Over/Under

When you hear over/under, you usually think about point spreads.  Perhaps you are in Las Vegas placing a bet.  That would be much more preferable than the printing industry version of over/under, which really pisses me off.  Good thing there is somewhere I can vent all that anger…

In printing, over/under means that you can get delivered, and billed for, a different quantity than what you ordered.  So if you were to order 1000 pocket folders, the quote would read+/- 10%.  So they could ship you any quantity between 900 and 1100 and consider the job complete. Back in the grand old days of printing this was sometimes necessary as the machines were not as precise as they are today and you needed many extras for the finishing parts of the jobs. You factor in a certain amount of waste into each job, but if you factor in too much, the job costs more than your competitors, so that gave birth to the over/under bullshit. In modern times here you still have waste but with the quality of the production methods the waste is drastically less. So you SHOULD be able to remove this ancient artifact.

No, not really.  Just like that damn tenth of a cent on gas pumps, the over/under isn’t going away.  And should you tell the company that you won’t accept any overs, they will just raise the price 10% anyway and then only ship you the exact amount.  So you will STILL be paying for the overs.  But wait, sometimes they can ship unders, right?  Well theoretically, you would be correct.  However in my 25 years of printing I have received an under only once. Of course it was for a job where I had to have at least the exact amount, and the place would not run the 20 tabs I needed to finish the job (bastards!).

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