So before you choose you need to ask yourself a set of questions and depending upon your answers will depend on whether you should use an online print company.
Is the price the single most important factor? If the answer to this is yes, then an online company is for you. The chances are that the price will be substantially discounted against other commercial printers. How? Cost of overheads are likely to be lower, they rely on batching customers work together to achieve cheaper prices and they generally have your money before they print the job, so no bad debts or chasing of unpaid accounts to worry about.
Some of the online prices for printing today is often “too good to be true” and when I see companies offering printed material cheaper than I can actually buy the paper for, I become suspicious. Check the extra’s that are loaded onto the order, proofing, proofs, artwork checking delivery etc. These can often significantly reduce the gap between the online headline price and the price you would pay from your local printer.
Are you concerned about where it is printed? For example in some countries the working conditions and workers rights are several years behind ours, bound to bring a smile to our staff, who seem to think I am today’s answer to Septimus Scrooge, but it’s true, our working conditions are several levels above those to be found in some printers abroad. But do we care? When I’m abroad scanning the markets for cheap T shirts am I really thinking about the working conditions of where it was manufactured. No of course I’m not and that’s because I’m distanced from the manufacturers working conditions. If I could see it for myself at the time of purchase maybe it would have an impact but mostly I’m bothered about getting the product at the right price.
So what do you get from a company such as Academy Print & Design. Guaranteed quality. This can have several dimensions, the quality of the print, the quality of the design, and the quality of the service. All of these are guaranteed. I’m not saying that an online company won’t have formal quality procedures or don’t work to a schedule but when it all starts to go wrong they are dealing with an order where we are dealing with a customer. Our first action is to work harder to put it right whereas an online company will have a procedure that will need to be completed to apportion blame before any action can take place. Only when this is completed, and when they are sure the blames is theirs will they act, and their procedures are designed to be so rigorous that the completion can delay delivery beyond the RDD. So before you compare the cheapest online price you can get for print, ask yourself whether the service you get is worth paying and treat it a little like an insurance policy. But of course if you are not getting this type of service, then go for the cheapest, but bear in mind the phrase “Buyer Beware”.