Below are some of the most frequently asked questions of The Rover Outpost, along with as many anticipated questions as we could figure out. Did we miss something? Contact us with your questions!
Q: Who are you?
A: The Rover Outpost is run by a husband and wife team out of our home office. We don't have an address or phone number posted on our website mostly for our own privacy, but we will usually provide one upon request.
Q: Where are you?
A: Our home office is located in Burnaby, BC, Canada. The factories that we work with for manufacturing are located in China and Taiwan.
Q: What kind of products can you make?
A: Although we started off with embroidered crests, we've expanded to be able to take on woven crests and neckerchiefs as well. Of course, if there's something you're interested in getting made, let us know, maybe we can help!
Q: Who are your customers?
A: While our customers have primarily been Scout groups, we've also done crests for businesses, youth groups, charities, fire departments...we've even done an order that was for the US Marines!
Q: Where are your customers?
A: So far, the furthest we've done business is Australia. However, our customers are primarily all over Canada, as well as in the United States. If you're somewhere in that world that ISN'T North America, contact us to see if we can process an order to you.
Q: I've never heard of digitizing...what is it?
A: Digitizing is the process of taking the artwork of your design, and converting it into a machine-readable set of instructions, so that the embroidery machines know what colour to stitch, where, and even what direction to move.
Q: What's your turn around time?
A: It depends. If you get us during a slow point, it has been as short as 10 days. However, if the factories are busy, or your design requires a lot of tweaks and changes, that time can get much longer. For the most part, we recommend customers get in touch with us one month prior to their event.
Q: What sizes of crests can you make?
A: Embroidered (and woven for that matter) crests can be just about any size! We've done some that were only 0.75" tall by 1.5" wide, but we've also done some that were 12" tall by 10" wide. Most crests average around 2-4" per side.
Q: What sizes of neckerchiefs can you make?
A: Neckers can be made in two standardized sizes, 42" x 30", and 50" x 30". Custom sizes are also available upon request.
Q: How many thread colours can be in a design?
A: With an embroidered design, 12 thread colours, plus the background fabric, for a total of 13. Woven is currently limited to 8 (plus the border)
Q: What colours can I choose from?
A: Lots! For the exact thread and fabric cards we work with, click here. Note that these are only photographs, so the colours may not be perfectly represented. If you need an exact match, you're better off sending us a sample of what we're trying to match. As well as the regular threads, we also have metallic gold, silver, and bronze, and are able to work with a variety of glow in the dark threads.
Q: What kind of artwork should I send you? I'm not very good with [graphics program]!
A: That's ok! If you have a computer graphic, that's great! If not, a rough sketch of your design or even a good written description is the quickest way for us to know what you're after. If you only have a vague idea, that's ok as well, it just means an extra couple days for us to come up with a sketch to work from.
Q: What is the typical order process from start to finish?
A: Usually a customer sends us a sketch or an idea of what they want. If they don't have a drawing already, it usually takes our art department a couple days to come up with a couple sketches for the customer to choose from. Once we have a rough sketch, we send it over to the factory, where a higher quality, full colour image is drawn up and sent back for approval. This is the easiest and most efficient time to make changes and corrections to a design. Once the artwork has been approved, a sample is arranged to ensure that stitching for the crest will work out. The factory emails a scan of the finished crest, which then gets forwarded to the final customer for approval. Once approved, the crests are produced and shipped to TRO, where we pull out our samples and forward the package on to the end customer.
Q: Ok, so I know what you do, how you do it, and what you need from me, but how much is this going to cost?
A: Not as much as you might think! The costs depends on the following factors: how large your crest is, how much thread is involved, and how many you order. Typically, the smaller the crest, or the less thread covergae on your crest, or the more you order, the cheaper it will be. While the actual thread material costs are fairly low, fabric costs can add up on large jobs. As well, every order (whether it's one piece or 3000 pieces), has a set design cost involved, so the more you order, the less that design cost will be per crest.
Q: You didn't used to show taxes on your invoices...what gives?
A: Under the HST, we were considered a small supplier. However, with the move to PST, we are required to collect and remit PST, and we're pretty close to the requirements for GST as well, so we decided to just start applying both..
Q: I live in the Lower Mainland! Can I meet up with you and save the shipping costs?
A: The answers are simultaneously yes and no. You can meet up with us, but you probably won't save shipping costs. The costs shown on your invoice are the costs to ship from the factory to TRO, along with any duty that may be involved. Shipping from us to you is always going to be free, so by meeting up, you're saving us the cost of shipping (making us happier), and giving us a chance to meet you in person.
Q: When should I pay you?
A: If you're a first time customer, we invoice you and expect payment before we start production of your order. The reason is that if you change your mind after the crests are produced, we can't (usually) sell them to anyone else. The longer you've been a customer with us, and the more you've ordered from us, the less concerned we are about payment ahead of time. After all, you've proven to us that you're 'good for it'. However, with all our customers, payment is due within one month of the date of invoicing. Any orders that are one month delinquint will be subjected to a 10% late charge. After all, we still have to pay the factory for your order. This 10% will compound for every full month your payment is late.
Q: What payment types do you accept?
A: For the most part, we accept payment via Cheque, Money Order, Credit Card, Cash, PayPal, and RBC bank deposit. Payment is due in either Canadian or American dollars, depending on what country you're in, and what the exchange rate is like at the time of invoicing.
Q: I bought a bunch of crests, but I'm not happy with them, can I return them?
A: That depends. If you ordered merchandise off of our regular store page, then yes you can. If you ordered custom manufactured products, then no. If there is a manufacturing defect, TRO will gladly replace the affected products at no charge. However, the customer is required to approve both the artwork and the sample before production, so if you missed an error with your original sketch, or changed your mind about a colour, then we are unable to take them back. However, we may be able to arrange a discounted rate for replacements.
Q: I've never seen you advertise, why is that?
A: We believe that the very best advertisements are word of mouth. Because of that, every custom order includes one of our embroidered business cards, for you to either keep or to pass along to someone else. All orders receive these, even if you're a regular customer. We also donate crests to certain charitable or non-profit causes that are dear to us (Desert Bus, Fraser Valley Knitting Guild). These crests usually have a 'Donated by' sticker on the reverse, in order to direct people to our website.
Q: You donate crests to charitable causes? What about me or my cause?
A: That depends. We really don't have a policy regarding this. That being said, try getting in touch with us anyways. We may be willing to work out a discount or other arrangement for your cause.
Q: Do you have a guarantee?
A: In plain English: We guarantee that we will do whatever we can to try and make your order as smooth and as painless as possible. However, sometimes things out of our control happen, and in that event, we will work with you to try and come to a solution that is agreeable to all parties involved. We try to be among the lowest cost suppliers of custom crests in Canada, so if you find a better price, let us know, and maybe we can work something out.
Q: When did you write this, and how up to date is it?
A: This FAQ was updated April 2013, and should more or less stay updated. If you find something that seems blatantly odd / wrong, send us a message and we'll correct it.