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I am just wondering why so many people say they do not have the digitized design format for their designs. When I outsource digitizing or do it myself, if the customer paid for the service, I give it to them. I was wanting to know why or if others do the same. Many times they want their logo embroidered on shirt, like what they have, but the embroiderer in past didn't or won't give to them. Am I the only one that thinks when they pay for it, they should get it, even if later they take it to another embroiderer. I have run across this many times, I do wish they already had the digitizing done. Thanks for your thoughts...Greg
 

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It's because if I need to get more embroidery done, I am going to go back to the same guy that did it the first time. If he gives me the file, I might lose it.

But, I have asked for files before, once a year after it was created, and it was provided.

From the embroiderers standpoint, it creates a captured customer. One way or another, he will have another contact with the customer to try to get them to give him more business.
 

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I tell the customer up front the digitized design belongs to them. I explain I keep them on file for future needs.if they ask for the file,I give to them. I'm in the opinion if they are charged for the design, that it belongs to them. ... JB
 

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That same question applies to all printing/decorating forms. Printers also are against "giving the artwork" to the customer even though they "paid for it". A lot of times quotes will even have that disclaimer and that the artwork fee is merely a bare cost that does not totally cover all aspects of the production of that artwork. It is a touchy subject.
 

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Depending on the design, I may want to offer it to other people if they have no objection. If I pay for the design to be digitized, I keep it. If the customer specifically pays for it, I give it to them on a CD. Otherwise, it's open to negotiation...
 

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I think its okay to release digitized designs when requested because if you do good work at a fair price it generally won't happen. There are times when this happens for a good reason such as a customer who moves a distance or a job that must be run in quantities that can no longer be handled by the former shop. I wouldn't advertize this because there are price shoppers who if given their file would price shop a job every time and this can contribute to the lowering of prices (decorator's profit). On the flip side I don't necessarily like receiving digitized files from other sources because often the digitizing isn't up to my standards so the file needs editing. I think if you do release designs it should be with the understanding that you'll only do it once and it will be their responsibility to get the file to their new decorator.
 

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Post a Bold sign in your shop Any artwork screens or templated created--------- property!!!!!!!! by--------- is considered
 

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here is my take. If you don't charge for the digitizing, I would consider it yours and only give to the customer for a fee. If you have charged the customer for the service, then they should own it. Charge enough to make it worth it to you. Otherwise, tell the customer that digitizing the design is a file you set up as a tool to produce the end product they want. But, if you would like a copy of that file, it will cost you $xx.
 

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If you charge to do it, it's for your shop use, if they want it for their own purposes they should pay again to own it. If you let it go out the door then they can take your work to anyone and then someone else can undercut your bids because they don't have to do the digitizing. How would you like to see someone wearing a shirt you worked on but lost the bid because your competitor saved the client money because they had the artwork you created?
 

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If you charge to do it, it's for your shop use, if they want it for their own purposes they should pay again to own it. If you let it go out the door then they can take your work to anyone and then someone else can undercut your bids because they don't have to do the digitizing. How would you like to see someone wearing a shirt you worked on but lost the bid because your competitor saved the client money because they had the artwork you created?
Agreed, in a lot of ways digitizing is no different than a screen printer burning a screen for a print job, customers could ask for the screens when the job is done since they paid a setup fee....that would never happen but I'd bet some customers have asked.

Just MHO.
 

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There's a lot of good points here. Bottom line is, if you if you charge something to a customer, and it's on the invoice as such, you basically have to deliver. If you wish to retain the customer and not owe them "a file", don't charge them for "a file". If I need to eat part of the cost to get my foot in the door, I will clearly state on the invoice that I'm doing this and that if a copy of the file is to be surrendered, I will bill the customer accordingly when that happens.

Ian
 

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I just build the digitizing cost into the total order cost. The customer is paying for the digitizing but they just don't know it. Then if they come back later looking for the design so they can get one of my competitors to do a job then I can just say that I didn't charge them a digitizing fee so the digitized design of their logo is mine.

Lar
 

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If I have charged the customer for digitizing, AND they ask for the file, I will give it to them.

This is a service they have paid for, so in my mind, it belongs to them. Most don't ask for it though, because they have no use for it.

Even if the customer wants the file later down the road to take it to another embroiderer, I feel that not giving them the file burns a bridge, whereas giving it to them fosters good will. It's really a customer service issue.
 

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"If you are "Contracted by Payment of a Fee" the Person who pays the fee is the "Owner" of the Item Contracted For."

This is no different than someone that is contracted to write the music for a company producing a movie, the writer unless his contract so states has no rights to the music he produces while under payment by their employer.

