Internet Based Printing Shops Give Local Print Houses a Run for Their Money

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As on-line printers compete for jobs, small businesses save time and money.

The same revolution that took place with airlines and travel agents, is now happening in the printing industry

The days of walking into your traditional print shop to get a quote may be a thing of the past. Today, Internet savvy customers can get printing quotes instantly from print shops across the country. Why are businesses willing to let a printer they've never met handle their print job? Because the quote is usually less than half the price and some Internet printers can even ship out the order the next day.

"The same revolution that took place with airlines and travel agents, is now happening in the printing industry," remarked Rob Pittman, CEO of Discount Printing & Graphics (DPG), one of the nations largest Internet based printing companies. "As customers find out that they can get the same high quality product with a much faster turn around time, they have become more receptive to placing their orders on-line." In fact, DPG, which only accepts orders via the Internet, has processed over 61,000 orders within the past year.

Popular print order websites like and, offer an easy to use menu that allows customers to get instant quotes, place orders and track the status of orders without ever leaving their desk or making a phone call. "The ordering system really helps to reduce our customer service costs and that helps keep the price low," noted Sarah Stone, Office Manager for "Many visitors also take advantage of our Live Web Support feature that lets them chat with a customer service rep while they place their order."

But how does it work? First the artwork must be prepared. Don't worry, self service isn't the only option. For those who aren't skilled in the graphic arts, some on-line printers also offer design services. For example, will design and print 2,500 full color business cards for just $85. Next, customers must determine the size and paper, the quantity desired, the shipping method and choose any special options like glossy coatings. Finally, upload the artwork and pay. Almost anything you can get printed locally, can be ordered online from business cards to flyers, posters, postcards, brochures and even vinyl banners and magnetic signs.

Internet printers like and will ship most orders the next day. "It's not always about price. Many customers print with us because of our rapid turn around times. If a customer chooses the airline shipping method, it's possible to place an order today and have it in your hand tomorrow," bragged Rob Pittman. "Next day shipping is almost unheard of with local printers who often take a week or more to print a simple postcard."

Internet printers are able to further lower costs by combining multiple orders onto a single sheet, also known as a "gang-run". At first glance the pricing seems to good to be true. For example, you can get 5,000 full color flyers at for just $200. Yes, that price includes full color on both sides. The down side of gang runs is that color proofs and exact color matching is not available. For the vast majority of customers, that is not an issue.

On-line print houses are a big hit with small businesses thanks to rock bottom prices, excellent customer service and blazing fast delivery, . By riding the current wave of broadband connectivity, printing services are assured a continuing place in the Internet market. The pressure is already on local print shops who may become as scarce as travel agents within the next couple of years.


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