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  • #966845
    somethingnaughty
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    Hi,

    Does anyone have any experience of having brochures printed in China? If so could anyone recommend a company?

    Thanks

    Donna
    Something Naughty Parties Pty. Ltd.
    http://www.somethingnaughty.com.au

    #1021429
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    Any particular reasons your getting them from China?

    #1021430
    somethingnaughty
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    I was told by a business acquaintance several months ago that I should obtain printing quotes from abroad and they happened to mention China as a good place to start. That is the only reason.

    To be honest I have not even looked at costs here and assumed the reason for saying China was because they had already done the exercise and established that it was more cost effective to do a print run abroad.

    Regards

    Donna
    Something Naughty Parties Pty. Ltd
    http://www.somethingnaughty.com.au

    #1021431
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    Donna,

    A client of mine (needless to say, who used to get printing done in China) had a big event on and needed 20,000 brochures for it. He was supposed to have them a week before the event, but then 2 days beforehand they weren’t there. Frantically he tried to get them sped up, but they were on a boat in the middle of the ocean and there was nothing he could do about it.

    He spoke to someone in Australia, got a price that was pretty comparable and after explaining the circumstances, was able to get the brochures within 24 hours.

    Normally the turn around times are at least 2-3 weeks and theres no telling if it’s going to be held up when it arrives in the country.

    If you are thinking of getting printing in China, I was strongly suggest you leave plenty, plenty of time for errors.

    #1021432
    Zava Design
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    Boy, of all the things I would outsource overseas at any time, printing is NOT one of them. There are too many issues that can happen with printing, in both the quality control itself, and also delays (as mentioned above). The print market is competitive enough in Australia that the prices are comparable to OS, with the added protection that if they stuff the job up they will redo (though check the T&Cs of anyone you use, and check the proofs they send you CAREFULLY).

    Cheers,
    Dave

    #1021433
    TheGoldenGoose
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    As above, wouldn’t recommend it. Printing is so cheap here, I don’t see why you would. :)

    #1021434
    Johny
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    A client of mine (needless to say, who used to get printing done in China) had a big event on and needed 20,000 brochures for it. He was supposed to have them a week before the event, but then 2 days beforehand they weren’t there. Frantically he tried to get them sped up, but they were on a boat in the middle of the ocean and there was nothing he could do about it.

    He spoke to someone in Australia, got a price that was pretty comparable and after explaining the circumstances, was able to get the brochures within 24 hours.

    Normally the turn around times are at least 2-3 weeks and theres no telling if it’s going to be held up when it arrives in the country.

    If you are thinking of getting printing in China, I was strongly suggest you leave plenty, plenty of time for errors.

    I once had a sausage roll from a bakery in Australia and it had a band aid in it, therefore I am now wary of every bakery in Australia and would never even contemplate buying another. Those bakers, they are all the same.

    I once got a batch of printing done from a printer in Australia, and they spilled red wine all over the package. They weren’t even that interested in redoing it.

    Sorry, but most of the stuff you have has some component that comes from China or Asia.

    There are simply instances where it is better to source from overseas. And the only way the original poster can know what is the best for THEM is to do some research based on what they want, how much they want and what are the costs of getting it done in China as compared to Australia.

    Regardless of where it is, get the right printer and it will work, get the wrong printer and you have problems.

    Maybe having it done locally is a better option in this particualr instance, but just using a broad brush to point out all the negatives of one side is providing a slanted view.

    #1021435
    Zava Design
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    Printing is very unlike many other services/suppliers. The fact is, it’s not uncommon for there to be an error in the printing run, wherever you source from. However the difference from sourcing locally is that if there’s an error they will reprint the run, and within a reasonable time. Try getting that done from a Chinese sourced printer.

    I have no problem outsourcing certain types of work, I just don’t think most print jobs is one of them.

    #1021436
    marketingweb
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    Despite the fact I agree with Emroy to a certain extent (many benefits in Australia), I also think that what Johny said is very true.

    While printing is a MUCH more complicated product to buy from China even though it can be thought of as “just paper”, it really comes down to the quantities and specs of the job at hand.

    Basically, a “big job” in printing is much bigger than you think. 20,000 sheets of A4 print is actually not that big a job, a good press can do that in a couple hours.

