What is a reasonable discount to ask for?

Answered by Suzanne Morgan

I'm disappointed with the quality of my last print project. There is cracking on the fold and the spot color is way off. The brochure is good enough to use, but I believe I should get a discount from my printer. What is a reasonable amount?

It depends. Generally speaking, a discount of 5-10% would be appropriate -- no more than 15% -- and that's assuming that the mistake is completely the printer's fault. But first consider these things:

  1. It depends on the volume and/or the cost of the job. If your quantity was two million pieces, then even 5% would be too much to ask for. On the other hand, if your quantity is 1,000, then perhaps 5% isn't enough. The percentage of the discount usually goes down as the quantity increases.


  2. Does it affect the response to that printed piece? If it wouldn't make a difference to the recipient of that brochure, then perhaps you shouldn't request a discount at all. You might give your printer a break, as he probably does for you from time to time. However, even if you don't ask for a discount, be sure to specifically describe your dissatisfaction so that your printer will know what to avoid next time.


  3. Are you going to be satisfied with a discount off the price, really? If you look at that brochure every day and hate it -- or if it brings up bad feelings about the printer -- than perhaps requesting a reprint is the best thing for both of you in the long run.

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