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Local vs Online printing

I was inspired to write this piece after working with a customer that had a not so great experience with an online printing service. They had ordered posters to hand out at an event that they were hosting, only to receive the posters on the day of the event, printed on the wrong stock! Needless to say, they were in a tight spot and needed the posters that day! We produced their posters in a few hours and the crisis was averted. So here's the thing, this was a regular client of ours that thought "We'll just go online and save a few dollars on this project". As it turns out, trying to save a few dollars ended up costing them even more! 

So I wondered, do customers receive as much attention to detail, and help, by going to an online printing company? In the long run, are they actually saving money or do they just assume they are saving money? What are the differences between the brick and mortar shops and online printing?


Which costs more? Online printers market their savings as the number one difference. Pricing is usually the first thought for most customers, but comparing local print shops like ours to online printing is like comparing apples to oranges. Here are some of the differences:

Online Printing – Customers have to submit a PERFECT file. Most online printers may not check the work for mistakes or errors. Knowledge of bleeds, crops and formatting are necessary. The customer must pay for any corrections made to their files if they are found, as well as high shipping costs.

Local Print Shops – Local printers work with customers to make sure the sizing and the layout are correct. At Precision Printing we advise our customers on their files and which materials are right for them. By doing this we ensure the final printed piece is perfect! Then we deliver the project locally for free!


Precision Printing has an expert in-house team with many years in the printing industry. A customer debating on weather to use online or local printing should take into consideration just how complicated the printing process is. The technology is constantly changing, and there are many factors that go into creating a finished piece.

Online Printing –  Most are just order takers with no real knowledge of printing, seldom do they have true print and design experts. There is little guidance and no guarantee the customer will get the results they intended.

Local Print Shops – Have experts that will help inform clients of the process and in turn will save them lots of headaches. Customers have their project on time (at Precision Printing we don't miss deadlines), within their budget and the way they envisioned it.


At Precision Printing customers are people, not orders. Communication is key to strong customer relations. Every order at Precision Printing is handled by our friendly and professional customer service representatives.

Online Printing – All computerized. No one to speak to. No one to help guide a customer thru the process.

Local Print Shops – Real people who work with the customer from start to finish. At Precision Printing, customer satisfaction is our number one priority


Cohesiveness and Consistency are both essential components of corporate branding. Precision Printing ensures all corporate pieces have uniformity in choice of papers, colors and design. We pride ourselves on printing a product that reflects our customer’s vision.

Online – Colors may vary and the paper stocks may vary. A customer doesn’t know what it will look like until it’s delivered. There are no assurances or guarantees.

Local Print Shops – A local shop will keep profiles of each customer’s prior projects on file to assure future printing matches. At Precision Printing we will run press proofs if necessary to make sure the customer gets the "perfect blue". With Precision Printing if a customer wants “peacock green,” they’ll get the peacock green they envisioned!


There’s a saying, “make a product quickly or make a product well, but you can’t have both.” at Precision Printing, that's not the case.

Online – Just because online is open 24/7 doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive your product when you want. Shipping is out of there control.

Local Print Shops – . We prioritize jobs to meet the customer’s needs. In addition, we will deliver it locally for free.


These are all factors when choosing online or local printing. Both have a place in the printing world, but when a customer wants a job done right, it’s probably in their best interest to choose local. When choosing local in Kansas City, choose Precision Printing!


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