    Also since paper is heavy, the freight can be more than some things – to give you an idea the minimum sea freight cost is around $500 for one cubic metre, and you will have say maybe $250 in other costs, so unless you are doing a big enough job to save $1000+ off local prices, you won’t even break even doing it this way, which is often the case since printing in Australia is quite efficient.

    SO – If you are experienced in importing AND have a run of say 10,000 brochures of 64 pages each with hard cover and wire binding say, yes, you will get better value in China. If not experienced in importing, speak to someone who is to organise if for you (speak to me even) – even if they take a margin it’s much less risky than learning about the joys of international freight and payments yourself.

    BUT if your idea of brochures is more like 2000 x 8 page brochures, you are far better off sticking to Australia, and someone like Emroy or many others can help you – you will actually pay less with less stress!

    Matt

    #1021438
    inkable
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    marketingweb, post: 127812 wrote:

    I work for an international printing company based out of Taiwan. We service the Australian market through our website http://www.inkable.com.au. At the risk of sounding self serving I would like to address some of the issues mentioned above.

    Regarding the pricing and quantities:
    From Taiwan we actually find the opposite to be true. On low quantity runs of 500 – 5000 we are competitive and we can air freight the entire order so the turnaround time is only one to two weeks. However I believe the opposite to be true from China where many manufacturers (not just printing) tend to only seek larger quantities. They aren’t setup for smaller jobs, so they won’t even bother quoting smaller quantities or their rates will be high.

    As you mentioned paper is very heavy. With the larger quantities air freight tends to be cost prohibitive so we can only use ocean freight. This can certainly be a problem for for someone who needs their job right away. However for those who can wait there are savings to be had. Also for those who don’t need their entire batch right away you can air freight a partial shipment and ocean freight the rest.

    Regarding the hassels of international shipping and customs clearance:
    I can’t speak for other printers however we quote all of our custom orders as DDU (unless requested otherwise). This means that we provide a price to our customer which includes all delivery (excluding duty) chargers to their door. The customer doesn’t have to organize any paper work they only need to pay the relavant GST and duty when the goods enter the country, which typically can be done through credit card or bank wire transfer. I know managing international shipping can sound scary however it doesn’t have to be that complicated for the customer.

    Regarding colour matching:
    Yes this can be an issue however not necessarily an insurmountable problem. If colour matching is important I would recommend asking for a hard proof or even better an on press proof. This can then be matched on press. You can also go one step further by asking your printer for their ICC profile to load into your design program. Obviously screen won’t be accurate to print however this can help you spot issues before the file goes to press. I would recommend doing this for any colour crucial job regardless if it is printed in Australia or anywhere else.

    I would also recommend looking at what type of printing you are buying, many printers (us included) offer gang-run printing for brochures, leaflets, catalog covers, business cards and other products. Gang run means that your work is printed along side other jobs. While this type of printing is very economical, colours can be off by about 10 – 15% of their default values. Bottom line, if you need 100% or 95% colour accuracy don’t use gang run printing. However if you can live with a shift use gang-run and save some money.

    #1021439
    marketingweb
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    Hi Inkable,

    Very interesting business model you have there!

    Your points are well made, and it does show just how much smaller the world is getting!

    Re the freight thing, I was refering to sea freight or traditional air freight as being potentially complicated – door to door is of course much easier to handle.

    That said though, I think the point still stands – use someone experienced in importing. By this I mean, i’d be relatively confident in purchasing from you. However I would not be wise to just use google to find a printing company in Thailand, email them and send them work, because i’m not experienced in importing from Thailand (although I am from China) and don’t have the contacts there.

    So from the point of view of your business it can be smart way for some jobs. On a bigger picture I think it’s kind of sad that so many things are going offshore, but then it’s probably no different to say clothing maufacture – it’s just taken a few years longer to happen.

    Matt

    #1021440
    Johny
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    On a bigger picture I think it’s kind of sad that so many things are going offshore, but then it’s probably no different to say clothing maufacture – it’s just taken a few years longer to happen.

    Hi Matt,

    I know this is a little off topic but still I think a little relevant, but I have a slightly different view to this. Although I know I will be criticised for it.

    I tend to think if you see some of the comments on a forum like this, and even within this topic, I reckon some of those comments are more based on protecting the local industry rather than really looking at the best options for that particular person.

    In theory, I don’t have any problem with this, but from an overall perspective its not always a realistic view, given how small the world is today, and how small a market Australia is overall.

