You just received your bulk order of 200 t-shirts for an upcoming event. You pull out the top shirt to inspect, and it’s flawless! Your logo design is colorful, vibrant, and centered, and the quality of the t-shirt is top-notch. You take all your shirts to the event and begin handing them out to your guests when you notice that one of the t-shirts has a logo printed off-center. Having read this blog, you don’t panic. Instead, you recognize the item as “screen print spoilage” and know exactly what to do next.
What is Screen Print Spoilage?
Off-center printing is just one of many ways spoilage can occur in a large screen printing order. Damaged materials, such as pulls, tears, or discoloration, are possible when ordering from any manufacturer. Screen damage is another possibility. Many screen printers can set their printing presses to produce large amounts of product quickly. Unfortunately, there are times when the screen itself becomes damaged from the process and causes imperfections in the design. Another source of spoilage stems from equipment failures resulting in damaged material or minor defects. While there are other spoilage sources, these are the most common.
Mistakes are inevitable in any process like this, so spoilage is to be expected. Of course, printing companies are just as unhappy about spoilage as their customers. That said, there are some things you can do as a customer to best prepare for potential spoilage.
Choose a Reputable Printing Company
Do your research when choosing a printing company. You should look for a provider with a proven track record of producing high-quality materials. Companies with a strong reputation are familiar with the issues associated with spoilage and often have the plan to manage the repercussions.
Ask about the Company’s Spoilage Policy
Reputable printing companies often have a spoilage policy they are happy to share with their customers. Spoilage policies include information such as the spoilage rate (should be less than 3%) and how the company handles these issues when they arise. You can find Jersey Ink’s spoilage policy here. In addition, you should be familiar with the company’s reimbursement and replacement policy regarding spoilage issues.
Communicate Your Expectations
While it may sound like common sense to expect a perfect order, that’s not always possible. To eliminate any potential for spoilage or waste, it’s essential to communicate your design requirements and expectations to the printing company. This means reviewing design specs, including color and sizing, as well as the apparel specifications.
Of course, ordering extras largely depends on your budget. However, ordering a few extras in every size can help ensure that spoilage does not “spoil” the event or purpose of the t-shirt order. In addition, having a few extra pieces can be an excellent marketing choice, as you’ll always have something to give away or hand out to a potential client or future business partner.
Request Samples and Proofs
Samples and proofs are an excellent way to review your work before the printing process begins. They allow you to ensure that everything is in order and meets your standards and expectations.
Contact the company with any spoilage issues immediately
Depending on the spoilage issue, companies may have a limited window to send damaged merchandise back to the original manufacturer. Still, if the problem is printing-related, it is imperative to contact the company as soon as possible to give them adequate time to rectify the issue.
Work with the company
It’s important to realize that a screen printing company never intends for spoilage to occur. They do everything they can to prevent any spoilage, though it’s not always possible to predict and prevent every instance. Therefore, working with the company, and offering kindness and understanding, will go a long way to reaching an acceptable solution.
Let’s go back to our event with the t-shirts. Because you read all of these steps in advance, you knew that you had a few extra t-shirts in the box in case spoilage were to occur. After the event that night, you sent the printing company photos of the spoilage and a request to honor their spoilage agreement, which was honored the very next day.
By following these steps, you can help prevent screen printing spoilage in your order and ensure that you receive high-quality t-shirts. Remember, being proactive and communicating with the printing company will ensure that your products are produced to your satisfaction.