Your other chin
In: startup25 Nov 2008
I got business cards printed a couple weeks ago and thought that it would be useful for others to see my research.
Local print shops
I called up various print shops near me as well as national chains like Kinko’s and Office Depot. It was really pricey! For business cards with full color on one side, I was quoted $80-200 for 500 cards. Office Depot had 500 cards for $30, but it was only for one color and you had to use their templates.
Online print shops
I didn’t need to research VistaPrint too much. It’s likely that you’ve already heard of it. It seems to be the biggest name printer on the internet. But I wasn’t impressed. First of all, I don’t like companies that spam, and I get tons of spam from them. Secondly, they give out tons of free business cards and people give them to me all the time. I didn’t like the quality. The budget-priced cards are really dull and I definitely didn’t want people getting that impression about my business.
When I got the sample materials from 48HourPrint, I was impressed. They looked like a high quality printer with really good service and fast turnaround. The only problem was, when I looked at their prices, they were pretty high compared to the alternative online printers.
I liked the interface of the uprinting website the most. The sample materials were great and were really helpful in helping me understand the options. The interface for uploading your design was really nice. The prices were about the same as PrintPlace, which were the lowest I’ve found. It also has a nice interface for you to design your cards directly on the site. What was the dealbreaker? I requested a sample kit (as I did with all the online printers) and when it didn’t arrive within a week, I requested another. I eventually got one about 3 weeks after my initial request. If the company doesn’t impress you to get your business, how are they going to treat you after you’ve given them business?
PrintPlace is the online printer that I ended up ordering my business cards from. The best part about them is that they have the cheapest prices available. Their website, in my opinion, is ugly and sort of hard to use. But once you get past that and figure out how to use it, it’s great. What’s great is that they have people running the IM service. So you can get help with knowing how to set up your design (borders, printing area, etc). I placed my order for full-color one-sided glossy business cards and it arrived exactly as requested.
There are a number of reviews talking about how bad PrintPlace is. My guess is that they didn’t follow directions carefully. When you order things on PrintPlace (not just business cards), they give you a ton of options (paper thickness, finishing, etc). When I started, I didn’t know what some of the options were. But after looking at the sample pack and asking questions on their IM service, I figured out what it all meant. Also, a common problem is how you set up your design. You’ll need to use CYMK color, otherwise the color might come out wrong. You’ll need to set up specific margins and borders for the print to come out correctly. Again, IMing the people on the website would give you the exact specifications for that. As you can tell, I was really pleased with the service.
I'm Jon Chin. I love technology, food, and learning. I served a mission in the Philippines and loved it. You probably can't type on my keyboard because I don't have qwerty installed--I use Colemak. I'm obsessed with learning about North Korea and abandoned anything.