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Thread: Northern Cards Greeting Card Company

  1. #1
    Storms
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    Northern Cards Greeting Card Company

    Hi there! I'm new to this board. Is anyone here familiar with this greeting card company? It's based in Missisauga, Canada. A while ago I sold 4 Mother's Day cards to them (written and illustrated) and I am having a hell of a time getting paid. I've gotten to the point where I am talking to a lawyer.

    Has anyone else had problems with this company regarding payment?

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    They're one of the larger GC publishers. I suggest asking in the Greeting Card forum too, since many folks there have worked with them.

    http://www.northerncards.com
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  3. #3
    wishes you happiness JennaGlatzer's Avatar
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    Hi Storms! I wrote a few cards for them, and also had a hard time getting paid-- it took several months, but they did eventually come through. I'm sad to hear that they're doing it again. I believed that they were having financial difficulties at the time-- I think they wound up paying me in two "installments."
    I am no longer here. If you'd like to visit me, please find me at www.jennaglatzer.com or on Facebook. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Curl-Li Manning Mr Magoon's Avatar
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    Hi Storms,

    I've been going through the same thing. It usually took about 3 months for them to pay me, but they'd hit the 6 month mark on an invoice--I got that last week, but they still owe me for 4 more cards that have hit the 4 month mark since invoicing. They've always been slow, but this is a new record for me.

    Good luck! I'd been wondering if someone in the US can take a Canadian company to small claims or something similar. Keep us posted on what happens.

    Mags
    MR. MAGN

  5. #5
    Storms
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    re: Northern Cards

    Wow, thanks for all the feedback. And I'll look into the Greeting card thread, too, (though I'm not sure where to find it).

    I know of a couple artist colleagues who have also had a hard getting paid in a timely fashion. Quite frankly, I think it's a shoddy way to do business, and this will be the last time I work for them. I figured it was a cash-flow problem, but if they're having financial trouble, they shouldn't be asking artists to do work for them (they approached me, and we agreed upon a certain price, and I made it very clear to them that I am to be paid no later than 30 days after the issue of my invoice).

    What was really a turn-off for me was that they would promise me the cheque, and then it wouldn't show up, and then they would give some excuse for not paying me.

    Magoon, if I were you, I would look into whether or not you could take them to Small Claims Court. I don't see why not. That's just ridiculous to have to wait that long for your work. They are making a profit on your cards, claiming copyright on them, and technically you still own the copyright until you get paid.

    Anyway, I DID get my cheque today, but that's because I raised a right royal stink to get it. Plus I had some very good help.

  6. #6
    Storms
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    Re: Northern Cards

    Oh, and one more thing, Mr. Magoon one of my artist colleagues who had trouble getting money from Northern Cards was from the States. She suggested contacting the US Embassy in Canada; apparently they were very eager to help her out.

    patricia

  7. #7
    Curl-Li Manning Mr Magoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storms
    Oh, and one more thing, Mr. Magoon – one of my artist colleagues who had trouble getting money from Northern Cards was from the States. She suggested contacting the US Embassy in Canada; apparently they were very eager to help her out.

    patricia
    Thanks for that tip, Patricia. I spoke to Northern today and they acted all surprised that I hadn't been paid in full and were going to "resubmit the invoice" again and I should be paid in a few days. I've been working with them for a couple of years and it's always the same deal--I wait my 30 days and then start the calls and get the excuses. Usually I get paid within 90 days, but like I said, this was a new record. I'm used to the game and have accepted it as part of dealing with them, but this latest time has been ridiculous.

    I will say they are very creative and imaginative with their excuses and ways to duck paying, right down to giving me a tracking number of a package they'd never sent!

    What's interesting is one of the excuses they give me is that they don't have the funds in their US account and said if I invoice for Canadian dollars and just adjust the rate, they'd pay me right away. But now I see they don't pay their Canadian artists on time either!

    Is any of your stuff on their site? I'd love to see it. Here are a couple of mine.

    http://www.northerncards.com/images/Cards/2156.jpg
    http://www.northerncards.com/images/Cards/2162.jpg
    http://www.northerncards.com/images/NewCards/2167.jpg

    Glad you got your money--hope the rest of mine shows up soon!
    MR. MAGN

  8. #8
    Storms
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    Re: Northern Cards

    Magoon, that is a load of CRAP about the lack of funds in their US account. We all know how easy it is to transfer money back and forth between US and Canadian accounts. That's the same lame excuse they told my artist colleague who lives in the States.

