There are many products that smaller print shops like mine can’t do in-house. Things like folders, laminated tabs, mass quantities of lamination, etc. The equipment cost is too high and the space needed is often prohibitive as well for us to do them here. As a result, we farm out many of those type of jobs to trade-only vendors. These are a bunch of companies that only deal with print shops and sell us their goods at a rate low enough to allow us to resell them to the customers and at least make a small amount.
Well somewhere back in the past the industry standard for jobs from vendors like this became known as +/- 10%. What that means is that if you were to order say 1000 pocket folders, they could deliver to you as few as 900 or as many as 1100, bill you for whatever quantity is actually delivered, and consider the job ‘complete’. Yeah, I agree, that is bullshit.
In the 25 years I have been doing this I have received less than 5 orders that weren’t over. And EVERY order that is over is at the full 10% over. Now I get that you need to make extra pieces if you will be doing something to it in finishing. You print extra folders because you have to cut, fold and glue them to shape and you need to allow for any damaged ones, set-up, etc. Well, that should be figured into the price upfront. It isn’t hard to do. The computer program I use for estimating has that feature. If I enter a job for 1000 brochures and it has folding in it , it adds 25 pieces for set up. That is the price we quote. With the digital machines of today it should be pretty easy to stop your machine within 1 or 2 pieces of the desired quantity.
Considering how it is almost always 10% over (not 3% over or 2% under), I wonder if there is any kind of fraud going on here. Deceptive sales practices? If there was an enterprising young lawyer out there looking for a name, maybe he can find out in discovery that when someone orders 1000, they set their machines for 1200, KNOWING that they will ship and bill 1100 and have the other 100 for set up. A pattern of always delivering the extra 10% could be price fixing? Has to be something wrong here. Especially because when you complain before hand and say that you won’t accept overs, then the price is suddenly 10% higher…