I start a quest to find the best online printing service for making a good official Pepper&Carrot mug. In the long term? Not only a mug but setting a good eshop with coaster, magnet, mousepad, tee-shirt...etc... Yes, this is the start of the quest for the official Pepper&Carrot eshop!
This tests cost me money as I have to purchase the printed tests objects myself, and also take me time. It's a long term goal, and the eshop will not happen anytime soon: I need to wait for delivery, and test the product within a minimum time period (I'm trying to scratch print, boiling print, putting inside hot program of the cleaning washing machine ). But this effort is the price to pay to do things right and get good quality goodies. Something I want for Pepper&Carrot. My requirements are simple, all I need is :
- Good products ( eg. the mug itself )
- Good quality, resolution and robust print, conform to the picture
- Easy and user friendly printing service webpage
- A way to setup for the creator the product and earn a little bit on sharing the design
- Interesting final price for the customer
- Low and fast delivery price worldwide
First test: Vistaprint
Period: October/November 2015.
Object: A mug
Why: the service 'Vistaprint' was legit to test in first in my point-of-view: it's a cheap online printing service. Pros:
- The shipping packaging is resistant to any shock and the delivery was fast.
- The ink/varnish is stong to resisted to all my test so far.
- Color are good, and conform to the design and no color lost for the moment.
- The mug itself is pleasant with a basic rounded shape and feel robust.
- The price was cheap ( less than 10€ in Europe ). Cons:
- The print is also too blury and too grainy, no sharp details. ( The file sent was a lossless PNG 600dpi, 3400x3400 , enough big to print on a truck ) It feels like if it was made with a home printer Inkjet from the 90's
- Vistaprint spam marketing after a purchase
- Vistaprint website is really a marketing gate to hell ( fake promo period, trying to propose always ten product unwanted, add hidden cost on the way so the price tag looks nice at first but it cost a lot at end )
- The design is not protected, and Vistaprint feels like they own it after a usage (mine are CC-By, it's fine, they 'own' it as everyone)
- Not possible to setup a 'eshop' with my design and earn a little bit on it.
I wouldn't recommends Vistaprint's service. I also purchased 100 postcards the same day, and the postcards are not thick enough and haven't got any guidelines printed on the back ( for the stamp, adress, etc ). It feels really cheap quality. I wouldn't say it's totally money wasted, but just really low quality compare to the price tag. I also was disappointed by the website and aggressive email marketing. It wasn't a nice experience to make a purchase on their platform. I'll not use this service to setup a Pepper&Carrot eshop!
Next test :
I setup a mug on deviantArt eshop here , the price is a bit higher and with the shipping oversea it's not a good deal for europeans and I guess africans and asians. I'll purchase one to see the result and I'll update this page as soon as I'll be done with all my test. If you also want to do it or have a recommendation ; let me know in the comment !