Dropshipping: how to sell your prints to and from anywhere in the world
It was the day that I created the first image of which I was proud, that I realized I wanted to make them sell. It’s not to make money, although this is a nice perk, but because I like the idea that my work is hung up on someone else’s wall and because I believe the photographic process should conclude with a print, not a screen.
Images should be printed
I released my first print, St John’s Bridge, back in May 2017. It was a limited edition I created at Portland’s Fine Art Printing.
This was my first experience with a print made from high-quality materials. I loved everything about the print quality, the texture of paper, and the way it displayed on the wall. Everything.
Where to print them?
But there was a problem: I would be leaving the city and going on a roadtrip across the country a few months later.
Even if there were several Fine Art Printing locations along my route (which is very unlikely), the results could vary greatly from one location to another: likely different paper, printer settings, quality control, and probably even different paper.
I stopped worrying about selling my images, and instead focused on creating them.
Print them at home
After my road trip was completed and I had secured a permanent residency for 4 months, I decided to continue printing my images.
Again, I was moving to an overseas location in a few months so I could not rely on local printers to print the images. In the hope of being able to print them myself and then replicate it once I move, I bought a printer.
I tried. I tried a few test prints, spent a lot on ink and paper, but it didn’t work. The results were not as good as what I would get from a professional printer. Although I considered buying a larger printer, they were too large to take along and too costly to purchase again.
I quit believing it was impossible to produce consistent, high-quality prints if I didn’t keep moving. Do I need to settle to print my work?
Drop Shipping: The rescue
Now, fast forward a few more months. One day, I’m back in Spain and start to think about printing my work. I do some research but I don’t look for printing places near me or endless YouTube videos on how to print images at home. Instead, I search for information about how others ship their work.
I was able to find this website about drop shipping in no time. (I’m not sure which one!) I was so excited, I started looking up dropshipping websites and found literally dozens.
It was exactly what I wanted: someone to take care of the printing and shipping. Each time I received an order through my website, I would tell the person to print one and send it. To anywhere. To anywhere
Now I had to “only” find the right printing company for this part of my business.
Finding the right company
It’s amazing how these things work. After learning about dropshipping, I began to see it everywhere. Dropshipping is offered by many online printing companies, and I was pretty dumb for not knowing about it before.
I ordered several test prints from different places on different papers, frames, and after reviewing the results, I decided to go with FinerWorks. I am not associated with them other than using their services for my orders. They don’t even know that I’m writing this blog post.
Printhouse.io and WHCC are just a few of the many options.
It works for me
This is what my process to create and sell my Images of the Month looks like.
Local Test Prints
After selecting an image and editing it on the computer, I make a series test prints at my local printer using the finest matte paper they have. This is to get an idea of how the final print will look on the superior-quality paper I use.
I will correct any errors on the computer, and then I will do additional test prints to ensure that I am satisfied with the results.
Final Test Print
Once the image has been completed, I order a FinerWorks print as if it were my own. Because I live overseas, shipping it to the US can be time-consuming so I order a print from FinerWorks well in advance (1 1/2 to 2 months before I start selling it).
This is done to ensure that the paper and image meet my specifications. I not only check the quality of the product, but also the shipping experience.
Promotion and sale of the print
This sample print is also used to photograph the product page as well as the promotion post.
My last step is to make my prints available for purchase.
Fulfillment of orders
Once a customer has placed an order, I can go to FinerWorks and copy the order. Once I receive the shipping notification, the tracking number is sent to the customer.
I wait for a few days to contact the customer after delivery is complete. This allows me to confirm that everything was as it should be and that the matted or frame print is in good condition.
The best stuff
It’s so far been amazing, as I mentioned. The prints are of excellent quality, both matted and framed. I have received positive feedback from those who have purchased them.
Dropshipping allows me the flexibility to keep my shop open 24 hours a day. I travel a lot and I don’t have a permanent place of residency. This allows me to make new images and is also why I would not be able sell them if I didn’t have drop shipping.
It would be necessary to keep a stock of images, which increases the risk for the business. Also, someone must be responsible for shipping them. This could either be expensive or not professional. Both options are pretty poor.
Once I have the print in my hand and checked that it looks exactly how I want it to, I can start worrying about creating new images. I can also delegate printing to professionals who will reproduce it flawlessly and package it better than I could ever.
