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Re: Color copies

At 11:39 AM 7/17/00 , you wrote:
>With regard to the ongoing discussion of ink jet printers and archival
>costs I was surprised to learn over the weekend that the cost per page for
>using a Canon color copier is about 2.5 cents!  Yes, that amounts to 40
>pages for $1.00.  The person I talked with said that he uses the copier
>for any print run up to 3,000 copies - it's cheaper than using an off-site
>commercial printer.
>Hmmm, how much does Kinko's charge?

I'm not sure whence that figure comes, but I can tell you that at the copy
shop I work at our color copies cost about 25 cents, at an ABSOLUTE
minimum. That doesn't count the lease on the machine, the base (monthly)
service fee, wasted copies, etc. Wasted copies are a big deal with color,
because customers are often very picky, and the machine is often quite
unpredictable. I would say about one out of five copies has to be
discounted or--more often--simply given (or thrown) away. That must be
figured into the charge. The lease should be figured in as well, since it
is several hundred dollars a month. Likewise the base service fee.
   The 25 cents I mentioned above is called a "click" fee or service fee.
Basically, we pay the company the base service fee each month just to
maintain a service contract on the machine. Then, we pay them a certain
amount per copy--I believe our click fee is 22.5 cents or so, but that can
vary considerably (I assure you, Kinko's doesn't pay that much; nor do
shops in more urban areas that offer competing service vendors). The
machine has a meter on it that records every sheet of paper that passes
through--whether the copy is good or not. And we pay that fee accordingly.
That way, when the machine breaks down, one of their techs will come and
fix it. Most parts are covered too. If we were not on a service contract,
it would cost us a minimum of several hundred dollars every single time the
tech walked in the door.
   Service companies are making a killing; copy shops (especially
independents) are not. Color copies are 99 cents each on our price list.
And we rarely find a month when we have really made a profit on that
machine. Generally we just pass breaking even.

My guess is that the 2.5 cents you mentioned is just the cost of the toner,
oil, and paper. But for most shops, the true costs are hidden well beyond that.


Say what some poets will, Nature is not so much her
own ever-sweet interpreter, as the mere supplier of
that cunning alphabet, whereby selecting and combining
as he pleases, each man reads his own peculiar lesson
according to his own peculiar mind and mood.

        Herman Melville


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