Card Printing FAQ: Selling on DriveThru, Sales, and Earnings

How do earnings payments work with regard to printed card products?

When you set up a print option on one of your products, you are shown the current cost to print each copy of the product. You will then be asked to input a Margin for that title. Doing so yields the Sale price.

Let's say you have 100-card Poker deck. Print cost (Premium stock) = $11.50. You choose to set a Sale price of $25.00. This means the Margin (i.e. the gross profit per sale) is $13.50 ($25.00 - $11.50).

When a printed copy sells, we split that $13.50 Margin with you per our earnings agreement. So, if you are exclusive with us for digital versions (remember: printed material is always non-exclusive, i.e., you can still sell them wherever you'd like), you receive 70% of the $13.50 ($9.45) per deck we sell.

This earning amount is credited to your publishing partner earnings account in real time, just as when a customer purchases one of your download products.

What do I get out of selling my cards on the DriveThruCards marketplace?

When you list your card titles on the DriveThruCards marketplace, you gain a host of benefits.

  • More sales. Selling new games is primarily about getting more exposure. Over 400,000 unique visitors browse DriveThru marketplaces each month.
  • Zero investment. Earn additional sales without having to invest in inventory.
  • Easier sales. Zero order processing on your end. Nothing to pick, pack, or ship. No need to invoice or dun us. Your royalties are paid every month like clockwork. We have paid partners reliably every month for twenty years. You can view your sales in real time on site and even take your royalties out via Paypal at any time.

Won't selling my cards on DriveThru affect sales of my traditionally sold cards?

We don't think so. Based on our experience with print-on-demand books, sales replacing regular channel sales will be very small. But even if every single sale here replaced a regular channel sale of your printed inventory, which it won't, you would still be coming out ahead. (If you run the numbers, including traditional channel discounts, cost of goods sold, etc., you'll see what we mean.)

Most important, though, listing with us will boost discoverability of your card product and will get more people seeing a particular card product (after all, we have over 400,000 unique visitors to our marketplaces every month).

Do I have to sell my cards on the DriveThruCards marketplace?

No. There is no obligation to resell on DriveThruCards. Many partners use us to simply print promo cards, prototypes, demo decks, or a quantity of decks for conventions or crowdfunded projects.

Who sets the price?

You do. You also set the price the customer pays to buy a printed edition and a print-n-play edition (if you choose to create one) together as a single "combination" purchase.

How should I set the price?

You know your customers best and you know how much they value your products and, therefore, how much they're willing to pay. A quick-and-easy approach to pricing is to find other comparable titles on our marketplace to see what customers are paying for similar content and price accordingly.

Consider both the print cost and the pricing of similar products found in retail stores. Since you know the cost of printing (use our Card Print Cost Calculator), you can factor in any other fixed or variable costs you'd like to cover, and then add in a profit margin you'd like to make on each sale. Also consider what similar products would sell for in retail stores: a 60-card starter deck might retail for $10; a 100-card standalone card deck might retail for $20 to $25.

Keep in mind that your game will come without a printed rulebook so customers may expect a small discount for this reason.

Will I be able to offer card products to retailers or distributors?

Offering retailers and distributors a chance to order your card products straight from our marketplaces is in our long-term plans, but is not something immediately offered to partners. However, there are a couple of workarounds.

Partners do have the ability to create a special discount URL that, when clicked, inserts a product into a customer's shopping cart at a pre-determined price. (Partners traditionally use this tool to offer a sale on a specific product.) So, conceivably, you could use this in two ways:

  1. You could create a special discount link that you then send out to your direct-ordering distributors or retailers (to allow them to, say, get a 40% retailer discount [or whatever price you choose]). They click the link, it opens to their shopping cart of your specific product (they'd have to create an account with us), they input their quantity, and the order is printed-to-order and shipped out.
    1. Two potential drawbacks to the above model: (a) one special discount link is created and, if a distributor or retailer posts that link on another website somewhere, anyone can use it and earn that specially discounted price; (b) your royalty will still be at your agreed upon royalty rate.
  2. You could instruct a small, core group of distributors and retailers to create accounts with us. They would let you know their specific account name. You could then set up a discount/URL link that is specific to a particular customer. You'd send the specific link to that specific distributor or retailer and, whenever they wanted more of a given product, they simply click that link and place their order.
    1. Main drawback: Again, the margins as outlined in (b) above. Main benefits, however, is that you wouldn't have to worry about billing distributors or retailers, collections, or anything of that ilk. And your royalty profit is automatically deposited into your publishing partner account; there is nothing else to do on your end once a retailer or distributor has its specific discount code.

If I do use one of the retailer/distributor workarounds, how will the product be packaged?

We offer two clear plastic deckboxes (one holds 70 cards, the other 120 cards). You might include a "title card" (that would show through the top of the plastic deck box) and an "informational/price card" (that would show through the bottom). However, unless the card deck includes rules cards, customers would need to download any rules from you or us directly.

We also offer tuckboxes for Poker decks of 54, 72, 90, and 120 cards, and for Tarot decks of 80 cards. Tuckboxes ship assembled with deck inserted.


"[DriveThruCards] has quite a large library of products. It's fun to look through the various games available."

—Brian A., DriveThruCards Customer

"Nice quality on the cards. Quick service."

—Adam, DriveThruCards Customer

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