Back in the early 1990’s when I went into the sign printing business, all you needed was a vinyl plotter and you could open a banner printing shop. In fact, guys were making great money hanging out a banner for their stores.
One store, as a matter of fact, was a significant reason my Dad and I decided to go into this business in 1991. One frigid January morning, my Dad went to pick up some cut vinyl from a shop he did a lot of business with. It was about 8:15 a.m., and so he walked up to the glass door, and the window sign said that they weren’t open until 8:30 a.m.
My Dad could see the owner through the window, so he knocked on the window and motioned to the owner who nodded back that he saw my Dad…but left him standing there in the cold winter air for 15 minutes until the clock read exactly 8:30 a.m. If you knew my Father, he despises poor customer service, and thrived in his businesses by customer satisfaction, no matter what the business was.
He was not happy…he said to me, “If this is the best customer service available in this business, let’s give clients better!” So we did. We opened our own shop later that year, in the fall of 1991, and our customers loved our customer service.
Why All Banner Printing Shops Are NOT Equal – Purchasing a Banner Online
So, what was it that they liked? If we were there, we were open, even if it was midnight (and sometimes it was). Our customers were treated like family…the door was always open, the phone was always answered (or if it wasn’t we got back to them quickly), and we priced our products competitively.
In the late 90’s, though, the sign industry began to shift from the vinyl cutter-plotter to the digital inkjet printer. At first, only some of the bigger shops could afford them, but as the prices came down in the following decade, more and more were able to afford to purchase or lease these printers.
We were among the few who purchased digital printers initially about the end of the 20th century, and we quickly learned that our customers still valued our friendly service and completing projects on schedule more than any other aspect of who we were.
Is the Cheapest Shop Where You Should Purchase a Banner?
So, let’s say you go online to a banner printing shop to purchase one, whether vinyl or fabric, vinyl-lettered or digitally printed, solvent ink printed or dye-sublimation printed, who will you choose to purchase from and what goes into your decision to buy from a company. Cost, of course, is important. However, there are some very cheap suppliers that I ignore in favor of one with good value and great customer service.
I personally look for companies who stand behind their product as my top priority – pricing is important or I don’t remain competitive, but if there’s a problem, and there always could be, how will they react. I purchase some of our products pre-printed and re-sell them. I only use wholesalers who stand behind what they’ve sold me or my client. On one occasion, before we had a wide format printer, I outsourced 20 banners that were 20 feet long by 8 feet tall to a company that I had worked with for a short period of time. They shipped the banners directly to my client who was unhappy with the print quality. The company that had printed them re-printed the entire lot at their cost, no questioned asked except “what can we do to make the banners acceptable this time?”
So, when you’re looking for a banner printing shop, look for a good price, certainly, but don’t forget to find out what kind of people are working for or running the company. The few dollars you saved on the front-end could be a nightmare on the back-end. Learn more about banner graphic displays here.
Do you have your own methods in choosing a quality banner shop? Tell us about it in the comment form below.