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The lowest cost for home-grown CDs

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How much? Assume you have a burner and your songs. What would be the lowest cost you could produce CDs? Total costs, CDs in hand. CD, some kind of label.


You could also get bulk lots manufactured. For how much? A dollar each? What other costs?


I don't know if it matters, say, 10 to 12 tracks per CD.


EDIT: BTW, I mean a CD and a label of some sort and a jewel case. As for label, it might be cheapest to buy a printer and print it right on the CD, I guess. Some have mentioned that Epson printer for $100. I wonder what each "label" would cost.

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Duke, It's all different in different parts of the country due to the economics of the area. You'll have to research those costs where you are.

On an individual case my cost, not including my time, runs from a buck to two bucks per CD, factoring in the cost of the cd, the crystal pack, paper and ink and how fine the print quality and paper is. No shrink wrap on my demos. If I want them sealed I use clear packing tape on the opening edge.


I can get CDs here for under a dime a piece if I want to use them but would have to have a heavy colored label on them because they have a dark color on half the surface. If I used those, and paper sleeves and printed the labels in econo mode I could get the cost down to well under a buck a pop but the quality would be lacking.

As it is, for most give-away demos I use a decent cd blank, generic labels and print in econo or normal mode. That keeps the cost to about a buck. When I want a better looking demo for distribution for a potential job & etc, I'll use better paper and print in fine mode. That raises the cost of the paper and ink and thus the overall cost of the cd to about the two buck high side.


Also, that printer is about $180.00, not $100.00. At least out here, and at Frys, where they've been consistently the least expensive on that printer.

Don't forget that when you do your cost factors with those printers that though you're saving the cost of the labels you need to use the cd blanks made for direct printing. They are more expensive so it may not pencil out. That will depend on what you can find, price-wise for those cds.




In reality, the only advantage to doing your own is the fact that the small runs of ten or twenty cds cost is fairly small and you can do just what you need.

If you want to do a lot of cds and have a quality mastered demo it's better to farm out the job in lots of a thousand or more. If you check around you can probably get them done for about the same as I'm paying per cd now and have better quality in the cd and booklet printing.[/EDIT]


Our Joint


"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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I did quite a bit of work on this, since I was getting a lot of requests for small runs of CDRs.



- Ink Jet Printer

- Printing CD inserts on card stock, double sided, so there are 4 panels total.

- Printing Rear cover inserts on the same printer

- Printing adhesive CD labels

- Using Verbatim CDRs from Sams Club

- NOT figuring any labor costs in

- Getting the printed card stock cut to correct size at Kinkos


I came out with about $1.75 per copy. With labor costs (paying my 15 year old son to burn CDs, and print & assemble product), my break-even point was about $3.00 per copy.


You might be able to do better if you can find a printer that doesn't use $30 ink cartridges...

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Okay, good answers, thanks guys. Say, $2 to $3 tops for home grown. How much for manufactured? The figure of about $1300 per thousand sticks in my mind.


I've seen some ads for 50-runs or 100-runs, anyone have any comments on those?

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