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Question Opinion Curious how others would've handled this order/customer

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Jayefkay531, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Jayefkay531

    Jayefkay531 Member

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    hey all! Just curious as to how other people would've responded to this customer. I normally stay on the production side of things, but have recently been handing more of a sales role as well, so I'm still on the learning curve. Let me lay out the scenario first.

    I had 40 DTG shirts outsourced to a local printer as I don't do apparel in house. I get the same discounts on blank apparel as they do, so I supplied the shirts, they just printed. At first, the shirts looked great and my customer was thrilled.

    Fast forward almost 5 months. My customer comes back in saying the quality is terrible as all the shirts are nearly washed out already and images very faded once the shirts were washed. They demanded a full replacement of the order free of charge.

    Here's how I handled it - I took a few of the shirts to my printer and got them to state in an email that the prints should not be fading that quickly at all. They tried to say I didn't provide the right type of shirts, but I used their recommendation. They also said that since it was almost half a year, they weren't willing to redo the order free of charge including replacement shirts. I negotiated and provided them with shirts they spec'd, but they were covering the printing costs. In the end, hopefully my customer is happy, but I likely won't be using this vendor again.

    I'm just curious as to how other people would've handled it (I was torn with the 5 month time frame and whatnot).

    Thanks
     
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  2. ColoPrinthead

    ColoPrinthead Swollen Member

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    Was it dyesub on cotton shirts?
     
  3. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    This is exactly why I don't like wholesaling and would have been better off passing the job off. If you are worried about losing a customer, find people you can trust to send leads to and do a proper hand off. If you absolutely cant give up that bit of money, work a bird dog deal.
    Not much you can do at this point besides replace it or tell them to pound sand.
     
  4. Jayefkay531

    Jayefkay531 Member

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    100% cotton shirts with a DTG printer, though not sure which brand printer (might be DTG).
     
  5. ColoPrinthead

    ColoPrinthead Swollen Member

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    I've on owned one DTG shirt and it held up decently for more than a year, have you spoken to the shop that did them for you?
     
  6. Jayefkay531

    Jayefkay531 Member

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    I'm not familiar with the bird dog deal term?

    I did end up replacing them at no cost to the customer, but wasn't thrilled. Even though the logo was faded, they still kept 40 shirts with their logo on it just washed out, plus 40 brand new shirts. I believe I could've been more assertive to both the customer and my vendor in regards to the amount of time that was passed, misguided confidence in the printer, etc, but I wasn't sure if this was a good business practice to tell them to beat it. Thanks for the input!
     
  7. Jayefkay531

    Jayefkay531 Member

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    Yes - they said it may have been a pre-treatment issue. They gave that to me in an email, which I used against them to replace the shirts. We worked out a deal that I would buy the shirts from the supplier (sanmar), and they would print for free. They were weary since it was 5 months that had gone by, but ultimately caved and I think that email had a lot to do with it. They are only a few buildings away from where my center is, so I don't want to burn any bridges, but I also want to make sure I'm practicing proper businesses etiquette and not being a push-over, if that makes sense?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    5 months is a whole lot of time to wait before coming back. Fair enough after the first wash but you’ve no idea what they’ve been doing to them in the 5 months or how often they’re worn/washed. I’d be telling them to pound sand.

    We don’t do DTG so also wondering if there’s any specific care instructions like HTV not being suitable to be washed above 60 degrees etc.
     
  9. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Ummm...I am the only one wondering why the client thinks there's a warranty on apparel?

    Especially after five months.:confused:
     
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  10. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    I wouldn't have warrantied shirts after 5 months, no matter the printing method. Especially since I have not found any DTG printer that provides good looking, durable prints. In my experience if they looked good for 5 months that is better than average. Most of the ones I have had printed don't even look good on day 1. They are faded and dull looking from the start.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Speaking of washing, have to be careful with some detergents as they are more "caustic" then others (higher bleach content etc) and that could go a long way to the faded look. I've had that happen with some brands of thread as well (particularly your cotton thread) and if this is going with a customer that needs a certain color match that can only be had with that type of thread and they are in an industry that uses a lot of bleach in their washings (restaurants, hotel staff etc) I make sure that is known.

