Last week we placed orders and this week the packages have been arriving. Just love to open them up . . . some days it feels like Christmas! Imprinted cocktail napkins, boxes of unique party favors, party socks, Sign In Books, colorful ribbons, gift boxes, tissue papers, awesome textures awaiting paint and even a few toner cartridges have been arriving daily.
Then came the 11 dozen miniature gift boxes. The same 11 dozen boxes of gift boxes we re-packaged and schlepped back to Fed-Ex yesterday, to return them to the manufacturer. The turquoise and brown boxes that were actually mint green and brown. Very pretty, but they didn’t match the linen and materials we selected for the centerpieces. They looked like the right color in the catalogue, but when we opened the boxes and met with the client we all agreed, this is not right. So they are on their way back to our manufacturer, who is taking them back willingly. Meanwhile we have gone back in search of the right boxes. This time we are getting samples first!
Tissue paper is another issue. Do you know the difference between claret, maroon and burgundy? It’s even harder to tell when you look in a catalogue or on the internet. One manufacturer’s pink is not the same as another. So to combat ordering the wrong shade of pink or blue or green, we have put together our own swatch book with manufacturer’s labels to avoid ordering the wrong shade.
Then there was the time we ordered 100 orange and navy plaid flannel pants. However when the shipment arrived we opened it up to find 100 red and black plaid flannel shorts. No problem, manufacturer error and after returning them we received the correct order in plenty of time to get them imprinted. Client never knew it had happened. Four dozen white socks with pink pom-poms were ordered, but when the 48 arrived, we opened up the box and they were pink slouch socks. Distributor error. They shipped out the right product right away.
Over the years, we have learned to work with reputable manufacturers and distributors but most important, we have learned to order early. Fortunately we don’t run into these problems too often. However when we do, we spring into action, get on the phone and handle it. And most of the time our clients don’t have a clue anything went wrong.