Mistakes & Returns & Things That Go Bump in the Night
My goal is to take care of my customers. If something goes sideways, I want you to feel that if you place an order with Ninth Moon, I'll be there for you and do what I can to make things right Mistakes happen. While they don't happen very often, it's disappointing and frustrating for everyone when they do.
I've found they can happen anywhere in the business cycle: Sometimes these are my own goof-ups, sometimes it's the print shop, sometimes the delivery service . . . sometimes even my clients miss something while proof-reading or inadvertently order a wrong paper stock, or size.
What to do if you discover an error: Contact me! My phone is 360.668.6292 and my email is email@example.com. Let me know what happened and I'll work with you on the best solution.
Ninth Moon return/refund guidelines:
One thing to remember: time is our friend. If you can, please order as early as possible. Inspect your items as soon as they arrive. If we have time on our side, we can fix pretty much anything. If you open your box at your conference hotel room two hours before your book signing, I won't be able to fix/replace whatever went wrong by the time you need it.
- If the error is Ninth Moon's, the print shop's or the delivery service: I'll apologize profusely and work with my vendors to get it fixed, expediting a replacement product to be delivered as quickly as possible. If a replacement doesn't work for you for whatever reason (e.g. there isn't enough time), I will issue a 100% refund.
- If the customer makes an error: I realize mistakes happen. Wrong paper, wrong finish, missed typo . . . it happens. While I'm not able to absorb 100% of the cost of customer mistakes, I'll work with you on a solution:
- If a reprint is needed, I can order this for you at a discounted price (my wholesale pricing). I won't make money off of your mistake. This is usually about half the original price of the item, but it may be slightly more or less depending on what products are involved, the quantity and the nature of the the error.
- In some cases, I might be able to use the product in one of my sample folders, in which case I can "buy back" the erroneous product and issue you a credit towards a corrected product/design/etc. Examples of where this might work is if your publisher did a last-minute cover swap or changed your release date (or heroine's name) at the last minute. While the error might be a show-stopper for your promotional item, it might be okay for mine.
- We may be able to brainstorm a different solution (e.g. a cleverly placed sticker, for example).
- What if it's an "Act of God"--or other craziness happens? Hurricanes. Snowstorms. Labor strikes. Neither one of us goofed, but life intervened. If you are heading out the door to a conference, in all honesty, I probably won't be able to get your item reordered and delivered to you if the original didn't make it. What I can do is issue a refund (yes, I'll even take care of you for the crazy stuff) in the hope that you can find something else you can purchase locally. Not ideal, but we may not have a lot of choice.
About quantity variations: There is this bizarre standard in the print industry that states that +/- 10% is within acceptable tolerances. The first time I saw this, I thought WHAT??! But it's there, and, if you think about it, it makes sense. If they have to stop/start the presses or something jams or a dog eats the paper, they have an allowance built in since they're not going to have someone sit there and count your postcards. I've actually counted product before (yes, all 2,500 hundred items) and I've never had my print shop come in under (always over). But with that said, the allowance is there. If you need a specific amount that hits right at a quantity price break, it might make sense to bump up to the next level. Usually ordering to the next price point is fairly nominal.
About a few damaged items: Another weird industry thing: sometimes there are "press marks" on some of your items (may be about 10-50 or so). These are usually extras (see note on quantity variations above). You can use them if they are good enough, otherwise, just recycle.
What if the color isn't quite what I expected? Different devices have different display qualities, and unless your monitor is professionally calibrated, the color and brightness of your finished product will likely differ from what you see on your screen. The reason for this is because color on a back-lit screen is produced by light shining through pixels. Color on paper is produced by light reflecting off of ink. One way to minimize surprises is to print a copy of your proof on a local printer, but read on . . .
Even if you print on your home printer, you might still experience color variations. Other things that affect color is the finish. Glossy paper will make colors look brighter; matte paper absorbs light and will make colors appear more muted.
Equipment and ink/toners brands make a difference as well. With the exception of a few locally printed products, most of Ninth Moon's products are printed by a third party print shop that specializes in high-volume/low cost printing. This enables my business to keep my costs at a reasonable price point. I've tried several print shops, and this one does a great job overall. They're not perfect (no print shop is)-- but 99% of their products arrive on time and look beautiful. The print shop employs HEIDELBERG OFFSET® sheet-fed presses and digital presses that use 4-color process (CMYK) printing, guaranteeing a +/-15% tolerance to industry color standards. For most promotional items, this is more than fine. I usually "pick" colors off of your cover art when creating a design, so even if there is an overall color variance, the colors used in your design will coordinate within your product.
Can I get a printed proof sent to me prior to approving the print job? Unfortunately, because of the high volume nature of the print shops I work with, they are unable to accommodate printed proof requests. However--one thing I've found might be helpful: If you have a Ninth Moon sample folder, send me an email and I can send you the digital proof of one of the items you have in hand (e.g. a bookmark). You could then compare the printed version to what you see on your screen to get a feel for how the printed version might vary compared to what you see on your equipment.
Please note: If you need an absolute, exact match to a particular color (or spot-color printing) for any reason, I recommend going to a local print shop for assistance.
And if I'm still not satisfied? While I'd love to keep you as a customer, if you're truly not happy with my services or products, I'll refund 100% of your purchase price so you can try another vendor. It's okay--I realize all marriages aren't made in heaven.