How Annoying! Would you do this?

Angry at computer

This makes me SO angry!

Have you ever tried to buy anything from Vistaprint?

How did you find it?

Anyone who knows me will know that I am a big fan of the upsell. It’s a technique that many businesses ignore and yet it can serious boost sales.

If you don’t know what upselling is then let me quickly explain. It’s basically the process of offering an upgrade to someone who’s already committed to buy something from you. MacDonalds do it all the time with their “would you like to Super Size that!”.

Vistaprint take upselling to a whole new level and I just wonder if they haven’t pushed it too far!

You see Vistaprint offer incredibly cheap (even free) deals on their products and this is the hook that brings many people to them.

Once they have you into their order screens they then turn on the upsell. It’s like being hit by a fire hose!

Here’s an example of the process I tested on their site recently.

I tested trying to get their offer of 250 business cards for free. (Note: I don’t like their cards – this was just a test).

Once I’d clicked the button to start ordering my free cards, I was immediately given options on the shipping. I could pay very little for the standard delivery turnaround which quite a lengthy time or I could speed things up by paying more. That was the first upsell but they don’t stop there.

Next, I am told I can remove the “Printed Free by Vistaprint” text from the card if I paid for an upgrade. Then I was asked if I want printing on the back, did I want colour, would I like thicker card, etc.

But it still didn’t stop once I’d picked all the options for my cards.

I now started to get screens offering me leaflets and compliment slips that matched my business cards.

They even offered me mugs with my branding and t-shirts!

I lost count of the upsells and frankly, I started to get very annoyed as I was forced to wade my way through their screens just to get my original order.

I could see how some people would just get turned off and reach the point of desperation where they decided they didn’t want the business cards anymore.

I know I never have any intention of going anywhere near Vistaprint again. I just don’t have the time to go through all their extra screens of stuff I don’t want, just to buy what I do want.

Here’s the thing though, Vistaprint have been around a long time and so I’m assuming they are successful and this works for them.

How do you respond to websites that bombard you with upsells? Does it put you off or do you actually find them attractive and start filling your shopping cart up with all the extras?

Tell me what you think. Put your comments below.

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  1. I have bought from vista print and have been very careful, I got a couple of free mugs for presents and a couple of mugs with my business name on for home just for a laugh, yes you end up paying but not as much if you are careful
    I always went for the cheap slow post option and in reality it only took a week so ignore the 21 day post claim you WILL get it earlier
    However I hate the relentless up sell and have not used them in over a year

  2. haha! I had the same experience. I ignored the upsell, but yes, it was very, very annoying. However, I needed customer support to upload my photos and called them. They were outstanding. I cannot praise them highly enough. It was Sunday afternoon, the phone was picked up immediately, I spoke to a real person, and he was extraordinarily helpful. The actual cards were mediocre, though; I wish I had gone for the upsell! But the experience cost me very little money, anyway.

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