What would you do? Mixup with printer

I designed and am selling an art/map poster. $xxxx for 24x32.” $xxxx for 18 x 24”

I recently ordered a reprinting of 50 and 100 count consecutively. I asked for the same paper and the same weight—everything to be done the same as previous order. Sales rep notified me that recycled paper could not be found at this time, could they use their house stock? I said yes. They sent estimate. Cost was less, but I assumed it was because the change in paper. I okayed.

The posters are printed beautifully, however, they were printed on 100# instead of 65#. No problem, mistakes happen. However, I checked the estimate and it lists 100#.

I emailed sales rep about mistake—we have a great working relationship and I, of course, used careful, positive wording (I would have spoke on the phone, however my schedule did not allow yesterday). I mentioned my initial request for same weight. I took responsibility for not noticing change on estimate. I asked if there is a way we can work together on this for a reprinting?

She asked what amount of discount I need. We’re going to talk later today.

So folks, what do you say? Should I keep the 100# and pay discount on either them or reprinted 65#? Should I return 100# and request a reprint?

I have considered running a “Our mistake is your gain” sale on the 100#. Labeling them as “poster weight” vs “art weight.” But I can only do this if I receive a discount on their printing.

Pricing removed.

As soon as they said there was a change in stock, you needed to read the estimate to find out what stock they were using. Assumptions don’t count. I don’t think you have recourse for a full reprint. Especially since it sounds like you “needed them now” and couldn’t wait for the recycled paper to become available or be shipped in.

If they are willing to work with you, figure out what kind of discount you need to make you happy. Be fair about it. It is technically your mistake, though the rep should have said the paper was lighter when discussing the change.

On the subject of reprints of art posters, I’m of the school that fine art prints should be numbered editions. NO reprints. But maybe these are not that type of art print? Anyway, stay friendly with your friendly printer. That they are offering to negotiate is a good sign. Don’t abuse it.

Another friendly note to all designers doing print:
Supply chains right now are broken. Be prepared for stock shifts, and maybe even discus with your printer way ahead of time if you are anticipating a run on something you normally have to order in to begin with. Clear PVC goods like overlams are especially difficult to source at the moment.


I wouldn’t give a discount or reprint for free.

It was transparent.

1 Like

Sounds like this printer is giving a good client a break.
This sometimes does happen. I’ve had vendors do that for me on the rare occasion there is a ‘mix-up’ on a quote approval.

I don’t abuse the opportunity when it arises and stay on good terms with all of my good vendors.
But Smurf2 is right. It’s all there in black and white and the OP signed off. No recourse should be expected.

As a favour to a good client - it might be a business decision in a moment.

But I’d expect the prints returned for destruction on site.

What you can do is offset the cost of the next few print runs, so charge a few quid less over the course of a year or whatever it takes to make it up. I’ve never done this going the other way.

The other option is a meet halfway - and take 50% and the printer takes 50% and you both suck it up as a lesson learned.

Thanks all for your helpful viewpoints. I especially appreciate hearing from the printer’s side of things. Greatest lesson learned—don’t do major business the day before leaving for a 2-week vacation, which is what I did. I paying for it in more ways than one now! LOL.

Oh yes, a full reprint requires return of bad goods for destruction or recycling. Which is an expense to be considered as well.

50-50 is probably better than one can expect for this kind of mistake.

I agree with the others. If push came to shove (which it shouldn’t), it’s more your fault than their’s, so, if it were me, I’d be inclined to accept whatever they offered and feel grateful about it.

However, I see the printer sharing some responsibility — they should have specifically called out the significant difference in weight. Yes, it’s on the estimate, but when you requested one thing and they recommended substituting their house stock, I think it’s reasonable to assume that the substitution would be similar.

House stocks typically consist of a few generically common paper stocks, so it seems odd to me that they’d substitute something so different.

In addition to the estimate, the printer should have sent an email or called you mentioning the rather significant difference between what you requested and what they had in their inventory. They should have given you the option of the heavier house stock but also said they could order a weight more consistent with what you requested — just not a recycled option.

Anyway, as I said, they still mentioned it on their estimate, which is the document that counts the most. From what you wrote, it sounds like they’re willing to work with you, and since they have the upper hand in this argument, I wouldn’t be inclined to push the issue too far. Mistakes happen, and both of you have an interest in maintaining a good, mutually respectful relationship.

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