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VistaPrint vs. 123Print: Online Printing Review (Print Quality, Delivery and Service)

As a frequent user of local printing services, I recently decided to give online printing a try. I've heard that you can get good quality prints for great prices, but hadn't yet experienced it first hand. I tried out two of the popular services, VistaPrint and 123Print. In a comparison of two online printing websites, Vistaprint and 123print - I found 123Print to be more customer oriented. Google’s Top 50 Printing comparison rated 123Print as #1 with Vista Print as #2. Vista Print excels in graphic imaging and organization, but 123 Print wins for its prices and fewer advertisements. Though Vista Print advertises itself well, the consumer will soon learn of hidden profit-motivated interests.

Best Vistaprint Coupon: 25% OFF store-wide

Best 123Print Coupon: 20% OFF store-wide

Print quality: Winner = VistaPrint

I printed business cards with both VistaPrint and 123Print, and found the cards from VistaPrint to be of slightly higher quality cardstock and color. I've included a couple photos below which show closeups of the VistaPrint business card quality. I found the business cards to be adequately thick and the colors to match very close to the colors on my computer screen. I used the low-cost option here, so I'd imagine that upgrading on quality would mean even better results. Overall, I'm happy with both VistaPrint and 123Print on print quality, but VistaPrint has a slight edge. See more examples of VistaPrint and 123Print print quality.

Homepage and ease of use of website: Winner = VistaPrint

The homepage of VistaPrint is better organized and easier to navigate to specifically what you are shopping for, initially organized into business products and personal products. When you click on a specific product, you are redirected to a page that shows the product’s pricing and specs as to its principle area for an image. It lets you choose from an inventory set up by the website, or you can upload your own image.

The homepage of 123Print is initially confusing to navigate to specifically what you want to purchase. The main products are very disorganized and you are distracted by the flashy special features. However, once you click on the “Products” link in the headliner, they are more evenly spaced out and presented for your navigation.

Uploading your own images: Winner = VistaPrint

VistaPrint's image upload format makes it very easy to upload, crop and rotate your image from your computer. VistaPrint offers clear imagery, as you can how it would look on the finished product, whether it is a pen, baseball cap or magnetic bumper sticker. VistaPrint also warns you if the resolution on your image is low. However, VistaPrint will charge you $4.99 for uploading your image.

The imaging on 123Print is more difficult than on VistaPrint when are you trying to upload your own image. However, they do not charge you for using your own image, so it is probably worth this. 123Print also does not show you how your image would look on its hypothetical finished product.

Checkout process: Winner = 123Print

The biggest downfall about shopping on VistaPrint online printing is trying to finally purchase your product. To sign out, you have to click through five pages of distracting advertisements for other products. There are a few free options, such as free pens and free magnets, which is likely a ploy to get the customers distracted by such advertisements. VistaPrint is also notorious for selling customer credit card information to third parties. Some customers have complained of mysterious credit card charges of $14.95 a month and bad shipping services.

Shipping costs and disclosure: Winner = 123Print

Apart from graphics, 123Print appears less profit-oriented than VistaPrint. 123Print does tell you how much your shipping costs before you make your purchase. While they try to sell you products before check out, it is not to the extent of VistaPrint. The cost of shipping is relatively similar for both sites. There are fewer published consumer complaints about 123Print.

Features and product offerings: Winner = tie

Both sites have similar products options but also their own unique options to offer. VistaPrint offers paper, apparel and accessories. 123Print is more paper oriented, but does have a section for pets, where purchase items such as a dog leash. 123Print also has a feature of Barack Obama products that have a selection of less mainstream photos of our president in his younger years.

Both sites have a feature of business card holders. 123Print has a better selection of business card holders, as they offer pocket options or ones for your desk in assorted colors. VistaPrint only offers a single metallic pocket business card holder, and this site is loaded with links and advertisements of business card printing deals, proving that it is just there to distract people to buy more.

Price and value: Winner = 123Print

123Print ultimately has better options for prices. For a common print product, Matte Business Cards with a blank back, 123Print is cheaper per unit. You also have the option of ordering less bulk. For 123Print, the minimum order is 100, where in VistaPrint you have a minimum of 250. Five hundred cards is $18.95 on 123Print, but $29.99 on VistaPrint. You may be tempted by the free options of VistaPrint at first, but it is a distraction for its higher prices.

