Sunday, 26 July 2015

80gsm A4 office paper in the UK - where's cheap?


Cheap paper

I have some other posts about ink-saving and how to save paper with different layouts.
Cheap paper - Cheap 80gsm A4 paper for UK home users on MySupermarket - £12.50 paper is the price to beat @ £2.50 x 5, or £10.41 + VAT. - Cheap A4 paper special offers - Cheap paper for large organisations, and how DEFRA puts people out of work -  recycled paper looks expensive but some of it is free

Cheap 80gsm A4 paper for UK home users on MySupermarket


0.5p a sheet on mysupermarket in July 2015. (and Wilko, not on mysupermarket.)
Wilko paper | Printer copier paper - grey packet | store locator - choose a large branch or click and collect. Grey packs are 0.48p a sheet; double-A is 0.5p a sheet. There are cashback offers on their order-online and collect service, and they take all major credit cards including cashback ones.
Sainsbury paper | Basics branded A4 paper | Store locator - choose a large branch or click & collect
Tesco paper | Everyday value range A4 paper | Store locator - choose a large branch or click & collect
Asda's graph shows no 0.5p offers on Logic A4 paper | Smartprice | "Copy Paper made in Indonesia" appears in their shops sometimes, un-known to their web site or mysupermarket, in a white 1 ream pack with a black and white label.

0.6p a sheet
Morrison's graph shows no special offers this year on their Morrison's brand A4 paper

0.7p a sheet Poundland - A4 pads compete better. £1 staplers and hole punchers. Ocado charge the same price for a sheet of paper.

Cheap prices tend to be in bigger supermarket branches under their economy brand, displayed on a bottom shelf behind a pillar, or sometimes stacked up as a pile-high sell-cheap offer at the beginning of the school term; they're not usually at the small branches unless you have arranged some sort of click and collect deal online. The brands are Sainsbury's Basics, Tesco Everyday Value, and would be Asda Smartprice if Asda sold cheap paper. Wilko's cheapest is a grey and white packet.

Supermarkets tend to take cashback credit cards, available in individuals' names, and offering half or one percent cashback as well as a months' credit if you buy the day after direct debit from your bank account.

Buying little and often allows less money to be held in the bank account, with a chance of investing spare cash in P2P lending accounts.

0.8p Argos and Ryman

Waitrose have no A4 paper in their Essentials range except A4 lined pads at 0.5p/sheet. In James Bond style emergencies like the need for an expense claim you can buy Waitrose paper at 1.1p. Her Majasty's Stationary Office is no longer a public sector stationary supplier, so might see James Bond scratching his head in Smiths who no longer try to sell A4 reams online, before he goes to Waitrose instead. Aldi Iceland and Lidl don't usually stock reams of A4 paper.
Cheap paper - Cheap 80gsm A4 paper for UK home users on MySupermarket - £12.50 paper is the price to beat @ £2.50 x 5, or £10.41 + VAT. - Cheap A4 paper special offers - Cheap paper for large organisations, and how DEFRA puts people out of work -  recycled paper looks expensive but some of it is free

£12.50 paper is the price to beat @ £2.50 x 5, or £10.41 + VAT.

Office stationary suppliers have a stable minimum order for free delivery, listed here from July 2015. They vary their paper prices a lot over time and on different pages of the catalogue, or as a tempt-back offer for old customers, so you have to search for prices each time you order or just use supermarkets if you don't fancy searching.

If you often pass a cheap supermarket, the price to beat is £12.50 or £10.41+VAT for five reams, and you'll also have to make a larger order for free delivery.

If Wilko keep their £2.40 reams in stock and you are near one, then the price to beat is £12 or £10+VAT; otherwise Wilko charge £4 if you need delivery. Their prices-alongside for notebooks aren't good at 1p a page on a spiral-bound A5 notebook. It's possible to buy Silvine UK-made notebooks in packs of five for less, probably.

Small cashback offers come and go over time, but there is no harm in signing-up to Topcashback, Quidco, or both from this site while you think about it.
Searching in July 2015, none of them had an offer much cheaper than the main supermarkets for under £100; the only way to buy cheaper than the supermarket is to wait for a special offer.

Searching in early October 2014 I found Poundland advertising fictional 0.3p paper with 0.75p paper on the shelves. Late October 2014 I found Staples was top of the list on a search engine. At the time their usual price was at or just under £2.50 a 500 page ream including VAT on orders of 60 reams. A special offer in their clearance section showed reams at £1.99 for a short time - maybe only shown to people who have just searched for paper. There's also an offer of something like a membership card, after which the odd offer comes in the post. Coming back in February 2015 I see prices have dropped. Cashback credit cards might offer another half percent off.

