UPrinting FAQ Series: Printing Turnaround Times Explained

by Arthur Piccio on 01/16/2014

by Arthur Piccio  |  January 16, 2014  |  Print Tips

We get a lot of questions about printing turnaround times, especially from customers on a tight deadline. “Printing turnaround” isn’t an idea everyone has to deal with every day, so some confusion is understandable.

Take a few minutes to go through some of the most common questions our customers ask about printing turnaround times:

What is “Printing Turnaround”?

Simply put, it’s the estimated amount of time necessary to complete a print job. This includes printing, cutting, binding and other post-print processing, as well as packing your orders for shipping.

We state printing turnaround times in business days. This estimate presumes there are no extraordinary circumstances that would stop production. Another term you may encounter is “production turnaround”.

Printing/Production turnaround is always separate from Shipping turnaround, which is dependent on the courier.

What Turnaround Times Do You Offer?

UPrinting offers some of the fastest production turnaround times in the industry, leading our largest competitor by a wide margin. Just check any third party review site!

Depending on the product, we have 1-day, 2-day 4-day, and 6-day print turnaround options. Generally speaking, multi-page and bound products have longer default minimum turnaround times due to the extra processing needed.

Single sheet products can generally be shipped within one day, single-sheet  stickers and labels being a notable exception requiring at least two days at the shortest turnaround option due to the extra processing needed to produce them.

Please remember that printing turnaround times are always stated in business days

What’s the Difference Between a “day” and a “Business Day”?

“Business days” exclude days our production line is closed. We exclude Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from our printing turnaround estimates.

When Do You Start Turnaround Time Estimates?

When we start producing your print job.

Production starts when:

  • All print-ready artwork is uploaded to our cloud
  • Full payment is received 

If a proof is requested, additional requirements need to be met:

  • The returned proof has to be approved online through the customer’s account or by email. Online proofs are available within 8 hours of purchase. 6 hours if you order and purchase).
  • If a hard copy is requested, production starts when we receive your signed proof.

If you decide not to have your files proofed: 

We can get started as soon as your files are uploaded and payments are made. However, we cannot assume responsibility for any errors in the final product that arise from the lack of print proofing. If you’re not in a rush, we strongly recommend our free online proofing service. Unlike other printing companies, we make sure each file is manually inspected by a pre-press specialist.

Other considerations:

  • For one (1) day print turnaround times, if we receive your payment before 9 AM PST and approved proofs before 12 NN PST, you can expect shipping to start later that day.
  • Production turnaround for orders and/or proofs that are approved between 12 NN PST and 5 PM PST start the next business day.

What Can Affect Turnaround Times?

Unforeseen delays in supply delivery, accidents, inclement weather, and equipment failure are just some of the things that can negatively affect production turnaround. While we try our best to work around these issues, there’s always a chance that we may not be able to meet our estimates.

Is Shipping Time Included in Printing Turnaround Times?

Though we answered this in the first question, the answer bears repeating. Shipping turnaround is completely separate from printing turnaround.

Once ordered products are sent out for shipping, their safety and prompt delivery becomes the responsibility of the courier.

What Shipping Options are Available?

Our go-to couriers are FedEx or UPS.  We do not ship using customer accounts.

  • Ground Service - 1-5 days on-time delivery to mainland USA based on distance to destination
  • 2Day Service - Guaranteed delivery by the end of the second business day to all 50 states
  • Overnight Service - Guaranteed delivery by the end of the next business day to all 50 states

Please contact our customer service department for other shipping options.

How Do I Avoid Unexpected Delays?

  • Know when the turnaround period begins. 
  • Leave time for shipping and mailing. 
  • Respond to 
  • Include weekends and holidays in your delivery estimates.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute. 

I live in LA. Can I just come by your office and pick up my order?

Absolutely!

Our Los Angeles Pick-up point is at 10932 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles CA 90025.

See Map

Come by any time from Mondays through Fridays, 9am – 6pm.

Understanding product turnaround times can be important not just so you know when you can expect your print jobs to be finished. They allow you to plan time-sensitive print jobs better.

Image Credits: Card Calendar, Signage, and UPS Box images from Creative Commons via Wikimedia

This post was written by

Arthur Piccio is UPrinting.com's Small Business and Public Relations Coordinator.

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