Vistaprint Free Business Cards? 500 for $10 is Better, Here’s My Review

Vistaprint Free Business Cards? 500 for $10 is Better, Here’s My Review

Posted on 10/10/2016 by | 0 comments

Vistaprint’s free business cards look cheap; spend $10+ instead – I’m in the middle of developing an online shop to sell my cat-related t-shirt designs, so I figured I’d invest the $10 + shipping in having 500 business cards made to market my online store. Here’s my review, plus a link to their “500 business cards for $9.99 + Shipping” coupon:


vistaprint business cards sample

Why paying $10 is better than free business cards: my review

logo vistaprintI’ve ordered business cards through Vistaprint a couple of times before, but never to specifically promote a website or online store. In this case I wanted the cheapest business cards possible without looking or feeling cheap.

I went with their ongoing 500 business cards for $10 promotion because it is slightly more expensive than Vistaprint’s 100 free business cards promotion, but noticeably better quality. In fact, the free business cards are “economy,” which means the paper is cheaper, and the design selection is limited.

That’s a bad first impression to make with potential clients or customers. I sell t-shirts at my online shop, so I don’t want people thinking they are also cheaply printed!

In this case I used a 300 dpi version of one of my t-shirt designs, and formatted it for the vertical 3.5×2″ size of their Standard business cards. I also chose a matte finish, as I wanted a vintage look. Glossy might be appropriate for certain designs or photos, but I usually go with matte.

*Their “Signature” business cards are a little heavier, but cost about $5 more. For my purposes I wanted the cheaper option, as I plan to just festoon these around the city. (Even for this purpose, I chose to avoid their free business cards.)

I had no need to print on the back of the cards, so my order total was $13 for 500 standard business cards after using the ongoing 500 business cards for $10 coupon – better than free!

Vistaprint Business Cards Quality & Shipping Speed

Wondering how long it takes for the shipping of Vistaprint’s business cards? Their cheapest shipping option (economy) took exactly 8 days and look great! Check out the photo above of these sample business cards, as they really capture the color and sharp detail of my design.

Some of the cards printed about 1/16 of an inch off-center, but they mention that your design should be in the “safety zone” as it might shift by a small amount horizontally or vertically.

These business cards are great! 5 stars for the $13 total price. If you want you can upgrade and spend more on Signature business cards or ultra-thick which cost a lot more.

vistaprint business cards coupon

Free business cards to promote an online store / shop?

I used to imagine business cards as what people passed around at industry events, or left behind as contractors. However, if you have a website or online store, they can be so much more!

If you do any online marketing whatsoever, you are probably familiar with paying for clicks on Google and Facebook. If you have a budget for this type of advertising, please consider supplementing it with business cards!

How Business Cards are Like Online Clicks, But Cheaper

In my own online advertising experience, it’s costing me upwards of 20 cents per click to advertise my website to people categorized as “cat owners.”

I’m quickly realizing that this math doesn’t work to my advantage, as I only make $5 on the sale of a t-shirt. There’s just no way a high percentage of people are going to take out their wallet and buy a t-shirt, so I need to find a cheaper way to get people to my online store.

While I work on ways to bring this cost per click way down, I’m printing 500 business cards for some guerilla marketing. Vistaprint offers 500 business cards for $10 + $3 shipping, so the cost of each business card is less than 3 cents each.

Like online clicks they deliver information for a brief moment with the hope of hooking a customer. While online advertising has many advantages, a business card is tangible, and doesn’t disappear into the ether once that moment has passed.

If you cross paths with your potential audience at any time, consider printing cheap business cards that get attention and send people to your online store or website!


vistaprint banner coupon
I’ll bet you don’t click on this banner!

Online Banner Ads are a Waste; Review Making A Small Investment In Cheap Business Cards Instead

I paid $50 to run a banner ad on a blog that got a decent amount of traffic. Bottom line: I sold 3 t-shirts from banner clicks. That ended up being a $35 loss to run a banner ad!

I read somewhere that you can only expect to make a single sale for every 5 thousand or so impressions that a banner makes. Unless your banner ad is really targeted, that’s a waste of time and money.

For my shop, imagine how much more effective a little stack of business cards would be if left at a cat cafe, coffee shop, or pet store!

Vistaprint Business Cards for an Etsy Shop, CafePress Shop, Zazzle Store, eBay Store, or T-Shirt Store

If you have an online store, you’re probably trying to market your unique designs or products. This greatly increases the odds that you have some kind of design experience, or at least the ability to photograph your products close up.

Tip: Consider zooming in on your best design or product, add your URL, and print it on a business card? Make sure your image is really sharp and high-resolution!

These potentially catchy business cards can be stuck in lots of locations; either one at a time, or even fanned out or stacked in strategic places.

Example: I go to a dog park every other week, which is a very social environment. That would be a great place to hand out a business card. You’re not limited to dog products in that environment either. Maybe you just mention during conversation that you have a side-business, like an Etsy store, which would be a great time to whip it out. (a business card)

I have also propped up business cards on signs, wedged them into the side of bulletin boards, or any little corners where they might get noticed.

Idea: Not only can business cards help you hook potential new customers, but existing customers as well. I recommend including at least one business card in the packaging of all orders that you mail  out. Your customers might hold onto it, or even pass it on to a friend.

I Recommend an Easy To Remember Domain Name on Your Business Card

There are a number of venues that make having an online store simple: eBay, CafePress, Zazzle, Etsy, etc. – The problem is that your actual store is probably going to be hosted by them, making your URL potentially too long.

If your URL looks something like “cafepress.com/my_brand_name”, consider buying a domain name that is easier to remember. If you aren’t interested in developing a separate website, then consider just bouncing the domain to your main store page.

In other words, if you buy “mybrandname.com” through GoDaddy for $10 per year, you can specify that it automatically redirects or “forwards” people to your actual store at no extra cost. Not a bad investment for $10 per year.

So Many Ideas for Using Business Cards to Market a Website or Online Store!

There are a number of great resources out there that list creative ideas for using business cards to market your store, but I’d just recommend the following in summary:

  • A catchy “hook“: a design featuring a head-turning product photo or example of your favorite design
  • No more than one one line of text or it will be too crowded
  • Your easy to remember domain name
  • Printing on the back of the business card may cost more
  • Try 500 business cards first at 3 cents per card
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