GRAPHICS PRO

Start Here October '20

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93 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 0 tice, trace, and stitch-out the design before embroidering the actual product. However, if you have extra blanks, you can always grab another and start over if something goes wrong. But, how do you handle the garments customers bring in? What do you do if you mess them up? Do you replace the garment? When your customer brings in a unique or expensive garment to embroi- der and customize, it turns into a risky order that you have to get right on the first go when using that garment. In this case, we've seen embroiderers add a "no guarantee" policy in their contracts for the items customers bring in. This policy protects you and warns the customer that the garment might get damaged. Offering to replace the garment may work in some cases but not in others. This is something that should be decided on at your discretion. However, you should have everything in writing in the event there is an issue with a specialty garment. The most important thing is to com- municate with your customer the risk and explain why the garment can't be guaranteed. Do not leave your cus- tomer with the impression that they can expect everything to go fine and then be shocked when it doesn't. 4. Returns/exchanges Due to the nature of custom apparel, many companies do not offer refunds, and exchanges are more commonly done on a case-by-case basis. Since you cannot refund the time spent on creating a gar- ment, refunds put you at a deficit. Whether you decide to offer refunds on a case-by-case scenario or set a hard no on offering returns, the customer needs to be very clear on your policy. If the finished product does not reflect the approved sample, we suggest offering to exchange the garment for a replace- ment or a different product. An exchange may take more time, but it's the right thing to do for your customer. We also suggest setting time limits in your return/exchange policies that give your customers a timeframe for return/ exchange eligibility. If a customer comes back several weeks later unsatisfied with the product, you can avoid exchanges or refunds if you included a timeframe in the contract. Reasonable expiration dates can help you avoid any gray areas with your customers and mitigate any poten- tial issues. Embroidery and apparel customiza- tion is the business of referrals. Not only do you want your customers to come back, but you also want them to refer your services to their network. Not having clear, concise policies and contracts could leave room for misunder- standings with customers. It could even make your business seem less credible. You also don't want to implement differ- ent policies with different customers. You want to protect your reputation by main- taining fair and equal treatment of all your customers with well-crafted contracts. Now that you have an idea of what kinds of policies you should implement, it's time to start writing your contracts. You can download contract templates at https:// info.ricoma.com/embroidery-contracts.

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