DESIGN + MEDIA + PRINT FIRM

BEWARE OF VISTAPRINT’S “FREE” BUSINESS CARDS

Vista Print

We all know nothing comes for free, right? So why do people, and businesses especially, still fall for it? As business owners ourselves, we understand the need to budget and spend money wisely, but we also realize the importance of our brand image. Since there are costs associated with everything, how does Vistaprint do it? Well, let’s just say, you get you get what you pay for.

Large companies like Vistaprint build their clientele base by offering a “free” product for the customer to try, hoping they impress the customer enough for them to return. But of course, there’s a catch, as there always is. Vistaprint advertises themselves… on your card. While some people don’t mind, most people only want to advertise their own business/service. Not to mention, they’re slightly smaller than the industry standard, they use cheap and flimsy paper and have poor print quality. Don’t take our word for it… below is some client feedback.

If the comments don’t bother you, then you are Vistaprint’s target market, not ours. We are proud to say, our clients are creative entrepreneurs that understand the importance of vivid creativity, stand out designs and quality printing.

 

David says- My new business cards look smaller and cheaper than any I’ve seen before. It literally looks like a cheap imitation of a real business card…feels like a knockoff made in china.

 

Tim says- Vistaprint makes us honest graphic designers look like we’re ripping off our clients. I’ve lost business to Vistaprint because clients say why should they pay me when they can get the cards for free from Vistaprint? The old adage “You get what you pay for” certainly applies here.

 

Jonathan says- I have noticed that VistaPrint cards are pretty low quality. I can remember two specific instances someone handed me a business card and as soon as I touched it, I shuddered and thought “Vistaprint…”. I will still do business with them though, normally when someone hands me their card it is because I am selling them something – if it was the other way round, I may think twice.

 

Paula says- I just wanted to say I agree with you that there is something suspicious about “free”…I think I figured out what it is…on the back of the absolutely free cards they advertise THEMSELVES..ON MY BUSINESS CARD!

I am debating whether or not to order them at this point. To get rid of their advertisement its $4.00. That already is a bad taste in my mouth…and as a person in the psychology field I agree with you about the smaller card comment.

 

Esmé says-  I had paid for a print off, noticed it was smaller than all the other cards in my purse and when I rang to ask about it they were very vaugue and claimed it to be standard size. I thought it was bacuse it was premium business card but at least now I know I’m not just going crazy!

I’ll be ordering elsewhere.

 

Annie says: I admit, I did start out using Vistaprint but have grown professionally. Being in the graphics, print industry, it has to be known: Vistaprint is amateur, cheap, and people recognize Vistaprint cards all the time. Small biz needs to understand that your biz card is a reflection of the way you conduct business: professionally or amateur-ish. Image is important.
Vistaprint will give you FREE at a one time deal and then when re-ordering, they hit you with a cost plus shipping charge. I agree its a great selling tactic but its not a long lasting relationship for small biz serious about their image.

 

db says: I was completely happy with the free order of VistaPrint business cards, until I turned it over to read ‘All business cards are free at Vistaprint.com’. Nothing says ‘cheesy’ like that….

 

Aisha says: Hopefully as I advance I can afford to spend more money on higher quality cards. Bottom line is “you get what you pay for”!

 

DJ ‘k’ says: whenever I was handed someone else’s Card, I would sometimes notice how Beefy and Rigid their cared was over mine, and I just accepted the fact that “Yes” I did buy the cheapest options on Vista Print and maybe next time I will upgrade to the better options.

 

Jason G. says: I am confused as to why Vistaprint would sell slightly smaller business cards… I bought the “Premium” cards a few months ago. Now, I hate to use them because they are noticable smaller. Why? Why would they even bother to make them smaller and not stick with the industry standard? That makes no sense. Obviously someone in their marketing or innovation department needs to be replaced. I will not buy from Vistaprint again, regardless of the low cost.

 

Massai says- The cards themselves were “okay” – no better, no worse, just “okay”. The odd size of these cards however, makes them instantly recognisable, and whenever I receive a card which is all to clearly a VP product I can’t help thinking “oh, another cheap b****rd”, and I feel slightly embarrassed about handing over one of my own. Lesson learned.

