford said” if the business is only to make money, then it’s a pretty poor business.” Say your profit is slim to none on the first job they bring in. They may come back the next day with a friend who sets you up with a extremely profitable job. The cost to bring in just one customer, is high. And you want all your customer s happy, and coming back. That’s how it’s done.


That was true twenty years ago. Not true anymore. A price shopper will continue to be a price shopper and having nearly infinite research at your disposal makes it even easier.

Snagging a client who’s shopping you on price is snagging a client who will continue to drain you.

Two thins, the book ”Estimating for printers’ pub originally by the British Federation of Master Printers, has a large throw out form sample in the back , a verson of that might well be useful.
Also Wlliam Sessions of York Ltd used to publish annually a little booklet with what they thought would be fair prices for a vast variety of things arising in jobbing print. .The Lord knows why they ever did this Miles out of date of course, but one could always multiply by a fixed factor, and even convert to other currencies. . The managers of loads of tiny outfits swore by it in the 1950s and 60s. Even estimators in bigger outfits used to have a personal private copy!
If all else fails, reckon all hand operations at 400 per hour!