Printing costs

The new blue and white shops for Maritz have a 4-page cure sheet. Now while I appreciate the larger font I don't appreciate the unnecessary headers and footers on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th page. I normally with the previous cure sheet print two copies of the cure and do it on a clipboard (two clipboards) with carbon paper in between. 4 pages per store would mean 8 pages per store. This is outrageous. I normally do 5-8 per day on a route, normally 6. 6*8 would be 48 pages. Can you imagine the people doing 10 in a day? That would mean 80 pages for ONE day just for the cure sheet! So they eliminated the repair sheet that was one page per store no big deal like the letter. A penny for your thoughts!

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Invest in a Brother laser printer....

At TODAY'S prices assuming not waiting for any sales:

Brother laser printer at ~$65 after tax: [www.amazon.com]

500 sheets of paper at ~$6 after tax (don't you miss the free after rebate paper from Staples?!): [www.amazon.com]

Replacement toner (~2,500 sheets per toner. 2 toner cartridges is ~$22 for ~5,000 printed pages): [www.amazon.com]

Assuming the Brother printer toner lasts around ~2,500 pages, you're initial upfront cost for the first 2,500 pages is 6*5 + 65 = 95/5000 = ~$0.019/page. And your cost per page drops even more as you use your printer past the original toner it comes with.

tl;dr? If printing those pages is a requirement for those shops, it's simply the cost of business. However, the increase of pages for printing for the project you're ranting about, the true cost of printing pages for the shopper is honestly minimal when you take a step back on the actual cost of printing for your shops. My example of business expenses above for a shopper needing a printer NOW only costs $0.019 per page printed.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2020 06:42PM by Tarantado.
Purchase a brothers black and white printer with a cartridge, prints thousands of sheets at low cost. High Yield toner cost $51.69 (Costco or Amazon) The printer comes with a cartridge so you don't need one for a while.
Brothers HL-2270DW wireless , black and white printer, (does not copy) just a printer. Mine is 5 years old and I have purchased 2 cartridges.
Amazon-Brother HL-2270DW Compact laser printer-wireless $129.00. comes with a cartridge, not the High Yield which you can purchase later or have it on hand. No more ink refills.
I agree with the above posts. If you are printing that many pages, go ahead and invest in a printer.

I aim to do all of my shops electronically. On the few occasions that I need to print a document, I go to the local mail store to print. Last year, my printing costs were less than $10. That doesn't justify a printer for me.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I just purchased a new printer. Paid more as I like to have scan, fax, print and copy and also a flat bed to copy non standard stuff. I used to get free with rebate paper from Office depot all the time but they have not had that for a while. Will have to look into Staples. My new HP printer, while not as great as the deal you speak of, comes with a free trial of Instant Ink. They gave me 5 free months of free ink for printing up to 300 pages a month plus a $40 credit towards their instant ink deal. If I choose the 2.99 per month for 50 pages deal I will have free ink for almost a year and a half. With a code from a friend you can also get an additional free month from a friend. If anyone gets one of these printers I can send you my code for a free month and also the trick to get more prints per month. There are some cheaper printers from HP that come with the Instant Ink offer.
I do not work for Maritz. Do they require you to mail in the reports in snail mail? I probably get at least 30 or 40 pages of paper in ads, statements etc sent to me per month printed on one side. I save all those to write my handwritten notes on the blank back side but you could easily save them and use that paper for your reports by stacking them in your printer with the blank side up. Of course if you have to snail mail them in you would need paper clean on both sides.
@sandyf wrote:

I just purchased a new printer. Paid more as I like to have scan, fax, print and copy and also a flat bed to copy non standard stuff. I used to get free with rebate paper from Office depot all the time but they have not had that for a while. Will have to look into Staples. My new HP printer, while not as great as the deal you speak of, comes with a free trial of Instant Ink. They gave me 5 free months of free ink for printing up to 300 pages a month plus a $40 credit towards their instant ink deal. If I choose the 2.99 per month for 50 pages deal I will have free ink for almost a year and a half. With a code from a friend you can also get an additional free month from a friend. If anyone gets one of these printers I can send you my code for a free month and also the trick to get more prints per month. There are some cheaper printers from HP that come with the Instant Ink offer.
I do not work for Maritz. Do they require you to mail in the reports in snail mail? I probably get at least 30 or 40 pages of paper in ads, statements etc sent to me per month printed on one side. I save all those to write my handwritten notes on the blank back side but you could easily save them and use that paper for your reports by stacking them in your printer with the blank side up. Of course if you have to snail mail them in you would need paper clean on both sides.

