When purchasing professionally printed goods, as with purchasing any type of goods or service, there are always a few catches and “gottchas” that are easy to miss. Here are a few of the common gimmicks of the printing industry that you’ll want to keep an eye out for when buying professionally.
Printing Gimmick Number One – Free Printing
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some printing companies will actually offer customers a limited quantity of custom printed goods at no cost. But the catch is that they’ll print their own logo on the back, effectively adverting on your printed products. This is fine for personal use, but it portrays a less than professional image business-wise.
Printing Gimmick Number Two – Excessive Additional Fees
Reasonable set up and proof charges are standard fare when it comes to printing – after all, it does take time to prepare your files and proofs for printing. Fair game. However, some companies will charge nickel and dime fees for every single aspect of the print job. For example, should you have to pay extra just to upload your own artwork? Ultimately, the final price after all fees and handling charges might still be worth it, but do keep the fees in mind when comparing price quotes.
Printing Gimmick Number Three – Punitive Shipping Costs
One thing to keep an eye out for when hiring a printing company online or on a long distance basis is to make sure their shipping and handling charges are reasonable. Some of the more unscrupulous printing services have been known to offer rock bottom pricing on their printed goods only to make up for every bit of difference (and then some) with punitive shipping and handling costs. When bidding out a printing job, look at the total price for having the finished printed products in your hand, not just the actual printing cost itself.
Printing Gimmick Number Four – Rush, Rush, Rush
Paying a little bit extra to get a printing job done in a hurry when you’re under a tight deadline is commonplace in the industry. This is called a rush order. However, some printing companies use really slow regular project completion and delivery schedules – even up to a month or more – just to coax their customers into automatically paying extra for expediting the process. Any time you see multiple levels of “rush” advertised, it’s a good idea to pay a little bit extra attention to the details to make sure the deal is on the level.
Printing Gimmick Number Five – “Premium” Stock
Double check to make sure you’ll be receiving exactly what you expect with your printed goods. It’s okay to ask for a sample of the type of paper stock or other goods you’ll be ordering. While most printing companies are on the up and up about using good quality materials to produce satisfactory results, some will advertise low quality stock as an expensive “premium” product.
All in all, most printing companies are very reputable. It’s a competitive industry; like any business, they have to keep customers happy to stay in business. By doing a little bit of research first (as you probably are right now), you’ll be able to avoid all of the silly gimmicks you might come across.