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Professional Printing vs. DIY Printing

Over the past ten years, home and office printers have come a long way in terms of quality, color, and the ability to produce amazing printed pages.

For less than $100, you can pick up a relatively high-end printer at any office supply store. 

These printers often come with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a whole host of other useful features. However, the vast majority of businesses and organizations in the Raleigh area still use the services of a professional printer instead of running a print job on their office printer.

Why on earth would someone pay a printer to do the same thing their office printer can do?

Read on to learn more about why Raleigh businesses let the professionals handle their printing needs and how that can save you time, headaches, and money in the short and long run.

Overall Cost

While it initially may seem counter-intuitive to pay a professional printer when you have a perfectly good printer in your office, the exact opposite is often true. When it comes time to run a print job, your office printer comes with hidden costs that will manifest themselves regardless.

For example, the cost of printer ink is exceptionally high, even if you buy in bulk. Not to mention, if someone isn’t monitoring ink levels, there’s a good chance the printer will run out right in the middle of an important print job. 

Who in the office knows how to change it out? 

What if they called in sick that day or are in an important meeting?

Running out of ink happens the most when someone tries to run a medium to large size print job in the office. Just a few of these can significantly decrease the levels of ink and cause it to run out at the worst possible time.

There’s also the wear and tear factor. Regardless of whether your rent or own your office printer, it can and will eventually break down. At that point in time, you only have three options:

  1. Run out and buy a new one. 
  2. Call the repair company and hope they can get out to you asap.
  3. Head out to a print shop and hope they can run a last-minute print job.

At AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh, we have lost count of how many times someone has walked through our front doors asking us to run a rush print job in a very stressed out state of mind. Of course, we did everything possible to help them out of the bind they were in—but it’s just not worth taking the risk of running a critical print job on an office printer.

Employee Downtime

In many offices in Raleigh, office printers are often seen as the new watercooler—a place where employees can take a short break and chit chat as they wait for the office printer to finish running a job. They’ll often need to take the printed materials and then collate and staple them and perform whatever other finishing touches are required.

The overall cost of that office print job just went up by whatever that employee is making per hour. This assumes that the job goes off without a hitch—if the printer runs out of ink, throws up an error message, or decides to jam, that employee is now stuck chasing down someone in the IT department to help solve the problem.

Loss of Reputation

The main reason why many local businesses outsource their printing to AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh is that it will get done right the first time around, and everything will come out looking professional. The last thing a business wants is for a potential customer, client, or outside organization to receive printed materials that have errors or are presented in an unprofessional mannerism.

Office printers have their limitations—mostly relegated to short, one-off jobs where the final output won’t get handed out to the general public. There are a few other issues that a standard office print job can run into:

  • No quality control.
  • Poor collating.
  • Streaks on pages.
  • Missing pages.
  • Poor quality binding.

The end result is often an amateur-looking print job, despite everyone’s best efforts. If you provide your customers or clients with printed materials that look like they were done on a home printer, what will they think of your business?

Professional Printing in RaleighPrinting Help in Raleigh

When it comes to running a professional print job, there’s no better option than choosing to work with a professional printer such as AlphaGraphics. Our state-of-the-art printers, vivid inks, and commitment to excellence ensure that every single print job we perform will come out looking perfect.


At AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh, we’re much more than a print shop. We’re also marketing experts who you can count on to help you when it comes time to market your business.
To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh can help with your content graphic design and marketing needs, you may email us, request a quote, or call us at (919) 832-2828.

Mike Linden

Posted by Mike Linden

Mike Linden is the Vice President of Operations at AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh. He focuses on client relationships, daily operations, business development and digital marketing initiatives. Mike joined the firm in 2008.

Mike is a graduate of the University of North Carolina where he earned a degree in Economics.