    5 months is quite a ways to wait until them coming over with an apparel issue. Even with a possible pre-treatment issue, those are usually found out much quicker then 5 months, especially if they are doing a lot of washings within that time frame.

    Life span of garments, with how I was taught, is general done in terms of washings and that is also affected by what chemicals (and their concentrations) that are used in each of those washings as well.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    Why DTG over Screen Print? at a QTY of 40, doing multiple colors would have been comparable on cost

    This is one of the many reasons that we prefer Screen over DTG, longer life
    Screen Printing will ALWAYS hold up longer than DTG

    Too many variables can have happened over this 5 month period
    * Number of washes?
    * How were they washed/dried?
    * How product was being used?

    unless this is a MASSIVE customer, there is no discount or warranty on apparel.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Jayefkay531

    Jayefkay531 Member

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    It was a full color logo with gradients and whatnot, so my printer said it would be a transfer or DTG, but my customer doesn't love the feel of a heavy screen print. I have a few sharp samples of DTG and he loved that.

    He SWEARS everything is always washed inside out and only had 1-2 washes prior to bringing them back in. I'm a bigger fan of screen printing too for durability.

    I probably should've stayed with my guns and not warranted the shirts after 5 months, but that's the learning curve I'm currently on. I appreciate the response.
     
  14. Jayefkay531

    Jayefkay531 Member

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    These are all great points that I hadn't thought of or even knew of. My customer swears he only wore each shirt once prior to coming in. They were shirts for a band he's in that he only plays once a week or so, so it's not out of the question that this is true. However, I agree that 5 months is still a long time. I should've told him, that after 5 months, we wouldn't re-do them. Thanks for the response!
     
  15. Jayefkay531

    Jayefkay531 Member

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    I asked myself the same question and still caved in an effort to keep the customer happy. TBH, I wouldn't have been happy if I was in his position, but then again 5 months had passed... As noted, I'm relatively new to the sales/customer side of things, so I'm taking this in stride as a lesson learned.
     
  16. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    I say you did the right thing. That $400 you would have saved by being right could have ended up costing you more in terms of reputation. The customer wasnt without fault too but as the saying goes, you can win the battle and lose the war.
    Hopefully you told them the same may happen again.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    If I go to the shop and buy a tshirt then wear it 1-2 times a week for 5 months, Then it starts fading, I don’t go back to the shop and demand a new one for free, I throw that one out and buy a new one.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    No way I would replace the shirts for free after 5 months, nor would I expect any supplier to either, why did it take him 5 months to bring these back? Who only washes a shirt 2 times in 5 months?

    I made some work shirts for our staff using the printable heat transfer material, 6 months later mine looks more or less new, but one of our employees shirt looks horrible, logo is faded almost completly, curling and ripping, He has no idea why, he doesn't do anything special when he washes it, nor do I. There are so many variables with apparel, how it's washed, what soap, how often it's worn etc. that affect the lifespan of the garment or print that you really can't offer a warrantee on it.

    What are you going to do when he comes back in 5 months looking for another 40 free shirts?
     
  19. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    When a customer comes to you and you tell them "you can handle that order" and follow thru YOU are responsible for any issues. Thats your job no matter is you subbed out or not. If the shirt guy said tuff tit refund the customer in full take ownnership of all shirts and trash them and you have learned a lesson, dont do this again OR you will know better next time to inform customer there is no warranty on garments
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Merchant Member

    We're all in the service business. I think you did the right thing by replacing the shirts. As a wholesale partner, we replace stuff all the time if our customers ask us to. Just part of the game. I see alot of people mentioning warranties. I'm not sure that plays into this. With the importance of online reviews and referrals, a warranty doesn't matter anymore - it's all about customer perspective.

    You'll have a bad day here and there, and you may need to prevent a customer from ordering from you again, but protect your reputation honestly and responsibly at all costs, and you'll end up ahead in the end.

    Trade Only Screen and Digital Yard Signs, Banners, Foamcore, Magnetic, Styrene & More.
     
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