Mail order and publishing executives once followed every hiccup within the U.S. Postal Service. Their businesses depended on it. Those days aren’t over for publishers, judging by an article that appeared last week in The Washington Post. Periodical rates could leap by 8% on Aug. 29, a potentially devastating hit to struggling community newspapers, forcing them to reduce staffs and distribution, critics say. Such a hike could be the tipping point for survival for those publishers, Paul Boyle, senior vice president at the News Media Alliance, told WaPo. However, the USPS contends the impact will not be that serious.
If your business prints catalogs, you are keenly aware of the paper shortages and subsequent price increases we’ve experienced so far this year. It’s not over, the mills continue to be on “allocation” through the end of this year and likely into next.
What does allocation mean anyway? Simply put, it means the demand for paper is at the mills’ capacity, so they are allocating the amounts that buyers (like printers, paper brokers and catalogers) can purchase.
But more importantly, what can you do about it? Get ahead of the pack by placing your orders much, much earlier than you have in the past.
- For catalogs in-home in March, place your orders now!
- For catalogs in-home April-May, place your orders by December 1.
- For catalogs in-home Fall-Holiday 2022, place your orders by January 1.
Get in the queue NOW, because your future sales depend on your marketing getting delivered to your customers.
And here’s the bonus tip that makes this feasible: You can always change your order later. Both your quantity and page count can change before your paper manufacturing date (typically 8 to 12 weeks before the print date).
So talk with your printer or paper broker. Get your orders in early. It’s easier to make a change to an existing order than to get squeezed into the queue late when capacity is at a premium.