The bad things
Of course, not everything is perfect. Dropshipping is for me a compromise, but that’s life.
My biggest problem is not being able to see the product the customer receives. Because I promised the best, I must trust that an outside company will deliver the product they are looking for. .
After controlling the other steps of the process, which included developing the film, developing it, scanning the negatives, and editing the final image, I would not consider delegating this last step to anyone else.
It is important to ensure that the drop shipping service you choose meets your quality standards. You can also contact the customer for feedback.
The downside to this method is its cost. Printing and shipping prints myself would be far cheaper.
The last option I can think of is customization. Personalize the invoice by placing a sticker with your logo on it and leaving a thank-you note. However, you cannot sign your work.
I would love to be able work on each print myself and manage every order. However, this goal was not achieved for more than a year.
Dropshipping still delivers exceptional quality. I don’t believe I could make better prints.
With the knowledge that I can produce high-quality prints no matter where I am, I’m able to keep going to new places and focusing on new images.
Dropshipping is a great option for artists and photographers who are having trouble printing and shipping their work. Dropshipping might be the solution you are looking for.
Photography Prints Dropshipping Companies
Dropshipping Fine Art Prints
Our Fine Art Dropshipping service for Creatives allows to continue creating, while we do the rest to ensure that your work is printed beautifully and delivered to customers.
Let us handle all the printing and mailing arrangements.
Who do we dropship prints for?
Dropshipping for Illustrators
Dropshipping for Photographers
Dropshipping for Designers
Dropshipping for Etsy Creatives
Dropshipping Bluethumb Artists
Squarespace Stores Dropshipping
We are a passionate team of fine art printmakers. We also happen to be artists and photographers. Each print is treated as if it were ours. We know what you want and we make sure that each print we send is carefully packed and inspected.
Prints can be dropped shipped to individual photographers, artists from a wide range of genres, galleries, and retailers. Depending on the type of postage you choose, most prints are delivered within two to ten business days.
So that you and your customers are aware of where your print is, we always ship it via a tracked delivery method.
We’ll arrange a reprint and delivery for you in the unlikely event of your print going missing.
Do you prefer dropshipping with white-label? We can ship your parcels with unbranded shipping labels and care guides.
Print Care Guides
All of our prints come with a printed care guide.
This guide contains information on print handling and framing considerations that will help you to care for your customers’ new prints.
Let us handle all your printing needs. We will print, pack, and ship your order directly to your customer. Placing an order to be Dropshipped is easy, you only need to give us your customer’s name and address along with your print specifications.
- We will place your order and you will need to provide the name and delivery address of your customer.
- We will print, pack and finish your order
- We’ll send you an invoice once it’s ready for dispatch.
- The order will be shipped to you.
We can include your print along with any stationary, such as flyers or business cards, stickers on packaging, or your invoice or delivery note to the customer. Before placing an order, business cards, flyers, and stickers must be sent to us.
Dropshipping is free. Our standard delivery rates apply.
Join thousands of photographers and artists who depend on us to ship their orders under their brand or name. You don’t have to do the hard work of packaging, shipping and producing orders. You get the credit, we remain anonymous!
Dropshipping made easy
We can ship your frames and prints to your customers. Dropshipping will make your order look exactly like it was produced and shipped. This option is available at no extra cost and can be set up automatically or by using the drop shipping box during checkout.
How it works
After you have entered your shipping destination, select the drop ship option at checkout. If you’re a registered user, you can save the business profile and upload your logo to be used on your shipping labels or packing slips. It’s that easy! It takes 5-10 working days for the order to reach your customer. The order looks just like you have sent it. Dropshipping is possible if you use any of our order import apps (Shopify, Etsy or Squarespace).
- You can add your company name to the packing slip.
- Registered users have the option to have their logo printed on the packaging slip.
- Your company name and name are printed on the shipping label.
- FinerWorks is not known to your customer unless they tell you.
- Photo labs
- Online Galleries
- Offline Galleries
- Printing web sites
- Printing Companies
- Online Stores
- Traditional Retail Stores
Do you need more information or a special request?
No special account needed to start since drop shipping is built into our online ordering system, however if you require further assistance, or are not a regular user but need to submit a large batch of orders, we can help.