You get what you pay for, and that's why it's all 'FREE'
Years ago, when I was an ity-bity baby entrepreneur I thought I'd give VistaPrint a try (before I found my own fantastic, professional printer Amber Media Solutions). And here's what happened. Design aside, the cards were:
- smaller than a regular business card
- very, very thin
- very little coating on them
- tattered at the edges and corners from lack of quality card and coating
- dull in colour, even the white was greyish
- the top edge was cut on an angle!I remember going back a couple of months later to give their flyers a try and the same result occurred, except instead of cutting the edge on an angle, they put the back upside down from the front so the flyer looked completely confusing and unprofessional!
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Frankly, their designs make me cringe. Professional logos cost more than $19.95 because an outdated clipart and a horrible font (never use 'Comic Sans') does not make your business look good on paper. The reason why people will use your business is because your "different" from the rest, you have imagination, attitude and your marketing materials are attractive and fun to look at. Does buying a stock logo that anyone can use say all that to you?
As for their web design, HTML, XHTML, CSS, PHP, and all code is changing every year and browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Opera etc are all changing and making updates constantly to suit that change. Sooner or later, that website is not going to perform the way it should, or look the way it should. Unfortunately with VistaPrint, there are also huge restrictions on how the page can be edited, so most of their websites all look the same anyway, even with a 'custom' template.
I mean really, the logo above was actually in their collection - I just added my 'business name' to it. How embarrassing for them:
Well, with this claim it pretty much just means "you get what you pay for + our logo on the back". It's all very well to say 'FREE' on everything and kudos to them for coming up with such a great advertising technique because nobody would order from them otherwise. Technically it's 'FREE' if you have their logo on the back and then pay for postage. Then you get to print from a very limited amount of templates and if you want to upload your own image it costs more.
It is cheap - but that's not a compliment, it's cheap quality. It's $35.99 for 100 of their cards if you get the paid version. Yet I get my professional cards for $60 and that buys 1000, double sided, very thick with plenty of clear coating! ..it doesn't take great maths to see the benefit.
Google is full of discussions about the VistaPrint "scam" Consumer Affairs is full of it. Then just type the words "Vistaprint" and "bad" into google and 2,700,000 results!
According to Diana Ratliff, VistaPrint used to have an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau; the service area of Eastern Massachusetts, Maine & Vermont ranked them #1 of the top 10 most complained about businesses and they had an unsatisfactory Reliability Report in 2006.
"Cheap" printing like this really isn't much cheaper than a professional print-shop (I in fact, use Amber Media Solutions) when you consider the difference in quality. It's certainly up to you, but the quality your business should run at should be above standard.
I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who have used large print companies to produce their marketing materials and have had great experiences with them. Personally, I know people who use VistaPrint for their Christmas cards every year and it's decent for them. But I'm strictly talking about business here. Your business is better off with a logo and website that defines your company uniquely, and print materials that are customer-proof which means they are durable, silky, thick stock and use great colors.
My advice isn't for everyone, but I pride myself in creating good, well considered and educated design with high quality print products from Amber Media Solutions.