Here’s another excerpt from a discussion in the Creative Freelancer Conference LinkedIn group. (And if you’re not using LinkedIn to get clients and want to know how, sign up for my March 15 webcast on exactly that topic.).
Design firm owner, Johanna Goldfeld, wants to know the logistics of brokering and marking up printing costs. She asks:
I’ve always had my clients pay printers directly, though I understand some designers include printing in their contracts and also markup printing fees.
How does this work logistically and financially? i.e. do you negotiate ‘designer discounts’ from the printers? are there sales tax issues to deal with? is it worth the stress of being ‘responsible’ for the printing?
In one of the many responses to Johanna’s question, veteran designer and CFC attendee, Laurel Black, says:
Personally, I think if you are not brokering and managing your clients’ print projects, you are leaving money on the table. Print mark-ups are about 20% of my income. I have been doing this for years and think it is well worth the risk of being responsible for the outcome of print projects. Of course, it is imperative that you understand printing processes really well, or you will not be able to adequately manage the vendors, or establish trade relationships with them. Some printers will not give trade discounts, but most recognize that designers can be steady customers with no cost of sales, and that is worth something. The stress is inversely proportional to how well you understand printing and how much you trust your vendor. As for sales tax, it varies from state to state. In Washington, the final seller adds the tax, collecting for the state, and also has to pay a Business and Occupation (amount x .00484) on the retail amount. Your state Department of Revenue should be able to tell you how to handle retail sales.
How do you handle print markups? Want to see what other creatives are doing?
Comment here or join this discussion