LEADTIMES & RUSH FEES
Please allow sufficient time to complete your order. This usually means two to three weeks in advance. Your job may only take us a few hours to print, but we have other customers who ordered before you. You wouldn't go to a busy restaurant and expect to receive your food right after sitting down at the table. Naturally, you would have to make a reservation, wait to be seated, place the order with the waiter, and then wait for the cooks to process all the orders ahead of yours. The worst scenarios involve "emergency" or last-minute order known as "rush jobs". They often result in additional costs (shipping or picking up shirts and other supplies) and problems because we have to drop what we are doing to work on your order. Remember, when people are rushed, they make mistakes. This may result in us having to purchase more shirts or supplies to complete your order, so we have to budget for such inefficiencies and waste. At avanTgarde, any order with a turn-around of less than 48 hours is considered a rush job. Same day orders (if accepted) will incur a MINIMUM $100 rush fee and next day orders will be assessed a $50 rush fee.
PRINTING ERRORS WILL BE CREDITED/REPLACED
Printing errors are our responsibility, and we stand behind our work. A legitimate error on our part is one that resulted from some fault of our own or from failing to follow your instructions. Some examples of printing errors are wrong ink color (when a specific Pantone was provided), wrong placement (ex. back logo was printed on the front), bleeding or muddy print, incomplete print (due to screen drying up or not being washed out thoroughly), etc. These types of errors are almost non-existent thanks to our sample approval requirement, but they do happen on rare occasions (about four orders per thousand). If such a situation presents itself, we always replace the goods or offer a credit/refund. However, we will not offer refunds or reprints on subjective discrepancies. Fashion is very subjective in nature; one person wouldn't be caught dead wearing something while another person thinks it's the greatest ever. Examples of subjective claims are 'the pink is too dark' (you must provide Pantone numbers if you want a specific tone or color), 'It looks too small, I wanted it bigger' (you should always provide all artwork to scale or indicate the size in inches on the tech pack), or 'the ink is too thick' (you have a choice between inks that absorb into the fabric and those that rest on top, so this is not a valid argument). Claiming that the "quality" is not good or the garments are "unsellable" is not a valid reason for giving a discount, credit, or refund. Unfortunately, the nature of making custom t-shirts renders the product useless to others should you not want it, so only you can use the garments once they're printed with your name on them. It's like getting a haircut - once it's done, there's not much you can do if you're not happy. So if someone is not satisfied for a reason other than our mistake, we cannot return or undo the order. In the case of a refund, the wholesale cost shall be used in determining refunds- not your end retail price.
RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE
We want to work with anyone who wants to create exceptional and beautiful apparel products. We take pride in our work and enjoy helping businesses grow. However, we do reserve the right to turn down jobs and clients. If our schedule is oversubscribed, your deadline unlikely to be met, or for any other reason - we may choose not to take on your job. We typically turn down a couple of orders each day simply because they are not a good fit or we cannot accomodate the demands of the order. You should not consider your order in process until we provide you with a quote and you provide us with payment. Emailing us that you want to order t-shirts does not constitute an order. Likewise, your order will not be started until artwork, a size breakdown (quantities per size), and payment are received. If you call on a Monday asking for t-shirts by Friday, but you don't provide the artwork until Thursday, it was never an order, and we most likely won't be able to take it with one day's notice.
Customers assume full liability and responsibility for their artwork and any copyright or trademark infringement. We have no way of knowing if you are authorized to use a particular graphic, logo, or photo. In today's Internet age, anyone can download a photo or clip art from Google images and present it as their own. We do not have the time or resources to research or verify your artwork. Please be an honest citizen and respect the work and title of other artists. Should any legal issues arise from your use of a name, image, logo, or other intellectual property, you shall be fully responsible for such use.
PROMPT PICK-UP / NO STORAGE
Clients are responsible for picking up their orders in a timely manner. Any materials or goods left for more than three months shall be considered abandoned and may be sold, donated, or disposed of. We cannot warehouse products, and we are not in the fulfillment business. Likewise, clients shall pay for all shipping costs directly to UPS or FEDEX with their account or credit card. We do not use our accounts to ship your goods. We always insure the product (wholesale cost) when we ship, and this is an added expense (but well worth it). In all our years, we have only had one shipment lost (two boxes via UPS to Seattle), but we were glad it had been insured. You must specify what shipping method you would like to use or we will ship goods GROUND. You are responsible for all charges- so if shipping a box of t-shirts to Virginia costs $600 for overnight delivery, then that is between you and Fedex. We don't make money from the shipping, so we are not in any way liable for lost merchandise or late delivery or outrageous prices on rush shipments.
CREDIT CARD POLICY
All new customers who wish to pay by credit card must complete a credit card authorization form. This is to ensure that you are providing us with permission to charge your card and eliminates the risk of charge-backs. We do not store credit card information. Please be prepared to provide your card information each time you order; this is for your own protection. When making a credit card payment, please provide the card number, expiration date, CCV, and billing zip code. We are currently using Square as our processing company, and we will email you a Square receipt of your credit card charge. We no longer charge a "loss of cash discount" for using credit cards, but any returns will may incur a fee from our processor.
PROVIDE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
Likewise, please provide as much information as possible to ensure that you receive the product you have in mind. There are several variables that can result in a product that does match your expectations. For example, if you ask for yellow ink but do not provide a Pantone number or color standard, we may print a gold yellow when you actually wanted (in your mind) a bright lemon color. Colors, sizes, placements, and ink types are some common variables that can cause discrepancies.
