After years of low prices, the cost of paper is on the rise for the first time in over a decade. If you’ve gotten used to keeping your paper budget low, now is definitely the time to start thinking about how to get better value out of every purchase. Fortunately, you can do that quite effectively by using these five tips whenever you need to stock up on paper.
Look to Small Paper Mills for Deals
Large paper mills get all the action due to their competitive prices, huge inventory, and widespread warehouse operations. But if you’re not anywhere near their warehouses, shipping costs will eat up your potential savings, leaving you back at square one.
If that’s the case, you can save money on paper by purchasing your goods from small paper mills instead. For the most savings, buy one truckload of paper at a time to avoid paying a stop-off fee.
Get a One Year Pricing Agreement
Paper prices will likely rise in the coming months, so lock in the current low prices by signing up for a one-year pricing agreement. Your supplier will then be contracted to sell you paper at the set price for the next 12 months.
To get this agreement, you’ll need to abide by the terms of the contract as well, which usually entails buying a minimum amount of paper in that time. To avoid issues, crunch the numbers to see how much paper you need and then negotiate the contract terms with that figure in mind.
Choose a Lighter Paper Weight
There’s no doubt about it: Heavyweight paper costs a lot more than lighter paper stock. By switching to a lighter paper weight, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars on every shipment.
Try just going down one level first to gauge the feel of the paper and assess its suitability for your project. If that works out, you may be able to go even lighter in the future, especially if you don’t really notice the difference with the first adjustment.
Switch Up Paper Brands as Needed
If you’re stuck on a brand, you’re out of luck when that paper is out of stock. You may end up having to pay more to get your brand of choice or even run out of paper before you can get more.
Many companies produce nearly identical types of paper, so open your mind to the possibilities. By opening the doors to new brands, you can look for better deals year-round and won’t ever end up without the paper you need to move forward with your day-to-day operations.
Run a Test Before Making a Big Purchase
Seeking out great deals does you no good if you’re not able to use the paper to create high-quality prints. You can avoid having problems down the road by only buying a small amount of paper to start and running a quick print test.
You can then purchase a bulk amount without worry once you see what the paper can do. Use a spreadsheet to take notes on each paper brand, type, and size as you run each test to create a handy guide on what’s safe to buy.
If you can employ all these tactics, you’ll get the absolute best value when buying paper. But even putting one to two to work for you will help minimize your paper budget. So, go ahead and see which options work best for you and then move forward with confidence that you’re on the right track.