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Company to Avoid: Paper Forest

Okay artists out there, I have one that's not about buyers, sellers, or commissions, this should be a reminder to do your research on companies as well, before putting any money down.

I highly advise not to do any dealings with the online print company Paper Forest, or Sticker Booth, as both are tied to the same person's email, and Paypal accounts.

I'd also like to say, I don't feel this is someone who's intentionally trying to scam, or rip off artists while laughing all the way to the bank. I get the vibe that this is someone that left an automated payment system up on a site that he's no longer (for whatever reason) keeping tabs on, which is what's causing the beware.


My A+ first time dealing with them:

My first dealings with PF started in March. I had heard some good things about them, and having seen the stickers they make in person at conventions before, figured this was where I'd want to order mine from. I uploaded two die cut designs, and placed the order. The site uses an auto checkout with Paypal, which is a little concerning when I get no confirmation beyond Paypal's 'You paid these guys!' email. But, I'd seen the work, so I didn't stress over it.

The site listed the turn around as 15-20 days, but knowing that shipping can be unpredictable, I placed my order with a week and half before I needed them for Anime Boston.

21 days rolls around and I fire off a polite email to the Support email, asking for the status, I get a reply that night and I'm informed the order is done, and was shipped the day before. Sure enough two days later a box shows up with the stickers. I'm in love, they look awesome.

I started telling people how much I loved the company after that first trip, I regret this now.

Skip forward a bit, to August. I decided to place a second order, same set up, two die cut designs, the total 122.95, with the same automated checkout through Paypal. Once again, 21 days rolls around, and I start to get antsy, but not wanting to jump the gun like last time, I just wait a bit longer. 31 days hits, and I fire off the same polite email asking for an update, letting them know, I don't mind if there's a delay, I just want some contact.

No answer two days later, I decided to ask an artist who's done work with them before over on DA. She says I'm not the first person she's heard having delays with the company since June, and she doesn't know what's up with the guy running the site. This does not instill confidence in me, so that night I track down two different emails tied to the site/guy in charge. This time I'm a little more firm, I again let them know I just want an update, even if it's to tell me there's a delay, if I DON'T get contact by the end of the week, I'll be taking it up with Paypal.

No answer to any of the three emails now. At this point I finally do the math and see it's been 43 days since the order was placed late August, almost DOUBLE the stated turn around time, and I only have 48 hours to file with Paypal.

I go ahead and file a dispute, not wanting to lose the chance to. No contact still. I put this aside, having to deal with Furfright at this point, when I get back, over a week has past, zero email, and my dispute is still sitting at 'Waiting for seller to respond', so I turn it into a Claim to get my money refunded. Still NO contact.

As of writing this, they have 3 days to contact Paypal, and I'll probably have to wait EVEN LONGER, before I actually get my money back.

In conclusion, don't use Paper Forest unless you enjoy sending your money on a three month trip around Paypal, obviously there's no one manning this site anymore, which is a shame, they did amazing stickers while it was being maintained.


EDIT:

Paypal refunded my money, no extra wait or story telling needed.
Paper Forest also updated their home page to reflect the recent wait times. I would proceed with caution, but it's VERY good that they acknowledge the problem and are willing to fix it. Let's hope I get an email in reguards to my own failed order now.




Community Tags:

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Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
alexds1
Oct. 27th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
That is quite a shame! They did some great work for me in the past, and the maintainer/ owner actually contacted me and bought some of my other products from me after doing my stickers. Thanks very much for posting this here since I was planning on using them again and wouldn't have known about this issue.
skulldog
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
A huge shame, as I really do love the stickers they make. I'd probably even continue to use them after this, if they ever came back to /actually/ keeping the 15-20 day turn round. :\
(Deleted comment)
skulldog
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Eesh sucks about the shirt, I've never bought anything from the sister site, but I did love the stickers than made me. I'd also think a huge '122.95 hold' on their Paypal funds would warrant SOME kind of response from them, I do honestly feel that no one's even looking at this point.
(Deleted comment)
skulldog
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
No number is published, I did look in hopes of getting in touch with the guy in charge. I did find his personal email with some Google-fu, but that too hasn't been answered.
pac
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
i wonder if this company bit off more than it could chew. by the looks of it, it seemed like it was one (or if not one, very few) person in their basement filling these orders. i can imagine as much pomp as they got not too long ago they'd get over run with orders, or not be able to run the company efficiently in an emergency.

it's quite a bummer they don't seem to have their act together now, being that i too heard nothing but good things in the past. good luck with your dispute!
skulldog
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
It wouldn't surprise me at all that was the case, I'd even come back to use them again if they ever got things pieced back together, or raised the minimum order to deal with the flood or whatever. I was that happy with the first order, even this snag wouldn't stop me.
supertablebunny
Oct. 28th, 2009 09:40 am (UTC)
As far as I know, it is a one-man business.
pariah_kittie
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
How sad! I always wanted to take advantage of their die-cut stickers, as those services can be hard to find. I wonder if something happened to the owner and the business just fell by the wayside.
skulldog
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
That's what I was starting to think around the time my emails when unanswered, a sad but very real possibility. If they ever pick the pieces back up, I highly recommend them for the die cut stickers, I can't find anywhere else online that offers as high quality of work for the price.
thornwolf
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Holy crap that sucks :( I'm sorry to hear that, but thanks for the warning!
skulldog
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
Least I can do, is save other people the hassle.

Chances are are I'll get my money back, since the seller hasn't contacted Paypal yet, nor provided a tracking number, just ugh for the wait at this point.
neondragon
Oct. 27th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
I've been having the same delay for two months now, and didn't think anything of it until I saw Skulldog's journal about it a couple of weeks ago. It seems I also have stickers missing in action.

