Get the most bang for your buck from that business card sale!
You just received a crazy offer for business cards. Now what do you do? Here are a few hints to help you keep that amazing deal amazing! Check the details! Can you get full color? Both sides? How many do you get? How good is the business card stock offered? Does the offer include any coatings? How long before your job ships? Is the shipping charge reasonable?
At the very least, the offer should include full color printing on both sides. The card stock should be substantial too. You should get at least a 14 point coated cover (cover=card stock) or thicker. Most printers will also offer a high gloss UV coating to protect the business cards after they’re printed.
If the quantity offered is less than 500, the card stock is thinner and no coatings are offered, the business cards will likely be digitally printed instead of traditional offset printing. There’s nothing wrong with digital printing… The process just can’t accommodate the range of papers that can otherwise be printed using traditional methods. For example, digitally printed products can’t be coated with a high gloss or semi gloss coating after printing. Most printing companies offer digital printing quality that is just as high as traditional offset printing.
Check the shipping terms. It shouldn’t take two to three weeks for the cards to get printed and shipped. Look for turn-around times less than a week. For example, our current business card offer 1,000 full color cards for 10 bucks has a turn-around time of 2-3 days. How long will it take to arrive once the cards ship is also a consideration. Look for a printer with facilities around the country to get shorter transit times. Again as an example, we ship overnight at ground rates to the northeast (NY, PA, NJ), parts of the midwest (TN, OH, IL, KY, IN), Southern California and Las Vegas. Most of the rest of the country except the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies gets 2 day shipping at ground rates. The most it will take to ship most of our products is 3 days at ground rates.
Is the shipping cost reasonable? Look for the cost of shipping a box or two of business cards in the continental USA to cost between $8 and $12. Any more than that and the “offer” could be inflating shipping charges to subsidize the cost of printing.
How do you prepare the artwork? You can do it yourself or have a graphic designer to do it for you. If you do it yourself, you can save a lot of money, but getting professional looking business cards requires some attention to details. Check out or artwork guidelines and bleed and safe zone guidelines.
If you create your artwork in Microsoft Word (or any art layout app), make sure you have the right size… The final size of a standard US business card is 3.5 x 2 inches. Prepare your artwork so that the size is 3.75 x 2.25 inches to account for bleed. Don’t put anything important in the 1/8” border from the edge of the sheet. Again see our bleed and safe zone guidelines.
Use high resolution jpegs or vector graphics (at least 300 dpi at the final size). Don’t pull an image from the web because the resolution will be too low for printing and your cards will look cheesy! There could also be copyright issues if you use someone else’s images.
Finally save your artwork as a high resolution PDF file. It’s important that the image is the correct size. If the printer has to stretch your artwork to fit, you’ll get ovals instead of circles and generally a very low quality business card will result. For more information, check out our Help page.
No matter how great the deal looks, don’t be afraid to contact the printer and ask questions!