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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.
Whether your style is traditional of off-the-wall, you will absolutely find something that fits what you're looking for at Zazzle. They specialize in customized items ranging from graduation, bridal, and birthday invitations to gifts for people of all ages and interests. With a mind-blowing selection of more than 30,000 invitation cards, graduation announcements, and even RSVP cards, Zazzle blows the competition out of the water in both selection and pricing.
With so many possibilities, you'll definitely want to use the options on the left-hand side of the page to narrow down what you're looking for. You can filter the available graduation invitations by the following categories:
If you feel overwhelmed by all of those possibilities, check out the very top option: Editors' Picks, marked by a gold star ribbon. There, you'll find about 50 graduation invitations and announcements that have been personally selected by Zazzle's editors for quality of design and overall value.
Even though their prices are already reasonable - most invitations are priced between $1.75 to $3 per card for orders of 25 or less, and discounts ranging from 15-50% for larger orders - Zazzle is really eager to save you even more money. Be sure to check out the top of the page for any available promotions and/or discount codes; at the time of our review, for example, they had a sale of up to 50% off on Gifts and Celebration Essentials, along with a code for a 15% discount sitewide.
Need to know how fast your order will be delivered? You'll find that right at the top of every graduation invitation page. The default view will tell you how soon it will arrive if you choose Express delivery, and when you select "Shipping Options" you can enter your ZIP code and see the estimated dates for Standard and Premium delivery as well.
For example, with an order placed on a Saturday, we were given delivery estimates of 4 days for Express, 6 days for Premium, and 10-11 days for Standard. Also, if you anticipate ordering regularly from Zazzle, they also have a membership program known as Z Black: the Standard program offers unlimited free standard shipping for $9.95 per year, while the 2-Day program gives you unlimited 2-day shipping on all qualifying products for a yearly cost of $39.95.
What you'll really love about Zazzle is their iron-clad commitment to customer satisfaction: "If you don't love it, we'll take it back." Regardless of the reason, you can return your order for a replacement or refund within 30 days of delivery - even customized items like graduation invitations! Customers are responsible for the costs of return shipping and do need to contact the Customer Support Department to start the process.
This promise of excellent customer service is well-kept: at the time of our review, Zazzle maintained an A+ rating as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. Also, we found hundreds of reviews from happy shoppers who praised Zazzle for their helpful customer service representatives, fast delivery, and high-quality invitations and other products.
Incredible selection, affordable pricing, and a stellar customer satisfaction reputation: what more could you want in a store offering graduation invitations? For that reason, Zazzle earns our highest rating and is our top choice for all of your graduation announcement needs.
Simply to Impress is the best announcement and invitation company you've never heard of. Started in 2003 with the purpose of delivering quality cards that convey style and uniqueness - at prices the everyday shopper can afford - this retailer has grown to be a top pick for your graduation invitations. Their selection also includes Baby & Kids, Weddings, Holiday, and Stationery
With almost 500 graduation invitations and announcements to choose from, you should have no problem choosing a classic, quirky, or trendy card that showcases your graduate. On the main graduation announcement page, you'll want to sort through the options using the left-hand filter choices:
The design process is almost mistake-proof. If you forget to change the text from the sample invite, you'll get a pop-up asking you if you meant to do that (you probably didn't!). You'll get a real-time view of your design as you create it, and with each step you'll be notified of any options you might like to select, such as adding a double-sided card rather than a single-sided design.
Prices at Simply to Impress are affordable on purpose. Although the site doesn't let you sort through invitations by price, you can easily see how much the announcement you're considering will cost. As you would expect, the price does depend on the options you select, such as classic vs. premium cardstock and foil options. And, as with most retailers of graduation invitations, you save more money on larger orders.
If you're not sure what you need, you can click the "Help me decide" link, where you'll find a description of the choices (like matte vs. satin), or click on the lower right-hand corner "Live Chat" button. We found their support representatives to be cheerful and very knowledgeable.
One option we love about Simply to Impress is the ability to have the envelopes pre-stamped and addressed - even the return address. You'll pay around $0.38 to have the envelopes addressed and $0.49 for the stamp - and while you can enter your recipients' addresses manually, it's easy to use your own .xls or .csv files uploaded directly to the site.
Keep an eye out for deals, too. When we shopped at Simply to Impress, there was a sitewide sale offering 30% off on all orders, and we found lots of customer reviews talking about similar promotions at other times of the year (think Christmas cards, baby showers, and so on). Those discounts do apply to the addressing service, giving you even more savings and convenience.