Those "free after rebate" days for paper are long gone, unfortunately.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
My computer is an HP Envy20 Touchsmart. So when I bought my printer, (around a year ago) I bought an HP Envy. Ink costs about 45 a cartridge. I buy black ink about every other month depending upon how many blue and white shops and OSI's I do. I buy color ink less often. IF I do a lot of shops in a month I've been known to buy a cartridge in a month or less depending on if I'm really busy. It's not in my budget to buy another printer right now. I'm cutting/pasting pages 2,3, and 4 into a document so I can eliminate the header and the footers. But it's kind of time-consuming work. (It loses all the formatting). Marathon's and Citgo's I can print multiple cheat sheets on a page because the information is just to help me report. I was actually hoping someone knew the app for editing a PDF because the store that comes with my computer does not have one.
I understand the "cost" of doing business really I do but I think the MSP's need to take that into account more when setting the prices for these shops. The blue and white shops might be easier this year but the pay is going down now that Tera is gone and the printing is going up. It doesn't quite seem like a fair balance. The majority of my money was always made by going out of town. Now we have to completely wait until the last two weeks of the month before we can ask for decent incentives. I can not drive an hour and a half for 25 or 30 dollars. I just won't do it. I will take an assignment for 35 that far or farther but only if there are other assignments worth at least 40 or 50 dollars with it. ten cents doesn't sound like a lot for the cost of doing business true but everyone doesn't have or can afford a laser printer. What about the people using their phones to input their assignments? Although, I have heard from merchants that some shoppers are so cheap they don't even print the authorization letters out. (They showed them the letter on their phone?!?!)(They were completely surprised when I showed up with everything properly printed).
...
My printer didn't come with the ink by mail deal, I checked. And 50 pages per month just doesn't cut it since gas stations and OSI's are my bread and butter. On a slow month, I might only use 50 pages. But a normal month could be anywhere from 100-200. I do Kroger's, Publix, fast food, oddball shops, plus my gas stations. In the last two weeks of December, I didn't do very much. I didn't get a check from MCX this past week because I forgot to invoice. It doesn't matter even with the last two weeks of the month our checks will only be a couple of hundred. At the end of the month, I have some nice checks coming from Customer Impact and Alta360. Right now I'm just trying to stay afloat from Christmas shopping (keeping credit cards paid) and maintaining daily expenses like grocery shops since we have to have groceries anyway. I will be glad when I get to the end of this month.
@F and L TeleComm wrote:

I was actually hoping someone knew the app for editing a PDF because the store that comes with my computer does not have one.

...

