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Cheap Business Cards – Can They Do Your Business More Harm Than Good?

85mm x 55mm is a standard size for business cards. Cheap business cards tend to be printed on low-quality 250gsm (grammes per square metre) board.

For most quality conscious people this standard is just not good enough as the cheap card will in no way reflect the quality aspect of their own trade or business. A good quality average weight to aim for would be 335/350gsm with a 400gsm card being an ideal weight limit for a standard business card. Some companies will offer a 400gsm card as a minimum standard as they know the customer will be happy with the card quality.

Not all business card suppliers are the same though. Buying cheap business cards has the potential for things to go not as planned.

In any card printing process there are a few things that can spoil the job, no matter how much money you’re paying.

e.g. Printing a job ‘out of register’ can cause ugly effects on your business cards.

Ink, when not applied correctly can cause your job to look pretty awful.

Incorrectly aligned cards on the printing press will cause problems at the trimming stage. The problem will definitely show on some, if not all of the cards when you receive them.

Spot colour inks, if not mixed correctly will often spoil a job.

It’s imperative the guillotining is done accurately also, as the slightest wrong cut will often ruin a nicely printed job.

Cutting cards before they’ve had a chance to dry thereby offsetting ink onto other cards is a common issue.

Unless suitable quality control is evident there are many processes that can mean the difference between a top quality job and one that’s only fit for the bin. Don’t believe everything you read as online marketing can be quite deceiving. Find a suitable print supplier, stick with them and your risks will be minimised. Switching from one printer to another, chasing the cheapest price for your business cards will probably end in tears! Remember, the cheaper the price the more corner cutting will need to take place.

Whether you choose a cheap business card supplier or not, there are still some issues that can arise.

Many printers go out of business for selling too cheaply, meaning you have to start the whole buying process again with someone you don’t know.` The poor old client who thought he was getting a great deal is now faced with paying a realistic price.

Another often overlooked problem is your printer, once gaining you as a client, pushing up prices to try and gain back what’s been lost in the early print orders. The print business is rife with printers offering prices below cost, often just before they go bust forever leaving you high and dry.

If your printer is a cost-cutter then something has to give, and far too often it’s quality. Quality control is an essential ingredient of a professional print service. Cheap business cards means the printer has to get them out of the door as soon as possible, which inevitably means a lack of quality checking time.

Many printers view business cards as a loss leader, especially those sold very cheaply and often will try to get their money back by upping the prices of their other products.

As with most things in life, you only get what you pay for so tread sensibly when buying print. A professional printing company may charge you a little more, but you’ll be in good hands and may even save money in the scheme of things.

With many cheap business card services, the onus is on you the customer to provide artwork at the correct print resolution which is exactly why many people end up being disappointed with the end product. It’s not going to cost an arm and leg to find a suitable printing company. We’ve seen so many disappointed people over the years who’ve bought on price alone.

Cheap often means you’re not getting good value.