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Creating customized gifts (part 1) – Dilsebol.com and Pringoo.com

By on Sep 16, 2009 in Reviews | 5 comments

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Youthpad held a contest in the month of August wherein the best blog posts / blog comments won discount vouchers from Dilsebol.com. I’ve used other customized gift services earlier, but not this one so I decided to give it a shot. And then, I decided to review a few customized gift services. In this blog post, I’ll be reviewing two such services – Dilsebol.com and Pringoo.com.

Dilsebol.com

Dilsebol logoOverall rating: 8 / 10
Speed in dispatching items: 10 / 10
Diversity of items on offer: 9 / 10
Item design interface: 5 / 10
Pricing: 6 / 10

Items available: T-shirt, mug, ceramic tiles, wooden coaster, metallic keychain, poster, cap, greeting cards, shopping bag, apron, pillow, calendar, playing cards, business cards, notebook, post cards, photo book, mousepads, cushion cover.

I needed to get a customized gift made, so I decided to give Dilsebol a shot. I got a discount voucher (courtesy Youthpad!) so I knew I’d save some money too. Complete list of products and their price is available here on the Dilsebol website. Out of these, I decided to order a standard mug.

Dilsebol design creator - The Artist

Dilsebol design creator - The Artist

To create a design, they have a Flash-based design creator they call ‘The Artist’. This allows you to choose what type of item you want to customize, type of design, colour – and then get on with adding your own text / images. Despite being Flash-based, the design creator loaded pretty quickly. Anyway, if you look at the screenshot, ‘Step 1’ is greyed out and ‘Step 2’ is highlighted in red. Naturally, on most interface the active option is highlighted and the other ones are greyed out; this confused me a bit since I thought I was already in step 2 and I couldn’t see any option to add my own text / images. Turns out that I was actually at step one at that point, and you need to click on the highlighted step 2 button to get to the design area. They should have done some usability testing on this! :|

Good. So now I was at the design stage, where I could upload my text / images. You can upload images in JPG / PNG format, so that’s what I did – uploaded my design. Here I ran into some problem, because no matter what my image simply – did not show up in the design area. Eventually, I had to resort to the built-in ‘Add text’ option to type out the message I wanted on the mug. Dilsebol needs to work both on the interface and functionality of its design creator. There are way too many things broken.

As it turns out, I was forced to go in for a plain-text design (they do have a limited selection of fonts though) because of the malfunction in Dilsebol’s ‘The Artist’. I placed my order around 2am on 12th September. Their billing system is not as automated as those of others; the history page for your orders is updated only when the order starts getting processed. I was delighted when they sent me an email around 7pm on 12th September itself giving dispatch details (they sent it via DTDC). This is one thing I really liked about Dilsebol – extremely quick processing. They dispatched it on Saturday, so I knew I would only be getting the courier on Monday.

Customized mug ordered from Dilsebol

Customized mug ordered from Dilsebol

The DTDC shipment arrived on Monday as shown on the DTDC tracking page. The mug was packed snugly in a polystyrene jacket inside a cardboard box. Only indication that it was from Dilsebol was a sticker at the bottom which you can wash off easily. The text on the mug did appear exactly like I had placed it online; however, I’d have loved it if my own design could have been uploaded and used.

Overall, I was mighty impressed by the speed with which Dilsebol processed the order. They have a lot of items on offer, but the thing is that compared to most other websites their prices are a bit higher. They also charge more for shipping than the others. Can’t find any fault with the quality of their items though. Consider Dilsebol as an option when you don’t want to compromise on quality and the design you want to be printed on something isn’t that complex.

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Pringoo.com

Pringoo logoOverall rating: 6 / 10
Speed in dispatching items: 7 / 10
Diversity of items on offer: 7 / 10
Item design interface: 7 / 10
Pricing: 9 / 10

Items available: Apron, cap, chocolate, sweatshirt, T-shirt, mugs, teddy bear, keychain, poster, canvas, sticker, mousepad, coaster. Many variations within a particular item type are available.

Notice the copyright till *2012* notice at the bottom? :D Pringoo has a time machine!

Notice the copyright till *2012* notice at the bottom? :D Pringoo has a time machine!

