Graduation season is almost upon us! At this time of year, there’s a big demand for good quality graduation announcements at an affordable price. To save you time, we did some research comparing the three top places you can go online to order cheap graduation announcements — Invite Shop, Tiny Prints, and Snapfish. Hopefully this post will shed some light on the best option for you.
Not everyone has heard of Invite Shop, but they are quickly becoming a well-loved option for affordable invitations, announcements, and cards. Invite Shop is branded as a budget invitation source, which made us a little nervous because you typically get what you pay for in terms of quality. However, Invite Shop surprised us at the quality of graduation announcements you can get for the price. You can order a free sample kit to see for yourself! Invite Shop sets itself apart from the pack with unlimited customization options, budget-friendly pricing, and excellent reviews. Here’s a breakdown:
Invite Shop has a sophisticated Design Center built right into its website. This allows shoppers to change any graduation announcement design from top to bottom without any limitations. Once you’ve created an account with Invite Shop, you can customize your cheap graduation announcements precisely to your liking by choosing your preferred background colors, embellishments, fonts, and trim. You can also add as many text boxes and images as you want. The best part is there is no added costs for customization except when it comes to trim, paper quality, or envelope color, which are standard upcharges pretty much anywhere you go.
For almost every graduation announcement, Invite Shop offers:
- 7-10 different trim options (including circles and hearts!)
- The option to fully customize any design
- 6 paper types (including pearlescent and double thick)
- 12 envelope color options
By a landslide, Invite Shop offers you the most creative freedom in terms of design.
Invite Shop’s graduation announcements start at the rock bottom price of 49 cents a card, which is great for folks looking for the lowest price they can get. However, the bulk of Invite Shop’s designs fall in the .69 to .89 cent per card price point. Things start to get a little more spendy if you choose multi-page cards, such as tri-fold cards and booklet cards. Still, the most expensive graduation card on the site is only $3.29 per card, and that’s for an eight-page, booklet-style invitation!
Invite Shop does have a separate charge for envelopes at 15 cents each, but we found this still doesn’t make the cost unreasonable. It’s possible for the budget-conscious buyer to order 50 stylish graduation announcements with envelopes for only $32.
Invite Shop offers graduation announcements at an everyday low price instead of relying on coupon codes to drive sales. Invite Shop’s competitors routinely offer coupon codes that can drive down prices considerably, but if you don’t have a coupon code handy, you’re more likely to get lower prices any day of the year with Invite Shop.
Invite Shop’s Facebook page is loaded with positive reviews! That’s pretty impressive considering most people only write reviews to complain.
A quick glance over the reviews revealed people were most pleased with Invite Shop’s customization options, fast delivery, and stellar customer service.
Tiny Prints, a division of Shutterfly, is perhaps the best known online resource for graduation announcements. We loved their user-friendly website with its helpful filters and the vast selection of modern graduation announcement designs available. In fact, what sets Tiny Prints apart is their exclusively designed collections from a wide variety of artists. For all its design flashiness, however, Tiny Print’s designs are on par with its competitors once you filter down to the lower price points. This is an important consideration if you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck.
While Tiny Prints offered a great selection of designs, we found them somewhat lacking in terms of customization using their website. Tiny Prints offers a limited number of customization options for each design.
For example, when we clicked on a medium-price-range graduation invitation design from Tiny Prints, we were offered a selection of four background colors, five trim options, and a set variety of layouts. If you wanted to color outside the lines a bit in terms of design, the website doesn’t allow that kind of flexibility.
We do give Tiny Prints credit for choosing customization options in the medium price range and up that are highly desirable. However, we feel Tiny Prints could provide more value by making it easier to dress up a lower-priced card with an embellishment or let customers add a photo or two to the front or back of any card at any price point.
With Tiny Prints, we were thrilled to find a number of cheap graduation announcements at 59 cents per card, but note that this pricing only applies to large orders. You have to place a minimum order of 200 announcements to get the 59-cent card pricing. A 50-card order for the cheapest price point we could find (94 cents per card) rang up for $47. Although Tiny Prints does not charge separately for standard envelopes, it’s still more expensive overall.
