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.


  1. I had the same reaction...
    Decided to shop locally.

    1. Yikes.
      Well, at least the cards look great.
      AND, you got a blog post out of it.

      Thanks for the warning!

  2. ...and EVERY day I get a new e-mail from Vista-Print with a 'special offer for only...'. Funny I don't remember giving them permission to spam me!

  3. In all fairness to Vista-print, they read this blog post and removed me from their mailing list. They do listen.

  4. not surprised...had my go-round with them..took them up on the offer of a free month for a website...just happened later to se a $14.94 charge for continuing website which I did not want..they never told me it was renewed or continued..just billed me which I, by checking my credit card account, discovered...and, oh, yeay, they inundate with offers...

  5. Been there ordered cards just stopped short of designing a tee shirt!



I've taken off the CAPTCHA from this blog because I think they are pretty useless at preventing spam and an annoyance to genuine people.

If you're a spammer - you're wasting your time - I won't visit your site and no-one else will see it.