So you’ve decided to place an order with an online printer. Ordering print online is now an affordable and convenient way to create print for your business or personal needs.
However, once you look around online and see how many online printers are out there competing for your job, it can get a little confusing. It’s important that you know how to choose an online printing company so you can look for the value, quality, and reliability that will ensure a positive experience. Here are some factors to consider before placing an order with an online printer.
Can they meet your needs?
Printers today offer a variety of products and services. From frequently requested items such as business cards or brochures to online druckerei much more unusual materials, the selection at many online printers is huge. Even then, there are many ways you can customize your order, ranging from paper quality to finishing options and more.
It’s great to have a one stop shop solution when you have a variety of ongoing printing needs. However, some printers specialize in certain products, so you may need to consider more than one supplier.
You may have your artwork ready and just need to upload it, or you may need a little help creating something relevant and unique. Some online printers have their own design teams and most of them at least have templates and design tools to help you with a DIY design. If you want to upload files and contribute something to the design process, you need an online print shop with an easy-to-use system that suits your skills
Many online printers will even mail your flyers or other promotional materials for you to the addresses on your mailing list. Some can even sell you a targeted mailing list if you don’t have your own internal database.
Digital or offset printing
Before you place an order with an online printer, you should be aware of whether the job will be digital or offset. Offset printing usually provides better print quality than digital printing.
Digital printing is faster, more flexible and usually cheaper. For small print runs, digital printing is more likely to be used. It is essentially the reproduction of an image on the printing surface.
In offset printing, color is first transferred to a plate, then to a blanket, and finally to a physical surface. Offset printing tends to be more expensive and less flexible, so it is only used for reasonable volume runs.
Request a sample
Most online printers offer free sample packs if you fill out a form on their website. This is a great way to check the quality of the work being offered and to compare samples from different vendors. This is a great option if your print work isn’t urgent. If the company you’re considering doesn’t offer such an offer on their website, it may be worth contacting them directly to request samples.
Prices and value
Of course, one of the most important considerations when choosing a printer is price. It can be quite time consuming to compare prices between printers. Prices vary based on your specifications for the job. Typical variations include size, quantity, paper type, finishing, turnaround time, and delivery options. Some printers include free shipping, making comparisons even more confusing.
Most major online printers have quoting tools on their websites so you can enter your details and get an instant price quote. You should compare at least three or four of the major printers to get a rough idea of market prices as there can be big price differences.
We have run some sample orders with similar specifications through the price calculator on various printer websites. For a hypothetical order of 500 business cards including shipping, the price ranged from as little as $20 at one company to $159 at another.
However, shopping for the best price can be time-consuming, so you need to seriously consider whether it’s worth your time. Is it feasible for you to spend an extra two hours of your time comparing printers just to save ten bucks?
Processing times and delivery
Different online printers have different turnaround times. Processing time is the time between when we receive your order and when it is ready for shipment. Shipping time is the time it takes to actually ship to your address. Most companies work with more reliable services like UPS or FEDEX.
Always plan enough time for print jobs. Plan all print jobs well in advance so you have time to deliver everything ahead of project deadlines. Keep in mind that while many printers make promises on turnaround times, even the best companies occasionally make mistakes that can result in small delays. Many people blame printers for delays, while some of the time couriers are also to blame.
While many companies offer lengthy warranties to reassure their customers, you should always read their Terms and online druckerei Conditions page if you want to fully understand their policies. It’s usually harder than expected to get a refund or reprint when something goes wrong, so you’ll need to do your homework first so you know where you stand.
Reviews and Complaints
Before approaching an online printing company, do some thorough research online to find out exactly what their reputation is. You should be able to find reviews on sites like Yelp.com, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) is also a great place for independent information on how a business treats its customers.