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Automation and DIY Sites: Why Low Price Means Low Quality and an ever-evolving host of exclusively online printers are becoming more popular with commercial users and small business owners, but is it really worth it? Since 1995, Vistaprint has evolved to serve the needs of a large print-on-demand audience, offering integrated online platforms to build your own designs out of templates for business cards, flyers, calendars, and a wide range of other products.

But if you’re in the market for high-quality printed materials that are truly going to make your brand stand out, you may want to pursue other options. The most popular online platforms make a name for themselves by being incredibly cheap, but in most cases, the saying is true… you get what you pay for.

Bad Templates

First, even though it may be convenient, the templates that Vistaprint and similar platforms offer are just plain terrible. Not only are you short-changing the flexibility and influence a unique design would be able to offer you, but imagine presenting your business card to someone who recognizes the template! Using templates online are fine for community programs or neighborhood events, but using them for a business is setting yourself up for disaster. You’ll want to pursue a quality design with a higher quality printer, and truly make an impression.

No Feedback

The level of customer service on most online printers is minimal—perhaps a live chat feature with one person (with minimal English speaking skills) who will likely copy and paste clips from the FAQ page to sate you. But even if you make it through your experience with no problem, if you set your product up poorly—there’s nobody there to tell you! Working with a higher standard of printer means having a safety net of quality controllers who will tell you if something looks off or if you’d benefit more from a different selection of options.

Minimal Cross-Product Quality Assurance

Ordering a bunch of one-off runs is a recipe for disaster. Without consistency, your brand is liable to simply fall apart. Working with a higher quality printer, you’ll be able to better adjust your marketing collateral and designs to suit your company’s image.

The bottom line? Vistaprint and other online printing platforms are flashy, and convenient for a lot of jobs. But you get what you pay for, and if you’re trying to build your company’s reputation, you’ll want to go with a real printer.

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