    Oh, and I love the tracking number for a package they never sent; the president pulled a similar ploy on me, too. He said he sent my cheque via regular mail, but it must have got lost, and well, he has no control over Canada Post! He managed to send me my cheque via UPS today only because I really put the heat on him. And why didn't he send it courier to start with? Because he's a sleaze who wants to duck payment. I have zero patience for that kind of crap.

    Your work is GREAT, and I really hope you are sending your stuff to other places, too, not just Northern. No one should have to put up with how they treat their artists and writers.

    I sold some stuff to them years ago (and didn't experience the problems I did this time), but I don't want to show you my old cards; they're terrible! My new stuff probably won't go online for a while.

  9. #9
    Curl-Li Manning Mr Magoon's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've had the "wrong address" one in the past. I actually moved so gave them another out--they claimed to have sent a check to my old address and it came back. My favorite one was when they told me they didn't get a chance to send it out because their fish tank had busted and they were busy saving the fish!

    Thanks for the kind words on my stuff. My lastest stuff (the ones I'm waiting to get paid for) isn't up there yet.
    MR. MAGN

  10. #10
    Curl-Li Manning Mr Magoon's Avatar
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    GLORY DAYS!!

    11 months in the making and Northern Cards has paid in full!

    May you who sell to them receive swifter pay!
    MR. MAGN

  11. #11
    Mr Printer
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    Northern Cards

    Hey Storm and Mr Magoon,

    The company I represent printed your Mother's Day cards last year (2006). During this initial print run, we had produced over 300,000 greeting cards for Northern Cards and to this day we have yet to recieve any payment from them.

    We have stood behind Northern Cards through their so called "difficult times" and on many occassions we continued to produce their cards even when their previous invoice had exceeded 60 days.

    Trust me, we have heard every excuse under the sun and sadly enough, our working relations has come to an end.

    Another printer here in London also got burned by Northern Cards for a substantial amount of money about 5 years ago for over 800,000 greeting cards.

    It appears Northern Cards lead printers to believe a working relation has been established and eventually they break the trust (payment) barrier and move on to another printer.

    I have recently learned that the printer they are now dealing with is experiencing difficulties in receiving their paymentsfrom Northern Cards.

    I have also received word that the president of Northern Cards has recently been fired.

    Is Northern Greeting Cards about to turn a new leaf????

    ......I doubt it!!!

    I welcome any suggestions on how to retrieve our outstanding invoice from Northern Cards.
    Mr Printer

  12. #12
    Wool Over Eyes
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    Question Alternate Suppliers

    Thanks to everyone for your candid feedback regarding Northern Cards. Does anyone know of other greeting card suppliers that I may approach to buy cards for distribution?

    Obviously I do not want to deal with Northern Cards. I came close to signing on for a territory with them but thankfully I found Absolute Write first.

    Thanks again.

  13. #13
    mums the word
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    Wool over eyes

    You can count yourself lucky! My experience with them was not a good one. You did ask for another supplier. Check out Hazy Jean Inc. at hazyjean.com and you might find what you are looking for. I have done some writing for them and was always paid prior to publishing. Good luck!
    Mums the word

  14. #14
    Mr Printer
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    Wool Over Eyes!

    Thank goodness you read my email regarding Northern Cards.

    I noticed you were looking for another greeting card supplier. I would highly recommend contacting a company called Hazy Jean Inc. Not only is Hazy Jean a pleasure to do business with, they are also very professional too!
    I know firsthandbecause I manage the printing for this company!

    ....I wish all of my clients ran their business like Hazy Jean.

    Sincerely,

    Mr. Printer

  15. #15
    Wool Over Eyes
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    Thumbs up Wool Over Eyes

    Mums the Word and Mr. Printer,

    Thank you for your replies. I will be sure to check out Hazy Jeans.

    I had heard a couple of negatives about them. It is heartening to hear that there is some supporters out there.

    Thanks to both,

    Wool Over Eyes

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