If you're working in a private business in Israel - or just wanting some type of professional print work done for your activities, you'll have to find a printing company to work with. Having spent many years here already, I've found it difficult to form a relationship with any one company. In addition, obtaining quotes is excessively difficult - and even when one does, if one does not accept the quote immediately, it can well change within minutes. A call back to place an order spoken about just minutes before might be met with a new quote which one must - once again - decide upon on the spot!
Last week I was in need of producing a professional stamp used for lending library we run. The stamp goes in every book and shows our ownership of the book together with our contact email address. I found it difficult to obtain the exact type of stamp I was after - something with the image of a book or the like next to it, but found a store in Meah Shearim with a selection of pre-designed library stamps
The owner was obviously not interested in my business, and I really had to push hard to get him to agree on what I wanted. It was pay-up-front style - where the owner demands payment even before showing you anything he can do for you. I had no choice. He gave me his quote - but immediately changed the amount after I explained I wanted to include an additional line. It was understandable - but I would have preferred knowing the costs for each part of the stamp before selecting what I would have on it. The price was a lot more expensive - but I needed the additional line. In addition, I needed another stamp for personal reasons.
I explained to the gentleman that he should first send me a sample copy of the stamp (via email) before making it and gave him both my contact number and email address (which appeared on the stamp!) to him. He confirmed he would be in touch. A few days later, I had heard nothing, and realised my only option would be to visit him in person to see what happened. He had indeed done the stamps without my approval. To add to this, there was an error. He tried all sorts of ways to get out of having made the mistake including such ideas as the inconvenience in designing a stamp that was slightly bigger to my wanting a personalised stamp (all ridiculous considering the mistake was with one letter that had been done capitalised where it should not have been!) Eventually he acknowledged his mistake but said at best he would re-do the stamp as long as I paid for the new stamp itself. He would pay for the graphics to be redone!
At the end of the day I was not happy with either of the two stamps I had purchased and out of pocket a few hundred shekels. The trouble involved in travelling backwards and forwards to Meah Shearim and dealing with the incompetency was just not worth the hassle.
After asking some friends on a social network their thoughts, the responses were quite unanimous. When involved in printing in Israel - select an online service. I am told the service is great, the price is good and things seem to just move smoothly!
Here then are some wonderful sites which I myself am going to be spending a lot more time getting to know. It's really important that we are happy with our print work and the type of service we are receiving.
There are a lot of companies now offering services via the Internet, and it's worthwhile to look into them - from printing, to online shopping. I am hearing stories of a lot more people using these services and avoiding the frustrations found with physical stores. The choice is yours, but I present you with some sites to consider - all suggested to me by a number of people who use them and feel their services are good.
- Vista Print: www.vistaprint.co.uk (Vista Print Custom Stamps)
- Speedy Stamps: www.speedystamps.co.uk (Speedy Stamps Rubber Stamps)
- Custom Stamps Online: www.customstampsonline.com
- London Rubber Stamps: www.londonrubberstamps.co.uk
- Stamps Direct: www.stampsdirect.co.uk