 

Pluto says: Well I received my business cards, and yes they are a dissapointment. They are noticably smaller, and they do look cheap. We are starting up a busienss and they will go into the trash, as we simply do not want to use them. They look home made.

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  • Info

    Great article but why are there web tags across the top taking you directly to vista print?

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.chopstick.read Mark Read

       Ad words

    • http://www.creativepile.com/ Creative Pile

      Exactly. Unfortunately, for us, they are everywhere.

  • Mark_chopstick_read

    Look at their website, THICKER, SMOOTHER, STRONGER – sounds like a toilet paper ad

  • http://www.photography-by-jerry.com/ Jerry

    Although its been  5 years since I’ve used them, I took advantage of VistaPrints free cards. Let me tell you the situation…I had just retired from teaching and wanted to start a photography business. I did not have a logo yet, nor did I have a business plan…I just wanted to get started. I made the free cards and while they advertised on them and the quality wasn’t great, I was happy to have something to give out. As soon as I had a design, logo and plan, I went to a professional printer and was much happier with their products. However, if you know you get what you pay for, the free cards were a welcome temporary solution.

    • http://www.creativepile.com/ Creative Pile

      Well put Jerry. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Checkit

    You can try out Ink Garden. They have offers for free business cards out there. No advertising for Ink Garden on the card. And these are high-quality cards.

  • John

    I’ve ordered my cards a few days ago and am waiting for it to be delivered. I’m truly disappointed that i did not manage to find this site earlier. I’ve spent about $50+ for my current order of business cards which already is a huge discount according to them, but while waiting for my cards to be delivered, i chanced upon a site with vistaprint ads offering even better discount. I entered their site using the ads and saw similar order that cost less than $20…. Truly disappointed with the huge price difference. Seriously, how can there be so much price difference? For now, i just hope that when i received the cards that it is in the condition as promised.

  • http://twitter.com/ibClay2u Clayton G

    I purchaed VistaPrints – yes because I was starting a business on a shoe string budget and business cards (that may or may not be thrown away by those whom you are giving them to) were too pricey elsewhere. I selected a very elegant ‘looking’ card in their highest price line (figured go high price with a low key operation you may get somewhat acceptable quality) – the card was burgandy and I chose gold writing which when the mock up was shown it was just what I wanted. Understated elegance – on a dime of course. I figured the card would be smaller and of lower card stock weight due to price but that was not an issue for me, at the time! When the cards came – it was a poopy brown with yellow writing … and so flimsy my printer paper had more weight!! I had paid – extra – everything with them is extra this, extra that – to have my motto printed on the back of the card so there was no advertising of VistaPrint anywhere on the card. However, I could never give any of them to a potential client. I also ordered – extra money but ‘discounted’ – UPGRADED card holder and a couple other things I don’t remember right now. Could not use any of those items. The card case was pitted and rusted (like cheap China crap from dollar store or worse actually looked like used bought at yard sale) and the other two items were scratched and looked used. I called them right away and although their products are well below standard (unless they are shooting for poorest of poor without any quality then they may get a half star for that) their Customer Service rep was awesome. She was very kind, soothed my frayed edges as I needed the cards for an upcoming seminar (which I was unable to get new cards in time so did lose potential clients there) and I had paid – yes, again, EXTRA to have the cards sent express mail they did not come in time for me to get new cards. She gave me full credit for the entire order and when I asked where to send the cards back she told me to keep them. Of course, that is still useless to me as I can not give them out to represent me and my standards; however, it was a nice offer. She also offered to ‘replace’ them with another color scheme etc. I was too burned to do that and despite the “low cost’ when I figured my time in dealing with the mess and add to that the clients that I know I lost in contacts from not having cards to give at the Seminar – all in all – I was out far more in the long run than I would have been with local printer who was 3 times the price but quality is there and I am supporting a local business. Take away from all this: buy from VistaPrint ONLY if you are NOT a business, do NOT care what people think, and want to reflect poverty social economic status with each card!

  • http://www.facebook.com/KeikoasMom Linda Rockhold

    My cards are very nice! I had a box printed for my eBay business, and then a box printed for a pet sitting business I was considering. They are as nice as the ones we had printed when we had our high-end custom aquarium company several years ago.