If you have been wondering that how is an online print shop different from your local one, then let me tell you that there is no major difference – it is just much more convenient than your local one and that the owner of the print shop has connected the printing presses with the internet, thereby making his print shop e-commerce enabled or online print store.
So, now you can easily browse the websites and order brochures, business cards, flyers, postcards, booklets, etc at the click of a mouse! Just select a few options such as – color, turnaround, paper type, binding, proofing, and specify the quantity you need; send the file and proper artwork, and you are good to go! And the best part about these print shops is that you will receive a quick quote right away. So, why wait for phone calls, emails, and tedious processes with the local shop when you can get the same done with ease from an e-print shop?
Now, you must think of how to zero down on a good online print shop or rather, what are the things to look out for while searching for a online print shop? Don’t worry, as I have made your struggle easier by enlisting a few points that will help you with this. Take a look!
1. Distance Plays a Role! – Firstly, check how far the print shop is from your place. Remember the further it is, the more you have to pay for shipping. There will be situations where you need the stuff quickly, so try to look for a shop which is 1 or 2 day away based on Ground Shipping, thus avoiding expensive airplane charges.
2. Look for Online Reviews or Feedbacks – Well, the second thing which you need to check is the customer service and quality reviews of the company. Happy customers mean that the company is worth hiring, and hence, you need to find that out. You can visit Yelp for checking the reviews as it is a great review site. Or else, Google reviews are there to help you out. Some even use third-party tools to collect customer reviews, so you can consider this method as well.
3. Sample Packs or Swatches – By being in this industry for almost a decade, all I can say is that while looking for a print shop, do check if they provide sample packs/ swatches or not. If they do, then don’t forget to order them right away. That way you can get a feel of the printing quality without spending much.
4. Customer Service Speaks Volumes – Then, you need to talk to the customer service and check their response. If a company has a good customer service team, then it speaks a lot about the company.
5. Send them a Small Print Job – Before placing the bulk order, make sure that you send them a small print job. For example, you can try with your next set of business cards as they don’t cost much and will be a good project to try out. Checking the quality is essential before you send the major orders and hence, it is suggested that you first try with smaller projects.
6. Customization – Now if you want customized products for your business, then check if the company you are choosing provides this option or not.
7. Pinch on the Pockets – Yes, of course, you need to check the pricing but the lowest bid does not always necessarily mean the best. So, don’t commit the mistake of running behind the cheapest print shop. Instead, pay a little bit extra for better service and quality of work.
8. Production Facility – Also, ask if you can visit their production facility or not. Most companies allow this, but then there are some who do not and that is mainly because they send out the projects to other print shops. Try to choose an online print shop which has its own in-built production capability. This will ensure that you have good control over the quality.
So, now that you know the things to look out for while hiring an online printing company, hopefully, you will be able to find the right one. Remember that a print shop is more like a partner and you need to build a relationship with it. Why? Because, when in a rush, you don’t have to worry as your print shop will do the task for you even when the time is less!
And once you have found the right print shop, start ordering. And please spend some time to understand how you need to prepare the file and the artwork before sending them to your print shop. If you do that, there will be no last moment surprises!
Author Bio: Shawn Nag, the owner & founder of PrintPapa – a premier Printing Company located in Santa Clara, California, talks about online printing California. To get tips on postcard printing California, read his articles.