VistaPrint vs. 123Print: Online Printing Review (Print Quality, Delivery and Service)Productivity Tools
As a frequent user of local printing services, I recently decided to give online printing a try. I've heard that you can get good quality prints for great prices, but hadn't yet experienced it first hand. I tried out two of the popular services, VistaPrint and 123Print. In a comparison of two online printing websites, Vistaprint and 123print - I found 123Print to be more customer oriented. Google’s Top 50 Printing comparison rated 123Print as #1 with Vista Print as #2. Vista Print excels in graphic imaging and organization, but 123 Print wins for its prices and fewer advertisements. Though Vista Print advertises itself well, the consumer will soon learn of hidden profit-motivated interests.
Print quality: Winner = VistaPrint
I printed business cards with both VistaPrint and 123Print, and found the cards from VistaPrint to be of slightly higher quality cardstock and color. I've included a couple photos below which show closeups of the VistaPrint business card quality. I found the business cards to be adequately thick and the colors to match very close to the colors on my computer screen. I used the low-cost option here, so I'd imagine that upgrading on quality would mean even better results. Overall, I'm happy with both VistaPrint and 123Print on print quality, but VistaPrint has a slight edge. See more examples of VistaPrint and 123Print print quality.
Homepage and ease of use of website: Winner = VistaPrint
The homepage of VistaPrint is better organized and easier to navigate to specifically what you are shopping for, initially organized into business products and personal products. When you click on a specific product, you are redirected to a page that shows the product’s pricing and specs as to its principle area for an image. It lets you choose from an inventory set up by the website, or you can upload your own image.
The homepage of 123Print is initially confusing to navigate to specifically what you want to purchase. The main products are very disorganized and you are distracted by the flashy special features. However, once you click on the “Products” link in the headliner, they are more evenly spaced out and presented for your navigation.
Uploading your own images: Winner = VistaPrint
VistaPrint's image upload format makes it very easy to upload, crop and rotate your image from your computer. VistaPrint offers clear imagery, as you can how it would look on the finished product, whether it is a pen, baseball cap or magnetic bumper sticker. VistaPrint also warns you if the resolution on your image is low. However, VistaPrint will charge you $4.99 for uploading your image.
The imaging on 123Print is more difficult than on VistaPrint when are you trying to upload your own image. However, they do not charge you for using your own image, so it is probably worth this. 123Print also does not show you how your image would look on its hypothetical finished product.
Checkout process: Winner = 123Print
The biggest downfall about shopping on VistaPrint online printing is trying to finally purchase your product. To sign out, you have to click through five pages of distracting advertisements for other products. There are a few free options, such as free pens and free magnets, which is likely a ploy to get the customers distracted by such advertisements. VistaPrint is also notorious for selling customer credit card information to third parties. Some customers have complained of mysterious credit card charges of $14.95 a month and bad shipping services.
Shipping costs and disclosure: Winner = 123Print
Apart from graphics, 123Print appears less profit-oriented than VistaPrint. 123Print does tell you how much your shipping costs before you make your purchase. While they try to sell you products before check out, it is not to the extent of VistaPrint. The cost of shipping is relatively similar for both sites. There are fewer published consumer complaints about 123Print.
Features and product offerings: Winner = tie
Both sites have similar products options but also their own unique options to offer. VistaPrint offers paper, apparel and accessories. 123Print is more paper oriented, but does have a section for pets, where purchase items such as a dog leash. 123Print also has a feature of Barack Obama products that have a selection of less mainstream photos of our president in his younger years.
Both sites have a feature of business card holders. 123Print has a better selection of business card holders, as they offer pocket options or ones for your desk in assorted colors. VistaPrint only offers a single metallic pocket business card holder, and this site is loaded with links and advertisements of business card printing deals, proving that it is just there to distract people to buy more.
Price and value: Winner = 123Print
123Print ultimately has better options for prices. For a common print product, Matte Business Cards with a blank back, 123Print is cheaper per unit. You also have the option of ordering less bulk. For 123Print, the minimum order is 100, where in VistaPrint you have a minimum of 250. Five hundred cards is $18.95 on 123Print, but $29.99 on VistaPrint. You may be tempted by the free options of VistaPrint at first, but it is a distraction for its higher prices.
Currently active coupon links
Try these links, they are the most recent coupon links which work for discounts at each vendor: