Can you buy small quantities of 11x17 paper in South Korea?
August 13, 2014 10:17 AM   Subscribe

People in my (US-based) office are going nuts today trying to overnight a ream of blank 11x17 paper to Korea. Is this really necessary?

All this headless chickenery is because our Seoul office insists it's impossible to get just the handful of sheets they need for a special project we tasked them to finish and deliver to a client over there. Instead they swear they can only buy a whole case of it for about $200.

Surely this is some combination of language barrier, lack of local knowledge and willful obtuseness, right? I mean it's not the middle of the Sahara - they're in Seoul, land of Gangnam style, of massive Samsung flat screens, of the highest Internet penetration and the best Starcraft players in the world! Surely there's a quick print shop that will sell you paper in quantities less than a case?

So South Korean MeFites, could you find a dozen sheets of 11x17 paper if you really needed to? And how? (The stuff we have to deal with, I swear.)
posted by Naberius to Shopping (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Print shop with good clean cutter?
posted by Freedomboy at 10:19 AM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Does it need to be exactly 11×17? That is a very unusual size outside North America. A3 paper is 11.6929 in × 16.5354 in. Would that do?
posted by grouse at 10:20 AM on August 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

Surely there's a quick print shop that will sell you paper in quantities less than a case?

I'm assuming the problem is just that they don't use that size of paper over there ever. I recently had to lay out a program to be printed in South Africa, did it on 8.5x11, and was then informed that I had to change it to A4 because that's just what they use there and it would be very difficult to find anything else.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:20 AM on August 13, 2014

Yes, 11x17 is a US paper size. If the project can be reworked to A3, you are much more likely to be able to find paper inexpensively.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:23 AM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

After a search to confirm, it seems Korea is one of the countries that uses ISO A series sizes.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:29 AM on August 13, 2014

It would probably cost less for you to wire them the $200 for the case of paper than it would to ship a single ream overnight to Korea. But yes, absolutely change the parameters of your project to work with non-US paper sizes, the difference is tiny.
posted by elizardbits at 10:32 AM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Why would a client over there want a project specifically in 11x17? That must be a misunderstanding.
posted by acidic at 10:38 AM on August 13, 2014

Response by poster: Thankfully this is not my project. But the client is US military, which I gather is why the 11x17 for foldout charts. Rest of the document is standard 8.5x11. Because the US influence is so pervasive over there, I assumed Korea would use the standard US paper sizes.

I'm with you Elizardbits. It would have to be easier to just have somebody buy the damn paper and expense it. Yes, it's kind of annoying, but this won't be the last time this pops up, and if we're that worried about $200, we've got way bigger problems than getting some foldouts printed.

god, i hope their printers can handle it...
posted by Naberius at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

You do know that A4 isn't 8.5x11 either, right?
posted by acidic at 10:55 AM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Maybe check with a military contact? I bet they have some floating around somewhere.
posted by goggie at 11:10 AM on August 13, 2014

Just have them spend $200 on the case if you need 11x17, will probably cost you more than that in time, effort and shipping to over night a few pages around the world.

Plus they'll have plenty for next time.
posted by TheAdamist at 11:11 AM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

It also seems like it would be cheaper and less annoying to print it yourselves and then mail the finished product overnight, no?

However I do realize that when working with the US Military, logical reasonable solutions to overblown problems are deeply frowned upon.
posted by elizardbits at 12:00 PM on August 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

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