Saturday, 4 February 2012

Did I just get conned by Vista-Print?

This post is aimed mostly at writers and artists of all sorts.

VistaPrint's Website advert.
I'm sure you've seen the adverts from VistaPrint - '250 cards for £2.00'. Doesn't seem a bad deal does it? It got me thinking - I could use something like that to design small promotional cards to help promote the 'A Vested Interest' books.

Well I bit and followed through to the design stage.

A few minutes work produced a design for the card. We decided to use the book cover image from book 4 of the A Vested Interest series - Stones, Stars and Solutions. On it we would put the introduction text from our book website and the website URL. Here's the result:
Not bad for £2.00 we thought. We'll be able to give them out and leave them strategically around Hexham, where I live in England. Then we discovered we could print on the other side and a new design was produced with book names, the DNA image from out original A Vested Interest cover and website and contact information. Here's the reverse side:
Of course there was an extra charge for printing the reverse, £9.99 and that made it seem silly to just order 250 cards. I ordered 1,500 which increased the original £2.00 to £11.00. Still seemed reasonable - £21 for 1,500 cards to my own personal design.

Happy with my work I went on to the next step and at that point found I would be paying a little more.
  • 1,500 cards                             £11.00
  • Printing the rear                       £ 9.99
  • Personalised image (front)        £ 3.49
  • personalised image (back)       £ 3.49
The total was now £27.97 a bit more than £2.00 but I was buying 1,500 not 250.
Hey- there was a special offer on available to me. I could get an extra 500 cards for just £2.24 extra with standard shipping. I got the extra 500 cards but shipping? You mean that's NOT included? On to the next step.
  • Shipping offered several options. I chose the slowest 21 day shipping £6.07
  • Tax was added at this point £7.26
My bill was now £43.54 

Whatever happened to that £2.00? Did I just get hustled?

Moreover, could I have gone to my local print shop with my design and got my 2,000 cards a lot quicker for less?

Update 23 Feb 2012
Well the cards finally arrived today. Pretty mediocre quality. You'd need a great deal of imagination to see the stars on the background. I think too that if I was designing them again I'd leave a plain white area big enough to write a brief note or telephone number.