5 Tips on how to submit a Request for Quote
1. Give as much contact information as possible.
It can be very frustrating for a printer to receive a request to quote a complex job, but not have the basic information needed to contact the prospective client. If no phone number has been supplied, the printer has no immediate way of contacting you. There are many ways that a project can be printed and the printer may need to call you to find out exactly what you are trying to achieve and explain the options available to you.
2. Tell the printer exactly what you are looking for.
Receiving an accurate quote is largely dependent on how much information you give the printer about your project. Make sure you provide the printer with a clear understanding of what you want your final product to look like. It’s ok if you don’t know the technical terms for each item; just talk them through what you expect to see in the finished product. Then let them figure out the most economical method to make it happen. For example, providing the printer with the right information can help them decide if the job should be run as a “work in turn” or a “work in tumble” (don’t worry, your not supposed to know what either means, but the difference can be significant in terms of time and money).
3. Talk it through.
Don’t be afraid to ask the printer questions or to research their company.
By discussing issues on the phone, you and the printer can decide on a method that best suits your needs.
4. Be specific, but be flexible.
Many jobs can be produced faster and more economically using a method or materials that differ from what you originally asked for or agreed on. Only be specific about the details that are crucial - so if you don't mind if the stock is 115, 130 or 150gsm just state "approx. 130gsm" etc. If a three-colour job can be run as CMYK, write "Three spot colours or CMYK" etc. Better yet, ask the printer to suggest a stock to suit your budget or your artwork.
5. Put yourself in the printer's shoes.
If a printer gets a request for quote like "Booklets, two-colour or full-colour, A4, A5, 130, 150 or 170gsm gloss stock, 12, 16, 24 or 28 pages, saddle-stitched, wired or perfect bound, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 or 20000 copies", then chances are they will look at the request and say "next!". If every option in that request were to be quoted, it would involve 1440 different options! I know I have exaggerated a bit, but these types of requests are submitted way too often. If you have no idea whether you want to spend $1000 or $5000 on your project there is something wrong. Obviously, you can ask for several options, but do not give the printer two hours of work to quote one job.
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