Providing a scanning estimate while on the phone is difficult, mainly because an estimator cannot determine the condition of materials that need to be scanned. The condition of the materials is what determines the price per unit from a scanning service provider.

As an example, the lowest price per unit would be for a job that has all 8.5 x 11 sized paper, all the same color (black & white or color), that are unbinded (i.e. no staples), with no rips or crumbled conditions. In other words, a scanning company would only have to set stacks of a job on an ADF (automatic document feeder) and allow the scanning machines do the rest of the work.

On the other hand, it is very common to get jobs that have different sized paper (i.e. 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17 and etc.), pages where some are black & white and some that are color, batches that have been stapled and/or binded, and so on. In these scenarios, there is a lot of preparation that needs to take place before a job can even be scanned. Thus, the price per unit goes up as the job becomes more difficult.

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