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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.

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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

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Archive for the ‘PrintBuying’ Category

Custom Printing: Considering Buying Printing Overseas

Monday, August 1st, 2022

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About twenty years ago I brokered five catalogs to a Canadian printer. I actually found the printer through the Printing Industry Exchange (true story, not a plug for PIE), and I kept the gig going for a number of years. Everything went well. I was pleased. My client was pleased. (more…)

Custom Printing: More Ways to Save Money When Buying Printing

Monday, June 27th, 2022

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The trick is to realize that most things are negotiable. There are ways to find what you need if you take the time to look. Prices for commercial printing (and especially paper) are going up, but if you’re creative, you can often bring them down at least a bit.

I wrote an initial PIE Blog article on this subject a while ago, so this will be a follow-up article with more tips and tricks for you to consider.

Book Printing: The Effect of Unit Costs vs. Total Costs

Friday, April 29th, 2022

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A client of mine recently asked for pricing for her fashion color swatch books: 90 copies vs. 100 copies vs. 115 copies vs. 232 copies. This was to get ballpark pricing. (Her prior run had been 232 copies, so this was the benchmark to which she would compare the other prices.) She planned to open the ordering process to her 4,000 online prospective sales clients and then place the final order through the printer. (more…)

Book Printing: a Handful of Ways to Save Money Buying Print Services

Monday, October 4th, 2021

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If your job involves either buying commercial printing services or designing print products, your experience over the years will teach you that some custom printing processes cost a lot. It’s easy to spend money quickly on a print job. However, you can also be mindful when designing or specifying a print project and make choices that actually save you money. (more…)

Custom Printing: The Current Wild West of Print Buying

Sunday, September 12th, 2021

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I’ve just received five print book titles to price for two clients. Two of these books have French flaps (the 3.5” flaps that fold in on the front and back cover of a perfect-bound print book, making it look a bit like a case-bound book with a dust jacket). They are a poetry book and a book of fiction respectively, both 5.5” x 8.5” perfect-bound books. One is 272 pages plus cover; one is 72 pages plus cover. Each of these two has a corresponding “reader’s galley,” a book (without French flaps) for 75 selected readers to review and comment on prior to production of the final editions. (more…)

Commercial Printing: Is the Job Your Printer Just Delivered Acceptable?

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

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“Acceptable” is a slippery word. In the case of offset and digital printing, acceptable delivery has more to do with whether you can tell your custom printing vendor that you are satisfied with the product and he can bill you for the job. It’s a question of quality, and you have an important decision at this point, which you should not make lightly. (more…)

Custom Printing: Trade Printers and Printing Brokers

Monday, June 14th, 2021

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Among my other gigs (writer, graphic designer, art teacher), I am a commercial printing broker. I find the printer with the most appropriate skills and equipment for a particular client’s job. Unlike a printing sales rep for an individual company, I have access to printers across the country. Many of them I worked with when I was a production manager/art director in a local educational foundation. I have been doing this for 20 years (of my 44 years in printing and publications). (more…)

Custom Printing: What Print Buyers Look for in Printers

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

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When it comes to print buying, I know how I choose a printer. What I don’t know is how others approach print buying. So I found it intriguing to read an analysis on of NAPCO Research’s survey of 200 print buyers or print buying influencers. The article is entitled “Print Buyer Survey Reveals Key Factors Influencing Provider Selection.” Written by Lisa Cross, this article was published on PIWorld’s website on 11/23/20. (more…)

Commercial Printing: A Few Thoughts on Printing Trade Customs

Sunday, October 11th, 2020

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Assumptions tend to get us into trouble, as much a part of human nature as they might be. And in the arena of commercial printing, this is no exception. (more…)

Custom Printing: The Importance of Adequate Lead Time

Sunday, August 16th, 2020

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“The luxury of time.” Who has it anymore? Everything is a rush. Under the assumption that mistakes occur when you rush through something, if you buy commercial printing for a living, it’s vital to consider all facets of the job you’re producing and leave adequate lead time for each component. (more…)


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