Is It Cheaper To Print Your Own Labels in 2024

Many start-ups and growing businesses don’t have an unlimited budget when they start and whatever they do, they have to find a way to fit the tight budget they’re working with. That means that there’s no room for additional costs and wasting money on unnecessary services. Understanding how to fit the budget and not waste money is what will set apart a successful business from a failing one.

One of the things that you will have to spend money on, once you start a business, are labels. Labels might look like a minor expense, but when you’re selling and shipping products on the regular, those expenses can quickly add up. That is why many wonder is it cheaper to just print your own labels instead of hiring an outside company to print them for you.

That’s what we wanted to find out today. We’ve gone out, consulted with a couple of people and we’re going to try to give you a definitive answer – if that’s possible. Let’s take a look at what we’ve found out?

Is It Cheaper To Print Your Own Labels?

In a word – yes. Printing your own labels can be significantly cheaper than outsourcing a company to do it for you. However, it’s not that simple. There a number of factors that are at play here and we’ll try to go over all of them.

Is It The Right Move?

First up, you’ll have to ask yourself – is this an expense or an investment? This will greatly determine whether DIY printing is the smart thing for you. You’ll need to determine what kind of a printer you’ll need and what kinds of labels are you going to be printing. After you do that, you’ll have to put everything on paper. Calculate the costs of outsourcing over the years and compare that to the cost of DIY printing and see whether the investment pays off over time. If it doesn’t – then it just doesn’t make sense. A little help may be found on this website. Keep in mind, if you do opt-out for a DIY route, don’t skip on a label printer as you’ll be more likely to suffer from problems along the way.

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How Many Labels Will You Need?

Volume is also crucial here. If you only need a few of them from time to time, then, investing in a printer makes no sense at all. Keep in mind that a solid printer will set you back at least $5000. So, unless you plan on printing a lot of labels over the next couple of years, you probably don’t need one. In instances where you only need a few of them, would advise you to phone a friend for help and not waste your money.

On the other hand, if you’re serious about it and you need volume, well, here’s what you have to understand.

How To Make Labels Look Professional?

The worst thing you can do for your business is print out cheap, amateur-looking labels only to save a few cents per each one. Don’t be fooled – they will affect the way your product sells, there’s no way around it. That’s why you need to make sure you pay attention to these key details.



There are many options when it comes to paper and it all depends on what kind of product you’re selling. Also, not every printer is compatible with every type of paper so keep that in mind as well.

For instance, shampoo or conditioner bottles can’t have plain paper labels because the water will ruin them. To be fair, you could have paper labels on them, but how will that reflect on your business?

Besides, you never print labels one by one. If you do, you should probably consider doing something else because this is not working out for you. On that note, you’ll have to decide whether you want pre-cut labels or full sheets. Keep in mind, your options are greater when you use full sheets, but cutting them will take a lot of time. Pre-cuts are easier to work with and they look more professional but are quite limited in size.

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Another thing to pay attention to is the adhesive you’re going to use. Not every adhesive is suitable for every product or label. Permanent adhesives are generally best received and most appreciated by the consumers, but they’re not ideal. For instance, if you misalign the label – that’s it. Unless you’re willing to discharge the whole product, you’re going to have to ship it with a crooked product label.



For product labels, you need a lot more than just plain text. You need imagery – in colour most of the time. That means that you have to think about the images you’re going to be using, as well as finding the printer that can make an exact replica of the said image.

Two things you have to keep in mind here – the quality of an image and the type of an image. Types of images are raster and vector. Raster images are the ones you see usually, those made out of pixels. Vector images are usually logos or simple graphics. If you’re working with raster images, you have to worry about quality.

As far as quality goes, you want it over 300 dpi. That’s print-level quality. Also, raster images are hard to increase in size without losing any detail, so make sure the image you’re working with is not small.



Finally, selecting the right kind of printer will also make a significant difference. Ideally, you want a printer that is capable of printing at least 300 dpi, preferably 600 and more. This is especially important when printing fine text. If the printer is subpar, the text will not be readable and your label will be rendered useless.

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Printers also differ in the different ‘inks’ they use. Knowing which kind of printer you need will significantly affect the look of your final product. On that note, here are the different kinds of printers.

  • Laser Printers – use heated toner to print onto the paper.
  • Ink Jet Printers – use liquid ink to apply the image on the paper.
  • Wax Printers – use wax to apply the image on the paper.
  • Label Printers – use permanent ink to print and are specially designed with labels in mind.

All of these can be used to print labels. However, depending on your needs and your product, one will be more or less suitable than the other.

As you can tell, there are a lot of things that you need to consider when printing labels, other than just the cost. While it is cheaper to print your own labels rather than outsource a printing company, you will have to think things through before you make a decision. Hopefully, we have managed to help you in a way.