Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Commercial Printing: Why You Might Need a Broker

An active print brokering client of mine recently contacted the printer directly regarding a new job. This was a printer we had been using for a number of recent jobs. The printer contacted me immediately. He said he had made it clear that my client needed to present all new jobs directly through me, her commercial printing broker.

I was grateful that the printer had seen my value in the mix and had made it clear that my client could not go to him directly. However, this experience (which happens periodically) raised some questions. Why shouldn’t the client go directly to the printer? What do I as a print broker bring to the table that justifies my commission?

The following are some random thoughts on print brokering. Maybe you need one for your work. Maybe you don’t. It will depend on your level of knowledge of custom printing and on the time you have in your schedule to find appropriate vendors and coordinate their activities.

Finding the Ideal Match

A good printing broker is a matchmaker of sorts. Over many years, he or she has developed long-standing relationships with commercial printing vendors, often across the country or around the world. Once he or she understands your printing needs, he or she can find a vendor with the specific skills you need and the exact equipment appropriate for your custom printing job.

For instance, if you are producing a diecut set of keys printed on cover stock, with variable data to personalize the marketing piece, a printing broker can find a supplier skilled in both offset and digital printing, with experience in diecutting, hand assembly of complex jobs, packing (to make sure the promotional pieces will arrive at their destinations unharmed), and mailshop work.

Negotiating a Good Price

If you were able to pay less than you had expected overall for a custom printing job, would you mind that the final bill included a commission for the printing broker? Probably not, since your total bill would be less than expected. In terms of your budget, the total expense would look great, regardless.

A savvy printing broker can often save you hundreds or even multiple thousands of dollars by finding the most appropriate equipment for your job.

Let’s say you had been producing a print catalog on a sheetfed offset press. Perhaps the press run has been on the longish side, but you have been comfortable with a local sheetfed printer. In this case your printing broker might have an established relationship with a web-offset printer that could reduce your overall cost substantially by using this alternate offset printing technology (roll-fed rather than sheet-fed offset) that is more appropriate for longer press runs.

In addition, since your printing broker often brings a lot of work to his or her select printers, he or she can often get lower pricing than you can (this is called “broker pricing”). In these cases, you will benefit from the printing broker’s connections.

Fixing Problems

What happens when a job goes wrong? Maybe the lamination on the cover of your print book is showing bubbles underneath the coating and/or peeling up on the edges of the book. Who will stand behind you and negotiate a remedy (a discount, a total reprint, or a reprint of the cover and rebinding of the book)?

Moreover, who will know when to suggest reprinting the cover, and then hand-trimming and rebinding the print book, and staggering final deliveries to meet your client needs? Your printing broker.

A good printing broker has specialized knowledge acquired over many years (or decades) into how to remedy problems that occur on press and in post-press operations. At best, you have a trusted ally, an advocate, and a technician able to discuss problems with the printer and come up with the best remedy.

Why You Should Care

If you can do all of these things, more power to you. You don’t need a print broker. But if you’re stressed out because you already have too much to do, or if you need an expert (even for a specific job you’ve never confronted before), you might just consider this option.

And if you decide you need a commercial printing broker, how do you find one?

This is a tough question, since not all printing brokers will have the comprehensive level of experience you seek in your particular niche.

My best advice is to only approach a broker who comes recommended by people you trust. Referrals are essential. Otherwise, how do you know that he or she will have the specialized experience?

If that isn’t an option, interview the prospects carefully and ask them to describe problems that have occurred in jobs and how they solved them. Look for concrete, logical answers that reflect a deep knowledge of the printing process.

And remember that the more you know about a particular custom printing or finishing process–whether it be screen printing, inkjet printing, or offset printing—the more effective you will be in selecting the right commercial printing broker for your job.

Comments are closed.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved