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I used VistaPrint, and was happy with them. They used to (may still) offer specials to get you hooked on their cards. I would just keep ordering the max. number of cards allowed at those special prices-- they had the best prices I could find at the time.

I had someone help design my logo locally. Once it was on a disk, I uploaded it, and finished the card design stage at VistaPrint. http://www.vistaprint.com/free-business-cards.aspx

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We're a local business. We send business to other local businesses. These other businesses then send business to us.

It's how small, local businesses thrived before this interweb thingie.

While I can't argue with that, I do remember trying to get full color cards and every local printer wanted 4 to 5 times as much as I could get them for online.

I use GotPrint.com. You can get 5000 very heavy cards, full color, full bleed, glossy front and BW back for under $40 (plus shipping). Really nice quality. I designed them myself using CorelDraw and uploaded them to GotPrint as a PDF file. The extra wording on the back is nice. Quick turnaround both times I have used them. I plan on using them again once I get my license number.

You can see the pdf file I used here...

http://www.prwebworks.com/rainspect/fil ... s-grn2.pdf

( May not be to everyone's taste [:-tong2] )

John, if you have a good logo (or photo) and know what you want the cards to say (front or front & back) I wouldn't mind taking a stab at designing them for you. No charge...I enjoy doing a bit of that stuff. Let me know.

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I used Vistaprint. They have a bank of logos that you can use. I chose one of their logos, chose the colors, font for the text and had them printed.

Generally order 5000 cards at a time. Give them away like candy. I have a direct mail marketing campaign and mail out several hundred cards a week along with personalized letter on letterhead. They also print my letterhead, return address lablels, postcards, and leave behind cards.

Lots of theory about business cards. Many people say the cards must have your picture, full color, and glossy. Some say the back must be blank so people can take notes. Others add stuff to the back to make the cards more informative.

My biggest gripe is the font is always so small you cannot read the phone number. The only thing people want to know is your phone number and maybe email address. Nothing less than 12 pitch for those two items. I believe they are 16 pitch on my cards. Don't need your glasses to read the phone number.

What to include on your cards is a matter of personal taste. I don't have my physical or mailing address. Customers are not going to visit me or mail me anything. They need my phone number, my email, and my website. If they need any other contact information, use the what's on the card to get it.

My card has my name, license numbers, phone number, email, website, and logo in large fonts so is easy to read.

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We're a local business. We send business to other local businesses. These other businesses then send business to us.

It's how small, local businesses thrived before this interweb thingie.

I deal with a local printer. It may cost a touch more than some of the online places, but I have a real person that is responsible for my products. He answers the phone when I call, goes the extra mile when I ask him to, and makes 100% sure I am pleased.

Another benefit to buying local: almost all of his clientele is also local (ie: my market). VistaPrint has never and will never refer inspections to me; I can't say the same about my printer.

-Brad

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A little off the subject, but for some inspiration check out this from Creative Bits:

http://creativebits.org/cool_business_card_designs

...some of the designs here really reinforce the the old saying "You only have one chance to make a first impression". I hope someday to see a home inspectors business card on a list like this...naa, where not that cool, nor do we care to be.

There is an art and science behind business card design that most people would never believe. I only know this because I was involved in the printing business for several years.

I'm sure most, if not all reading this will disagree with this comment but here it goes...HIRE A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER!!!!!!!! Think of it this way, we sit here and tell people all the reasons why they need a professional home inspector and why we think we know more about the business than their uncle bob who was a construction worker for forty-years. Bob however, may have missed the fact that the scorched wires in the Federal Pacific panel are double tapped and the Stab-Loc breakers are dangling from the bus bars...but how did he miss that, it's right in front of his face?

Well guess what...a good designer can look at your business cards and see things that you can't, even though it's in front of your face.

Your business card is the first (and sometimes) the only thing standing between you and your next job, if it doesn't end up in the trash.

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On the subject however, and don't judge them by their name...but perhaps the finest printers you'll find on the internet (or anywhere for that matter) is:

www.printingforless.com

The New York Times wrote a great article about them a few years ago...Google it.

More importantly, they will walk you through the process of four-color printing, a VAST subject! If you need help with this please contact me via my website below.

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I found this Company in Florida called Arranging Pixels. They created an email stationary for me and business cards for both of my companies.

I was very impressed with the quality of the design and the cards. This is one area that you do not want to "go cheap."

I think you can get a fully customized design and 1000 printed business cards for 150.00, which is pretty good considering you get a custom design.

http://www.arrangingpixels.com/product/business_cards/

Hope this helps......

Kevin

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We're a local business. We send business to other local businesses. These other businesses then send business to us.

It's how small, local businesses thrived before this interweb thingie.

I agree with Bill and others about buying local. I like being able to pick up my phone and call my printers whose names are John and Sharron; tell them what I want and they get it for me.

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I, too, am a great believer in buying from my clients. I pay more to my friends, neighbors and cherish that relationship.

I started paying .22cents per card back in the 1980's. They were so damn expensive that several real estate sales people would make photocopies and keep the original. They are a folded style, foil stamp imprints, heavy card stock. Unique. We still use them for everyone and still pay too much for them. I suspect the local printer has referred 50-60 people to us over the years and he has gotten lots of business from us for other business cards. During the first 10yrs of business, I did not have a listed phone number. If you wanted to call us, you had to know someone that had our number or business card.

Focus on the quality of your clientle not the numbers.

I really can't suggest others follow this path.

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While it may seem like a good idea to shop for price in tough times like these, you may want to keep in mind that your local printer is running lean just like the rest of us. By spending a little more at your local guy you improve the odds that he'll be around the next time you need him, and you keep your dollars in your community rather than send them to China, India, or who knows where. It's no different than the price hype that fills the shelves at Big-Box-Mart with crap from overseas transfering our jobs and our money elsewhere. Buy local, you'll feel better in the long run.

Besides, it would be bad form for an HI to hand out cards printed with lead ink on paper that contains sulfur and asbestos, don't ya think?

Tom

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I use Prints Made Easy

Heavy photo grade card stock. I get front and back printing.

I have a good friend who owns a printing company {Business Cards Tomorrow}, he can not provide me with the same photo quality full color card for the price I can get from Prints Made Easy. They are very similar to Vista Print from what I can tell.

I think my last order of 2,500 cards cost right at $105 for full color, front and back delivered to my door step in 3 days.

Plus they have a cute little Monkey that guides you through the process! [;)]

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I made my own design; local printer printed 'em. Same with the brochures. They're obsolete now. I'll be making some new cards for EW work. Most likely, I'll use Microsoft Publisher.

While it's true that a pro designer will probably make a better-looking card than a home inspector, there are some ass-ugly pro-designed business cards floating around. And some even worse brochures.

For those so inclined, there's no reason not to try rolling your own. At worst, you just waste some time and paper.

Hint for those interested: I used public-domain graphics from books and magazines, mostly from 1900-1930. All B&W, no color.

Google "retro clip art."

WJ

Walter,

I'm surprised that you don't know better, but printers HATE Publisher. the file isn't compatable with most of the technology they use and will have to be redisigned or converted to a format they can work with. Photo Shop would be a much better choice.

For those that wish to "roll their own" send your art as a PDF, your printer will thank you for it.

Tom

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I made my own design; local printer printed 'em. Same with the brochures. They're obsolete now. I'll be making some new cards for EW work. Most likely, I'll use Microsoft Publisher.

For those so inclined, there's no reason not to try rolling your own. At worst, you just waste some time and paper.

WJ

I rolled my own with publisher and they came out great. When I needed more, I decided to try a local printer thinking he'd scan it or something like that. He butchered it.

Either way, I believe it's a good idea to do as much biz locally as I can.

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FYI, very few "local" printers have the ability to print business cards. They job them out to large printers, many are listed in this thread. My friend that owns the BCT franchise in MS is only a wholesale printer. He deals directly with local print shops in nine states, 90% is via the Internet.

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Scott,

My cards are printed somewhere in Kansas, foil stamped in Chicago and delivered to my printer in Owosso, Michigan. They call me, I pay them, they buy houses and I inspect those houses!

You know I could have them done cheaper. I like them. I go to church with some of their employees. Heck, I even dated one of the office girls twenty years ago!

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Scott,

My cards are printed somewhere in Kansas, foil stamped in Chicago and delivered to my printer in Owosso, Michigan. They call me, I pay them, they buy houses and I inspect those houses!

You know I could have them done cheaper. I like them. I go to church with some of their employees. Heck, I even dated one of the office girls twenty years ago!

I know, I like using local folks as well when I can.

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