A couple of weeks ago I decided to order some business cards that I could hand out instead of having to write down my domain name on pieces of paper for people when my blog comes up in conversation. So, I went over to VistaPrint.com and gave their process a whirl.
It took me about 45 minutes to search through all of their different designs until I had finally decided on and customized my new cards. By the time I was done I ordered two sided, full color, glossy cards on the heaviest weight paper. Yeah, I’m a sucker for upgrades.
I found the entire process to be relatively simple. You pick the design you want, fill in a form with your info, then customize things by deleting unused fields, dragging others around to where you want them, and changing fonts if necessary. All in all, if you can use MS PowerPoint, you can create your own business cards.
I was generally pleased with the order process with only one exception… the pricing “scheme”. When you are designing your products the prices are really cheap. But where they get you is at the very end when it comes time to pay for shipping.
The standard shipping is 21 days for about $7.50. You can bump that up to 7 days for $15 or 3 days for even more. Anyway, when it came right down to it even with the shipping it was cheaper than local printers as well as a couple of other online printers that I looked into.
Now, after I completed the order for 1,000 of these babies for a grand total of $47 including shipping, the system game me an offer to get an extra 500 for only $4.50 more, so I took it. This means that 1,500 full color, two sided, heavy duty, glossy cards came to a grand total of $51.46 delivered.
Over the next week I began to receive e-mails almost every day from VistaPrint.com trying to sell me more and more stuff. It was so annoying that I had to actually use their unsubscribe function in the e-mail. It seems to me that when a company is this aggressive you also have to worry about them selling your address to other companies.
About a week later the cards arrived in the mail. Generally speaking I have to say I’m a bit disappointed with them, but only for one reason. In the screen capture above – which is what I saw when I was proofing the cards – all of the black on the front of the card is clearly the same color dark black. But when I received the cards there is a distinct color differential between the photo area at the top and the rest of the black background. To me, this destroys the aesthetics of the cards, though others have not noticed or told me it looks fine.
I intend to contact the company to ask them to be reprinted as they appear on screen, then we’ll find out what kind of customer service they actually offer. But all in all I would say that so far I would not order from them again. The combination of Spamming me, extraordinarily high shipping costs, and marginal quality printing don’t leave me wanting to rush out and order more from them.
If anyone else knows of a great online printing company please share your experience down in the comments. Thanks!