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Comments (35)
for those that use Vista Print - Page 2 - WAHM Forums - WAHM.com

[...] I have only begun using vistaprint and so far so good, no mysterious charges or anything. For those interested in using or not, this article should help guide the lights its a debated over vistaprint vs 123print, good stuff, I have only used the one so far though so I cant shed light myself. VistaPrint vs. 123Print: online printing review (print quality, delivery, and customer service) [...]

Ed Brown

Vista Print has been linked with the farmville scam, beware

Ed Brown

Nice job on this article.

Michelle

@Ed Brown...that article does not even mention vista print...what are you getting at?

Bill

I happen to really like Snapio.com more then both Vista or 123Print.

Easy to use, priced right and the product is great quality.

Antonio

I agree with Bill. Snapio.com is a newcomer but is an easier to use site than either Vista or 123Print plus a buyer can get to his shopping cart without wadding through pages of "other offers."

David

I agree with Bill and Antonio. Snapio's http://www.snapio.com online printing service is great quality. And they have great customer service. Try them out!

John

I happen to disagree with Bill, Antonio and David!

Snapio prints suck. So much banding...but the price was right. best value of the free prints category...

Bill

John, I really don’t know if you ordered from the same www.Snapio.com site as I did. The quality of my order was great, and the price couldn’t be beat. Snapio.com even had a real customer service person that I could talk to when processing my order. Snapio.com really puts being in the online business to a whole different level then all the others. Their USO program for example – www.Snapio.com/USO they are allowing family and friends of service men and women to send a Free card to the soldiers, I didn’t see any of the other guys giving back to its customers this way.

Zane

John, I don't get you. You just said Snapio sucks, then you say great pricing, and best value...sure Snapio is "new" to the game but for my little personal trainer outfit I got goin on, it's saved me ,some $$. Easy to navigate, too.

Cool ideas about the USO Bill--I'll be sure to check er out.

Bill

John, I really don’t know if you ordered from the same www.Snapio.com site as I did. The quality of my order was great, and the price couldn’t be beat. Snapio.com even had a real customer service person that I could talk to when processing my order. Snapio.com really puts being in the online business to a whole different level then all the others. Their USO program for example – www.Snapio.com/USO they are allowing family and friends of service men and women to send a Free card to the soldiers, I didn’t see any of the other guys giving back to its customers this way.

Bill

John, I really don’t know if you ordered from the same www.Snapio.com site as I did. The quality of my order was great, and the price couldn’t be beat. Snapio.com even had a real customer service person that I could talk to when processing my order. Snapio.com really puts being in the online business to a whole different level then all the others. Their USO program for example – www.Snapio.com/USO they are allowing family and friends of service men and women to send a Free card to the soldiers, I didn’t see any of the other guys giving back to its customers this way.

Zane

John, I don't get you. You just said Snapio sucks, then you say great pricing, and best value...sure Snapio is "new" to the game but for my little personal trainer outfit I got goin on, it's saved me ,some $$. Easy to navigate, too.

Cool ideas about the USO Bill--I'll be sure to check er out.

John

@Zane

Well, all online business card printing sucks. What I meant to say is that the lesser of all evils is Snapio...

@Bill & Zane

Are you some sort of Snapio robot or something? you and bill posted the same conversation back and forth??

Elyse

DO NOT use 123print.com!!!! Buyer beware! What a nightmare of a company - horrible customer service. They printed a large quantity of my business envelopes with the wrong address and staggered them in with the correct address (I guess they caught their mistake and rather than fixing it they tried to cover it up) . We labeled and STAMPED all the envelopes and then someone caught it. I have the pictures to prove it. They are horrible and we wasted a lot of money using them. I wish someone would have warned me....

Elyse

DO NOT use 123print.com!!!! Buyer beware! What a nightmare of a company - horrible customer service. They printed a large quantity of my business envelopes with the wrong address and staggered them in with the correct address (I guess they caught their mistake and rather than fixing it they tried to cover it up) . We labeled and STAMPED all the envelopes and then someone caught it. I have the pictures to prove it. They are horrible and we wasted a lot of money using them. I wish someone would have warned me....

Useful information.

