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      November 16, 2018

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Best Graduation

Invitations

  1. Simply to Impress
  2. Storkie
  3. Vistaprint
  4. Snapfish
  5. Mixbook
  6. Tiny Prints
  7. Paper Source

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Tiny Prints vs Paper Source

To help you find the Best Graduation Invitations, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Tiny Prints and Paper Source.

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Get Your Graduation Invitations at Zazzle Today! Congratulations: you've got a graduate to honor and celebrate! Or maybe you're the one who deserves a round of applause for the years of hard work and sacrifice that have led to a long-awaited degree. Whether you're just looking to share the good news or to invite your friends and family to come and share your joy, you'll need a graduation announcement that fits your style and your budget.

Are you looking for something whimsical, to show the graduate's fun-loving personality? Or an invitation that is more on the formal side, particularly for a graduate receiving an advanced degree? Would you like to include photos, maybe ones that were taken for the student's senior year portraits? Whatever the occasion requires, you'll find hundreds of styles of graduation invitations to choose from.

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Best Reviews

2018

Graduation Invitation Reviews

2.5 stars
Tiny Prints

TINY PRINTS Visit Site

If you're familiar with Shutterfly, Wedding Paper Divas, or photo-and-video equipment supplier BL, you may already have heard of TinyPrints. Specializing in invitations, announcements, and other custom-printed materials, this retailer offers an attractive variety of graduation invitations to choose from.

The TinyPrints site makes it easy to sort through the 200+ choices in graduation announcements. Using the options on the left side of the page, you can filter the possibilities according to themes ranging from Floral & Botanical to Typography & Quotes, or by color, collections, trim options, photo orientation, and much more.

Our first indicator that TinyPrints might not be able to compete price-wise was in that filtering section: options for filtering by price only included "$$" and "$$$" choices, and when we sorted all options from lowest to highest price, we found that the lowest-priced invitation was $1.09. And, if you only need 10-20 cards, prepare to pay as much as $4.49 per announcement for the highest-priced option.

On the plus side, there was a coupon code for a 30% discount in the banner at the top of the page, which helps TinyPrints' prices get a little closer to what other stores charge for graduation invitations. Also, on the Shipping details page, the fine print at the bottom mentioned a code that can be used for free shipping on orders of $49 or more.

When will your order arrive? That depends on the complexity of your graduation announcement. Premium cards require more production time, of course, so plan on it taking anywhere from 4-9 business days for Thermography, Letterpress, Laser-Cut and Foil-Stamped invitations.

Unfortunately, TinyPrints has a not-so-great reputation when it comes to quality and customer service. We found dozens of complaints, including the following:

  • "My cards were printed upside-down. TinyPrints refused to give me a refund."
  • "My order was delivered weeks late."
  • "Even with expedited shipping, my cards didn't arrive on time."
  • "My cards were delivered with no envelopes."

In fact, it was challenging to find a review that had positive things to say about the quality of custom cards at TinyPrints, but some customers did have a good experience with announcements and invitations that were delivered as ordered.

TinyPrints has some ground to cover to improve their service and their reputation.

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2.5 stars
Paper Source

PAPER SOURCE Visit Site

With more than a thousand reviews, Chicago-based Paper Source deserves some attention in the custom printing world. Offering personalized gifts, gift wrap, office supplies and calendars, and items that appeal to kids and crafters - all in addition to their selection of graduation announcements and invitations - it's easy to see why customers like shopping at Paper Source.

Paper Source is also one of the few stores in our review that actually has brick-and-mortar locations and isn't just an online service. This could be useful if you feel like you might need a little extra help in designing the right graduation invitations and you happen to live near one of their stores (typically in major metro areas).

Be aware that Paper Source doesn't have as many graduation invitation options as some of the other stores we reviewed - just under 50 designs, with the ability to change the color scheme on select invitations. For that reason, there aren't many ways to sort through your choices: you can filter by type (invitation or announcement), number of photos, or foil stamped varieties. That's it.

We also weren't terribly impressed with Paper Source's pricing, especially when we realized that envelopes were sold separately. You may want to look for extra savings by paying attention to the pop-ups: at the time of our review, Paper Source was offering a discount of 10% for all new subscribers to their mailing list. There was also a banner at the top of the page offering a free shipping upgrade from Standard to Ground.

Production and shipping times also came up short compared with the competition. Even the fastest option, Overnight, still requires 2-4 business days for production time and 1 business day for shipping. Slower options include 2nd Day, Ground, and Standard; these all include 2-4 business days for production and up to 10 business days for delivery. Shipping costs are based on the total of your order, starting at $6.95 for standard and going up to $48.95 for Overnight (which isn't actually overnight, as mentioned earlier).

Finally, while Paper Source does offer a 30-day return policy, it doesn't include any custom printing products - which would include all of the customized graduation announcements on their site.

As we considered the customer feedback for this business, we found many complaints specifically relating to invitations and announcements: Late orders, mistakes made in the design process, and errors in pricing are just a few of the reasons customers were unhappy with their experience. Paper Source appears to excel when it comes to items that are ready-to-buy, but they fall short in delivering quality customized products.

On a more positive note, Paper Source does tend to maintain a Better Business Bureau A+ rating at its individual retail locations.

In the future we hope to see an expanded selection of graduation invitations, along with improvements in customer satisfaction.

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Continued from above

While you may be tempted to run to your local store and buy generic graduation announcements just to save time, buying your invitations online can give you a wide variety to choose from - and with no need to drive around hoping that your nearby brick-and-mortar stores will have something that you like.

In fact, your customized graduation invitations can often be delivered as quickly as the next day if you're in a rush! With such convenience, selection, and affordable pricing, it's no surprise that the majority of today's graduation announcements are purchased from online retailers.

As you start shopping for your graduation invitations, you should keep a few key factors in mind. These include the following:

  • Quality. Not all invitations are printed equal. Does the store use paper that is the right weight for the kind of invitation you're sending (such as photos, or formal)? Also, does the retailer have a solid reputation for invitations that make customers leave positive reviews?
  • Variety. Some stores carry just a handful of styles to choose from, while others may have hundreds - or even thousands! - of options to browse.
  • Cost. While buying graduation invitations online can be very affordable, some sites offer better deals than others. Does the retailer offer any promotions, discounts, or free shipping to help make your order an even better deal? Will you pay extra for envelopes or are they included in the price?

TopConsumerReviews has reviewed and ranked the best graduation invitations available today. We hope this information helps you find the right graduation announcements or invitations to celebrate your graduate's accomplishments!

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