I don't know if they have an app, but I use PDFfiller online. www.pdffiller.com
F and L
Most of us do not print out the forms for each shop. Personally I have a cheat sheet I make up with the questions I need to focus on and remember to answer. That I might print out once for each type of shop althou I generally hand write them. Then when I do a shop I just take notes on another piece of blank on one side paper I have lying around or you could text yourself notes. I probably only print about 10-20 pages a year for mystery shopping. It sounds as tho you are printing everything out for every shop???
With the instant ink deal you get up to 100 pages a month for 4.99 and 200 per month for i think 9.99 for 300 pages per month. That includes color ink too. You can vary which terms you need each month and unused pages are added to the next month. If you are buying a $45 cartridge every other month it would be cost effective for you to purchase the least expensive instant ink printer and for 4.99 per month you could have 100 pages a month. On a 50 page month 50 additional pages would be added to your account to be used in the future. So it would cost you $10 for 2 months of ink instead of your $45 cartridge and all colors and black would be sent to you.Alternatively the plan tracks your usage and if you check your usage shortly before the end of each month you can change your plan to the one that fits for that month...so a slow printing month you could switch to the 2.99 plan. I read that there are printers for $40 that come under this plan...My fancy all in one printer costed me $79.
I have used a brother printer HL 2270-DW I got it back in 14 Have replaced the drum several times and the hi Cap cartridge several times I even kept they empties think I was going to refill them when I get around to it. (Although if you ask the spousal unit my round 2 its never come about.) If you can get a tablet you might consider using that for record-keeping. Just have to name the file something that you can remember and find. Android is not great for naming files but I think they get that from the MSCs whatever they call the files. I try to do my OSi reports on the tablet is I can get a good signal. But I always have the paper copy. But to each what they are comfortable with.
I wish I had gotten Tarantado's deal when I was shopping for a printer. I paid twice as much for a laser printer and the ink is more expensive too. BUT that being said, the printer does everything, and it prints an insane amount on one set of ink cartridges. We did a mass mailing for our business and it still lasted a year and we both print constantly.
I have to print out guidelines and questionaires quite a lot because I do gas stations and other various shops in the boonies where I have no cell reception.
So I was reluctant to go laser but I gotta say I really like not having to buy ink all the time. I got a deal on the printer because it was last years model.
So go laser if you can, you will not regret it.
I don't print out "everything". But I do print out the authorization letters and leave behind forms that are required! I don't reprint guidelines for shops I already have and know well. I do print out cheat sheets. For example, Marathon and Citgo require notes on uniforms and names. Before I used the cheat sheets by the end of the day of several stores I had to waste precious minutes trying to remember what I bought at each store, the amount spent at Citgo, greetings, and closings for Citgo, etc. This saves me time inputting. I try to print one copy of the updated POP to take with me to all my shops. I have a file box that I keep in the car with forms, cheat sheets and information about different shops. I try to color code but sometimes It doesn't work if I need a new folder and that color is unavailable. For example, Phillips 66 (76) has a black folder, Valero has a teal folder, BP has a green folder, and Chevron has red folders. OSI's I don't print the authorization letter if I don't need it, (like quick scope R's) I do print them for Experian and Equifax though. I would charge according to how many papers need printing if I could. Especially if you need over 10 pieces of paper, for example, OSI's. I would love to use my laptop top for OSI's that require an interview. But my cat messed up my keyboard and I have to use an external keyboard and that seems unprofessional to me. Of course, I could always lie and say I prefer the full-sized keyboard for typing. I like to be professional in what I do. But alas a laser printer is not in the cards right now. Maybe later down the road. but for right now I will keep using the All in one that I have by HP. And one day I will get around to taking all these empty cartridges I've got saved up down to Staples for recycling and get my coupons!
On a certain level you can't afford not to have a laser if you are in this business. Last year I needed to walk away for a few months because life was getting in the way. The printer was ready to go when I sent it the first document even though it had not been used in 4 months. No dried out cartridges, no gunked up ink jets. The cartridges are available on line very inexpensively. The floor models at the office supply store frequently are marked waaaay down so really all you need to do is do an internet search for reviews. Mine was about 30% of the list price and had run under 100 'sample sheets'. Reset to factory settings gets rid of any nonsense folks may have programmed in. It scans, it faxes, it prints, it connects wirelessly, it has an automatic feeder, it was about $100 and it is an HP that I've now been running about 4 years without issues.
F and L , wait until you get older. You can get away with pretty much everything, Today I did an app shop for a restaurant. I asked for a receipt to be printed out for me because copying and pasting the receipt from an email just always takes me so long to figure out. I don't do it often enough to remember all the steps. But since I am older they did not bat an eyelash. Pretty much I can ask for things and do things differently without anyone saying anything except maybe under their breath they say something about me being a boomer. But I am still professional in everything else I do. There are some perks that are hidden that come with age. lol
I have an HP all-in-one printer. I am signed up with their ink program that only costs me $11 per month to print 300 papers a month (with color, as well). They have different prices; it's all according to how much printing you do a month. Anything I don't use is carried forward to the balance for the next month. It has worked well for me.

Shopping Arkansas, Louisiana, & Mississippi.
Another option is the Epson Eco-tank. The ink is less than half the price of HP (which I used to use) and lasts a lot longer. I am still on my first bottles and ordered a back up set on line for around $25. I've had the Epson around 8 months.It's a little slower than the HP but IMO well worth it.
How many pages per week does your library allow you to print for free?

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?” ~Walter Williams
@Tarantado wrote:

Those "free after rebate" days for paper are long gone, unfortunately.

I had four CASES of free printer paper. I donated at least two of them. I still have more than a case left. smiling smiley
Am I missing something here? To me the "Blue and White" shops would be the "Blue" gas station - the one with Pegasus.
Am I wrong in that understanding?
Anyway, for me, I use an HP laser printer. I print out a cheatsheet, LOA and a leave behind sheet for each gas station. My cheatsheets are full page while the other 2 are in booklet form (half page size). I've never had a "Cure sheet".
Everything else I use are kept on a file in my laptop that I always bring with me.

So, I guess I don't understand the problem!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2020 01:14AM by French Farmer.
@French Farmer wrote:

Am I missing something here? To me, the "Blue and White" shops would be the "Blue" gas station - the one with Pegasus.
Am I wrong in that understanding?
Anyway, for me, I use an HP laser printer. I print out a cheatsheet, LOA and a leave behind sheet for each gas station. My cheatsheets are full-page while the other 2 are in booklet form (half page size). I've never had a "Cure sheet".
Everything else I use is kept on a file on my laptop that I always bring with me.