How fast do you need your graduation invitations? If you can wait the standard 2-4 business days, you'll pay a flat rate of $8.75, regardless of the size of your order. Expedited shipping (2 business days) costs $15, and Overnight (1 business day) costs $23. Simply to Impress does offer separate Rush and Lightning printing services, but those are not available for any foil stamped or folded cards.
This store's return policy is excellent. If you're unhappy with your order for any reason, you can return your graduation invitations within 30 days of delivery and get a full refund or a replacement - whichever you prefer.
Customers have plenty of praise for Simply to Impress, both for the quality of the designs and the printing itself, along with their excellent service. This retailer also maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review.
For all of these reasons, Simply to Impress earns an outstanding rating and should be on your list of stores to consider for your graduation invitations and announcements.
You might guess that Storkie started out as a baby stationery company, given the name. In business for nearly 30 years, this retailer carries a wide range of invitations, announcements and cards, including events for Baby, Weddings, Holidays, Parties, and Religious occasions.
Although the selection is smaller than some of the retailers we reviewed - about 130 styles to choose from - Storkie's graduation invitations had some clever options we didn't see in other stores, like magazine cover styles and cute cartoons. Use the "Narrow Your Search" filter selections on the left side of the page to sort through what's on offer according to the following criteria:
Once you've chosen a design that you like, you'll see any available options on the right-hand side of the page. Extra charges are clearly shown, so you'll know exactly how much you'll pay to upgrade from recycled card stock to pearlized shimmer card stock, or to add rounded corners. This is also where you change your color options, if available.
We did find Storkie to be a little more spendy than some stores selling graduation invitations. For example, the least-expensive graduation announcement we saw on the site - a simple postcard design with no photos or added finishes - was priced at $1.39 per card. There are also no discounts for larger card orders, so whether you're placing the minimum order of 10 cards or a super-size order of 1000, you'll still pay the same price.
But, you get some advantages with that higher price that other stores may not offer. For example, we found many reviews raving about the personalized attention given to each and every order. No matter what kind of graduation announcement you choose, your order will be reviewed by Storkie's professional typesetters, making sure that the final product is as close to perfect as possible.
Also, most orders placed before noon (Monday through Friday) will be printed and shipped by the next business day - without having to pay any rush charges or extra fees. Finally, cream or white envelopes appear to be included with every order; you'll only pay extra if you want envelopes that have a colored inner lining.
Other available services include return and/or recipient address printing and stuff-stamp-send. You do have to enter your recipients' names and addresses individually; Storkie does not yet allow for an import of contacts files.
At the time of our review, Storkie was offering free shipping on orders of $79+, so be sure to check the top of the page for any promo codes that might be valid at the time of your purchase. You'll want to take advantage of any shipping discounts offered, to save some money: starting at $10.95 for UPS Ground up to $39.95 for UPS Overnight delivery of orders under $50, Storkie's shipping fees are on the high side.
What about returns? If you are unsatisfied with the quality of your graduation invitations, Storkie will immediately fix the error and send you a reprint. This store was also the only one we found that offered an "empathy discount" for reprints to fix errors on the customer's side: spelling error, wrong address, day/date/venue change, and so on. However, because there's no "for any reason" return policy, customers should definitely take advantage of the digital proofs offered by Storkie, to ensure that the product is exactly what they wanted before placing the order.
Although Storkie is on the expensive side, their excellent reputation for high-quality, professionally-proofed graduation announcements might make it worth the extra money for customers who want a unique, flawless card to honor their graduate.
Although Vistaprint is known as a retailer of marketing products - business cards, signs and posters, and so forth - they also carry an extensive variety of personalized cards and invitations for non-business customers.
To use Vistaprint for your graduation invitations, start by filtering your options using the left-hand side of the page. Unfortunately, the site doesn't allow you to sort by style; you're limited to narrowing down the choices according to size, orientation, color, and logo/photo options, so you'll have to scan through the filtered results to find the style that you're looking for.
Vistaprint's selection of graduation invitations and announcements is decent, with just under 200 design options. You won't find the finishes and upgrades available at many stores - no gold foil or rounded edges, for example. Vistaprint does allow you to work with one of their professional designers to adapt a template to meet your particular needs, and there is a fee of $5 for the service.
Vistaprint's prices are competitive with similar products sold by other companies. With a minimum order of 10 cards, shoppers should expect to pay somewhere between $0.52 and $0.73 per announcement, depending on the size of the order. Although there are no design upgrades like foil or laser-cutting, customers can upgrade the paper quality; this option is found during the checkout process and includes choices such as linen finish and premium glossy. Standard white envelopes are included, and personalized matching envelopes with printed return addresses are available for an extra fee (approximately $42 for 100 envelopes).
