It’s no secret that print buyers know their stuff.  They have years of experience, insider knowledge and gold standard negotiation skills to guarantee their customers the best possible quality and price for their business print.

That’s why print buyers are so successful and in demand by companies UK-wide to make efficiencies within their commercial print spend – therefore making their budget go much, much further.

But what if you were able to tap in to some of those time tested industry secrets that would start saving you money right now?

keep more money in the budget available for more print work…  How much would your Marketing department love you for that?  And it can only be a good thing right?  But who do you know that might let you into the secret world of print buying tips…?

Oh go on then, we’ll tell you – but don’t tell anyone that we did!



6 of the Best Print Buyer Tips of All Time

Well maybe not of all time, but we’ve certainly rounded up our top 6 tips to make your print ordering more efficient, cost effective and timely, transforming you into your company print buyer!  So here goes…


1. Is your order time, quality or price motivated?

You may find this question a little bit tricky to answer at first, but it’s crucial to ascertain early on if your order is time, quality or price motivated.  What does this mean exactly?

If your order is TIME motivated:

You have a short deadline that it’s imperative to meet, so you need your commercial printer to be on board with delivering exactly to that deadline.

Short deadlines can increase costs especially on elements such as next day delivery or timed delivery which are out of the printer’s hands.  BUT if time is your motivation, especially in the case of events or promotions running on fixed dates, this is something you will really need to consider and build into your campaign.

Discussing this with your printer as early as possible will help minimise and avoid additional costs.

If your order is QUALITY motivated:

The quality of your print reflects on your business.  Of course you’d expect a commercial printer to say that, but it is true!!

When your customer sees and feels a high quality brochure showcasing your finest work, they believe in your work and the high quality you offer – they believe in YOU.  Print the same brochure from a standard desktop printer on regular paper and you will not create the same level of trust.

For businesses who rely on selling their product or service based on quality, print quality is often their key motivation and rightly so!  A high quality brochure will sell more for you, so is worth every penny.

If your order is PRICE motivated:

In some cases, your order will be driven purely by price, where speed and quality are of less importance (though a good printer will never deal in bad print!) and falling within a set budget is paramount.

Having conversations early on with your printer will help them identify ways of getting the best possible price for you, as well as being able to suggest ways to help you save – for example something as simple as ordering everything together will help you to reduce costs.


2. Discuss your campaign with your printer BEFORE anyone else

That’s right, before you speak to anyone about your campaign, speak to your commercial printer!

Discuss with them your ideas, what you’d like to do in a perfect world and your budget and watch them transform your ideas into a workable reality.  They will even try and find ways to make your campaign as cost effective as possible and could throw a few new ideas into the pot that you might not have thought about but will make you shine when you present them on.

Discuss your order as a whole with your printer, right down to who will be doing the artwork (see tip 3) and how and when you will need it delivered (see tip 6).  An accurate quote can then be provided and you know you have covered all of the costs for this job.

At this point you can confidently go back to the business with an accurate plan of what your campaign will look like and how you’ve got even more for your money – a big win for your proactivity!


3. Combine artwork with your print job to save £££ and time

By utilising our in-house designers, you can save both time and money.

Some businesses may already use designated agencies or designers for their artwork as they will be competent at creating artwork fitting with their brand guidelines and creative direction.

You can reach this confidence by working with your printer too, BUT in the meantime you can still make savings by using in-house designers to make amends or even use a lead design created by your agency and allowing your printer’s designer to roll across all your other print items.

When you’re at the quoting stage, discuss as part of your print job your artwork requirements.  By ordering both artwork and print together you will see benefit of costs – the more you order together, the more you will save!


4. BEFORE raising a PO do this 1 simple thing

Pick up the phone to your printer!

Check that everything you are ordering is correct, the printer is aware of your deadline and your artwork files are on their way to them.  Your printer can then make sure your job gets booked in and that everyone is aware of your requirements for this job, making it a smooth end to end process, delivered on time and to the right address(es).


5. Order everything together

When you’re placing your order for print, be it for a campaign or your office letterheads, try and order as many items as possible together.

So think wider than your area of responsibility and ask the company Secretary if they need more compliments slips, ask accounts if they are likely to need more header paper, ask other members of the team if they need to order any print and ask if anyone has anything that they will likely need in the next month or so that you could add to your order.

By ordering many items together, you will make a saving on each item as elements such as delivery will be less .  But in order to make a saving, you will need to have all the artwork ready to send to your printer at the same time so they can do the full job in one go.


6. Save on delivery

Delivery cost is a factor that your printer will have little control over as they aren’t making a profit on it.  However that’s not to say that savings can’t be found by the savvy print buyer.

Things to consider when it comes to delivery are:

  • Could you or a member of your team collect your print if you’re passing?  Completely cutting out delivery costs.
  • Is courier delivery essential or could a Royal Mail delivery be acceptable?  Sometimes this can be more cost effective.
  • If you are ordering a range of print for a campaign, could you make a cost saving by having your printer kit pack for you and then despatch to your database of addresses? This will also save cost on storage at your warehouse.
  • If your job is being delivered to multiple addresses, is your delivery address database ‘clean’?  If your printer needs to do this for you it will impact on time and cost involved with getting your order out.  Checking through your database before sending it to your printer will help you save money.


Bonus Tip:

If you order certain items of print on a regular basis, could you save money by bulk ordering 3 months worth for example?  

The one key reason we find customers don’t do this is simply that they don’t have the space to store extra boxes of print.  But did you know this could easily be resolved by talking to your printer and arranging for them to store it for you, despatching either to you or direct to your customers as and when required by you?



Now, go ahead and take all of this knowledge you have just learnt, add ‘print buyer’ to your list of skills on LinkedIn and apply it all to your next business print order – you’ll be impressed with the difference these tips make.



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