Top 5 Ways to Choose the Best Partner for Your Printing Business

Anna Navolokova, Marketing Manager in Multi-Programming Solutions  •  6 min read

You’ve already realized that POD is a trustworthy direction to develop a dropshipping online store, but don’t know how to choose a print provider? We understand that it can be confusing to find suitable options for you, determine quality products, and the reliability of future relationships. That’s why the MPS editorial board compiled a valuable guide to handle all these issues and select the one-and-only on-demand printing and fulfillment center for long-term interaction.

Below we share five criteria your future POD provider should satisfy to help you build a profitable e-commerce business.

Table of Contents

Meet your partners' current and future needs

Develop key traits of a good printing supplier

Reach the level of an achiever with automation

Expand your zones of influence and awareness

Take a deeper look at shipping costs


When selecting a printing partner for dropshipping, it’s crucial to examine whether it will suit your scalability. Even when you just want to start with designed cups, consider your future needs, rising with the business growth.

First, the print on demand delivery service should already meet the basic needs. If the partner fulfills your order as an exception, you’ll hardly establish long, solid relationships. Instead, printers should provide such tasks in their everyday workflow as standard. Rich experience in your niche is exactly what you are looking for in future associates.

To check the quality of POD team work ask for at least three references from brands similar to yours. Contact the specified companies to know their opinion on the partnership with a print provider you are aimed at. They may have a story describing the positive aspects of collaborating with a service, like the high-quality products and personal manager support. Look for more objective details, for example, the shipping cost per shirt, paint safety, not simple “everything was great.” If you are satisfied with reviews, that’s the first stage of accepting the long-term deal.

What else do print services have to do to suit your future needs? The main offerings include comprehensive format services, graphic design, offset printing, online presence, management automation software, etc. These factors may seem unnecessary at the beginning of building dropshipping business. But as the brand's influence grows, you will also widen the borders of the service. So it’s better to think about long-view relationships with one reliable printing partner than to deal with a single transaction.

While choosing a partner to work with, dropshippers should look for those who provide a selling style, allowing them to attract customers and justify trust. Entrepreneurs' success highly depends on their personality traits. Thus, according to Steve Martins, the author of “Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology,” top performers quite differ from the average ones in their behavior.

Here are the main checkpoints you should search in the print management company:

  1. Tenancy and enthusiasm. If the POD company doesn’t use “no” in their answers, it is worth taking a deep look at. Who is a trustworthy print provider? Those who try to find ways to receive a difficult task, not refusing to maintain it at once. With a driving printing center, you may count on executing various, even complected orders and finding compromises in controversial situations.
  2. Customers’ problems disclosure. Understanding your product is a baseline for a wholesale screen print provider. But that’s not enough. The best companies improve the pain points. They draw a bigger and more detailed picture of your propositions and create indispensable stuff.
  3. Honesty. This trait is a must in all relationships, and business is not an exception. If we can build transparent human interactions characterized by deep understanding and overall assistance, this cooperation can lead us to the top sellers.
  4. Being relatable. The ability to communicate with people effectively and be personable generates a desire to continue communication and develop a harmonious environment for business growth.
  5. Flexibility and creativity. The commercial printing company should have some flexibility, which will help them to adapt to current market demands, and seasonal requests. Sometimes sellers have only the general idea of the product, while the POD partner should use it as a guideline to create a valuable item.

The personalities of business partners greatly impact the success of sales. So you should feel comfortable while working with a printing company and have guarantees on its honesty and desire to move in one direction.

According to Martin’s research, around 84% of salespeople were oriented toward their achievements. They focused on the main goals of business activity and measured outcomes. Thus, sellers fixed shortcomings in the following deals, improving their performance.

Automated software integration, provided by the POD company, will increase the productivity and accuracy of business partners and save resources for further development. Innovative solutions will streamline routine operations, like order, inventory, shipping, and print management. You’ll fulfill orders faster and more qualitatively, getting high customer ratings for your service. Generating automated reports will show your achievements in sales, traffic attraction, margin, and expenses. 

It would be beneficial for both POD services and dropshippers to fix on customer experience (CX) and their level of satisfaction with the end product rather than on goods functionality itself. Clients' feedback from your digital storefront or social media account will help to analyze their desires and make appropriate improvements in the service level.

choosing best printing partner

The printing company, following the modern tendencies in business development, is an excellent variant for establishing a reliable partnership. For example, if the organization becomes a print provider with sustainable production, uses LMS to educate its employees to work more productively, or invests in automated tools, it can be competitive in the e-commerce market in the future. Moreover, such partners will probably help serve your clients well and prioritize their excellent experience.

With the growth of online sellers, it is vital to maintain a competitive position for your brand. Adding several sales channels and setting up printing partners will help to attract the target audience from different locations and raise awareness of the online store.

Check whether your POD company has its app on Shopify or another marketplace. It brings a significant advantage to online sales. Thus, connecting to the partner’s software will fasten your store management, and you’ll be able to update product listings, prices, and stock balances automatically. 

If you are interested in how to find a printing partner on Etsy, follow our article for more details. It will give you tips on selling customized staff using the most creative platform, complying with all requirements of its sales policy.

When looking for a dropshipping partner, provide research on possible delivery expenses. They significantly differ from one company to another. So you should know how shipping rates could affect your Etsy or Shopify store’s prices and analyze whether clients will be ready to pay. 

Of course, you may not raise sums, but your margin will be lower. So it would be beneficial to search the web-to-print provider with more accessible delivery.

Lower costs don’t necessarily mean shipping lack quality or speed. POD service may use fewer package materials or save on economical, planet-friendly fuel. Besides, this will be a significant advantage for your online store too. Customers nowadays turn to sustainable manufacturers, so adding such a printing partner on Etsy or another storefront will definitely engage buyers.

Selecting a reliable printing partner for a small business is crucial to a successful startup and building a solid foundation for future growth. The chosen POD service should meet not only your current needs in on-demand products and cost-saving shipping but be able to scale your further development, providing multiple offerings.

The personal traits of the partner stuff are also important for establishing long-term interactions. Transparent, honest, and responsible communication benefits both dropshippers and their POD companies, resulting in a high level of customer service and satisfaction.

Moreover, the best print providers try to optimize all the stages of the selling process with automated tools, ensuring streamlined stable workflow and maximum productivity. Focused on time and resources-saving routine tasks, the joint business brings more income and opportunities for growth.

October 18, 2022
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