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How to Become a Printing Broker
By Jade Balle, eHow Contributor
Finding a reasonably priced printer can be taxing. You have to sort through hundreds of printers, ask for quotes, wait for the quotes to return (if they ever come) and then compare them side by side. If you are lucky enough to find a printer who can produce a good product at a low price, you should consider brokering out this printing service to other publishers and small-business clients who frequently need printing work. The name of your printer is your biggest asset---you did all that work to find the company after all---so one of your main jobs is to keep that information guarded. You are making your clients' lives easier, bringing new business to the printer and taking a small percentage for yourself as the printing broker. If you have a good working knowledge of how to submit files to printers, this could potentially be a lucrative job.
  1. Seek your own quotes from printers. This can include book printers, poster printers, business card printers, brochure printers and other specialists. Ask for the estimated production schedule of each printer. This will be extremely important information to have on hand when you come across a client who has a time-sensitive project. Once you get quotes back, sift through the ones that are the most reasonable. Then ask for samples from each of your final choices. Be sure to get shipping quotes as well.

  2. Based on samples, quotes and delivery times, decide on a set of reliable printers that you can work with on a regular basis.

  3. Set up at least five sample projects with us and ask for print quotes for each type of project. For example, if you will be brokering book-printing jobs, you will want to know your printer's quote for various book sizes (5.5 by 8.5 inches, 6 by 9 inches, 8.5 by 11 inches and so on), page lengths (such as 64, 224, 256 pages and so on), book count (500 or 10,000 copies) and the price of printing digitally (which is usually cheaper) or using offset printing equipment. Having these sample quotes on hand will allow you to deliver a quick estimate to your clients. This is done through our brokers website at www.kratosprinting.com

  4. Add your fee to the quote that you receive from each printer. You may want to go with a flat fee, such as $200 as your compensation for bringing the two parties together and submitting files, or a percentage fee depending on the size of the project.

  5. Post your printing broker services on websites that advertise to small-business people, publishers and advertising professionals. These groups usually need printing services on a regular basis and are looking to save time while getting a quality product. Consider listing your printing broker company on StartupNation.com, Craigslist (under "Services") and SuperPages free small-business listings. Establish a small website to advertise your printing broker business with a form to get quote information from each customer.

  6. When a customer submits a quote request, you will be able to send your bid to the customer directly. This is done through our brokers website at www.kratosprinting.com

  7. When you do get projects, speak to your chosen printers about setting up "blind shipments" on all print orders. This way, when the print job is complete, the customer will receive a box that has your name and address as the return address, not that of the printer. This is a crucial step when you are a printing broker.

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