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Are you competing against trade printers now? 4over going direct.

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  • Are you competing against trade printers now? 4over going direct.

    Apparently 4Over is now going direct.

    We just had one of our clients send us a quote screenshot addressed to them from 4over. In no way, shape, or form, would they look like, be represented as, or be mistaken as a printer or a broker.

    Spoke with customer service at 4over and they claim it is impossible. I can tell you for certain it is not.

    I hope others see this as big a deal as I do considering they are advertising on this site.

  • #2
    I really don't think they are going direct. If I ever found out they were, it would mean an immediate end to our business relationship. I had a situation where a customer had access. Not sure how they represented themselves as a trade business, or if they did at all. Many company designers do design work on the side as well, so if they are a legal business (many are, including me) they could sign themselves up. That may be the case with my customer. It wasn't really the business. In my case the "designer" never could design for print worth a hoot, so they got crap back and finally came back to us because it was cheaper than all the reprints.

    If you have a screen shot with a customer that clearly is not in the trade, that is a big, big deal. I'd love to see it. I'll probably be going to the DC open house and I'd love to have a print of it with me when I'm face-to-face with them.

    ADD: We also had a real estate company who set themselves up as a print broker and sold business cards and more to their agents. They were using many companies, including 4Over, Zoo, Navitor, etc. Because they had a business license with the correct SIC, a resale tax certificate, and their agents are all independent contractors, they could do it. There was nothing legally we could do to them or our vendors.
    Last edited by gregbatch; 06-21-2016, 04:51 PM.

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    • #3
      gregbatch,

      I am on the same page as you regarding there are ways for an end customer to get around it... but they sent the screenshot to me.. and the business name the quote is addressed to is ABSOLUTELY not anything remotely close to a designer, broker, or print house.. the name of the company actually spells out what industry they are in very clearly.

      If I was to share the screenshot I would endanger the relationship we do have with the client, and we are just starting to get work from them. If you send 4over work now I would be very careful. I am not a competitor of theirs so this does me no real benefit other than to share this with others it might effect. We are just a small blip on the radar trying to keep local business local and I am very frustrated to see a quote like this come to me to compete with.

      Without releasing the name, Ill try and give you an example, the quote would have been addressed to Custom Kitchen Solutions if it was in the kitchen industry... the name of the company was very indicative of what it was which was not a printer at all. I get what you are saying about the realty industry where they sell to their agents etc., this really doesn't come close to that either. Just a local business that does a fair amount of their own print marketing.

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      • #4
        That would be the end of our relationship if we ever found them to be doing that. I still may confront them on that using your example. Live in person is much more effective than on the phone.

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        • #5
          And just to be sure, it is 4over, and not 4over4...

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          • #6
            I know of another company that does this. A trade shop and a commercial printer both owned by one person, but under the same roof. Many people don't want to deal with this company because of their reputation, so they go around the agencies and go directly to the end client. The said company has also been known to poach their own clients customers.

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            • #7
              A couple of well known trade/retail shops: Printostat/Got Print, Signs2Trade/E-Signs. I don't trust anyone that serves both. No matter how good the intentions, when they get hungry they will try to snatch your customers.

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              • #8
                Hell, I'm hungry enough that if I was a trade printer with a particular client with several large sub-clients, I would go after the sub-clients if they went out of business or became @ssholes.

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                • #9
                  I had the same thing happen with Zoo and a realtor we were doing postcards for, somehow the realtor got something from them when they opened the NJ location, they were clearly not in the trade but Zoo still sold to them, called Zoo and they saw the issue but never fixed it, not sent Zoo another job since.
                  (2) Ricoh Pro 7110SX digital printers
                  OKI C931e with Straight Shooter Envelope feeder

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gregbatch View Post
                    And just to be sure, it is 4over, and not 4over4...
                    Sorry. There should have been a question mark on that. We are sure it was from 4Over and not 4Over4, correct?

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                    • #11
                      ALERT: What got me to google this forum was a 4Over wrong delivery this morning. Their driver attempted to deliver to us a 4Over job. Since we had no orders in production at 4Over, I checked the package and discovered it's been retail-pinted for a business neighbor. I gave the package back to the driver and alerted him that the address he needs is on the next block. I also found from the label that the package was not being drop-shipped. This opens a serious question about 4Over's commitment to exclusive trade printing, especially that word of mouth between end users could explain the gradual drop in our local printing orders.

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                      • #12
                        I was looking at 4over and debating setting up an account with them. Previous to this news and my sleuthing I read other rumors of that business going direct to other businesses (not printers, resellers, designers or brokers). I haven't sent them any work. I do find that most 'Trade' houses still have another duplicate business model selling direct though. Really does a true 'Trade' printer/bindery etc even exist? I try to select a 'Trade' printer for sub-contracted work but... I often wonder if I'm quoting against them often.

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                        • #13
                          Would love to hear an official response from 4over.

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                          • #14
                            I have never heard of 4Over actually going direct. The few times I've heard complaints, it turned out to be 4over4. 4over4 is a retail web2print in New York.

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                            • #15
                              If someone wanted to they could fake their way into any trade shop. I've found most large trade shops have a subsidiary tucked away. So long as they charge retail prices I don't see it as a threat. I've never had a customer approached by anyone I've dealt with. If customers aren't happy for whatever reason, they will shop around. The internet makes that easy. Look after your clients and you'll be OK - so long as you arn't gouging them.
                              I've had many people come to me and tell me; "We tried VistaPrint . . ."

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