It is amazing, disappointing and quite revealing, when end-users have a negative opinion about print brokering. More specifically, when the end-user has the notion that somehow prices are higher when doing business via a broker, which is testament to how much they truly know about the business. To explain……

How many times has anyone heard someone say ‘I hate my health insurance person. He/She charges too much because he’s/she’s a broker. I order straight from the insurance provider’, or ‘I hate my mortgage person, because he’s/she’s a broker. I go straight to the underwriter for my deals’. Let us even get more ridiculous: ‘I hate my grocery store. I buy my toilet paper straight from the manufacturer’.

The common theme here is that people think that they are somehow being charged more because of that addition layer of service. The fact is that printers offer special pricing to brokers that end-users cannot typically access. Printers would rather that brokers handle the consultation and customer service, so that they can concentrate on what they are good at: printing. This is common practice, an it will never go away.

This structure of business is no different than any other business out there. Looking at the tech industry, there’s always a manufacturer, then a distributor and then a reseller/VAR. Looking at something as simple as soda, there’s the maker and distributor, and then the store and vending machine (do people really get pissed about putting .50 in a vending machine?). Some of the biggest print companies out there (i.e. names that rhyme with Blinko’s and AltaTraffic) are print brokers! Amusingly, graphic design companies like to denounce brokers, simply because they are considered competitors in the print space, but it is very common for them to broker out their design work to freelance designers (it gets incredibly tiring to witness people wasting their energy trying to spread guilt and negativity, when the industry really needs to come together)!

Printing brokering is a legitimate business. It is up to the end-user to decide who they find best to deal with.

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  1. The Geeky Blog Updates » Blog Archive » The Truth: Print Brokering is a Legitimate Business on November 2, 2007 3:26 pm

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