A few years ago I used to use Viking, who have occasional special offers for existing customers and advertise cheap paper for new customers regularly. You may have to use a second address to and payment card to use offers like this if there isn't one for existing customers, but the existing customers' special codes used to last a few months after being printed on a mail-out, even if you had to type them into the web site rather than using the search box.

Cheap paper - Cheap 80gsm A4 paper for UK home users on MySupermarket - £12.50 paper is the price to beat @ £2.50 x 5, or £10.41 + VAT. - Cheap A4 paper special offers - Cheap paper for large organisations, and how DEFRA puts people out of work -  recycled paper looks expensive but some of it is free

Cheap A4 paper special offers

  • 1% cashback, for personal-name amex cardholders is available at some supermarkets. Some personal-name Visa and Mastercards give 0.5% cashback and nectar points can be worth a similar amount next time you order.
  • Bing and Google have the most obvious offers, aimed at new customers.
    Euroffice and their UKofficedirect sites have a pop-up offer for new customers on their site.
     
  • Most suppliers will send paper or email monthly junk mail to previous customers with occasional good prices for paper. Viking's offers for example used to have a special product number that was still valid for a few months after issue to buy paper more cheaply than the usual price. A search of their web site this 12/2015 found Item # Q2D-2047658 was 75 grammes, but if you can cope with that it's cheaper than supermarkets.

    On the other hand, glancing at the junk mail and binning it is distracting and takes time (as do nectar cards). There's probably a way to set-up email forwarding filters so that stationary offers go to one in-box to open only when needed,

    Cashback sites don't work well for a product search, so they can only be used when you have a supplier in mind and want to know if their price still applies to cashback customers, or not.
  • http://www.imutual.co.uk/office-supplies
  • http://www.quidco.com/office/
  • http://www.topcashback.co.uk/office-equipment/cashback/ - no product search 
    It would be great if you could sign-up to the bottom two from this page because they give commission and nobody has done so far - but another deserving referral agent is http://cashbackholic.co.uk/ who try to match well-known shops against any of the main cashback sites they are on. Plenty of obscure cashback sites are listed too, in case you have the patience.
Cheap paper - Cheap 80gsm A4 paper for UK home users on MySupermarket - £12.50 paper is the price to beat @ £2.50 x 5, or £10.41 + VAT. - Cheap A4 paper special offers - Cheap paper for large organisations, and how DEFRA puts people out of work -  recycled paper looks expensive but some of it is free

    Cheap paper for large organisations, and how DEFRA puts people out of work

    Larger organisations can buy more at once.
    With no experience of buying for a large organisation, I guess the following is worth a try.

    First, printing letters to post is a service that some companies do online. Most people don't do it for one or two letters because of the hassle, but the cost of time, stamp, printing and envelope may be more manageable, if not much cheaper, when out-sourced. At the same time a few books of stamps in the office for when this grand system fails would be a good backup. I worked at a place where we had second class stamps and stamps that could make a letter up to first class - however many pence that is. So if someone has a reason in their head to use first class, they can do it easily but otherwise letters go second class.

    Second (second paragraph not second class) some organisations expect their staff to buy stationary together as part of a big deal which is meant to get low prices, maybe by tender, from office supply companies that sell everything else as well as paper. These companies make the money back by charging £100 for a coat rack. It doesn't make sense.

    It could be possible to get a pallet of paper from a paper mill delivered to some central point, and for staff who travel around the organisation to take a few reams with them. This would benefit a UK paper mill, paying UK tax, even if it's no cheaper than the cheapest supermarket. The rest of the stationary buying could be left to individual staff, who know what they want and could claim receipts on petty cash or get the boss to buy things for them online with a company credit card. Unfortunately our government here in the UK is not capable of releasing the trade data that would help us work-out where the nearest papermills are that make cheap A4 paper in order for people to write trade directories and customers to ask what their minimum orders are for free delivery. If anyone is reading this because they write political leaflets, please pass the suggestion on to candidates, as my letter forwarded via an MP to the Department for Business just got a brush-off reply. Maybe you can try writing a better letter via Writetothem.com and see if you get a better result.

    http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Office%20paper%20and%20publications.pdf is a tax-funded publication suggesting that big regular customers can get paper at well under £2 a ream including VAT and probably delivery for a 200 reams at a time, which is a lot cheaper than the price I found for 200 reams on the list above. The document is vague about who the suppliers are and what their minimums are, and generally tries to promote recycled paper rather than products made by people who pay taxes to fund Wrap. It doesn't even promote products made in democratic welfare states. It promotes recycled paper. According to another source  "the carbon footprint of transportation is high, there are no recycled mills for office cut paper in the UK, the closest mill producing a recycled sheet is in Austria." . So this government-funded organisation works directly against the interests of its taxpayers. I don't know if they were crass or took a bribe, but probably just crass because there are similar examples on by other blog planb4fashion.blogspot.co.uk .