Sam Douglas

I've used vistaprint a few times now, both in the US and in New Zealand where I now live. Found them to be pretty good quality and really cheap - it did take a fair while for them to be shipped though so if you're in need of them fast i'd recommend printing at your local print stop place. overall though i'd happily use them again (and am in fact ordering another bunch as we speak).

Sam

Chris

Well, it's really pretty cool stuff, but for packaging I have used a company under the name, www.usboxprinting.com, they are really great, their services are great, they offer free custom graphics designing services along with the free shipping and handling within the usa. Finest online support, great order handling, finest dealing, they help customers in all ways, I really suggest you guys to at-least visit http://www.usbpxprinting.com.

Gaylene

I live in Canada. Vistaprint operates in Canada. I spent a year creating business cards and other matching items on the Vistaprint Webpage, and finally arrived at the day to place my order.

I set my order for my business cards in motion through Canada Vistaprint. They claim they accept Paypal; which is what I frequently use. I have no credit cards because at one point I lost my identity when 9 people were using them. Won’t let that happen again! During the placing of my order, I arrived at the Paypal page, of my Canada Vistaprint order, and entered my Paypal password. It was entered correctly. The following page read, "You must add a credit card to complete this purchase. Some payments, like instant and immediate payments, require a credit card." Just to be clear about this, Vistaprint is demanding a credit card, which is world wide currency, not Canadian currency. In order to use Canada Vistaprint PayPal, you “must” have a credit card. I have used Paypal for many months, the vendor has always received payment, I have received a thank you email, I received my merchandise, and all without a credit card.

Vistaprint’s payment page gives you a choice of payment. You can choose either a credit card or PayPal with a credit card. So, in actual fact, you have a choice of a credit card or a credit card. (Gee, let me think).

In my conversation with a supervisor/manager of Vistaprint, (it didn’t matter what his title was because he’s just a puppet) I did hear, “We do not accept Canadian currency,” come out of his mouth; I have his email address if you need verification, but you must remember he is just a puppet.

To take this one step further, Canada Vistaprint, who calls its home Canada, does not accept any Canadian currency whatsoever; not a penny, nothing boasting a Canadian Maple Leaf. Canada Vistaprint does not accept Canadian cheques, Canada Vistaprint does not accept Canadian e-cheques, Canada Vistaprint does not accept Canadian cashier cheques, Canada Vistaprint does not accept Canadian Debit cards, and if you wished to take the chance through the mail, Canada Vistaprint does not accept Canadian cash.

Here’s something even more interesting. Canada Vistaprint accepts United States cheques, Canada Vistaprint accepts United States cash, Canada Vistaprint accepts United States e-cheques, Canada Vistaprint accepts United States cashier cheques, and Canada Vistaprint accepts credit cards, which are world wide; not a designated currency.

During my many phone calls and emails to both Vistaprint and Paypal, it seemed they were playing one against the other. Eventually these two reasons for a credit card number surfaced. Vistaprint claimed Paypal wanted to be paid immediately, and Paypal alleged Vistaprint needed the credit card to verify the purchaser’s address, when in actual fact, Vistaprint was merely denying acceptance of Canadian currency. They’ll accept Canadian currency when it falls under “world wide” currency because it will be paid out as good ole United States of American currency.

After what I have read and heard about Vistaprint and the quality of their work, I don’t want to be associated with them and I wouldn’t want them associated with my charge cards if I had any.

I didn’t realize a foreign company can plop themselves on Canadian soil and not accept our money.

I contacted the Better Business Bureau and my case was opened and closed. I don’t know what, if any, action was taken. It basically says, business tried to satisfy customer; didn’t work. I felt the problem was just scuffed over and swept under the rug, but maybe that’s the way it works.

It would be interesting to have the allegations under Vistaprint Reviews investigated. Credit Cards are not safe. Paypal doesn’t request that you lay out your credit card number at each transaction.

Why can’t a company wait for payment through Paypal? Where are they going?

It should be made illegal for a company to operate in Canada and not to accept Canadian currency. It seems like a slap in the face to me, but I’m just a lowly Canadian…

Benjamin

Had a horrible experience with Vistaprint. Waited 3 weeks for my order then emailed them. Their response was that they couldn’t be printed because of the foil I’d requested. I asked them when they’d planned on letting me know about the issue. They replied that it was my fault in the initial image upload, basically calling me incompetent and not answering the real question of why they’d waited 3 weeks until I asked what was going on. For the record, the upload was completely correct with the foil mask etc.