So, I guess I don't understand the problem!

I am referring to Team 6. I say blue and white because the other station (team 3 also is blue and red.but for some reason I see white as part of the blue and white station.
I color code my folders: Team 2 is yellow stations, Team 5 is teal stations, Phillips 66/76 is black (Phillips 66 is black like Team 6-second station, but since black and red team 6 is the same as blue and white stations. But the folder for blue and white stations is Red. Ha Ha. The folder for Team 3 stations is blue! or black plastic! It doesn't always work to say colors. But since I can't name them I try to put colors to them.
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These are my cheatsheets that I designed. Since they are for me I can print two-sided etc. Blue and white I used a carbon copy of the leave behind form. I've never had a "cheat sheet" or checklist for these stations.
I keep my printing costs to a minimum by uploading guidelines, forms, jpgs, etc., to Dropbox. Of course, some shops really need printing the forms. In those instances, I use the same printed form several locations. I use a different color of ink for each location when filling out the paper forms. I used this method most recently on the gas station audits and the wireless phone audits..
All my cheat sheets are in spreadsheet form enabling me to get 10 stations on each piece of paper. The first column is abbreviated questions in order. Sometimes more than 1 question per block such as "uni/tag" (Uniform? Nametag?) Or "cln/stk" (Clean? Stocked?). And there's space at the end of each column for notes. For some things, close up pictures are my notes.

sestrahelena
I have taken to printing out several LOAs and Fill out forms for the place if it doesn't have specific info for the stops. Assist wireless is a generic form whereas Cricket has then write in the address. But the OSI forms are shop specific. Back when PH66 were going for some money I always had several of the LOAs on hand in case I decided to grab a shop where I was at. As far as to cheat sheets I keep a pdf on my tablet that I can mark up and save as what station where and what date.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2020 04:38PM by 2stepps.
I think a Surface Pro would be ideal in our situation. Osi's wouldn't require anything to print out accept the LOA. The entire OSI could be done with the tablet, from inputting to picture taking. But I can't afford one right now. I need a legible Font so I Probably couldn't utilize the "10 per page" spreadsheet method. Kroger reduced their font to 7 in order to make it look like the project was still basically 2 pages. You can only read the questions on the computer or in bright light. (Pick one of these four questions in the department).
I tried the PDF filler you recommended, NixKit. I liked it but it would only let me erase the headers on Pages2-4. It would not let me remove them to save space. It would save ink but not space. And it asked me to pay a fee to use it, to save it. Not sure if it will let me print without paying. But not looking for any subscription services right now Sirius is enough of that for right now. (and besides, I call and say I'm canceling at the end of the 6 months(every time) and they give me a new "introductory Price". )
BTW, those reward emailed certificates you have to print out for each yellow station? Nope! Erase the code and station specific info first. Then just print a few. They could last all year because you'll rarely use one. When it's needed, just fill in the code and assignment number by hand from the email.

sestrahelena
All of my cheatsheets (really, they're worksheets) are in "landscape". I've said this many time, but shall repeat:
Each worksheet is specific to the shop I'm doing. Each shop I perform has its own worksheet that I fill out. Among the areas to be filled out on each one is the specific address and MSC identifier (like visit ID, etc) as well as the date of the shop and pertinent areas and photos needed or required.
After each shop is performed, I staple any receipts or other pertinent items that I've received in the course of performing that shop. For instance, when doing a bank shop, I would staple the business card of the banker to the worksheet. Booklets and other information are filed away with shop's identifier written on them.
My worksheets for each month are filed away in a folder of that month in which they were performed. It really does not matter to me whether the MSC is different, it is the month that matters.

I could go on.

BTW, about those "Reward Certificates": I'm assuming you refer to the "Yellow" gas stations. I used to print out each Email regarding them. After much waste of paper, I too went to printing out a few reward certs with the Ticket number left blank. On my worksheet for the "Yellow" shops I fill out a space titled "ticket number". If i do 3 "yellow" shops for the day, I'll be certain to have 3 reward certificates with me. If, indeed, i get to present one per the guidelines, I just write in the reward ticket number. saves my time and a lot of paper as it is seldom that I give those out!
I have a HP all in one that I got from Best Buy and I pay $10.00 a month for instant ink and get 300 sheets a month. I love it, I never have to worry about ink they send it when it's low and the ink lasts a lot longer than the ones in the stores.
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