As we all know, one of the most useful aspects of the Internet is that it provides an abundant amount of options to search, view and purchase products and services of all kinds in just a few keystrokes. Sometimes the choices almost seem unlimited, and for all intents and purposes, making a decision can be a daunting exercise. Which is best? Who offers the best price? Can I trust the vendor? How soon will my product be shipped? When will it arrive? There is no doubt that the questions can be endless, which is why in this post, we’re taking a close look at how to choose the best online printer.
To begin, most online printers provide printing services at more reasonable prices than your local brick and mortar print shop. It’s likely that the offerings may range somewhat from website to website, however the best companies usually offer a wide array of options from which to choose to print business cards, flyers, postcards, banners, brochures, promotional tools and more. Many online printers also provide design assistance, including individualized customization and online design tools such as pre-designed templates.
To help you choose which online printer is best for you and your business, here is a list of tips that will hopefully make your next online printing purchase seamless:
Variety, Quality & Experience – Who offers a large selection of quality products from which to choose? Seek out a printing company that allows you to the ability to print business cards, flyers, menus, banners, brochures and other paper products in various paper stocks, as well as non-paper items such as t-shirts, mugs, etc. Experience is also paramount. How long has this printer been in business? Are you able to see online samples of their work? Read the customer reviews.
Design Tools – Does the printer offer online design tools? Whether they are creative editing tools for do-it-yourselfers, or the ability to work with a graphic designer one-on-one, this is a key area to consider. The best online printers provide downloadable templates to direct your design, as well as a whole host of pre-designed ones that you can use too. Many online printers will offer templates that are compatible with InDesign, Photoshop and other file types.
Online Proofing – What happens after the design is complete and you uploaded your files? Will you have the opportunity to see an online proof before the actual printing occurs? This is of the utmost importance, as it will give you the opportunity to review all of your uploaded files, and catch any errors that may have been made during the design/file creation process.
Customer Service – Even though printing your materials online should be easy and seamless, sometimes you’ll need support. Perhaps the files won’t open properly, or you’ve followed the template guidelines, yet the layout looks askew. Or maybe you need a custom quote. Online print services should offer several solutions, including personalized help on the telephone, through e-mail, or live chat, which is a good method to get in touch with customer service quickly.
Shipping – This is always a big concern with ordering anything via the Internet. It is no different when choosing an online printer. Getting your materials when you need them is typically one of the most important factors to consider. The good news is that a reputable online printer will provide numerous shipping options, turnaround times and methods of return. Review their guidelines carefully. Many also offer integrated direct mailing services to help get your customer mailings completed quickly and at a reasonable price.
Price – One of the biggest advantages to using online printing services is cost. Most online print companies don’t have an actual retail location, so their overall expenses are much less than that of your local print shop, enabling them to provide the same or even more services for a lesser cost. Plus, it takes a lot less of your valuable time to order online, than to visit a printer in person, especially if you’re processing repeat orders. When you compare online print prices by vendor, you will find some variation, so be sure to choose the best price, as long as you have also considered all of the previous tips noted above.