About reselling printed artwork


I have asked this question on another forum:

the best way to promote a newly established graphic design and web company.

Question link:

A guy has answered me:

Another avenue, try reselling print. You will find this brings in a lot of graphic design work in time if your print prices are competitive, if you are in the UK check out: https://www.printreseller.co.uk

and this question comes to me:

The question that comes to me is, why would someone order a design that was designed for someone else?

but I didn’t get any response from him.
Can I know your idea about my question?


That looks like a print brokering site. You’re not selling design, you’re acting as a middleman between the printer and the person who wants something printed.

Say you design some postcards. Some designers will design and turn the files over to a client and expect the client to go find a printer. Some clients don’t like that and prefer you handle it. So either the client or you place the order with the printer through this storefront you are buying from the printer, who then gives you a discount from their advertised price, usually 10-20%. You charge the client the printer’s advertised price and pocket the 10-20%. Or more, depending on the prices you set. It’s an additional revenue stream to you as a designer.

In the past, when I’ve gone through a dry period, I’ve done something like this to get things moving. I don’t have a storefront, but I get an industry discount from a couple printers because I’m a graphic designer. I’ll advertise that to my contacts… “super discount on 1000 postcards if ordered before the end of this month”. And that gets people calling and emailing and asking about design services. And if they order, I’ll place the order with the printer myself. No storefront needed.

I think the person posted an advertisement for his print brokerage business that had little to do with your question.

As @Mojo said, print brokers are helpful in some instances for some companies, but I don’t see using one as an especially effective way for a “newly established” design firm to get clients.

However, I’ve never found them especially useful since I’ve used enough printers over the years to usually know where I can get the best deal at the best level of quality. Anyway, I can generally get a discount at the printers I use since they know I’ll give them repeat business and send them files they don’t need to spend time fixing.

This is a little off-topic, but I looked at the print broker site you linked to. The site design suffers from a common mistake many niche businesses make when creating their own websites. That mistake is not putting themselves in the position of their potential customers and, consequently, assuming they are already familiar enough with what’s being sold that they don’t need to explain what they’re selling. Someone unfamiliar with print brokers could spend ten minutes on the site before finally figuring out what the business does.

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That’s exactly what happened.

Just make sure if you are brokering print that you are aware of all the tax laws involved.
If you are a reseller, see if you need a tax ID. You don’t pay tax to your print vendors, but you do have to charge your clients tax (unless they are a tax-exempt entity and provide you with a tax number)

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Do you think designing postcards are still useful and profitable?
Can I see your postcard samples?

I design all sorts of things, including postcards, and it’s useful and profitable to me. I don’t have samples. I’m not designing stock postcards, like some people do on Etsy. I create custom designs for clients, as part of their marketing campaigns.

A current project for me is a local non-profit who is hosting a big luncheon with an important guest speaker. Everything is part of their brand, which I help manage. I designed the logo, postcard, tickets, socials, program, gift bag, tent cards, invite, name badges, brochure, aframe signs, banners… I broker printing on some of those, like postcards and tickets, and make additional revenue. It costs them the same or less than if they were to locate and hire the printer, and it’s less work for them to let me handle it. The printer gives me a discount and I pocket the difference.

The website you listed above is a paid service that helps you broker printing. They provide you a storefront. You go out and find people who need printing and drive them to your storefront so they can place orders and you make money when they do that. So the premise of that person’s post is people who need printing are also likely to need design, and there’s a source of clients that you’re looking for.

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All I can say is, with a service like that, be sure you vet them thoroughly. Your reputation hinges on how good their product is.

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