If you are a passionate pet lover or know someone who is, you’ve probably seen Facebook ads encouraging you to print your pet on custom, personalized products such as blankets, phone cases, coffee mugs, pillows, and even car decals.
These gifts are amazing to someone who wants to cherish their pet or publicly show the world how much they mean.
However, there are many companies that may look great on the outside (i.e. the Facebook ad has a ton of likes and comments), but their quality and reliability are missing.
Here are 5 Key Warnings to look for in a company when you are buying these custom gifts to ensure you are getting what you truly want.
1. Customer Reviews: Does The Company Have Reviews on Their Website And a Trusted Review Site?
The first step to determining if a custom pet product company is legitimate is to review previous customers’ experiences. Did they have a good experience? If not, why? Although you can’t make everyone happy, is there any patterns of negative reviews that give you cause for concern?
There are 2 places to look. First, check out reviews on the company’s website. They should have a section for reviews. Make sure they also have pictures of the reviews, so you can see what the product will look like.
But a website isn’t enough. Often these companies can filter reviews and show only the best. That’s why you need to check out third-party review sites such as TrustPilot. These third party sites are harder to manipulate. For example, at MyPetPrints, we use TrustPilot to show reviews. They can’t be controlled so it gives potential customers a better sense of what to expect.
Always check the website for reviews and any third party sites you can find.
2. Do Real Artists Make The Artwork Or Is It Done With an App?
When you order a custom product with your pet’s face on it, you expect that the artwork will be done by a skilled artists rather than a computer or phone app you could have easily downloaded and done yourself. After all, that’s what you’re paying for, right?
Before placing an order, you’ll want to confirm, probably in the FAQ or some headline on the website, that real artists do the artwork. If you can’t find this information, you’ll want to email the company and ask them directly.
3. Approval of Artwork: Can You Preview The Artwork BEFORE Shipment
One of the scariest things for a potential customer of custom products (whether pet or not) is the uncertainty of what the final product will look like. Even with pictures of hundreds of examples from other customers, we are still left a little afraid because, while those are great, it’s still not your custom product and your pet.
That’s why it’s crucial to check with the company to see if they allow you to approve the artwork before they print and ship it.
Often, people order from custom pet brands and expect to review the artwork beforehand only to learn that the particular company from which they ordered doesn’t allow it.
This doesn’t mean that such brand is a scam; rather, it’s just its policy. However, you need to be aware of the policy before you order so you can manage your expectations.
Most companies should have their policy on pre-approving artwork on their FAQs page. You can find most FAQ pages on the footer of those websites.
4. Where Are The Products Made?
At MyPetPrints, one of the top questions we are asked is whether our custom pet products are made in the United States (USA). This is not to suggest that products from other countries are inferior to USA based products.
However, we cannot ignore the serious priority potential customers of custom pet products place on this issue. For us, most people want to know that it is made in the USA (which it is).
If you have a preference on where your products are made, you’ll want to check the website for this first. You should find it in the FAQs. If, however, you cannot find your answer in the FAQ, I would email the company directly. Most companies that make their products in the USA are proud to make that claim on their website, so if it is missing, I would be cautious if you are wanting USA based products.
5. What Are The Shipping Times?
The number one issue with custom products of any nature is how long it takes to arrive at your doorstep after you place an order. Amazon Prime has changed the game in terms of custom expectations of delivery times. However, custom products are different. It is unreasonable to expect a truly custom brand to have your item ready in 1 week if that company is handling hundreds of orders per day.
However, for custom pet product brands, you should expect and check the company website for an average of 2–4 weeks for USA orders and potentially 3–5 weeks for international orders. This is fairly standard.
As a word of caution, even if a company makes these claims, check the reviews to see if customers are actually experiencing this.
As one more word of caution, Holiday times can change this significantly. It’s not uncommon for a regular shipping time of 2–4 weeks to take 5–7 weeks (or more in some cases) due to huge increases in demand.
Whether you are looking for a custom pet product for yourself or as a gift to a friend or family member, keep these 5 warning keys in mind when you go to find the right company in which to place your trust.