This post is long only for the purpose of venting, so scroll down for the short version.
First, I called Kinkos (FedEx Office) and was quoted about $30 for 100 color invites.
then I got there, and they said, "no its $.59 each page", which would be $59 for the invites + half that for the RSVPs. Also, he wouldnt be able to print me a proof for about an hour. I decided to call other printing places instead.
Officemax quoted me .49 / page, so overall $15 less than Kinkos. Maybe. Thanks to Google Maps, I realized that Staples does printing also. (And I am always looking for an excuse to go to K station anyway, I thought while they print them, I can go by Michaels.) Over the phone, the girl said they would be 2 for 0.49. because the cardstock I was bringing in was 5.5X8.5. So half the price of Officemax and even less than half of Kinkos.
After arriving at Staples, I learn that the price was misquoted to me, but the manager who was assiting in the copyprint center said that they would honor the price today but for future reference, it doenst matter how big the paper is.
So the copyprint associate who I had spoken with over the phone started working on printing a proof. I could tell off the bat that she didnt really know what she was doing, but for half price, I was willing to be patient. She was in training and even had to ask another associate how to find my memory card files in the computer.
After multiple black and white copies printed on her own paper, she prints a color version. The orange shadow, was yellow. So I try to adjust the color on her computer, but they have a different version of microsoft Word, so that doesnt work. Uhg, so we decide to just go home and adjust the color and come back another day.
Before we left I asked the associate if I would get the price she quoted me, she said, no I thought you would be getting 2 images per page, but these will be $0.49 each, the rsvps would be 2/49 (because i would have had to cut them in half anyway) GRRRR.
I decide to just try printing at home, because even a new ink cartridge for my printer (which I may not even need) wouldnt cost half of that.
So at home, I adjust the color, and do a color trial mock up with my clip art in several versions of orange, then went to go get my printer out of the garage, where its being stored until my apartment is finished.
I cant find it anywhere. Not in the garage, not in the attic, not in the house, not in the new storage space. Not in a boat, not with a goat, not here not there not anywhere... GRRR
The next day, Mikey helps me look and we cannot find it either!?!!?
So I decide to try to print it on Mikeys printer. I printed one and chose which color we liked best. Then after spending way too much time playing with settings, I couldnt get the printer to let me set a custom paper size. And i couldnt trick it by saying the paper was 8.5x11 and just printing on the top half, the paper jammed. GRRRR.
So I call Staples and speak with a manager, I explain what I was quoted originally and why, because the sheets were have the size of a standard paper. She agrees to honor the original half price quote, but she doesnt think that their machines can print on such a small paper. I explain that the manager who had agreed to honor the price the other day, another associate and the one in training all saw my cardstock and no one (of the 3 of them) said it would be a problem at that time, so she agrees its probably fine then.
I get to Staples, and a different associate is working and doesnt think they can print on small cards. But she is willing to try. After trying to no avail to change the printer settings, she calls another manager who says there isnt a way, the machines arent designed for small pages, they will get jammed in the printer. I am amazed that my $30 Walmart printer can handle it but theirs cannot. The manager offers to print 2 images on cardstock and cut them in half, so it will be what I want, kinda, but not use the the fancy invitation kit, I was so happy to have found on clearance, was worthless, except I will use the envelopes. (I also ended up using the rest of the peices for place cards and cupcake labels)
Staple's price on printing on their cardstock is about $0.50 more per page. I think, I bet its way cheaper to buy a ream of cardstock, and have them print on that instead, and it was. I got 250 sheets of cardstock (their smallest package, way more than the 75 I needed) for $15 and gave her the go-ahead to do a proof for me.
After approving the proofs, we can go get us some Jamba Juice while we wait.
I decided to cut them myself because the image ended up being a little smaller than I thought, and I wanted to control how I cropped them.
So because I was able to have 2 images printed on each card, I got the 2/$0.49 price, I just also had to spend the $ on cardstock. I will be able to use the rest of the cardstock for other things, and hopefully I will find my printer eventually and I can use the rest of the cards for the baby announcements or something.
I was happy with one part of the printing. The manager said they couldnt print my favor lables, because the machine heats up the sticker paper and it can come apart and jam up, but the associate felt bad for me, so she said its only a few pages and she is willing to try. She had to adjust the image slightly so that printing wouldnt cut of the edges of some of the labels. She was very nice about doing that. Then she printed them, I only needed 1 of each, but all of them needed to be tweeked a bit. They came out great, the machine didnt jam up or anything. I figured that the machine had a chance to cool off between pages while she tweeked each one.
Long Story Short:
- Dont count on being able to get smaller than standard pages printed professionally, check first.
- dont believe what they tell you over the phone, even when you give very specifically detailed information about what you need.
- and dont get your heart set on something, you may find its easier to give up the idea than to stress of how it just wont work.
- dont expect to get things done the first time, or in a timely fashion, better to assume it will cause a headache, so hopefully you will be pleasently surprised.
- dont wait until the last week to get things done, it will only add to the stress.