Pros and Cons of Using Commercial Printers

There’s no denying online shopping has been a welcome innovation — instead of having to get dressed and leave the house, we can purchase all of our favorite items right from our bed or sofa. The problem is that most online stores are run through some big, faceless company that just doesn’t give the personal attention of local businesses.

Custom printing jobs are no exception. While commercial printers are an increasingly popular choice for several reasons, there are just as many reasons why they simply don’t hold a candle to local printers. If you’re considering having something professionally printed, read on — we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of using commercial printers below.

Pro: They’re convenient.

Con: They’re impersonal.

One of the best things about a commercial printing company is its convenience. Most have a handy online store that guides you through the design process before landing you at the checkout page. But the downside is that you never see or speak with your printer before purchasing, and even customer service representatives are limited. You don’t get to ask questions before placing your order — you simply send it into the void of the internet and hope for the best.

But nearly every business has a website or web store now, making it convenient to shop online even with local businesses. Even better: Local printing companies like Printing Solutions typically deal with fewer customers at a time than commercial printers, which means you get personal care and attention throughout your order process. You can ask questions along the way and meet with designers and printers before you even purchase their services to make sure it’s the best fit for your job.

Pro: They have a fast turnaround.

Con: They lack quality control systems.

Most commercial printing companies deliver even large orders in a matter of days, while a local printer may take a bit longer to complete a job. If you’re working on a deadline, this is a nice advantage. However, big commercial printers often lack the quality control systems that are in place with local printers. They may not be as willing to refund or reprint a flawed order, and they likely won’t take the same precautions and care as a locally owned company that has developed close relationships with its customers and takes pride in the product it produces.

Pro: They’re affordable.

Con: They’re limited in their selections.

Commercial printers often have much lower prices than local printers, but unfortunately, those prices correlate directly to their selection of available materials. Usually there will be fewer cardstocks and finishes to choose from with a commercial printer, and the sizes may or may not correspond exactly to what you had in mind for the project. A local printer has much more flexibility in the papers available to use, and projects can be customized to any size to suit your printing needs.

With a local printer, you also have the added bonus of being able to see and feel each weight and finish before making a decision. With a commercial printer, you need to make a decision based only on an illustration and written description.

Do you have a printing project you need completed? Let Printing Solutions help! Give us a call at 480-596-6300 to learn more about our products and services.

Andrew Pinch

Andrew Pinch

Andrew has been working in the print industry since 2003, working in prepress, management, and ultimately owner of print shops, including Printing Solutions of Tempe, Arizona. See Andrew's LinkedIn Profile here.