Online print market place, is there any?

algio

Member
First time writing here but regular reader
I have a digital shop and I would like to know if there is any global online (or by country) print market place where customers and print professionals meet.
Like an online market where customers input their work and we as professionals make offers.
Thank you
 

algio

Member
Thank you for the answer.
So it is focused only at goverment work.
In other markets like transportation there is sites like freightos.com where the client post the job that is interested in and gets offers from the professionals
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
First time writing here but regular reader
I have a digital shop and I would like to know if there is any global online (or by country) print market place where customers and print professionals meet.
Like an online market where customers input their work and we as professionals make offers.
Thank you
I'd love to know if there is one too. However, most print buyers will have a few trusted local printers that they bid jobs out to.
 

smalloffsetpressexperts

Well-known member
Algio strange you bring that up. I had that idea a few years ago. I bought 2 domains and I recently started working on that project. To help small Maryland Baltimore printers compete with the big boys. What is your vision of a project like you describe.
 

msaeger

Well-known member
I see other industries like 3d printing or graphic design have things like this but I don't think they are good for the people doing the work it just seems like a bunch of people undercutting each other.
 

smalloffsetpressexperts

Well-known member
People doing the work????? Like the owners making bank while employees make a few bucks per hour. Undercutting is not moral to you? It creates equal opportunity for all races, handicapped, and income equality
 

algio

Member
The scope of the platform may not be nececerilly to undercut prices (there are ways not to unveil who gives what price) but to give more choices to the buyer. Also for the professional a place to find new clients
 

Puch

Well-known member
There is a reason why there are no portals like this in the printing industry. Print became a commodity, yet the variables involved and the subjective manner of the results' evaluation makes it a person-to-person business, still. Buyers would like to make sure that there is somebody they can call, if the product isn't satisfying. Printer's estimates are highly buyer-dependent, there are a lot of fancy, 'unpublished' factors calculated into every job.
 

algio

Member
Thanks again.
Push you have a point but I think that the relation still remains. I may not explained well the use of the platform (since I only can imagine it). I believe that as a professional it would be for my profit to have something where everyday offer requests pop up.
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
First time writing here but regular reader
I have a digital shop and I would like to know if there is any global online (or by country) print market place where customers and print professionals meet.
Like an online market where customers input their work and we as professionals make offers.
Thank you

A Marketplace strategy may seem beneficial for a volume increase on first glance.
During the Dot-Com boom of the late 90's there were at least three different Print-Marketplace companies started with the same goal.
It became painfully apparent in a very short time frame that the only companies able to leverage the 'marketplace' for benefit were the print customers.
Many printers promptly left the marketplaces that they had helped create which then caused the marketplaces to promptly fold.

No one wins a race to the bottom.
Customer complaints abound or the legalese/contracts become suffocating in an effort to promote quality without increasing prices.

My 2cents. YMMV. ;-)
 

Puch

Well-known member
I believe that as a professional it would be for my profit to have something where everyday offer requests pop up.
You will have the opportunity to make a lot of estimates for nothing. Let's imagine two scenarios:

1. There is a buyer somewhere around the world who needs 10000 flyers. A typical job every digital printer like. A lot of quotes show up on the portal in a short time. All the suppliers state their price and delivery date. The one crucial factor they don't write about is the quality. Of course every one of them use 'state-of-the-art' machines and offer 'world-class' quality. Which one would the buyer select? The cheapest one, who can deliver on time, of course. When the job arrives it can be OK or not OK, and in the latter case there will be no way to make claims as the supplier might be two continents away. Who will the buyer select next? Some local company where he/she can drive out to pick up the stuff and make claims on site immediately.

2. There is another buyer who has 5000 books to produce. 250 pager, hardcover books, serious stuff. There are a lot of quotes on the portal, but most of them state that the supplier will require half of the price paid before starting the job. It's a standard procedure between parties unknown to each other, making business first time. Would the buyer send out such money to an unknown company? Will he/she wait for the books to arrive, just to see that the cover got curved by the moisture in the container, on the sea? Who can the buyer call up to request a re-run of the job?

Don't misunderstand me, THERE ARE such aggregator companies existing at all mature markets. The thing is, that all of them have:
- a long history of honest operation, a lot of positive references. They're well-known in their area of operation. They're definitely not just a fancy logo on a web portal.
- they have substantial capital in cash, and there are personal guarantees for all kinds of bad outcomes.
- they don't do business on the web. Interestingly, most of such companies have terrible websites. It's not that important for them. Their infrastructure is e-mail and mobile phone.

I know the owner of one such company operating in my area. Once she had a job with a royal mistake, the claim was north of 200 thousand US dollars. The lady sold her flat, moved her family to a rental place, and after 10 years of work she bought a new flat for the family. She's still in the business and she has a lot of jobs as she proved that she doesn't run away when the shit hits the fan.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
I know the owner of one such company operating in my area. Once she had a job with a royal mistake, the claim was north of 200 thousand US dollars. The lady sold her flat, moved her family to a rental place, and after 10 years of work she bought a new flat for the family. She's still in the business and she has a lot of jobs as she proved that she doesn't run away when the shit hits the fan.

Honestly, you should have insurance that covers this. If you don't you're just asking for Murphy to move in and bring his three friends.
 

danvoell

Member
I come from a metal fabrication background. I've seen about 10 "aggregator" sites come and go in that industy. mfg.com has lasted for a while, but its really expensive and mostly for bottom feeders. makersrow.com set out with the same goal. I'm not sure what they are currently doing.
 

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