Review: VistaPrint.com Business Cards

One Man's Blog Business CardsA 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!

Article Written by
John P.

John P. is CEO of Livid Lobster and co-host of Geek Beat TV. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Comments

  1. Kathy Mead says:

    sometimes these big companies make mistakes not only vistaprint.com but also others like overnightprints.com. Sure, they are cheaper so we hope they can have greater services.

  2. I am having a very frustrating experience with VistaPrint. I ordered my cards 15 days ago and I’m still waiting for them to be delivered, despite ordering with a 7-day delivery. This is an exercise in frustration and VistaPrint’s response to my complaint has not impressed me.

    I will not be ordering from them again.

  3. HS says:

    I’ve never been a huge fan of VistaPrint’s business cards. I’ve ordered them before and they’ll use 80# card stock. They’re flimsy and cheap looking.

    Among other sites I prefer from are http://www.printerfetch.com, http://www.48hourprint.com, and http://www.uprinting.com. They offer 14 pt. gloss card and produce a higher quality product. Uprinting in particular will send you a sample booklet which has all their paper types, coating types, and offset and digital press examples. Just got it today.

  4. Bill Westin says:

    This seems a little self serving; clicking on Jorrocks takes you to Catalog Graphics, of which Color Printing Pros is a division of them. They may be decent printers, but I wouldn’t take this comment as an independent endorsement.

  5. anna says:

    I have been ordering from VistaPrint for YEARS and have ordered 1000’s of cards for myself, family members and friends as well as other items. I have never been nothing but VERY satisfied. I have NEVER been charged incorrectly. One time I actually made a mistake and called them and the took it off my order and gave me credit with no problem. I do get a lot of e-mails, but they are always offering welcomed awesome offers. No company is perfect, but I think this one has gotten a bad name and deserve another look!

    Just a thought!

  6. A. Nasiri says:

    I ordered business cards & address label in February”08, paid for it, received the cards, not perfect but tolerable. Problem is they have been hiyying my credit card since then with the same amount. There is no cutomer service hence hence after paying them 5 time more than than the original cost I have decided to tale firm action against them. God knows how many people have been dealt with in this manner. I found that they are aggressive and not so reliable company.

  7. LisaB says:

    We ordered from that site http://www.affordableaddresslabels.com and received our wedding labels that look great in 3 days, no spam emails, no extra charges! got 280 labels for the price of $12.90, we used them for all of our thank you notes

  8. Gale Teschendorf says:

    I ordered from VistaPrint and did not notice the extra service checkbox or maybe I did and went back to change something and if flipped back on. They I started getting my credit card hit with a monthly charge from another company. The web says it is a VistaPrint scam. I like the cards, but to have to pay for them over and over again sucks. I contacted my credit card chargeback department. If you buy from VistaPrint use your credit card companies temporary/one-time credit card service to avoid extra charges & work.

  9. Jorrocks says:

    I would guess the reason your blacks are not dark deep black is not the printers fault. It’s your file. If you use only 100% black you will get a flat washed out dark gray. My suggestion is that when ever you want a dark solid back you need to make what is called a “rich black” in cymk. To find out how to do this go to: http://www.colorprintingpros.com/faq.php. They have a lot of great tips and tricks the pros know about how to design for print. They also have a Free File Review to make sure your file will print as you hope they will. If they find a problem they will advise you of it and offer suggestions on how to fix it. 16pt Business Cards with free overall glossy UV or Matte/Dull aqueous coating start at $39 for 1,000 and you don’t need to register for an account. The quality of there printing is the best I’ve seen and they offer unique optional WOW FACTOR Effects you can add to your cards to make you standout and get noticed.

    This company is a terrific resource for all your advertising, sales and marketing literature.
    They have raised the bar for online gang run printing with more options and services other companies can’t or don’t offer. I am a graphics designer and I resell printing so I need a company that make me look good and they always do. No one can print a better job or offer better customer service than Color Printing Pros.

  10. deeziner says:

    That seems to be the issue with a lot of these online printers. Here is a company that specializes in printing “quality” business cards and postcards. http://www.premiumcards.net

    One thing though, I noticed John said and I quote, “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”. Now, that wouldn’t be a reason for a reprint. Your screen is projecting light and the cards are reflecting light off of colors printed on paper. Your screen may not be calibrated correctly or you may not have submitted a “cmyk file. Never the less, I have heard too many bad stories about vista anyway. Most were that you get suckered in to junk.

    Premiumcards.net uses ULTRA THICK 16pt cardstock. The colors are brilliant and rich. The price is $49 for 1000 and shipping is about $9. Business cards and postcards are all they do. When you sign up for an account with them, they don’t send you anything via email unless you ask them to. Once you sign up, you get a welcome envelope sent out the same day with a couple of nice samples. Anyway, I got some cards with high gloss and round corners for a few bucks more and they got to me in about 8 days including the weekend. I paid $67.51 total with shipping and the price was awesome for what you get. No spam, better card stock, faster service and great customer service. It was worth every penny

  11. Jackson says:

    I think this falls into the “you get what you pay for” category. Printing is a craft elevated to an art form when performed by the right people. Visit your local print shop and pay what it’s really worth.

