printing

12 Tips to Help You Choose the Best Print Shop

April Cassidy

| 3 min read

Your boss tells you that you need to find a professional printing service to print and insert 5000 personalized letters for a mailing to potential customers. You’re new at this job and you don’t know any of the printers in town.

How in the world can you decide what the best local print shop would be?

You could go with a chain copy shop down the street, an online print shop, an independent print shop, or a family-owned print shop. Which is best for you?

We’ve been in the printing business for 32 years and would love to share some of our wisdom with you. We want everyone to have the best printing experience possible.

If you have a really important job, we'd encourage you to do some research before committing to a high-volume print job.

12 Tips to Find the Best Print Shop Near You

1. Visit the company’s facility.

Does it look professional? Ask if you can take a free tour—see if the facility looks clean and neat. Do the employees seem attentive? Do you see any obvious red flags?

2. Ask to see recent samples of their work

(That are comparable to the job you would like to have done).

What does the quality look like? Are there smudges or blurred images? Are the pieces cut incorrectly? Is it high-quality? Look at black and white and full-color pieces.

3. Ask for customer referrals and check online for reviews and testimonials.

If you see any negative reviews, ask the owner or manager about them to see how the situation was handled.

4. Find out how “green” the printer is. 

Do they recycle waste paper products? Do they use solar energy?

5. Ask about their experience level and areas of expertise.

How long have they been in business? What kinds of work do they do most often? How many employees do they have? Do they offer online printing services?

6. Ask about their equipment and what kind of volume and speed they can handle.

Do they handle large format printing? Do they have high capacity? Can they print professional photographic pieces? Are there things you need that they can’t do in-house?

7. Ask about what kind of customer service you can expect to receive.

Will you receive professional consulting each step of the way? Who would be your account manager? Is the account manager friendly and professional? Do they respond to phone calls and emails promptly?

8. Ask to see a proof before committing to the whole job.

9. Ask about ink and paper stock options.

Ask to see and touch samples.

10. Ask what specialty techniques are offered.

11. Make sure that the professional printer offers mailing service, as well, if you will need them.

Do they deliver the mailing to the post office for their clients? Can they handle shipping, if necessary?

12. Find out if the company can handle your job from beginning to end.

Do they offer printing, variable data, collation, inserting, finishing, binding, mailing, storage, and fulfillment? What else do they offer?

Looking for a Print Shop in Columbia, SC?

We'd be happy to help.

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