Friday, March 16, 2012

Print Order Fulfillment for Artists: Printing, Framing, Packaging, Shipping, and More

Denver Print Order Fulfillment - Printing Framing Shipping
In the business of selling fine art, order fulfillment is one of the biggest headaches for professional artists.  Alright, so you sold a limited edition print, now what? You just spent three or four hours of your time, maybe more, negotiating a deal with an art collector and they finally bought a print. Now it's time for order fulfillment. Now you get to spend the better part of a day or week fulfilling the print order.

You would think it would be pretty easy. They give you money, you give them the print—right? If you've been in the art business long, you know it's generally not that easy. Let's take a look at what goes into order fulfillment, but don't get discouraged, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Order Fulfillment for Prints:
  1. Scanning & Digital Imaging / Color Correction / Proofing
  2. Printing
  3. Signing & Numbering
  4. Stretching / Mounting
  5. Framing
  6. Packaging
  7. Shipping
Even if you already have some of these items taken care of before you sell a print, at some point you have to consider all of these items.

Let's say you start from the beginning at number 1.

  • Step 1 - you take your piece of artwork in to be scanned and color corrected. Most companies will take a few hours up to a week to properly scan and color correct an image depending on the company and how backed up they are. In this case we'll say 1 or 2 days.
  • Step 2 - the printing usually takes about a day and a night when you include drying time so the ink can cure properly. No matter what printing process you go with, you should always let the print sit over night to cure!
  • Step 3 -sometime after the print is printed and dried, the artist needs to sign and number the print.
  • Step 4 - are you going to deliver the print stretched, mounted, or rolled up in a tube? This decision will drastically affect time and shipping costs because of size and weight.
  • Step 5 - will you be framing the print for the customer? This too will affect the cost of shipping and time.
  • Step 6 - it's about time to ship the print, now you need to package it up. Where do you get the box, the tube, the bubble wrap, packing tape, and other fun stuff at a reasonable cost? You're looking at a couple hours or more for this, it's not as easy as it sounds, plus you need space to do it.
  • Step 7 - you are now ready to ship. Who do you use and how do you get the piece there?

As you can see, there are a lot of things that go into order fulfillment. You could have one person doing your scanning, another person doing your printing, then a framer doing your stretching and framing, and then you or someone else might be doing your packaging and finally it has to be shipped.

All of this for one print. Shouldn't you be creating more original artwork? What about the light at the end of the tunnel?

Van Gogh Again has been working with some of its affiliates to help artists with order fulfillment. Some items in the list like final print approval and signing the print require the artist to be present. Everything else from stretching, framing, packaging, and shipping can now be taken out of your hands. This can save the artist hours, even days.

Contact Van Gogh Again for more information on order fulfillment.

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