How Much Does it Cost to Scan Microfiche?
The price of a microfiche scanning project varies from vendor to vendor, just like other free markets. However, you may be surprised just how much it varies and the reasons why they do.
Let us compare the public advertised prices from four microfiche conversion companies:
Why Are There Price Differences in Microfiche Digitizing?
Let’s pretend you have a collection of 500 microfiche jackets, containing 45 images each, and want them to be scanned.
Company A: $600.75 to $1000 (says a card has 75 images, so looks like they could charge you price per card if you have 45 images)
Company B: $1,800
Company C: $3,000
Company D: $1,350
The sad part? Our company, Generation Imaging, is so much lower than these four prices that it makes us feel sad that so many people overpay. It makes us want to vomit.
Microfiche Scanner Speed
If a microfiche scanning service bureau has high-production scanners made by NextScan, Mekel, Sunrise, and a couple of others, they could convert more microfiche per hour than a cheaper scanner or reader printer. The high-end scanners cost tens of thousands of dollars and require expert technical skill to operate. The lower-end microfiche machines still could run you $10-$15,000 but the time it takes to scan one microfiche is time consuming. A microfiche machine like reader printer could be much slower, especially if you could only capture one frame at a time manually. There are also “mid-level” microfiche scanners which cost tends of thousands of dollars but do not have superior scanning speed like the above listed microfiche scanners.
Subcontracting or Commissions
Because microfiche scanning is such a niche market, many companies which advertise that service actually use a subcontractor to perform the work. There is nothing wrong with this, per se, however since the large company is the lead generator and assumes the risk of the transaction, they have to mark-up the microfiche scanning price, as capitalism dictates.
Similar to subcontracting, salespeople work on commissions. Whether it is an independent salesperson who sets up a website or one which works for a large company which advertises microfiche scanning but does not have microfiche scanners, they need to get their percentage.
Cost of Labor for a Microfiche Conversion
A microfiche scanner operator’s salary varies from state to state (and country to country) and varies on scanner operator experience and technical skill. Larger projects require more operators, supervisors, and managers.
Greed or Ignorance
It is very possible that a document scanning company simply does not know what the current microfiche scanning prices are. They may not have done their market analysis or due diligence. More insidious, is that they do know the market but continue to charge high prices simply because…they can. Most people looking for microfiche scanning prices online will click on the first ad or website that comes up via Google search and not even check out the other websites to compare prices.
Be sure to contact Generation Imaging for a free microfiche scanning quote.