Once you’ve found a list of suppliers and manufacturers to look into, you’ll want to start asking for quotes. I’ll be honest, it’s quite a tedious process, but it’s just necessary. If you do it well, it can really help your business!
MY TIPS FOR GETTING QUOTES:
- When you’re starting out with smaller quantities, you may not need a custom quote. If you’re ordering lower quantities of envelopes, for example, you might just order directly from a website. Of if you only need 50 promotional postcards or flyers printed, you may be able to get an automatic quote by just plugging in your information on the manufacturer’s website.
- Get multiple quotes. Don’t make the mistake of going with the first quote you get! Get at least 3. The more the better, although you do of course have to stop at some point.
- Ask for a quote in writing. I do think it’s often a good idea to call first (before you ask for a quote) to get a general idea of what they can offer you and how they might be to work with. But when it comes to the actual quote, I recommend emailing it in so that it’s clearly written out.
- Be clear and concise. Don’t write it all in one big paragraph where details tend to get lost. Instead, make bullet points or even a chart.
- Don’t forget the details. You have to list out every little detail in your quote requests. For example, with printing, you should specify
- Quantities: It’s common to ask for a few different quantities, to see the price breakdown. For example, 250, 500, and 1000.
- Size: both the size of the paper you will print on (press sheet) and size of finished product.
- Colors: How many, for methods other than digital.
- Paper Stock: Will you provide it or will they? If they will, do you know which kind you want them to get? If not, you should at least know the weight and paper type. 60lb text? 120 lb cover? Coated? Uncoated? Matte?
- Other finishes required after printing: Trimming, die cutting (cutting into a non-rectangular or square shape), scoring, folding, etc…
- Delivery: Will the items need to be shipped? If local, will you pick them up or do you want them to deliver?
- Turnaround Time: How long will it take them to finish the job?
- Proofs/Press Checks: What kind would you like? Is a digital PDF proof over email enough? Do you prefer a high res proof? Would you like to be present at the printshop for press check?
- Follow up. As we all know, it’s a busy world, and sometimes email doesn’t get answered. Don’t be afraid to follow up and be persistent to get the quotes you need.
- Ask for revisions, if necessary. It’s not uncommon for there to be errors in the quotes you receive. Maybe they quoted the wrong paper or the wrong quantities. If you write a very organized and detailed quote request, that will help cut down on some error, but it’s still pretty common to find errors. Just let them know, and politely ask for a revised quote. Again, don’t be afraid to follow up.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you know you’d like to work with a certain manufacturer or supplier but their prices are a bit high, don’t be afraid to ask if they have any wiggle room or if they can match a lower priced quote from a competitor.
You might also like: Inventory Resources & Tips, Tips For Finding Stationery Suppliers & Manufacturers, & Tips For Sending Mailers.