The Price of Insert Printing: The Science of Print Procurement.

The Price of Insert Printing: The Science of Print Procurement.


When we previously looked into the Price of Printed Brochures we found that by requesting prices for the same specification of brochure from a number of printers, we received a wide range of prices back. We now turn our attention to insert printing and have analysed 3 years of print procurement data to answer the question:

Will the price of printing inserts reflect the same large pricing variance?

What is an Insert?
An insert is anything that’s inserted into another item for distribution. For example, when you receive a package from Amazon, it might have a small brochure or pamphlet in it. Or when you read your Sunday newspaper supplement, a small catalogue might drop out. Those are both inserts and in our investigation, they range all the way from single leaf, 2 page items all the way up to 64 pages (32 leaves).

The Graph

The Price of Printing Inserts 2008-2011

The Price of Printing Inserts 2008-2011. Creative Commons License applicable.

Green Columns
When we buy print for our clients, we use our print sourcing software. This allows us to send out a specification to a wide range of printers and request a price from them. The green columns on the graph show the largest difference in prices we received from printers for an single job. They show the % difference in price from the lowest price to the highest price that we received for that job – in that particular quarter period.

This shows by how much it’s possible for an expert print buyer to pay over the odds for a job!

Blue Columns
The blue bars show the average price difference when looking at all jobs in a particular quarter. So for quarter 1 2009, the average price difference we encountered, for all the insert projects we subsequently purchased and managed, was an incredible 84.1%!

This shows an average of how much extra an expert print buyer may well be paying for their inserts!

The prices in this chart represent our team of expert buyers asking for prices from a bunch of printers who they know are the right type of printer for that particular job. If you’re a non-expert print buyer, you can reasonably expect to see a larger price difference as you would not necessarily know which type of printer you need to go to to find the first level of savings. Remember, one of the key elements to reducing the price you pay for your print, is finding the right printer for your specification of job.

For a deeper analysis on the factors that affect the price of print in general, see our analysis of the price of printing a brochure.