My first encounter with Pringoo was something of a disaster. I ordered a canvas print with pencil sketch effect, as a gift I wanted to give to my elder cousin brother on the occasion of his wedding. I uploaded the photo I wanted on to Pringoo designer, and it registered it as a pencil sketch canvas; it didn’t show the effect but an example was given and assured that the final sketch would have the effect I wanted.

To my horror, when I received the product it was a plain canvas print, without any effect added on. I called Pringoo customer support via telephone and they put me on hold forever while they ‘tried to track down the designer’. Then I sent a complaint to customer support via email. They apologized, and said they’ll send a replacement for the canvas, but would get the final print with the effect approved by me first. Customer support emailed me an image which they claimed was the image with the particular effect I wanted added; in reality, it was just the image I had uploaded initially. I refused their offer and instead asked for a refund for the difference in amount. I received a cheque for that within a few days.

This was something I intended to give as a gift, so I was quite pissed off with them for screwing the order up and then acting smart about the whole thing (trying to pass of the original image as the one with effect applied). I tweeted something along the lines of ‘Pringoo sucks’ on Twitter. Soon, one of the founders of Pringoo – Jai Kumar – got it touch with me via my blog’s contact form, seeking feedback on why I had tweeted that particular thing on Twitter. I emailed him about my experience and he replied saying that he would look personally into the lapse and ensure such a thing didn’t happen in the future. As compensation and for taking time out to give feedback, he offered to send me a free custom Twitter T-shirt.

Pringoo item designer. Notice the overlapping text.

Pringoo item designer. Notice the overlapping text.

When creating a design on Pringoo, I needed to switch to my secondary browser (Opera). The reason is that on my primary browser (Firefox, of course) I’ve specified a minimum font size for all pages. Most web page adjust nicely to the change but Pringoo’s doesn’t. As you can see in that screenshot, the layout is royally messed up. I can’t even select something I want since the clicks don’t land on the correct place!

I don’t know whether they have got their house in order, but one thing is for sure – Pringoo offers a wide variety of products at a price lower than any of its competitors. Delivery was done within estimated time and shipped via Aramex courier. Pringoo is very active on Twitter; consequently a lot of Twitter users try out Pringoo. Most of them are happy from the looks of it. However, I will remain apprehensive about their service until I order something else from them. Despite having a bad experience, what I liked was that they monitored user feedback on public forums like Twitter and got in touch immediately to seek feedback. They also acknowledged their mistake and gave fair compensation for it. That’s a sign of a good company. Hopefully, I will have a better experience when I order something from Pringoo in the future.



5 Comments

  1. sahil

    September 16, 2009

    Post a Reply

    I just checked the prices for posters on Pringoo and dilsebol. Dilsebol has an A3 size poster for 150 but on Pringoo it’s 175. Or does Pringoo’s price include shipping and taxes?

    • Ankur

      September 16, 2009

      Post a Reply

      Pringoo is usually cheaper than others in most cases. Both Dilsebol and Pringoo quote price excluding shipping and taxes.

  2. sahil

    September 16, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Also, what does this mean:

    “You will retain ownership of the Content that you upload to the Website. You hereby grant to pringoo.com a royalty-free, worldwide, transferable, nonexclusive, right and license to use such Content, in all media existing now or created in the future.”
    (from their image upload terms and conditions).

    Also, I don’t know much about printing, but they claim their posters are 1400 dpi :O. But they also say that uploaded images can’t be more than 3 MB in size.

    • Ankur

      September 17, 2009

      Post a Reply

      The first part is a standard part of ToS for any web service – whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Pringoo, Flickr, et al. Basically, they need this permission so that they can display the data on their website; for instance, if you upload a picture on Flickr then this gives them the permission to show that image (if you set it to public). Or even in a walled garden approach like Facebook’s, this clause is needed so that they can show photos, etc data that you upload to your friends.

      Most of these customized gift services suggest you upload at 300 dpi and above. They might scale up dpi once you upload an image. Although there’s a 3 MB upload limit, you can email the file to customer service and specify them to use that file.

      • sahil

        September 17, 2009

        Oh I see.

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