With the constant boom of technology, you can find almost anything online these days. But it doesn’t mean to say they’re all legitimate. Unfortunately, not everything you find online is trustworthy. While there are millions of businesses with products and services on the World Wide Web that are genuine, it’s not always easily distinguishable as to who the good guys (and the bad guys) are.

When it comes to printing needs, it’s imperative to find a company that’s high in quality and cost effective. Especially if it’s for business purposes – marketing materials really do become the face of your business. And printing quality can say a lot about the services and products you offer. Here are a few tips you should be implementing when searching for a legitimate printing company online.

Portfolio of Previous Work

A legitimate printing business will happily show off their previous work. Their website should act as an online portfolio of satisfied clients and showcase what they’ve done in the past to give you a good idea on the quality of work produced. Images showing examples of work should be clear and easy to find. If you don’t find anything on their website or social media accounts, it can be a warning sign the business is dodgy. Don’t be afraid to ask to see their portfolio of work if you can’t find anything. Your chosen printing company should be transparent about their printing services and previous work produced.

Check – and Double Check Contact Details

Whereabouts is the company situated that you’re dealing with? An authentic printing business will have their address clearly advertised on the website. Contact phone number and office should also be displayed so you can easily get into contact with them for an order update or to ask any questions.

You should check the office address on Google Maps to ensure that the premises actually exist at the advertised address. This can be a huge giveaway whether the company you’re dealing with is trustworthy or not. Be wary of commercial printing companies listed at a home address or a small office space. Generally, this will mean they’re a printing broker and outsource jobs to a third party. Because they receive a cut from the total price, this can mean you’re not getting the best price and service. Quality control can be easily jeopardised with third party printing jobs and the turnout time will be longer.

Effective Communication

Customers will always prefer dealing with a company that maintains effective communication. Once you’ve found the contact details on the website, try contacting them before you process a job to ensure details are correct. This provides the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you may have and see how responsive they are back. You should feel comfortable you can get hold of relevant staff to monitor how the job is going and talk to a real person if there are any problems with the order.

Customer Testimonials

Just like the importance of seeing previous work, customer testimonials will give you a good feel about the business you’re dealing with. Most reputable printing companies will happily show off their testimonials on their website. Check Google ratings and reviews to see what’s been written about the company too. If you can’t find anything on their website, social media channels can be a great place to see what others have said. Don’t be afraid to ask the company too for customer testimonials.

Company Brief

The website of a legitimate printing company will have an ‘about us’ section with a company brief. You should be able to find out how long the company has been operating for, with a brief history and introduction to the key staff. This is one of the best ways to put a face to a trustworthy business. Most people like to know who they’re dealing with before they hand over money, so this section is important.

Website Security

If a website isn’t secure, no potential customer is going to feel good about handing money over for a service. Look for printing companies online that have extra security. A good way to tell this is in the URL address. HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) ensures all communication between your browser and the website is secure and encrypted. Websites that are accepting money online for business should always have the S to show its secure. This will allow you to feel more comfortable about going through with online transactions. Check payment methods the company offers online too for a secure payment portal like PayPal or Stripe.

About the Author:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for G Force Printing – a Perth based printing company with over 20 years’ experience specialising in corporate printing, design, print services and finishing. You can catch her on Google+.