Opinions needed....


Well-known member
Some items we print and mail for clients require a 6-3/4 remittance envelope. Some clients have been providing these to us which have been printed elsewhere. Some have been purchased online and some by other local shops that low balled the price. Most of the time we have to fold the envelopes for insertion. During the folding process we have caught crooked printing (off by 3/16" or more), blanks sides and even other companies envelopes mixed in. We typically will set what we catch aside and return them to the client, but we may or may not catch 100% of the bad envelopes. My concern is if a receiver gets a mailer with a bad envelope and asks the mail owner who printed the mailer, they will inevitably say our company. I'm doubtful they will ask who printed the crooked ass envelope. Now I'm not saying we are 100% mistake free, but we have a reputation of quality which we have built in the last 57 years.

So with more clients getting items as cheap as possible, what are your opinions on accepting supplied printed materials to use in your finished products? I'm half tempted to stop accepting items we do not print, but on the other hand I don't want to offend the clients. I get that we are not the cheapest shop in town, that's not our business model and never will be. But when I had that conversation with a client she didn't understand, even after I handed her back crooked and blank envelopes her supplier printed.



Well-known member
If you feel your reputation would be tarnished, then I would say don't accept the supplied envelopes anymore. If this is a valued client, and you've shown them examples of the defective envelopes they've brought in, it's a component that you can print yourself, and they'll still look to place blame on you, then I would reconsider the value of the work to you.

We pride ourselves on finding defects that get past proofing (like typo's). Sometimes it's our bindery people who pick up on this. Clients are thrilled and shower us with thanks. Other times covers for perfect bound books are supplied to us, and are randomly missing embellishments like foil stamping or spot coatings. Once again, we'll pull what we can. But NEVER has a client held us responsible for something they supplied or missed in proofing. When an issue occurs, we evaluate the client relationship and the expense to re-do the job. We then come to an agreeable solution with the client. Sometimes we'll re-do for free, but we ask that our good will gets recognized where it counts.


Well-known member
We experience these and other quality issues all the time on some client sourced print pieces for mailing (in this case, usually all we are doing is inkjetting the address and mailing it). It just is apparent that most printers don’t care as much as we do..

We set aside the worst of it, don’t use it if they provided enough for spoilage (hah!), and point it out to the client and or vendor, but ultimately I’m sure some of it makes it out anyway.

I would document the bad product and establish the issue once with the client, ask how much time they want you to spend doing QC..I’m sure most of the time they will say very little or none - maybe they have a very important mailing where they would appreciate the extra thorough inspection - but ultimately I don’t think actually refusing customer supplied product is going to accomplish anything but make them replace you. If the client is indifferent about quality when price is on the line, so be it. If you think you can provide the same product to them at a similar price with perfect quality, then I guess you have a case to offer that.

My opinion is that in the case of mailings, it’s unlikely your rep is on the line over it unless your name is on it. And most mail gets beat up in the USPS and goes right in the trash by the recipient…so I don’t think I would choose this hill to die on.


Well-known member
We always note on work orders and invoices the supplier of each piece. It's either us, our trade partners, or the end client. Very rarely do we have an issue with material supplied by our trade partners. End client supplied material is often problematic. This is especially true with envelopes which have been sourced to any hack who could provide them over the last year. If there is an issue with an item is it quickly evident on the paperwork who is responsible.

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