Is Trade Printing Right for You?
Let’s take a look:
A trade printer provides wholesale printing to print resellers who sell to the ultimate client. A trade printer does not have contact with the reseller’s clients without the reseller’s permission. A trade printer will sell printing at wholesale prices, allowing the reseller to mark up printing prices to market comparable retail rates. The reseller’s margin may vary depending upon local market prices and the services they are providing their client. Some print resellers may simply be placing orders and having them shipped to their clients while others may be designing the piece, getting print bids, attending press runs and delivering the final product to the customer.
Who uses trade printers?
Trade printers are used by graphic designers, ad and marketing agencies, print brokers and any one else who resells printing to their customers. Some commercial printers even use trade printers if they lack a specific printing capability such as foil stamping, spiral binding or large format printing..
What should you look for in a trade printer?
- Quality and reliability
Deal with an established printer who has a track record of success. Your reputation is on the line so make sure to check how long the printer has been in business. Request samples of their work to review the quality of their printing and understand what type of commercial printing technologies they offer.
- Protection of your client relationship
Reputable trade printers will not try to steal your client, even if they are also selling commercial print to the end user. A good trade printer will supply you with unbranded samples and catalogs you can give to your customers and will never contact your customer directly without your permission. Your client will receive their printed products in plain or “blind” packaging that never identifies the printer.
- Printing expertise and capabilities
A good trade printer should function as your print consultant and offer solutions to your clients’ professional printing needs. They will also offer a wide range of services including multiple finishing and paper options as well as mailing services allowing you one-stop-shipping, thus avoiding the need to source multiple vendors. A good trade printer will also review your files and make suggestions or changes to improve the quality of your clients’ project rather than just printing the file as submitted.
- Fanatical customer service
Look for a commercial printer that has trained customer service representatives who know printing and are available by phone to answer questions. They need to be able to turnaround quotes quickly so you don’t miss out on business. They should also have online systems that give you access to your own custom ordering page where you can access the status of your current and past quotes and orders.
- Shipping and production options
A good trade printer will have multiple shipping and production speed options to meet your clients’ timelines. As a reseller, you may get priority order processing and production.
- Ratings and testimonials
Check your printer’s website for current testimonials, awards, Better Business Bureau ratings, or supplier ratings from organizations such as ASI and Sage. When in doubt, ask for references.
- Guarantee Policy
Check your printer’s guarantee policy to understand how they deal with errors or returns.