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Crouser & Associates, a business consultation firm, has published a new survey of the printing industry. The firm studied the operations of 124 printers from around the U.S., paying special attention to the company’s pricing policy on their QR code services. The survey found that 50% of printers charge for code generation, with prices ranging from $5 to $500. Only 25% do not charge for generating the codes, with another 17% considering fees in the future.

As QR codes have become more popular in the marketing and social world, many businesses have been cropping up offering QR management services for a price. It is understandable that these businesses would charge for their marketing analytics and website construction services, but charging for generation of the codes themselves is largely considered unethical.

There are a number of web-based platforms that allow for the free generation of QR codes. Google, for instance, invites users to take advantage of their own platform. Given the multitude of free code generators all over the Internet, it would seem that printers are only able to charge as much as they are because relatively few people are knowledgeable about QR codes.

According to the survey, the businesses that charge for codes do so on a case-by-case basis. Some codes will be more expensive than others if they link to video or interactive content. Furthermore, businesses charge for each code generated. If a consumer wants to change the code they are using, they will have to pay for a new one.

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