4693 Kent Road | Kent, Ohio 44240

Paypal Stopped Them

Paypal Stopped Them

Terms of Service for your apparel decorator business - Do you need one or not?

If you are not sure why a "terms of service" for your business is worth thinking about, read this short article on Inc.com, as I think it brings the question into focus clearly and quickly: Paypal Stopped a Horrible Group from Using Their Service

Our business was on one of two main streets in a college town. We had young customers that asked for designs that were well beyond reasonable. Some were just awful, and we chose to not do their work.

In our embroidery and apparel decoration business, we drew the line in the sand here:

  1. If my mom or dad saw that job on any of our equipment, would it bother me?
  2. Would I be OK if Mom or Dad ran the machines to produce that order, if I sold it?

If the answer was yes to the first question, or no to the second one, we did not take that job. Before I flat out turned the work down, I tried to work with the customer to come up with design options that were not as offensive or out of line. Sometimes it worked out, and sometimes they were set on what they wanted and it did not work out. In today's business culture, I think it does make sense to have a written "terms of service" for your company, particularly if you have employees and salespeople.

In fact, the companies from whom we order all our blank apparel and products have clear guidelines on what can be added to many of the products they provide! Some of these guidelines are mandated by the manufacturers, companies like Nike and The North Face. Here is an example, from The North Face:

The North Face prohibits placing logos, emblems, or designs on The North Face products that negatively impact The North Face brand including, without limitation, logos, emblems, and designs that are obscene, vulgar, advocate or display violence or illegal activity, and/or relate to the firearms and ammunition, tobacco, sex (including gentlemen’s clubs) and pornography industries. Also, The North Face is an environmentally-conscious and socially and politically aware brand and reserves the right to prohibit logos, emblems, and designs that, in its sole and absolute discretion, run counter to, or are inconsistent with, its brand identity.

How do you handle this, or has it not happened in your business? Post below or email me and let me know - jennifer@nnep.com.


5 Responses

  1. joi dance says:

    We have been approached to produce patches which were vulgar or Satanic. I have no problem telling people that we do not digitize nor embroider these types of things. I will not ask my employees to look at nor run these types of subjects on our embroidery machines. We have been very Blessed many times our our 53 years of business and do not need that type of work to survive.
    I have found most people actually are not surprised, and one guy even told me I was the fourth person to decline the order. What does that tell you?

  2. Larry Nolan says:

    The “Supreme Court of the United States” ruled last July that offensive language on Licence Plates was legal because it is protected by the First Amendment.

    This Ruling allows anyone to place anything they want on any object. This technically negates the “Terms of Service “ Nike, or whomever wants whatever design placed on their product.

    • Jennifer Cox says:

      While that is true, it does not mean that we have to be the ones to create something that we find offensive. Your business = your values as the driving force behind it.

  3. Nancy Woodruff says:

    Luckily I really don't get requests for embroidery from any of these types of people except some years ago doing some embroidery for U.S. Smokeless Tobacco but they ordered caps from KC Caps.

  4. Tim says:

    Thank you
    See you in Charlotte!

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