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Misprint Monday: Is What You Saw What You Got?

A friend just printed some tanks. The customer sent this photo of a guy wearing it and said it didn’t look like the photo the customer had seen of the item. Of course it is a woman’s tank and this is clearly a guy, but the customer said it also was not good on women.

Here is the photo he saw before the order:


Here is then a photo of a pretty normal proportioned woman at the shop wearing one:


It pretty much looks the same, a little midriff  showing just like the sample photo and maybe just looking a little bit shorter on the sides.

If you look at various photos of the item, there is more variety of how it looks to fit:

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 12.43.48 PM

The tank is not a shimmel shirt (that is a term from the past, a style that was in favor in the 80’s that is super short in the midriff.) The picture of the guy is not at all representative of what it looks like. However, comparing it to the real person wearing it, there is a slight difference in that not any part of the tank carries to the waistline on the real shirt.

My friend reprinted for free, and his vendor helped him out by giving half price. He somewhat regretted this as he decided it before actually seeing someone wearing one.

What is to be learned from this?

  • All the time I get printers telling me that the customer saw a photo and they got what they ordered, so charge them and make them pay. Maybe this is right, but if you lose the customer over it, what is gained? If you have regular customers you have to compromise. If you market for customers all day long every day, then you can just make them pay and go on to the next customer.
  • We send sample shirts out all the time and most vendors help us out with it with free samples and/or free shipping. We steadfastly order the production run from them if they give us the samples and they are rewarded enough that they do it. If the customer has seen the shirt in question, then there is NO argument. If the order is big enough, even paying for a sample is a relatively inexpensive insurance policy.
  • If you do take it on the chin, ask your vendor to help you. This is why you should not only price shop, you have to partner with your shirt vendors if you want them to help you out in a pinch.
  • If you think the customer is just trying to job you, ask for the shirts to be returned. If the customer is in the right, let them keep the “bad” shirts if they want them. If the error is particularly galling, like you spelled their name wrong, go get them asap so the customer won’t see them around any longer.
  • If it is a woman’s shirt, generally they come in even more shapes and sizes than men, so it is even more important that the decision maker there knows how the shirt fits.
  • We often print one shirt and show photos of the print both close up and far away AND with a person wearing one. We particularly do this if we are going to print a huge quantity, the customer is unknown, or the customer is known to be picky or a jerk.



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