Selecting the Right Printer

Now that you understand the basics of printing, it’s time to find the right printer for your business. First, evaluate exactly what your business needs are. Will you need a printer for frequent jobs? Is there a certain type of printing request you will need on an on-going basis? Regardless of what your particular printing needs are, you should find a printing company that has a great reputation, completes high quality products, is fast and gives clients value for their printing budget.

A reputable printer will provide outstanding service and an excellent product at a fair price. Notice I said fair price, not a dirt-cheap price. Remember, everyone is in business to make money, and a good business relationship is a profitable one for both parties involved. As long as you are receiving a fair deal, the service and commitment you will receive on the back end is much more rewarding than saving a few bucks initially by going to a “printer” with a press in his/her garage. So many people are buying laser printers or run down presses held together with rubber bands in order to set up an online store and call themselves a print shop. Run down equipment results in a poor product. These companies sell cheap product to a lot of people and eventually saturate the market and go out of business.

So when you find a great printing company, stick with them. At some point, you may need an extremely fast turn around, or a favor getting something done, and the person you committed your business to will be happy to assist you regardless of how demanding your request may be.

If you’re considering hiring an online company, use caution. Some online companies have been known to charge additional feeds once they have your credit card information. These “membership fees” can range from $12-29 per month, and are automatically billed to your credit card. In some cases, the customers do not realize they are incurring these fees for months, which ultimately makes those “free cards” they received with their first order pretty expensive in the long run. Avoid falling into this trap.

Carefully review the online printer’s testimonials or reviews. If some of the reviews are less than positive, find out what the specific complaints are. If reviews frequently say they were charged hidden fees, or the job was not completed by deadline, or they are dissatisfied with the quality of their purchase, then you can probably bet that you will be at risk for having the same difficulties. If only a few of the reviews are negative, but the complaints are relatively minor, the company might be worth a second look. Do your homework and trust your gut feelings — when you think something just isn’t right about the company, look elsewhere.

Any business is only as superior as its customer service. Contact the company by email or by phone to find out how accessible they are. Are the employees in the customer service department helpful? Do they really appear to care about meeting your business’s printing needs? Do they seem honest and realistic about your questions or concerns? This may be time-consuming, but you’ll be glad you did your research when you sign your name on their contract.

Ask the printing company you’re interested in working with about the equipment they use and what qualifications and experience their press operators have. Reputable companies will be happy to “brag” on their employees’ expertise and will be happy to show you samples of work similar to the work you would like done.

Develop a friendly relationship with your printer. Knowing your printer is trustworthy and dependable will give you peace of mind that your project will be completed as you expect, on time and within your proposed budget.

Choose a printing company that is well rounded and is a one-stop-shop. A good printer will have established outside relationships with others to provide you with products that may stretch beyond their internal capabilities, such as mailing services, promotional items, large format printing, etc. As the expert, they will be able to oversee these types of projects for accuracy, consistency and timeliness. If your goal is to find a printer for your current project, as well as future projects, find out if they have the right equipment to complete those future jobs. Do they specialize in any type of print job? Can they handle a variety of print jobs?

Beware of super-low prices on your initial order. Don’t fall into the trap of being low-balled on your first quote. If pricing seems unbelievably cheap, that pricing will probably not last. This is a technique used to get you in the door with the hidden promise of higher prices on future orders. If cheap pricing does continue, you will most likely experience issues with quality, service, or both. Why risk having problems with incorrect positioning, poor color accuracy due to gang running, excessive shipping costs, extended turn-around times or calls not being returned? You truly do get what you pay for!

Once you narrow down your selection to a few printing companies, discuss with them the specifics about your order. Find out when they would expect to complete the project. Do they give you helpful advice about making the most of your printing dollar?  If the person you speak to seems uncertain about the requirements of the job, doesn’t want to commit to the deadline you ask for or is simply unimpressive, look elsewhere for a printer.


At East Ridge Printing, we are a well-rounded team of printing artisans backed by our ERP Promise. Learn more about our guarantee by clicking the following link or call us at 585.266.4911. ERP Promise Link: