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Old 06-22-2006, 09:28 AM   #1
dcdesigngirl
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Default How much to charge for scanning?

Hi all:

I just got a request for a large scan to pdf job. How much do you charge for scanning?

I was thinking $1.25 per page. I tried to find some scanning companies on the web to see how much they charged, but they don't put that info on their web sites.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcdesigngirl
I just got a request for a large scan to pdf job. How much do you charge for scanning?

I was thinking $1.25 per page. I tried to find some scanning companies on the web to see how much they charged, but they don't put that info on their web sites.
I have never scanned as a job, but as a graphic designer I have often scanned as part of the job.

Once I had to scan 200-plus sheets of text from a variety of sources, then OCR them so they could be typeset. As far as the scanning part of the job went, it was pretty fast once I got the specs right (OCR can be picky). I did not have a document feeder for the scanner. Doing it manually and somewhat carefully, I achieved an average of 15 pages an hour. If the pages had been more uniform, could have been 20/hour. (If I had charged $1.25/page, it would have come to $20 or $25/hour.)

I often need to scan in client photos, also of variable quality (mediocre to downright bad, most of the time). Different sizes as well, and some are color, some B&W, all to be reproduced in B&W. I don’t do any correction in the scanner (save it for Photoshop). For 5X7 or smaller originals, I can get more than one photo on the scanner bed at once (though I scan each one separately). Probably takes about 4 to 7 minutes apiece, say 9 to 13 scans/hour, all told. (At $1.25 each, about $11 to $16/hour.)

Do you also have to correct the scans before placing them in the PDF: straighten, tonal adjustments, sharpening? Those also take time (you should try to few to get a sense of just how long, on average).

If you have a document feeder, you could go a bit faster, and might have fewer straightening problems.

But in general, I would say that $1.25 per scan is really, really too low for scanning. It would barely cover a clerical wage, with little left to cover overhead or profit.

What does Staples or one of the other service centers charge for this kind of job? (I would hate to have to compete for one of them, though.)

Good luck.

   
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:10 PM   #3
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Default Kinkos?

Does Kinkos do it?
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Old 06-23-2006, 12:59 AM   #4
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I agree with Kathleen. My procedure is almost identical to hers, and I've had occasion to scan hundreds of photo prints and negatives, mostly as parts of other jobs. Scanning (without a document feeder) always takes much longer than I expect. I thankfully haven't had to do a whole lot of OCR scanning but that requires even more work than image scanning. I would certainly charge more than $1.25 per scan. I don't think I could compete, pricewise, with a company that specialized in scanning, nor would I want to. Without expensive equipment, larger volume doesn't equal less work so discounting the price per page doesn't make economic sense.

Just remembered ... we had a scanning job about a year and a half ago for an updated edition of a book. The new edition was to be printed on better paper, so higher-resolution scans of all photos were required. The photos were all B/W, not color, and I believe the publisher paid us $5.00 per scan.

   
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Old 06-23-2006, 04:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dthomsen8
Does Kinkos do it?
Probably. For some reason the name didn’t pop to mind when I was writing.

   
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franca
I agree with Kathleen. My procedure is almost identical to hers, and I've had occasion to scan hundreds of photo prints and negatives, mostly as parts of other jobs. Scanning (without a document feeder) always takes much longer than I expect. I thankfully haven't had to do a whole lot of OCR scanning but that requires even more work than image scanning. I would certainly charge more than $1.25 per scan. I don't think I could compete, pricewise, with a company that specialized in scanning, nor would I want to. Without expensive equipment, larger volume doesn't equal less work so discounting the price per page doesn't make economic sense.

Just remembered ... we had a scanning job about a year and a half ago for an updated edition of a book. The new edition was to be printed on better paper, so higher-resolution scans of all photos were required. The photos were all B/W, not color, and I believe the publisher paid us $5.00 per scan.

Thanks all for your replies. This guy had 3,000 individual documents that he wanted scanned to pdf. And when I told him my rock bottom price of $1.25 per page (which was a discount because he said he was a disabled veteran) he still declined. Although, he could have just been someone fishing for information on how to do the project because he was either going to do it himself or had someone else in mind to do it. He also wanted each document password protected for printing and viewing only and burned onto CD's for storage.

By the way, I would have been using 2 multifunction printers that do scanning, printing and faxing. They also both have sheet feeders.

Oh well, that would have been a nice chunk of change even at that price. I guess you win some and you lose some.

Thanks again for your responses.
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:40 AM   #7
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Probably someone who thought that the computer would do it all automatically, and was surprised to learn that someone actually has to do any work to make all the things happen.
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Old 06-26-2006, 05:00 AM   #8
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Default Clients think that way

Quote:
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Probably someone who thought that the computer would do it all automatically, and was surprised to learn that someone actually has to do any work to make all the things happen.
Yes, clients think that way. Right now, I am trying to develop something difficult, for a client who is sure it is easy.

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Old 06-26-2006, 07:52 AM   #9
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Probably someone who thought that the computer would do it all automatically, and was surprised to learn that someone actually has to do any work to make all the things happen.
Everybody knows that all we have to do is to tell the computer what we want and then pressing one button, it's no use pretending it actually involves working for hours...

   
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Old 06-27-2006, 01:55 PM   #10
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My favorite thing (NOT!): family or friend produly pointing out my work to someone else by saying, "See what she did on her computer!"

They mean well, but haven't a clue.

In the days of mechanical art and x-acto knives ("scalpels," I believe, to those outside North America), no one would've thought to say, "see what she did with her x-acto knife and technical pens!"

   
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