If however, you charge a "Set-up Fee" this is something that has nothing to do with artwork. If they bring artwork, then they are entitled to the return of the "Original Supplied Artwork" they are not getting the Digitized Work. You can always give them the work in an off the wall file also if you are so inclined, who knows maybe the other embroiderer can convert it.

Honestly though, if your customer wants the artwork and you charged them a fee for doing the artwork then by law they have a right to a copy of it if that is what you charged them for. Personally, if I do a great piece of work for a logo, I do not charge an Artwork Fee or digitizing fee, I will charge a fixed set up fee. If they want the artwork they will be charged a fair rate for Graphics Art Work at a per hour rate and will be given the artwork in an .ai or a .cdr file depending upon the Art/Draw program used in the creation of the work, most will not pay the average hourly rate of $150 to $250 for the principal artist nor will they pay the $50 - $100 for studio staff. Most will have an average of 4 hours minimum charged. If they do want to pay then I'll definately allow them the artwork based on 4 hours minimum at my fee of $225 an hour as principal.

Really, its in how you word it and apply it and WHO the Customer is! :rolleyes:
 

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if you charge a setup fee then it is a labor charge.
if you charge a disk fee the it is a product that is owned by the person that paid for it..
In our case we charge a digitizing fee and give the design to the customer if asked for.
if we did the design for free then we charge to make a copy or email it to customer
 

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I charge a 25% of the total digitizing fee up front and I keep the design. If the customer wants the digitized design then they pay the other75%. I explain this before doing the job.
 

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Everyone has their own theorys on this. You may not agree with my theory and thats OK as well
But their is one key !
The MOST important thing is to have a policy and let your customers know UP FRONT what the policy is.
Important Note Here. Up Front means that you tell them before the work is done or that you have them sign a form that explains it as well.

With this being said I will say unlike most other posters here I almost never give an end user customer a copy of their embroidery file.

Our shop charges a "SET UP" fee which covers alot of things including getting the artwork ready to digitize. modifying the supplied artwork for embroidery use, proofing the file, storing the file, matching colors and recording the final design in our database and customer file directory.
We are VERY up front about our policy before the work ever starts.
Yes I have had local shops mad at me when I will not give them a file ! At the same time I NEVER call and ask them for a file either ! In most cases if I want to win over a customer I am going to tell them that I need to digitize it to our quality and production standards anyway !

Quick Note here.
We also do alot of Contract Embroidery.
We do not own those files the person that contracted us to do the file owns them. They are stored in a different data base and my staff is not even allowed to use them if they wanted to. END USERS are very different that Contract Embroidery or Digitizing as far as File Ownership goes.

We have been doing this for a long time and most of the people in my area do not have the skills to duplicate our digitizing work and they do not offer the level of service that we offer as well.

In the past I have bent over backwards for a customer to have them say
"Frank down the street will do the job for 25 cents less per shirt"
Im quick to say to tjat type of customer that I understand if Price is your most important issue that I am not the cheapest guy in town.
If you want to try "FRANKS SHOP" then we understand but we really do hope that you can justify the added value of dealing with us and the quality and service that we provide.
Another NOTE.
I do NOT allow my customers to tell me how to charge for my services.
I do NOT change my prices to meet the competition that cannot produce the quality or offer the service that we provide. Im not wanting to be the cheapest shop in town. I have watched the Cheap Guys go under many times in the past.
I do NOT care if I loose a customer that does not see the added value of dealing with our business
I am very picky about the quality of work we provide and the level of service that we offer as well.

You cannot use the best quality, offer the fastest service and be the cheapest guy in town. The numbers just do not work that way.

Before I get slammed here. I understand that there is a market for the the guys that want to sell CHEAP. Thats OK. Its just not the market I go after.
Okay back to business
Even if my customer goes down the street and "FRANKS SHOP" does get one job using his file 95% of the time they come back and say well gee he was a little cheaper but your work was better.
This has happened hundreds of times thru thru the years. I stick to what I believe works for me.

My second reason is I want to retire one day and when I do I will sell the business. Its not easy to sell a Service related business. Most people dont want to pay more than the equipment is worth unless you can justify the difference.
By Far the most valuable asset my business has is the files we own and the customer data base we have built up over the years.
Yes I have a few hundred thousand in equipment but that can be replaced with buying new machines.
The REAL Value is our customer data base and the files we own.

So when I go to retire I can tell a potential buyer that the only place those files exist is on my server then that has a real value. Match them up to our database in Quickbooks and a buyer can see the potential value of the business well beyond the value of the equipment.

We have worked hard to build up our business over the last 15 plus years and that hard work should have a value if you handle it properly.

Everyone has their own theorys. My policy works well for me at my shop but thats not to say its the only way. Im just sticking to what works for me !

Rick
 
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