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Printing Lingo: What is a Trade Printer?

A Trade Printer provides printing to a resale partner, who then sells it to the end user

A Trade Printer is a printing company that provides print materials to resellers at a wholesale rate. As a general rule, these resellers must be in a print-related industry (work within the printing trade or in a similar trade).

Graphic designers, ad agencies, marketing firms, print brokers, copy shops and other printing companies are all potential customers of a trade printer. Purchasing the printing wholesale from a trade printer allows them to resell it to their own customers at a competitive rate.

Trade Printer > Reseller > End User

A trade printer sells printing to a reseller, who in turn sells the printing to the end user. To protect the reseller, a trade printer never has contact with the reseller's customers (unless the reseller requests it). Depending on the agreement, a trade printer either ships the printing to the resellers for them to distribute to the end user, or the trade printer blind-ships the printing to the end user on behalf of the reseller. The trade printer's name never appears on or within any shipment to the end user.

A Trade Printer Serves Many Segments of the Print Industry

Graphic artists, ad agencies, marketing firms and print brokers frequently use trade printers to produce printed matter for their clients. This is because they do not have the means to produce the printing themselves.

Commercial print shops use trade printers if they have an overflow of work or if they lack a particular capability. For example, Formax supplies some print shops with printed books and laminated printing because they are not set up to produce these specialty items in-house. Formax also supplies CMYK printing to some shops that do not have four-color presses.

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

The relationship between the trade printer and reseller is a mutually beneficial partnership. The reseller ensures the end user's artwork is print ready and provides the trade printer with the orders. In return, the trade printer provides print capabilities that the reseller doesn't offer, along with wholesale pricing. Everyone wins, including the end user whose needs are satisfied.

If you are in need of trade printing services for books, laminated printing or four-color process, get in touch with Formax. We can help you provide these in-demand services to your valued customers.

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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