On the surface, Tiny Prints appears to add value by not issuing a separate charge for designer review, a service where a professional designer looks over your order to make sure you don’t have any errors in spelling or otherwise. While the cost difference does narrow considerably between Tiny Prints and Invite Shop with designer review factored in, Invite Shop still provides a cheaper graduation announcement at its lowest price point for a 50-card order.
With designer review, the lowest price point Invite Shop order rings up at $36.95 compared to Tiny Prints’ $47 for 50 announcements. Tiny Prints does offer coupon codes, but what if there’s not a coupon code available when you need one? Coupon sales come and go; low prices day in and day out are simply more reliable.
Tiny Prints does not appear to feature reviews on their Facebook page. However, they do publish reviews they receive on a testimonials page on their website. While this gives you some idea of how Tiny Prints’ customers are responding to their orders, there’s no way to know if the company is publishing only the good reviews and leaving out the poor ones on its testimonials page. Visitor posts to Tiny Prints’ Facebook page were mixed, and we did see a couple dissatisfied customers venting their frustrations.
Snapfish is an online photo sharing solution that began offering printed photo products as a revenue stream. Graduation announcements are a relatively new offering from Snapfish. The Snapfish website is cleaner and more streamlined than its competitors, allowing you to seamlessly compare what your graduation photos will look like in different card designs without having to hop from design to design. Snapfish also sets itself apart by allowing you to order graduation announcements more cheaply than regular cardstock by letting customers opt for photo paper.
Snapfish doesn’t offer as many customization options as Invite Shop, but it surpasses the customization available through Tiny Prints. In project view, Snapfish lets you easily customize the font as well as the text size, color, and alignment for graduation announcements.
By choosing different layouts in project view, we were able to add numerous combinations of photo and text boxes to the back of even the most basic designs when using cardstock as our medium.
However, in terms of customization options, we could only choose from a small selection of background colors within the designs we explored. While we could change the back panel layout of most of the announcements we looked at, design on the front of the cards was more rigid.
Sadly, we couldn’t personalize the back of the announcement at all if we chose photo paper as our desired medium. Since photo paper is the low-end option on Snapfish, we learned once again we’d need to pay more for a greater level of personalization. At Snapfish the only trim options available were standard square and rounded corners. Last, but not least, you couldn’t add in any embellishments like other competitors.
We were excited to see cheap graduation announcement options from Snapfish as low as 45 cents per card, but when you clicked on those options, you could only nab that price when you purchase at least 260 cards on photo paper. If you only need to purchase 40 or 60 cards, the price per card jumps up to 80 cents each for announcements printed on photo paper.
Since Snapfish doesn’t allow 50-card purchases, we priced out options for purchasing 40 or 60 cards, which amounted to $32 and $48, respectively, for printing on photo paper. When you choose cardstock, the lowest-priced graduation announcement price on Snapfish jumps to $1.50 per card. This puts the price between $60 and $90, exceeding both Invite Shop and Tiny Prints.
Just like Tiny Prints, Snapfish offers coupons and promotions that reduce the cost of their graduation announcements. Again, though, these offers come and go, and you can never guarantee a good discount will be available when you need it.
Snapfish does not appear to have customer reviews on their Facebook page, but a quick glance at visitor posts to the Snapbook Facebook page revealed numerous dissatisfied customers complaining about everything from website glitches to poor customer service to poor product quality. The Snapfish Yelp page was equally filled with complaints.
After looking at graduation announcement options for Invite Shop, Tiny Prints, and Snapfish, we conclude that Invite Shop offers the biggest bang for the buck. Not only are their base prices for graduation announcements lower overall, but you have the creative freedom to tailor your announcements to look exactly how you want. This feature alone creates added value that we feel exceeds what you might save using a coupon code at Tiny Prints and Snapfish, where you’re pretty much stuck with the available designs.
Our verdict? Go with Invite Shop. You can’t go wrong!