    Of all the complaints you see about jobs going offshore and less stuff being made locally, have a look at the kind of jobs you are talking about, and remember I am talking in a general sense.

    A really good example is a place like Hong Kong. 30+ years ago HK was the manufacturing hub for things like toys. Just about everything relating to toys was made in HK. All those businesses have long ago relocated to the Chinese mainland where doing business is cheaper.

    The jobs in HK are now higher value jobs like in the service, banking or logistics industries which are further up the ladder and better paying jobs. So you could say that HK has evolved and moved up the food chain.

    Even in China you see that the coastal areas are becoming more expensive as salaries are increasing. Plus China is also looking to move up to become more “developed’. You can easily see that many of the products previously made in coastal areas are now being made further inland, or even in other countries like Vietnam, because they are cheaper options.

    Another example is a company like Apple. An American company known for innovation. They invent a product, and it is made relatively cheaply in China. The Chinese manufacturer gets a small % of the overall price of the product with the major profits going to the American owner.

    So in this instance, when you talk about manufacturing, who would you rather be, the innovator making all the money or the grunt doing all the work for a very small percentage.

    You also need to consider whether people in Australia want to do some of these jobs. I can assure you, it is much easier to collect the dole rather than stand in a production line all day for probably less money.

    Of course there will always be some jobs required to stay local. But maybe some of these Australian companies should be looking more outward and realising that the world has changed.

    #1021441
    marketingweb
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    Johny, post: 128329 wrote:
    Hi Matt,

    I know this is a little off topic but still I think a little relevant, but I have a slightly different view to this. Although I know I will be criticised for it.

    I tend to think if you see some of the comments on a forum like this, and even within this topic, I reckon some of those comments are more based on protecting the local industry rather than really looking at the best options for that particular person.

    Hi Johny,

    Thanks for your comments, even though it was of course not my thread!

    Re the above, just to clarify, I don’t think i’ve ever suggested someone make a bad business decision to protect local work. On one hand, depending on which “business hat” I have have on at the time, I actually work as an importer of custom manufactured product, and in many cases win work based on doing it offshore, against someone who may be manufacturing locally. So in that case i’m a “bad guy” under some people’s definition. But i’m also looking after the customer.

    However, having been involved in some form or another in a lot of importing (in the $millions), I do know as well as anyone that there are some specific challenges with importing, and while it’s becoming easier, the likes of alibaba etc make it out to be even easier than it really is. Without good systems in place to protect yourself, sometimes you may get lucky and get perfect product, other times you will get burned. Of course if you are using an Australian based importer like inkable, he is the one who has to have his systems in place.

    Re who we want to be in Australia: I think that there is very much a place for manufacturing in this country, provided it’s “smart manufacturing”. Labor intensive grunt work of low added value products, Asian counties can have it. What I was more thinking is that industries where Aussies have implemented smart manufacturing and heavily invested, I do think it’s a little sad. However there is good reason an enormous lot of printing is still done in Australia even by very smart companies, but we have already been over some reasons for that.

    Matt

    #1021442
    inkable
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    Marketingweb thanks for the vote of confidence. We certainly appreciate it!

    While I certainly think there is a place for our model in the market. To be realistic I don’t see the local printers going anywhere anytime soon. It still takes us a few extra days to get our products to Australia. Until there is some new revolutionary way of faster and cheaper shipping there is always going to be last minute flyers, brochures, weekly magazines and newsletters that will need to get printed locally.

    #1021443
    Johny
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    ……. the likes of alibaba etc make it out to be even easier than it really is. Without good systems in place to protect yourself, sometimes you may get lucky and get perfect product, other times you will get burned. Of course if you are using an Australian based importer like inkable, he is the one who has to have his systems in place.

    I have some real issues with Alibaba myself, but thats only a part of it.

    Most people get burned because of GREED, unrealistic expectations and a lack of knowledge and preparation.

    It always amazes me, people will at least kick the tyres of a car when they are looking to buy, but they will throw their money at some complete stranger half way around the world, (in a country that already has a bad reputation), after having done nothing to at least try and protect themselves.

    As for being “Australian based”, well there are end buyers who are paying substantially more than they need to in some cases because of some of those good ol’ Aussie importers who are marking up prices so much higher than the actual cost price.

    I could go on and on, but thats for another topic.

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