The True Cost of Free Shredding

I see more and more events offering “free shredding.” The truth is that someone is paying for the shred truck to come out but not passing on the cost. The most common reasons are these events are public relations, customer relations or to raise money for a charity by soliciting donations. To maximize value they seek out attention from local media with the promise of free.

If someone wants to pay to have a shredding truck come out; a shredding company is going to take the job. This provides work for the company and helps the organization with their event. A good relationship for both. The danger for the shredding industry is how the event is advertised.

It takes money to run a shredding company. A mobile shredding truck is expensive, the driver needs to get paid, Uncle Sam always gets his cut, and the owner’s kids need to eat. Shredding services offer high security shredding at a reasonable price but no one can do it for free and last. By advertising that shredding is free it devalues the service for everyone. Homes can be a valuable market for your business but not if they think the going rate for your time is $0.

Some simple changes in advertising can make a big difference. Instead of shredding for free require a donation to a charity. Limit it to homes with small volumes. We have all seen the company law office that tries to sneak in several people with four boxes each. If a company is paying for the service make sure their customers know it is sponsored, not free. The goal is always a fair price for the consumer, and the company.

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