As mentioned by others, their sales practices are very sneaky and while there’s been no erroneous charge on my credit card yet, I will be keeping an eye out for one, or two, or three.

Benjamin

Had a horrible experience with Vistaprint. Waited 3 weeks for my order then emailed them. Their response was that they couldn’t be printed because of the foil I’d requested. I asked them when they’d planned on letting me know about the issue. They replied that it was my fault in the initial image upload, basically calling me incompetent and not answering the real question of why they’d waited 3 weeks until I asked what was going on. For the record, the upload was completely correct with the foil mask etc.

As mentioned by others, their sales practices are very sneaky and while there’s been no erroneous charge on my credit card yet, I will be keeping an eye out for one, or two, or three.

Ann

I ordered business cards because of the low price advertised on the internet. That was a bad idea. I got what I paid for. The printer was obviously low on ink so my logo came out in faded pink instead of blue. Not the kind of impression you want to give to prospective clients. I could have printed them on my printer at home with a low ink cartridge and they would have looked the same. If it is important that you make a good impression, do not use Vistaprint for your business cards.

johnnyc

@Elyse You're either a dumb ass or a VP employee. 123print, and VP are digital printers...they just print EXACTLY what you upload. If you want to bitch about quality or customer service, that's a different story. But I've had good experiences overall with both. I just prefer 123Print over VP slightly...just better customer service recently.

Craig

I want to explain a few things to many of you that don’t really understand Vistaprint, 123print and the other online printing industry.

First, Vistaprint – the company was once a good place to get printing but the company now is based off the United States and the operations is handled by many sub-printers meaning, they job out lots of their work. They spend millions of dollars in marketing and and so they also collect millions of new customers so if the piss of a few of you they don’t have to care.

Some if not many of the same things could be said about 123print but they don’t spend as much as Vistaprint so you do get a little bit better service. They haven’t started jobbing out their work last I looked into it but as they grow, they most likely will start.

All of this is public knowledge and can be found on many of their own websites.

Snapio, owned by Nationwide Graphics, a privately held company that owns 12 large commercial printing plants in the United States, they print their own work!!! Their corporate offices are in Houston and plants are based nationwide. Not sure what they spend in marketing but they handle the customer like a real person, you talk with a person based in Austin, Texas… The company is a real class act.

Keep doing business with Vista and keep helping some NO LONGER American company.

alli

I have recently switched to http://www.rxprint.com . The cards are thick and high quality. They are a liad back, friendly and honest company who goes out of their way. Ask for a discount and you will get one!

delany

I ordered some letterheads through Snapio based on the reviews here. All I can say is I would now be highly suspicious of who wrote most of them. The quality was very poor (lots of banding as one reviewer warned above, steps on straight lines and dotted texture where there should have been a smooth fill) and, when I tried to contact them to find out if this was really the quality I should expect, I've heard nothing back for several weeks now despite sending several emails. I will certainly not be using them again and I can't recommend them.

Will

Check out Mondo Print. Another great online printing source. High quality and low prices. www.MONDOprint.com

Enjoyed your article and will give 123 a try. Thanks for so thoroughly explaining the differences between Vista and 123 Print!

Box Printer

Yeah, specially VISTA Print is not good. They rip of customers very easily. No customer service at all!!!

Here is Custom Printed Boxes company that offers best prices and best services. Check it out. Its not easy to find a printer who does short run custom printing in such good rates

Bob Williamson

Has anyone checked out the new player to the market - 'Flyerzone' - flyerzone.co.uk.

There templates seem much better quality. Just wondering if anyone has ordered with them?

Here is a review about a grea site to make a passive income: http://expertscolumn.com/content/expertscolumn-review-good-passive-income-opportunity-expertscolumn-scam-or-legit I recomed you joining it it has brough me easy earned money and it gives you the freedom to republish your work from other sites too. Check it out you won’t regret it.

Harry

I suggest u http://www.ivoryprint.com for you all printing and packaging needs. IvoryPrint.com can produce your packaging boxes at very low prices.

Well, it's really pretty cool stuff, but for appearance I have used a company under the name, www.cheapboxprinting.com they are really excellent, their solutions are excellent, they offer 100 % free custom design developing solutions along with the 100 % free and handling within the usa.

Excellent information you've got right here on this post.

 cheap box printing

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