First, it was my pleasure to participate and I’d be happy to do it again!
Second, you may remember that during our discussion the topic of mutually destructive price wars between quick printers came up, and we all agreed they needed to sell their value instead of just price. The question was what value did they have to sell in a commodity (business cards, letterhead and such) market?
I spoke about some business cards I’d ordered online, and that I’d heard the process could be unpredictable. Well, they were waiting for me when I got back home, and they were terrible! The printing was fine, but they arrived in a soggy box that wasn’t sealed or even taped shut, with some cards dirty and some bent. The rounded corners looked like they’d been done with scissors.
I called the Overnightprints.com, and to their credit they responded quickly to my complaint, are reprinting them for me, and have sent UPS to inspect the package. That’s a lot of added cost for a 100-card order, and they clearly want to make it right. But as a hedge, I also went to VistaPrint.com and ordered some there. I’m dying to see how they compare because the preview VistaPrint showed online looked very low resolution despite using the exact same .pdf file I used for Overnightprints.com. Maybe I should order from a few other shops and do a review?
The current market for spec-it-yourself print may be ignorant of quality issues, color issues and other fine points of print right now but they will learn. They will be educated by trial and error and the printer that causes the least trials and errors will come out on top. It seems to me that the challenge may not be in finding the value to sell, but in the marketing to sell it.