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    The AOS Blog


How Much Will Printing-Per-Page Cost My Small Business?


Printing Per Page

When you buy ink or toner, the packaging states how many pages it can print (page yield). In theory, you should calculate the cost-per-page by dividing the price of the toner or ink cartridge by the page yield. 

However, it’s not quite that simple to find out how much printing-per-page will cost your small business. If you look closer at your toner or ink cartridge packaging, you’ll see that it lists a page coverage percentage next to the page yield. It’s likely five percent, meaning that you’ll only reach the listed page yield if you average 5 percent coverage per page. 


For instance, assume your toner can print 2,000 pages at five percent page coverage. However, most of your copies have ten percent coverage. That means you’ll only get 1,000 pages out of your toner. 

While this sounds pretty confusing, we’re here to help you find out the page coverage and cost-per-page—it’s actually quite simple.  

How to Calculate the Print-Per-Page Cost

Determining your average page coverage is the key to calculating your print-per-page cost. First, find out how to use a coverage calculator tool. Then, learn the formula for calculating the cost per page. 

Finally, go over some options for reducing your costs so you can save money while meeting your business’s needs. 

Use a Coverage Calculator

While you can eyeball your printed pages to guess how much toner or ink you’ve used, it’s much easier to use a coverage calculator. The APFill Ink and Toner Coverage Calculator calculates the coverage. 

It’s typically used as a cost-saving tool since you can calculate the page coverage before printing. However, you can also use it to determine your business’s average page coverage. 

After downloading the tool, use it to check the page coverage for several PDF files. Then, determine the average coverage for the files you checked. That will give you a basic idea of the average page coverage for your business.  

Calculate the Cost

Once you know the page coverage, you can take the next step and calculate the cost. Calculate the print-per-page cost with the following formula:

Cost of the Cartridge or Toner/ [Page Yield] x (Actual Coverage)] = Cost-Per-Page

Let’s look at how you’ll get each of these numbers:

First, of course, you can get the cost of the cartridge by reviewing your last order. If you order in bulk, you’ll need to do a little math to determine the price of a single cartridge. You also might find the information on your order receipt. Sometimes, receipts break this down so you can see the cost savings of buying in bulk.

Then, you’ll need to look at the toner or cartridge’s packaging to get the page yield. If you use toner, you’ll have a much higher page yield than if you use ink cartridges. 

Finally, you’ll use the APFill Ink and Toner Coverage Calculator to determine the actual coverage. The tool will provide you with a percentage, such as 20 percent. You’ll need to write it in decimal form when inputting it into the formula. Thus, if your page coverage is 20 percent, you’d insert 0.2 into the formula.

After you complete the formula, you’ll have your cost-per-page. This is how much you spend, on average, when printing documents. Since page coverage will likely vary slightly from document to document, it won’t be exact. 

Other Factors to Consider

There are other factors to consider when determining the cost per page. First, think about how much you spend on paper. You need to factor that in to get a more accurate estimate of your print-per-page cost. 

Also, consider the cost-per-page for printing in black and white versus color. Color printing is often around three times more expensive than printing in black and white. 

Related Article: Top Reasons Your Business Should Prioritize Office Copiers and Printers.


How to Reduce Costs

If you’re unhappy with the cost-per-page, you will likely want to find a better deal. If you have a small desktop printer from a big box store, that’s really all you can do to reduce costs. Fortunately, it’s much easier to lower printing costs if you have a small business with a relatively large printing volume. 

In this case, a local authorized copier/printer dealer can help you lower your print-per-page cost when printing in black and white and color. You can save quite a bit by helping you select the right machine. 

Additionally, you can use the provider’s managed print services to save even more money. With managed print services (MPS), the provider can redirect printing jobs to reduce costs. Your provider can also create rules for using the printer and printing in color to lower costs even further. Then, employees will be less likely to use the printer for unapproved reasons and drive up prices by printing in color when it isn’t necessary. 

Additionally, your local copier dealer can manage your printers and supplies. You’ll never have to worry about running out of ink and toner, and you also won’t have to worry about routine maintenance. Instead, you can focus on your small business.

The Final Say: A Local Copier Dealer Can Help You Reduce Printing Costs

Knowing how much you’re currently spending per page is an important starting point. After you discover the cost, contact a local copier dealer to go over ways to save. 

The copier dealer can analyze your output and needs and help you develop a printing strategy to save money. Then, the copier dealer can provide managed print services as well if needed. 

AOS has been in the copier and printing industry for decades. We sell and lease copiers from top manufacturers and provide managed print services. Make sure to contact us today to find out how we can help your small business reduce printing costs. In addition, find out how we can help your business run more efficiently with our managed print services.CTA On page


Brad McEldowney

Written by Brad McEldowney

AOS has been providing a culture of care since 1969. I have the privilege of following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather in serving as the third generation of ownership for our company. We sell and service office equipment, software and technology that helps your business or organization run smoothly. We are nationally recognized for the level of service we provide our clients and have seen consistent growth as a result.

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