    1,500 cards for 50bucks! If you can read your name and URL you’ve got nothing to complain about. You probably couldn’t buy the paper yourself for that price.

    Support local business AND get a decent job produced. From what I understand VistaPrint produces your cards overseas in the Netherlands. And judging by all the shadiness they engage in to make a profit, they should just charge what the cards are worth instead of undercutting the rest of the industry and making people think that paying $50 for 1500 cards is normal.

    Check out this site before you order : http://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/vistaprint.html

  12. Liz says:

    Hi – just a comment that I had exactly the same experience with Vistaprint (and unsubscribed myself) only my business cards NEVER SHOWED UP. I paid the extortionate shipping charges too which annoys me no end. Not only that but they have NO CUSTOMER SERVICE. When I tried their email it came back as it didn’t exist, then I tried contacting them through their webform – to which they replied that they were too busy to reply and to try again!!! If customer service is too busy to reply to your enquiry you have to wonder what problems others are experiencing…

    All in all, don’t order anything from Vistaprint!

  13. Buckey says:

    We have always ordered from http://www.affordableaddresslabels.com that all the ones listed in comments here, and espcially not vista print, they never sent us labels and never credited our card back, we always get our address labels in as little as 3 days

  14. Jorrocks says:

    I just received some samples from http://www.colorprintingpros.com of a new printing service they offer called WOW FACTOR COLORED METALLICS. I was blown away! I can add metallic color effects to the cards I design.

    I have used them before because they offered full color printing on heavy card stock without adding to the cost. I was very happy with there quality and service. They also offer Spot UV coating and Metallic Silver Ink which helps me offer design services my competitor can’t.

    When I saw this new colored metallic effects I thought it might be difficult to use. I checked into what I had to do to create it. I couldn’t believe it, it was really easy to make. I even sent in my files for them for free file review before I made my first order. Their response time was fast. I received an email back from them telling me everything was fine and OK to print. They have great customer service. I placed my order online which was quick and easy also and am now awaiting my new colored metallic cards. I will keep you all informed. But check out this new process for yourself. Another great thing is the process is so new you can be the first one in your area to use it and I bet you’ll get comments back about how great it looks and your cards will really stand out.

  15. TheDane says:

    Sounds like a crap company from the comments here…

    At least it seemed like most had no problems getting refunds when the cards were printed up wrong like your card :)

    Kim:)

  16. Brittny says:

    Also in the Springfield area is MWM Dexter. They’re customer service was way better than anything Vista Print came close to, and I really like the postcards and business cards my company got from them!

  17. Molly says:

    If you are in the Springfield Missouri area you might want to check out Traders Printing. I was very pleased with my results from them.

  18. Jimmy2008 says:

    John,

    I was searching the internet and just happened to run across your blog. I felt compelled to register and be able to add my dis-satisfaction and recommend a great company.

    A friend referred me to vistaprint originally, and i made my first order rather quickly. The website was easy to follow, but it did take me over an hour to find a design that i liked. I then elected to have the premium stock and gloss. The cost of the business cards totally $79, plus shipping and handling. I waited three weeks – no cards. Another week, no cards – and finally on the fifth week – i got my cards….needless to say i wasn’t too happy.

    Irate – i decided to come online and compare different companies. The company i decided to use i found by chance, actually. They gave me a price up front – the quality was really nice and the order was finished quickly and shipped to me within a matter of days. I was very impressed and am a very happy customer. Please check them out at xpressprint-online.com.

    Hope this helps – and please use me as a referral if you decide to use the company – they offer discounts for referring other customers.

    Jimmy

  19. jl says:

    vista print can’t create 280 blue. they sent me 3,000 purple cards. I called customer service and said ‘pms 280blue’ they didn’t know what i was talking about! My money was refunded but, what a waste of time… and I looked rather silly opening up a box of purple cards infront of my boss! In addition to being the wrong color, the paper was cheap, they cards had press marks on them, and they were cut unevenly. 3,000 usless cards – I was miffed.

  20. Doran says:

    http://www.myezprinter.com

    Higher quality that vistaprint and a little cheaper. Plus no third party billing scams like you get sucked into at VP.

    We use very thick card stock and have much higher gloss. Also, you get professional marketing assistance with any layout.

    Probably the best thing about it is…Vistaprint has a gajillion customers and you are just a credit card number that buys printing.

    The people at MyEZPrinter make it a point to create a business relationship where problems are solved. Great printing is 5% paper and ink…95% content. You can only achieve great printing if you understand your customer.

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