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JK wrote this on August 21, 2015

In Edible Printing it can sometimes be overwhelming knowing where to start. And without the right advice it can be easy to make mistakes.

So to help you out we’ve compiled some of the most common ones, so you can avoid them yourselves and potentially save yourselves some time and money!

Already an edible printing veteran? Feel free to add to the list based on your experiences in the comments below!
Common edible printing mistakes

Mistake 1: Buying the equipment but only using it once a year

The upfront costs of a basic edible printing system starts from about $300 (£200). But how much printing are you planning to do? The financial benefits only start paying off after 20-30 prints (versus buying prints in a bakery or online). How often will you be printing? If you’re printing less than once every week or two, your printer could degrade quicker due to inks drying and clogging. It may be worth starting out by getting the prints dispatched online or at your local bakery. Have a read of our advice on when NOT to buy an edible printer.

Mistake 2: Using cheap edible inks / sheets

That set of inks on eBay may be a great deal, but how is the printout quality? Base your decisions around recomendations, rather than solely price, you will find it will be more beneficial to you in the longer run. We’ve found using a reputable supplier can not only give the support needed when there are problems, but also will likely have better quality printouts which will keep your customers happy too.

Mistake 3: Buying the wrong printer

Less common if you are buying as part of a ‘package’ deal, but if you’re trying to save a bit of money some people buy the printer elsewhere. If so, make sure it is compatible with the edible ink cartridges! Many models are supported, but cross check first with the supplier you are buying your inks from.

Side point- make sure you buy new – you don’t want the printer contaminated with regular ink.

Mistake 4: Assuming that the printer will maintain itself

So you’ve got the right equipment, nice. And you’re happily using it until it’s not printing some colours on a busy day of orders. Nightmare. But chances are, this happened due to limited maintenance on the equipment.

We recommend having a check out our edible printing maintenance schedule to help reduce the chance of printing problems.Maintenance for edible printing

Mistake 5: Thinking printouts will be the same quality and colours as glossy photos

Yes, it’s an inkjet ‘photo’ printer, but remember we’re printing edible inks onto icing here! You’re not going to get the same quality printout vs printing on photo paper. Additionally, the colours tend to vary slightly versus the ‘true’ screen colours.

That said, with the right inks and settings you can get it close – have a read of this step by step post for solving Edible Ink problems for further info.

Mistake 6: Underpricing your printed products

Just because the material costs are just a few dollars, it doesn’t mean you should be selling for that little! What is the cost of your labour? How much do you spend acquiring your customers? Do you offer a superior customer experience or service (such as an on-page Topperoo designer)? Don’t feel that you need to undercut other businesses to get customers using your service.

I hope this helps you in your edible printing journey – do drop us a note in the comments below on your learnings when starting out.