Many customers have complained to us: “Why are you selling the paper rolls at a higher price? For 80mm x 80mm thermal paper roll, you are offering $0.600/roll, while other suppliers offer $0.530/roll. Why there is such a big difference?”. Well, the price difference is normal in every business, but when there is a big price difference, there must be a big problem. The paper roll is just a simple product, and the paper roll business is also small. Though, there are still many tricks (or traps) hidden in the industry. Here in this article, we will reveal the four hidden tricks that some suppliers often use. We hope you can benefit from it and have a deeper understanding of the paper roll business.

1. Bigger Core Size

You may know that the core is used to wind the paper roll. In some pieces of equipment, a metal flange is inserted in the core and moves the paper forward when a transaction is created. On these occasions, the core is very critical. But you may not know that the core is also a determining factor for the paper roll price.

There are various core sizes available on the market. If you are using a bigger core size inside the paper roll, that will make the paper length less. For example, for 80mm x 80mm thermal paper roll, if using 13mm x 17mm plastic core, the paper length is 60m, the price is $0.600/roll. While if using 13mm x 20mm paper core, the length is only 58m, and the price is $0.580/roll. Although you are paying less money, you are getting shorter paper, which means you will get fewer receipts when used in the printer.

2. Less Diameter (or Length)

Most of the end-users don’t keep an eye on the paper diameter (or length) when they are using the paper rolls. In this case, many paper roll suppliers would do some trick on the paper diameter (or length). For the most popular paper size 80mm x 80mm, we are making the roll diameter fully at 80mm, while some suppliers would make it at 78mm. Don’t neglect the 2mm difference, that will make the paper 2 meters shorter. That means you will get fewer receipts out when used in your printer.

In the same way, for the most popular size 3 1/8” x 230′ in the American market, we always make the paper length strictly at 230′, while some suppliers would make it at 225′ or less.

3. Thicker Paper

There are many different paper qualities available on the market, such as 55gsm, 60gsm, 65gsm, etc. The different quality paper has a different thickness that would lead to different paper length for the same paper roll size. For 80mm x 80mm thermal paper size, the 55gsm paper thickness is 60um, the paper length is 80m; while the 65gsm paper thickness is 85um, the paper length is 55m. That means if you are using 65gsm paper, you will have 15m shortness in the paper length. You can check the table below about the paper thickness, length, and price.

SizeGSMThickness Length Unit pricePrice per meter
80mm x 80mm 55gsm60um80m$0.900$0.01125
80mm x 80mm 60gsm75um59m$0.700$0.01186
80mm x 80mm 65gsm 80um55m$0.680$0.01236

4. Low-Quality Paper

The low-quality thermal paper has poor coating work on the thermal paper surface, which will lead to a blurry print-out image. When your customers get the receipt, the receipt is not readable. Besides that, low-quality thermal paper always has a low sensitivity. Paper sensitivity is a significant factor when selecting a thermal paper for your application. The sensitivity of a thermal paper refers to the degree to which it reacts to heat (energy). A high-sensitivity product will create a better image than a low sensitivity product when given less heat or energy.

Using low-quality thermal paper will also be harmful to your printer head, which will lead the printer machine’s life much shorter. Buying low-quality thermal paper seems to save money, but you are paying much more in the long run.


When you buy thermal paper roll products, our advice for you is: always buy the paper rolls from a renowned supplier and ask to get samples from your supplier before you make any purchase. In this way, you can make sure you are getting what you are paying for.

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About the Author: Frank Ouyang

Frank Ouyang is the sales manager at Panda Paper Roll Company - a leading factory of thermal paper rolls, label rolls, and other print-related products in China. With extensive experience in the industry, Frank is an expert in thermal paper knowledge and enjoys sharing his insights and expertise with clients, helping them achieve their goals and maximize their success.

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