Any business that needs a label printing partner these days is spoilt for choice to say the least – finding one you can actually rely on by contrast isn’t always so easy. The reason for this is pretty easy to grasp and centres on the fact that anyone with a few quid to spare can pick up a printer, load up on ink and build a basic website to sell their ‘professional’ printing services. At the same time, it’s just as easy for anyone to set up a site, pretend to be a printer and summarily send all orders onto an actual printing house, but not after bumping up the price for their own good.
It all sounds like a bit of a minefield and indeed it can be, but at the same time is also pretty simple to traverse. As is the case with most online businesses, those that are in any way dodgy or not to be trusted generally give themselves away with a few tell-tale clues the likes of which are hardly hidden.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the dead-giveaways to be on the lookout for:
First up, the biggest giveaway of a middleman masquerading as a printing service is a website that doesn’t seem to communicate a great deal of information on anything relevant. Yes, they take queries and offer quotations, but if the only way to find anything out is to get in touch, there’s a good chance your communications are being relayed elsewhere. A genuinely professional label printer’s website should be richly populated with interesting and relevant content covering all important areas of the subject, largely proving the authority and specialism of the business behind it.
Missing Office Address
A reputable printing house will be more than happy to print the address of its operational offices and perhaps even the premises on which the labels are printed. By contrast, those that consist of individuals trying to make a little money on the side will feature no address at all, a standard residential address or something of a PO Box number. If the office doesn’t have its own dedicated bricks-and-mortar address, you can usual conclude with a 99% degree of accuracy that the printing house in question is bogus.
Mobile Phone Numbers, Webmail Addresses
Still on the subject of contact details, it’s also important to make sure that the third-party you’re looking to do business with can be easily contacted and by a reliable means. A mobile phone number means nothing these days – a SIM card can be picked up for 99p and even then there’s nothing to say it’ll be used by its owner. The same also goes from standard web-based email addresses like those of Gmail, which are largely anonymous and easy for fraudsters to set up. By contrast, a landline telephone number or two coupled with a dedicated business email domain represents a much more reassuring bet.
Sample Runs Unavailable
If you’re eventually looking to place orders for hundreds, maybe even thousands of digital labels on an on-going basis, it really isn’t too much to ask to expect a free sample or two prior to locking in an order. For a professional printing house, free samples cost pennies to run off and yet are at the same time crucially powerful marketing tools. As such, when and where any printing house seems unwilling or reluctant to offer any such thing, this is usually a good indication that they’re either not all-that proud of their work or would quite like to run away with your money…or both.
No Promises of Perfection
One of the easiest checks of all to make is that in relation to promises – what guarantees are offered in terms of quality, price and general satisfaction? Any business that’s worth dealing with these days is willing to put its money where its mouth is, which in turn means that those willing to do no such thing are wholly not worth the risk. If what they do is really top-notch and in line with what you’re looking for, why the reluctance to guarantee results?
Questionable or Missing Feedback
Last but not least, there’s really nothing more important than validating the claims of the service provider ahead of time by looking into how they’ve performed when put to the test by past and present clients. Any business that operates online these days cannot avoid the power of consumer reviews, which are effectively the only genuinely impartial sources of information available. Look for strong, abundant and freely available feedback – anything to the contrary is unacceptable.