How to evaluate and choose a reliable card printing company?

Whether you need business cards, wedding invitations, or any other type of printed cards, finding a reliable card printing company is key. You want high-quality cards delivered on time and at a reasonable price. With so many online printing services to choose from, how do you decide?

Define your card printing needs

First, be clear on what type of cards you need to print and in what quantity. Are they simple black-and-white business cards or full-color postcards with photos? Do you need standard sizes or custom shapes and dimensions? Know how many you require – is it a small batch for yourself or large volumes for customers? Defining specifications and quantities will help narrow the list of suitable online printers.

Do your research 

Search online directories and read printing company reviews. Look for printers that specialize in your type of card and common order sizes. Pay attention to customer feedback on quality, pricing, and service. Check the Better Business Bureau for ratings and complaints. Create a shortlist of a few top contenders for further evaluation.

Evaluate their printing quality

Print quality should be a top priority. Examine sample cards the printers have to offer. Are colors accurate and images clear? Is the text sharp and legible? Do the samples have a professionally polished look? The printing process, types of presses used, and ink qualities dramatically affect the final product. Request free samples of your card to assess first-hand.

Compare pricing and products

Consider what’s included in the card printing service. Do you just get the cards delivered or finish like gloss UV coating, spot varnish, or embossing offered? What about mailing services? Don’t just look at the base per-unit pricing. Calculate and compare the total cost of your order including all products, finishes, shipping fees, etc. Watch for hidden charges. Get quotes from a few printers before deciding.

Find out their turnaround time

 Turnaround time ranges from same-day printing for urgent orders to 10-15 business days for complex jobs. Know the printer’s production capacity and standard turn times. Ideally, look for 3-5 business day turnarounds. Printers should provide turn-time guarantees get more information through 

Check their ordering & support process  

Efficient ordering process and responsive customer support in case issues come up. See what online tools the printer provides for uploading files, proofing, tracking orders, etc. Send them questions on products or pricing and evaluate the speed and quality of responses. Read their guarantees, refund policies, etc. Knowing you have good support provides peace of mind, especially for large, high-value orders.  

Evaluate sustainability efforts

Eco-friendly business practices are increasingly important. Ask printers about their sustainability initiatives related to materials and resources used emissions and waste generated, etc. Many use recycled paper stocks and eco-friendly inks. Some focus on carbon offsets or donate to environmental causes. Especially for cards promoting “green” brands or events, selecting eco-conscious printers aligns values.

Check for security certifications

If printing sensitive, confidential information, security is paramount. Evaluate data security protocols like SSL encrypted file transfers and data storage, facility access controls, etc. Official security certifications like PCI compliance for handling credit card data offer assurances. Lacking safeguards puts customers at risk for fraud liability or privacy breaches. Don’t take chances if security is imperative.