I've been using paper forest for over a year and a half and previous to this, they have always been very very prompt and professional. Beautiful printing! I do wonder what happened. I'm going to wait a little while longer before trying to get my $80 on the latest order back. They were so reliable with quality products, prompt shipping, and great prices considering how short the print runs were.

For now, Paper Forest is to be avoided.

If they do manage get their act back together (and I'm really hoping they will. I've met them in person multiple times and had such good dealings with them. Andrew never struck me as the type to engage in malicious business practices.) I'd love to see or post a follow up journal about it.
skulldog
Oct. 27th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
I agree with this, they do AWESOME work, but I do feel that who ever is running it has left it alone for the last few months for whatever reason.

However, this snag wouldn't really stop me from coming back should they pick it back up in the future. I will post here should anything anything change on my end. I also hope everyone else with missing orders get a resolution as well.

Edited at 2009-10-27 02:27 am (UTC)
neondragon
Nov. 2nd, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
They updated their main page with this notice:

http://www.paper-forest.com/



So the page itself has been updated. I'm hoping that this means that he's going to make good on his outstanding orders. I'll update if and when I receive mine. Really really hoping they pull through. You just can't get short run quality stickers done cheap ANYwhere >.<;
(no subject) - skulldog - Nov. 2nd, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neondragon - Nov. 3rd, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
skulldog
Oct. 27th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)
It really is, and honestly I hope they do pick things back up, fix up missing orders and start up again, I'd come back to working with them in a heart beat, they produced awesome printed work.
neolucky
Oct. 27th, 2009 02:59 am (UTC)
I've been eyeing paper Forest for quite a long, long time. And I'm now more skeptical then ever about their service and turn around. I believe Emily Warren also used them, but it took them a couple months or something to get them to her., if I recall. Stickers were nice, sure, but they were rather pricey and took a long time. Not worth it in my opinion.

The site kind of reeked of this unprofessional nature to me, so I avoided it. And I probably will continue to do so, considering this lack of communication seems to have been happening for a while now. Arg. Just sad to hear.
skulldog
Oct. 27th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
I've yet to find another company online that offers polyester/laminate stickers that doesn't have a minimum order of 2,000+, which is a good $400 drop in the bucket for just one design, so PF really did that have going for them. I was very happy with the stickers I got, the price really wasn't horrible for the actual material used. I can get thinner, less durable vinyl for half the price, but I really wanted the laminate since it just felt and looked way more professional.

Communication wise....yeah, that does lack.



eski
Oct. 27th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
I used them for my promo stickers for my grad show in art school and had to fight to get time on time as well. They came in the DAY OF my show (whew, but still three weeks late guys) and were the wrong size. =(

They do such great work, and I really have wanted to get more stickers made by them, but I may not knowing that they've been having even worse delays these days.

BTW try out stickerrobot.com for larger runs if you're looking to get more stickers done. =3 Not as small or runs, thus more money is dropped on a single design, but the quality and price is WELL worth it. =)
kadaria
Oct. 27th, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
This makes me sad if only because every time I do prints (small numbers at a time) I usually end up going through wal-mart or kinkos. I would have been happier to help support a smaller business.
obliviousally
Oct. 27th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm hoping they get things back together soon. I love the Bara-chan and Celesse stickers I bought from them and I was hoping to put an order in for some for Anthrocon. But now that looks iffy.

I thought Celesse was currently working with them for her sticker sets (the Ponwan set I ordered from her seems to be the same sort of material). But I haven't heard anything anywhere else about any issues from them.

I hope, for everyone, this doesn't go the way of ShuuShuu, at least.
supertablebunny
Oct. 28th, 2009 09:44 am (UTC)
Catch them at New York Anime Festival or Anime Central. I know that the owner attends those two conventions and has gone this past time. He is more than likely going again.

Another person to contact if you're concerned is Claire Belton, queenofdorks on deviantART. I understand that she isn't really all too involved with his business, but I do believe the two are together now, so if anyone is going to have information on the owner it would be her. Maybe with people contacting her he'll realize he needs to snap back to it and be more professional about his business.
thedancingemu
Oct. 28th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks for the warning, I had considered having some stickers made through them. It's so hard to find a place online to get stickers printed, and I know I don't have anywhere near enough people interested in my artwork to warrant placing an order with any of the large run companies :(

I guess I'll follow suit and avoid them for now, but I hope things can turn around.
torakhan
Oct. 28th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Check locally?
Check with your local vinyl-cutting shops. I know the shop next to us does "die cut" custom stickers (actually cut with a knife on a CAD-type machine) on printed adhesive stock, and can laminate too. The shop here typically charges by the linear foot, so depending on the size of the sticker, and quantity, it might make financial sense... but they do little and large decals too.
thedancingemu
Nov. 21st, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Check locally?
Wow, late reply, sorry. I need to clean out my email inbox XB

Good idea though, I'll see if I can find any local companies, I live close enough to a couple decent sized cities that I might be able to find someone to go through.
torakhan
Nov. 22nd, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
Re: Check locally?
I hope you're able to find what you're looking for none-the-less. :D
rokusabarou
Aug. 19th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
Have you heard of the company Printsess?
http://printsess.com/index.htm

For some reason, this site looks very similar to the old Paper Forest site.
Oh, scratch that... they are Paper Forest....

Do you know if they're better this time around?
skulldog
Aug. 19th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
Check my follow up here: http://community.livejournal.com/artists_beware/311146.html

Very good, even though I personally haven't gotten around to order anything new since this, friends of my have, and everything's been fast, and awesome.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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