    The document was clearly written before the recession, at thee expense of UK taxpayers, and has been maintained by ministers of all three parties. It does not promote production by UK taxpayers; it promotes the opposite. It promotes the competition. You have to wonder if the writers took a bribe, or were just gobsmackingly incompetant. Maybe ministers and special advisers thought they earn revenue from their great intellectual property exports, and didn't check civil servants' work for detail. The document is vague about web links and minimum orders, so what there is doesn't date fast. It mentions paper suppliers as Robert Horne, Dixon & Roe, Antalis, Paperback, Guilbert/Niceday, Lyreco, Office World, Fenns, Viking, Xerox Office Supplies, Banner and UK Office Direct Limited.

    A WRAP spokesman said: “Liz Goodwin’s salary was £163,000. Her pay reflects that fact in all three years as chief executive Liz has met her objectives and WRAP is on track to meet all its business plan targets. WRAP is committed to delivering the best possible value for money and so Liz’s pay was recently benchmarked against similar jobs in both public and private sector. At WRAP’s Open Meeting Liz was widely praised for what she had achieved.”As a result of UK government buyers refusing to buy UK-made paper, one of the last producers has gone into administration by KPMG. Tullis Russell was an employee-owned company based in Fife, the Prime Ministers's constituency. The situation echoes the closure of Equity Shoes in Leicester, another employee-owned company, which went bust while their MP promoted Chinese competition such as Terra Plana as Secretary of State for Business, funding London Fashion Week. There is some overlap. Defra is the ministry that funds Wrap, and Defra funded sidelines of London Fashion Week and an organisation called Ethical Fashion Forum (catchphrase: "What is Ethical Fashion?") which also advised consumers not to buy british products from factories like Equity Shoes. I have a facebook page and blog about this sort of thing. If the salary of Liz Goodwin had gone towards either Tullis Russell or Equity Shoes, it might have helped them stay in business but honest and fair orders would have done the trick as well. I hope there is some way that UK or Scottish government can undo the damage before the machines are demolished, and promote UK buying of UK-made paper. I don't think it's likely but I hope. Meanwhile, the aftermath has to be dealt with and this is a post about how to promote startup busines and employment in less-likely places.

    http://www.mill-branded-guide.paperandprint.com/mill-branded-products/millproducts.cgi is a more specific document and could with luck contain the contact details of a UK paper mill that makes cheap A4 copier paper. It is aimed at printers. If the government has killed-off the last UK paper mill by failing to release information about which are still in business making what, and by promoting the competition, then you could try making your own paper by setting-up a factory. This is a US video about the process.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Kt5dHMBvYM

    Printers may be able to print thousands or tens of thousands of sheets cheaper than the cost of buying ink and paper at home. Not much less. Possibly a bit more, but it saves a lot of work and gets their expertise in judging what kind of ink will work on what kind of paper if you use both sides. I discover this from searching online for A5 or A4 quotes on a constituency print-run of 50,000.
    Cheap paper - Cheap 80gsm A4 paper for UK home users on MySupermarket - £12.50 paper is the price to beat @ £2.50 x 5, or £10.41 + VAT. - Cheap A4 paper special offers - Cheap paper for large organisations, and how DEFRA puts people out of work -  recycled paper looks expensive but some of it is free

    recycled paper looks expensive but some of it is free

    That's because people are embarassed to keep single sided sheets to print on the back. They should be proud. Estate agents sometimes send single-side sheets, as do people who want to invest your money for 0.1% a year while offering loans at only 2% a month. Lots of these sheets are blank on the back and capable or being re-used. If you have a basic roller-like inkjet printer, you can even save pages that have got half a sheet blank and use them for addresses.
    Cheap paper - Cheap 80gsm A4 paper for UK home users on MySupermarket - £12.50 paper is the price to beat @ £2.50 x 5, or £10.41 + VAT. - Cheap A4 paper special offers - Cheap paper for large organisations, and how DEFRA puts people out of work -  recycled paper looks expensive but some of it is free

    parcel tape

    Just noticed an offer on clearancexl of 6 x 66m = 396m @ £4 = 1p a meter. Unfortunately there's at least a £5 or £6 delivery charge which can also include some very cheap potatoes, near-to-use-by-date tins and whatever else takes your fancy.

    Wilko stay-low price brown parcel tape is 55m @ 55p = 1p a meter. In fact it says "60m approx" so you might be lucky, or you might find there's none in stock. It is sold as "in store only" and "check availability". A review says it can loose its grip an it is thin.

    Wilko transparent parcel tape is 100/66 pence a meter, but the stay-low priced
    19mm wide type is 100 / (4 x 33) or 0.0075p a meter:



    By the way I have just done a blog post about Lord Sewell, who seems to have done nothing wrong except to admit that his colleagues do F-all

    1 comment:

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