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Which is cheaper: cost per colour or cost per page?

Which is cheaper: cost per colour or cost per page?

When reviewing a photocopier proposal, you may find a supplier quoting “per colour” instead of “per page.” There’s a dangerous ambiguity between these two terms, and knowing the difference can save your business a lot of money.

Watch this short video to arm yourself with the information you need to avoid this common photocopier pitfall.

Here’s the transcript from the video:

Hi. It’s Ed Barnett of Copier Mate here. And in this video I’m going to be answering the question which is cheaper: cost per colour or cost per page?

There’s often ambiguity for customers between these two terms, and misunderstanding them can cost you a lot of money. Hopefully this video will clear it up for you.

If you’re in the midst of comparing contracts right now you may well come across a supplier who quotes you “per colour” instead of “per page”. Understanding the difference between the two will allow you to figure out which is cheaper.

Let’s use an example.

You’ve got two proposals in front of you. Company A and Company B.

Company A are quoting you 1p per black page at 5p per colour page. That’s pretty simple.

Company B, however, are quoting you 0.7p per black and 2p per colour. That’s pretty enticing on face value, but that’s not “per colour page” so what do they actually mean?

The way this works is that, when you print colour page, the page is being recorded as one black impression and three colour impressions. So they’re saying you’ve printed a page using four of the cartridges: black, cyan, magenta, and yellow.

Company A, quoting per colour page, can stay as it is.

Company B, remembering they’ve said per black of 0.7p and per colour of 2p, needs some simple math supplied. Add up the single black and the three colours, and you’re actually being charged 6.7p per colour page by Company B.

Company A looked like the more expensive option at first, but actually it’s not.

This is a practice adopted by some unethical photocopier providers, as they’ll play up on the ambiguity of the terms. Your understanding is not of their concern, and once you’ve signed the service agreement it may be too late.

So in summary, to know whether cost per colour or cost per page is cheaper you need a little understanding and a simple calculation. Add up one black and three colour impressions together on “per colour” quotes to get your cost per colour page.

Be aware of the ambiguity between “per colour” and “per colour page” and, knowing that relationship like this should be built on trust and respect, any company quoting you “per colour” should explain this to you.

If not, be careful.

Hopefully that was useful. If you have another question, please visit the website, and fill in the form “Ask Ed a question“.

I’m Ed Barnett of Copier Mate. See you again soon.