Put your feet up and outsource your label printing


Put your feet up and outsource your label printing

Let’s take a look at the economics and practicalities of printing labels in house compared with outsourcing label printing to someone like us.

What you need to print your own labels

For a start, you need a printer, labels, labelling software, ink ribbon.

Depending on the volume of labels you’re printing and the size and durability of labels will determine what printer you need.

Desktop label printer, labels, ribbon and CD
What you need to print your own labels

Likely costs – printer, labels, ribbons and software.  A small desktop printer, a box of paper labels and ribbons and basic software will cost you up to £550.

Then there are the unseen and unexpected costs –

  • Repair costs – the printer needs fixing every couple of years (unlikely as thermal printers are very reliable – but you never know).  The printhead which costs a few hundred pounds (on a larger printer) wears out over time. This needs to be factored in to the costs of printing.
  • Support costs – getting someone to set the printer up or the time you spend reading manuals, training costs – and the costs of not training (such as discovering one of the warehouse boys cut a vital part of the printer when they were using a knife to get a stuck label out of the printer),
  • Management Time – trying to hook the printer up to the network or deciding what model of printer would be best suited to a particular situation and
  • Time spent supervising the printer. Reloading labels and ribbons and keeping an eye on the printer.
  • Time spent rolling labels – time spent taking printed labels and re-reeling them back onto cardboard cores.
  • Storage and printing space – keeping boxes of labels and a large printer can use up precious space you could use for other things.
  • Label printing accessories – label rewind units, label counters and slitters spring to mind.  They make label printing more efficient but they cost money.

Pros and cons of printing in house.


  1. No delays – print them when you want them
  2. Print dates and batch codes – difficult when your labels are printed in advance
  3. Economical if you have high volumes to print.  That said – talk to us about high volume label printing – the difference in cost between in house printing and outsourced might be closer than you think and you can use the staff you have to focus inside your business and leave us to concentrate on your labels.


  1. If you print them wrong you only have yourself to blame
  2. You might need to invest in large amounts of labels – when you only print a few hundred labels at a time.
  3. It takes time to learn the software and how to operate the printer
  4. You are vulnerable to printer breakdown.  If you have your labels printed for you – make sure the printing company has more than one printer (we do).
Label Printing Centre
Three printers for printing labels is better than one


If you have a need to print unique labels to match a particular item, you need labels with a date on them or you print lots of labels – I recommend you print them in house.  Otherwise – click on the chat button in the bottom right corner of the screen or contact us and get a quote for us to print your labels for you.

Weigh the costs against the convenience of having us print your labels.

If we have suitable labels on the shelf your labels can be printed today and with you tomorrow.

Useful links

Label Printing Services

Published 15 Apr 2019


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