Quick Printing Without the High Price

Sheila Pike-Pereyra had had it with her local quick printer. This self-described low-carb coach and self-improvement motivator owns and operates SugarFreeSheila, a diet-and-lifestyle consultancy located outside Dallas, Tex. As her business grew, Pike-Pereyra naturally turned to her local printer for business cards and the like. She was not impressed.

“I was offered essentially no artistic control in terms of the look of these cards, the price was rather exorbitant, and they were never of exceptional quality,” she said. “Not exactly an impressive combination.” Inn 2004, Pike-Pereyra decide to try online quick printer PrintsMadeEasy.com.

The Web site features an easy-to use interface that lets even novices create custom-designed collateral in no time. “It takes the average person 10 to 15 minutes to create a custom business card or postcard,” said Brian Whiteman, CEO and founder of PrintsMadeEasy. “And the price is a fraction of what you’ll pay at your local quick printer.”

The site offers a choice of 10,000 templates, as well as ready-to-use logos you can place on business cards, postcards, letterhead and matching envelopes. You can browse templates by category, or enter a keyword search term (such as construction, realtor, technology and so on) to see artwork that might be appropriate. Of course, you can also upload your own artwork. PrintsMadeEasy saves your creations on its servers, which makes re-ordering fast and easy.

PrintsmadeEasy screen shot
The site feature more than 10,000 professionally designed templates, or you can upload your own design.

PrintsMadeEasy also guarantees posts the date you will receive your order (usually within three business days) right on its homepage, so there’s no guessing when your order will arrive. “It’s 99 percent accurate,” claimed Whiteman.

Cheap and fast is one thing but cheap and fast and good is quite another, and PrintsMadeEasy may have scored a hat trick. At least Pike-Pereyra thinks so. “From the thick feel, the full color and the double-sided printing, these cards always make an excellent impression on people who receive them,” she said. “Businesswomen and men have often asked me where I get my cards, and they assume that a professional does them for me.”

One potential downside to going with a printer that isn’t local is the hassle of dealing with a job that doesn’t turn out exactly as hoped. But Whiteman stands behind his firm’s work unconditionally. “If a customer isn’t happy, we’ll reprint the order or refund their money,” he said. And if you’re worried about your order going into the faceless online void, don’t be. “Our customer service reps will answer an e-mail within 20 minutes, 24 hours a day,” said Whiteman.

That’s one of the perks Pike-Pereyra likes best about the site, which she points out has no affiliation with SugarFreeSheila. “If ever I have a concern about my artwork prior to placing my next order, I will e-mail an associate at PrintsMadeEasy about it,” she said. “Not only will I hear back from him or her in less than half an hour, everything is quickly remedied and in order.”

Another welcome touch: Low minimum-order quantities. You can order as few as 20 business cards (starting at $2.99) or 100 postcards, letterhead or envelopes. So with price, design, turnaround time and customer service all working in its favor, it might not be fashionable to complain about your printer anymore.

Jamie Bsales is an award-winning technology writer and editor with nearly 14 years of experience covering the latest hardware, software and Internet products and services.

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