One big plus with using Vistaprint is their "Absolute Guarantee". If you aren't completely satisfied with your order, for any reason, they'll make it right - even if that means giving you a full refund instead of a reprint.
Shipping costs at Vistaprint are also more reasonable than some of their competitors. The most you'll pay for economy shipping is $9.99 for orders over $100, and $24.99 for Express shipping on orders of that size. How quickly will your graduation invitations be delivered? For most orders placed before 6PM Eastern, delivery ranges from 3-8 business days, depending on the delivery speed selected at checkout.
And, Vistaprint's reputation for customer satisfaction is fantastic. With an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars across hundreds of reviews, it was easy to find customers giving the company high marks for attention to detail, orders delivered on time, and helpful customer service representatives.
Although their selection of graduation invitations is not as fancy as some other retailers, Vistaprint is a trustworthy choice for basic announcements and cards.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Snapfish has been delivering photos and photo-related products for over 15 years. Their graduation invitations and announcements are exclusively photo-based and are part of their overall selection of photo products such as mugs, t-shirts, and more.
To start your search for the perfect photo graduation invitation, make sure to check the boxes for both Graduation Announcements and Graduation Invitation. You'll get more than 200 results to choose from, so don't miss the small "Open filters" option in blue - that gives you the ability to sort through your choices according to the number of photos, the orientation of the card as well as the orientation of the photo(s), and color.
Because Snapfish's graduation announcements are limited strictly to photo styles - no fancy foils or other premium treatments - pricing is affordable and easy-to-understand. Sold only in sets of 20, you can choose among the following options:
How long will it take to get your graduation announcements from Snapfish? If you choose Standard shipping via USPS, plan on it taking up to 8 business days. Ground shipping via UPS or FedEx will shorten your delivery time to 6 business days or less. And, if you're in a bigger hurry, there are 2-day and Overnight options available as well. Shipping costs vary according to the number of 20-card sets you order. One set of 20 ships for anywhere from $5.99 to $12.99, and naturally the cost increases with the number of sets purchased.
Customer experience with Snapfish is a mixed bag. Some people rave about fast delivery and great quality, while an equal number of shoppers complain that the cards they ordered weren't printed well or that they were delivered late. Snapfish's returns policy is also not as strong as some of the higher-rated stores in our review: you can request a refund if you're unsatisfied with your order because of damage, defects, or a quality issue, but there's no guarantee that they'll give you a refund. You may be given a replacement order instead, and it's at Snapfish's discretion.
Snapfish's variety of photo graduation invitations is solid but may disappoint customers looking for higher-end options.
In business for just over 10 years, Mixbook allows customers to design fully-customizable photo products ranging from cards and invitations to calendars and wall canvases.
Looking for cards to honor your graduate? Be aware that Mixbook has two separate categories: Graduation Invitations and Graduation Announcements. You can't see both types of product on one page, so you may need to switch between the two in order to find exactly what you're looking for. There are about 150 announcement designs and 90 invitation designs to choose from.
With either category, you can use the left-hand filter options to sort by style, photo orientation, color, size, shape (square or round), and number of photos.
Don't forget to check the top of the page for any available discounts. At the time of our review, there was a promo code for discounts of up to 50%. In general, Mixbook's prices tend to be higher than other retailers. There's no minimum order, so if you really just want to order one card, you can. typical prices range from $2.29 for a single card to $1.09 for orders of 250 or more.
We were a little confused by their advertised pricing; on one basic invitation we considered, it said "As low as $0.89" but even with an order of 500 cards (the highest order quantity available) the price didn't go below $1.00. With no option to sort by price, there was no way to know which graduation announcements and invitations were available for that amount.
What about shipping costs and delivery times? Mixbook typically delivers graduation invitations within 4 days if you choose the Express option, 6 days with Priority, 7 days with Standard, and up to two weeks with Budget shipping. Costs range from $2.99 to $24.99, with additional charges of $0.06 to $0.10 per card.
While we were happy to see that Mixbook maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and an average rating of 4.8 stars in its Google Customer Reviews, we were less than thrilled to see numerous customer complaints. One of the biggest downsides to using Mixbook for custom graduation invitations and announcements is the lack of help from customer service: while most stores have a toll-free number or where clients can get help with an order, Mixbook's only contact information is an email address or live chat. Another frequently-mentioned issue is problems with Mixbook's technology: from the design software to the address importing function, many people were frustrated with the overall experience.
If you like a very hands-on design experience and don't mind paying higher prices, Mixbook may be worth considering - just be prepared to have some patience with their design platform.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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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