Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SKATEBOARD INDUSTRY REVIEW: The Quincy Woodwrongs of Quincy Woodwrights

*As a small skate shop owner it is pretty discouraging when companies that you depend on don’t live up to your expectations. It’s even worse when mistakes made by these companies are dismissed as “business as usual.” Our Skateboard Industry Reviews are meant to be a collection of companies and people that it would be best not to deal with if you are trying to run a successful small business (skate shop, private label, etc), according to my personal experiences. If by chance you plan on dealing with these companies, proceed with caution. Its your dollar thats at stake, and they don't mind taking it from you.

A few months back I learned of a wood shop that I had not heard of before. The most appealing thing about them was that they too were from the Midwestern sector of the United States. I was stoked that I had found a wood shop that would be a little easier on my wallet as far as shipping was concerned. I searched the internet for info on this company to find out as much as I could before ordering and this was all that I could find:

I was a little skeptical at first because the owner of Quincy Woodwrights, Jonathan Julien, that I saw in the video didn't look like much of a skateboarder. I was even more taken aback to find that the only other place that carried Quincy Woodwrights skateboards at the time was the trendy corporate store TILLYS. I should have known what I was getting myself into but I just figured that I would be supporting a wood shop from the Midwest and that seemed like a plus to me. So I decided to give them a shot.

TURNAROUND (First Order): I contacted them and got my first order started as soon as I could. At the time I was in a pinch and needed decks as soon as possible. My sales rep from Quincy Woodwrights seemed like every new sales rep that I encounter, eager to help me place an order. I was informed that it would be a 4-6 week turnaround. I accepted the offer, sent them my artwork with specific instructions on printing and my artwork was approved on 06/01/16. *Most wood shops that I have done business with tend to charge 50% down and the remainder of the total when the order ships out. So I was happy to see that the 50% downpayment was charged on 06/03/16 and as the weeks passed I noticed that on 07/12/16 they had charged my credit card again. It appeared that my decks were finished and I was stoked! Then the days turned into weeks and I was puzzled why my decks hadn't arrived. I hit them up to inquire about the order and I was given the "not shipped yet" treatment. On 08/08/16 I was informed that the decks had finally shipped. If you do the math you will find that when they say 4-6 weeks turnaround that they actually mean about 2 months. It would not have been such a bummer if my sales rep would have been upfront about how long it would actually take to complete my order. I figured that there was no sense in crying over spilled milk so I accepted this as part of the game, as usual when dealing with most skateboard wood shops.

REORDER (Debacle): On 09/28/16 my "trusty" sales rep hit me up saying that he had 35 of my transfers left on hand and that if I wanted to reorder to hit him up. I figured sure, why not. I got the reorder going and on 09/30/16 they had already shipped them. It wasn't until I got the reorder that I noticed what had happened. Basically Quincy Woodwrights must have had a bunch of leftover decks on hand and they needed to get rid of them because my reorder of decks did not look anything like my first batch of decks. They had used stained decks for a graphic that was specifically meant to be printed on natural blanks. They totally disregarded the proof that they had sent me on the first order and unloaded their overstock of decks on me. Out of the 35 decks that they sent me on the reorder 33 of them were so dark that the the type was no longer legible and the overall aesthetic of the deck had totally changed.

CONCLUSION: Being a printer myself (for the last 24 years of my life), I would never be able to get away with a mistake like this in the real business world but you have to remember that this is the skateboarding industry and not the real business world where a quality product is guaranteed. If someone ordered tees, skateboards or other printed ephemera from me and I sent them a proof that shows one thing and then I print their order differently I would do whatever it takes to correct the mistake. Or, I would be totally upfront with the customer from the beginning and disclose all of the details before accepting their order and taking their money. The truth is that Quincy Woodwrights is not concerned with quality control or customer service because they did nothing to fix their mistake. From my last contact with their sales rep he could not comprehend the problem nor did he step up to even offer a solution to help correct the mistake.

If you own a skate shop or are looking for a wood shop to produce your own private label decks, and you don't care about a blatant disregard for quality control, the lack of attention to detail and nonexistent customer service by all means give Quincy Woodwrights a chance. If every dollar counts to your small business I suggest dealing with a reliable wood shop, even if you have to pay a little extra for shipping. You get what you pay for and in cases like this, if you are not careful, you may get swindled for what you pay for.


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