The best way to ensure you get what you want is to provide us with a tech pack. A tech pack will have the artwork, colors, size/scale, and placement information for printing. A sample tech pack our client sent us for Sprint is shown here.
Mockups are images that show what the graphics will look like on the shirt. We will do our best to match a mock-up or use rule-of-thumb sizing and placements if none are specified, but we would prefer you tell us exactly what you want to avoid any risk of dissatisfaction. A mockup a client prepared for Grindr is shown here.
You can also complete our order form shown here to give us detailed instructions. When we get an order, we input all the information on the order form so that the printers have the answers to any questions that normally arise.
SAMPLE APPROVAL IS REQUIRED
In most new production runs (more than 36 pieces), we require sample approval before we print all the shirts. This allows you to make any changes or catch mistakes before the final work is done. Local customers may come in person to see samples, but usually we send digital photos via email. Samples must be approved within a two-hour window. If you don't respond within this time, we will have to take down your job and push it back in the production schedule. We cannot afford to have machines sitting idle when there is a backlog of work to be completed. Another reason for this rule is that water base and discharge inks will clog the screens if not put to use. If you do not respond in time, we will either bump the job if we have any doubts, or we will move forward if our sample matches the instructions provided. Any changes that result from your changing your mind (subjective changes) may incur additional charges such as new screens, color matching, or ink change fees. Any error on our part will be corrected/adjusted free of charge.
SCREENS ARE PROPERTY OF AVANTGARDE
The film/screen fees (starting at $50) are for the work and materials required to complete the steps in creating your color separated stencils. These steps are the preliminary actions taken before a shirt is ever printed, and they constitute the most time-intensive part of printing t-shirts. These steps are: 1. prepare your artwork on the computer (color-separate, resize, and convert files to solid black layers) and print out each layer onto films, 2. coat nylon mesh screens with a photo-sensitive emulsion and let them dry, 3. expose the dry emulsion with your films on the screens under a special lamp, 4. wash the emulsion that was blocked by your films out with a pressure washer and let them dry, then tape the edges, block out pinholes, etc., and 4. register the screens on the press, apply the ink, and print test samples on pellons. Paying for creating the stencils does not give you ownership of the actual frames. If you want to take the screens with you after your order, you need to buy them for an additional $15 each. This fee covers the replacement cost of the frame and mesh (a new screen costs us $25-30 for standard size screens). We only hold onto the screens for a limited time. It is impossible for us to store every screen from every job, so we usually save them for 3 months and then reclaim (erase) them. If you come back to us in 6 months or longer and want to reorder, you may have to pay set-up fees to remake the screens (the art and films are kept on file for up to a year). Typically, customers are not charged for re-making screens so long as the order is for production quantities (36 units or more per graphic).
ORDERS MUST BE PRE-PAID
We are in the business of making CUSTOM t-shirts. That means that we purchase raw materials and perform work and modifications that only have value to YOU or your customers. Therefore, we require a deposit of 100% when ordering t-shirts or apparel and printing or embroidery services as once we modify the goods, they cannot be returned to our suppliers or sold to other people. When you provide us with the blank apparel or fabric for decorating/printing/embroidery, we require a 50% deposit to pay for supplies that will be used on your job. If we order a special pink foil for your shirts, and then you cancel the order, we would be stuck with the foil for an indefinite time and be out the cost of goods. That is why we will not begin work without a payment. Please do not confuse emailing us your intention to order with an actual order. We do not purchase t-shirts or other materials until you have paid for the job.
SHORTAGES & DEFECTS - BLANK GOODS
Manufacturers have quality control personnel who are supposed to reject any damaged or imperfect goods. However, out of millions of t-shirts, thousands will slip through with mistakes. Some common defects we find are holes, fabric snags, dye or oxidation stains, sewing errors, wrong count, and mislabeled sizes. Some brands like have poor quality controls and ship defective goods on a regular basis, and some online and Fashion District retailers buy these as "imperfects" or "2nd quality". You can always tell because the manufacturer's label/tag will be cut in half.
Blank t-shirt defects are not our responsibility (unless we made the blanks for you). If you are providing the blanks to us, please inspect them beforehand. Our printers are trained to not print these garments so they can be returned to the manufacturer or distributor for credit. However, in some instances, we may not notice the defect until after the garment has been printed. In this situation, we are not liable for replacing that garment. [An example of this is you provide us with t-shirts to print your logo on the front. One of the shirts has a hole on the back. We don't notice the hole until our quality control person is packing it into the box.] However, when you order the shirts directly from us, we will make sure any damages are replaced or credited to your bill even when we catch the defect too late.
PROOF/CHECK YOUR ART
All clients are responsible for reviewing their artwork or text before submitting it for printing. If your graphic has a typographical error or misspelled word, we may or may not catch the mistake. We do not know if you intended to spell Gators as Gayters, and likewise, we may not have time to read through all the names or text. Please proof read and examine your artwork to avoid costly mistakes. If we print your shirts with an error in your art, you will be liable for paying for those shirts.
This shirt is an example of such a situation: we were so focused on making sure the photo-realistic print came out correctly that we didn't notice the word "basketball" was missing a K. (Perhaps it was also due to the placement of the word near the subject's head.) We sent a proof before-hand to the client, but he still didn't notice the error in his artwork. Only after printing and delivering the finished shirts did he call back to mention that he noticed the mistake.