The Leader in Paper & Ribbon Supplies Since 1986


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if my roll is thermal paper?2021-02-16T14:18:36-08:00

To identify if a roll is thermal paper,  just do a simple scratch test. If you see black marks after scratching, it is thermal paper.

How do I know what ply to get for my printer?2021-02-16T14:19:13-08:00

The ply you need is up to you.  If you do not need copies of the printer receipt roll then single ply will be sufficient.  If you need one copy – then 2 ply and if you need 2 copies – then 3 ply. 

How do I know the width measurement of the roll that my printer accepts?2021-02-16T14:20:15-08:00

The width measurement of a receipt roll will be indicated on the printer manual. Please refer to the manual. If you do not have the manual, give us a call and we will guide you through.

How does the end-of-roll indicator help?2021-02-16T14:25:06-08:00

The end-of-roll indicator lets the user know it’s about to run out. This means it’s time to have a fresh roll ready to go. 

How do I know when to reorder?2021-02-16T14:22:46-08:00

When you order from us, you are ordering in bulk. A good time to reorder is when you have 10 rolls left in the box. However, this really depends on your thermal roll consumption and how much traffic your business location typically gets.

What is a thermal transfer label ?2021-02-16T14:26:31-08:00

Thermal transfer labels are labels, which are  printed in house with no mess or hassle. Using a thermal printer that selectively heats the thermal paper causes the paper to turn black, creating the proper markings and images.

What is the difference between a sticker and a label?2021-02-16T14:27:04-08:00

Stickers are an outdoor durable product. They can be applied just about anywhere.  When you know your products will be on display in outdoor settings, you’ll want to consider custom stickers for your designs. Indoor options need durability to stand up to oils and water. Labels are your best option.  They are also self-adhesive and come either in a roll or sheets, depending on your preference.

What are direct thermal labels?2021-02-16T14:28:23-08:00

Direct thermal labels and thermal printed labels are the same thing.  If you have any further questions,  please call us and we can identify your needs.

Do you need a specific printer to print the labels?2021-02-16T14:28:53-08:00

No, you don’t need a special printer to print labels.  Your everyday printer can do the printing.

Should I use labels on rolls or sheets?2021-02-16T14:29:28-08:00

Roll labels and sheet labels are made of the same materials and adhesives.  They are just wound around a plastic or cardboard spool instead of on a flat sheet.  If you are using a labeling machine for your products, you will want to get a roll of labels.  If you are printing on a regular printer  you will need to use sheets.

How do I get pre-printed labels?2021-02-16T14:30:16-08:00

n order to get pre-printed labels, give us a call. We will ask you for your artwork and intended order. Then we’ll take care of the rest

What is the difference between sticky labels and sticky media?2021-02-17T12:06:01-08:00

 A sticky label  is just one of the products in an array of sticky media.  Sticky media is any product that has a sticky back.  It could be as small as a receipt paper or as large as a sign or a car wrap.

What is the difference between Standard and Extreme sticky media?2021-02-17T12:06:36-08:00

The difference is the weight of the glue used as the adhesive.  For standard sticky media,  a lighter weight adhesive is used, which is easy to apply and peel.  Whereas, for extreme, a very heavy duty adhesive is used that can endure dire conditions. It is very hard to peel off.

Where would I use Standard sticky media?2021-02-17T12:07:02-08:00

A couple of examples are hospitality industry identification labels,  tamper proof bag labels,  pizza box labels, and post-it notes.

Where would I use Extreme sticky media?2021-02-17T12:07:39-08:00

A few examples are large sticker signs including social distancing floor decals and car wraps.

What are tamper seal labels used for?2021-02-17T12:08:28-08:00

Tamper seal labels are mostly used in the food and beverage industry. They prevent unauthorized unwrapping or opening of a container, bag, box, cup, or glass. They ensure safety from the time that the food or beverage is packaged to the time it reaches the consumer.

How do I tell if a tamper seal label is broken?2021-02-17T12:09:02-08:00

It is virtually impossible to access the container without disturbing the seal.  It will be obviously ripped, torn, or damaged. Tamper evident packaging is very clear if the protective seal or covering has been tampered with or broken.  

What do I do if the tamper seal label is broken?2021-02-17T12:09:55-08:00

A broken tamper seal label is evidence that someone tried to disturb the package once it was sealed. Call the establishment immediately and let them know.  They will decide the steps to take. Do not consume the food or drink inside the broken seal package.  Tamper evident packaging makes it completely clear if any protective seals or coverings were broken.

Should all food/drink establishments use tamper seal labels?2021-02-17T12:11:09-08:00

With the surge in popularity of third-party delivery and take away, most food and drink establishments are now preferring to use the tamper evident seals on their packages.  It promotes customer satisfaction and a high comfort level for the business. This in turn promotes repeat business from customers.  The establishments prepare food with the utmost care, so they want assurance that the food reaches the consumer safely without tampering.


How do I know which tamper seal label is right for me?2021-02-17T12:11:50-08:00

If you have a dilemma deciding which tamper proof seal product your establishment should get, give us a call. We will provide all the information you need to get the correct product.

How do I know if I need a ribbon?2021-02-17T12:19:44-08:00

Thermal printers used in POS printers, cash machines, faxes, and similar devices use printer ribbons.  The printer carton should indicate the details of which cartridge or ribbon your specific printer uses.  If you are not clear on the make and model, give us a call and we will guide you through.

How do I know which cartridge or ribbon my printer needs?2021-02-17T12:20:13-08:00

Choosing the right ribbon depends on the printer as well as the application. It will be indicated on the printer carton and the manual. Give us a call. Our expert staff can help you with printer and ribbon compatibility.

Can a printer work without the color cartridge?2021-02-17T12:20:54-08:00

Depending on your printer, you might be able to print using black ink when the color ink cartridge is empty. Most printers that use integrated printhead (IPH) ink cartridges can print without a tri-color ink cartridge. Other types of printers print only when all ink colors are available.

How do I know if the cartridge/ribbon is nearing the end of its life cycle?2021-02-17T12:21:32-08:00

Check the settings on the device.

Does the cartridge/ribbon dry out if I don’t use it?2021-02-17T12:22:24-08:00

Yes it will! There is probably still ink on it, but the ink has dried out due to a long period of time of unuse.  The ink is very slow drying, but it will dry out.


Is it a good idea to buy cartridges/ribbons in bulk?2021-02-17T12:22:57-08:00

It will depend entirely on your usage.  It is definitely cost effective to buy it in bulk. However if your usage is minimal, it could dry out sitting on the shelf unused.

What is the difference between employee, gift, and loyalty cards?2021-02-22T13:18:45-08:00

Employee cards are used by staff to identify which staff member performed certain transactions. Gift cards are loaded with money and then sold to customers for future use. Loyalty cards keep track of repeat customer transactions and most are associated with some sort of rewards system.

Do I need a specific printer to custom print the cards?2021-02-22T13:19:29-08:00

Yes, there are multiple printers. For the most efficient, cost effective and time sensitive option, you should get your cards printed with us.

Can I get cards pre-printed from Watson Distributing?2021-02-22T13:19:57-08:00

We provide customized printing service for our customers, at a fraction of the cost of what you would spend if you did it in house. Simply send us your logo and relevant details. We’ll take care of the rest. 

Do they only come in specific packages? Can I get custom amounts?2021-02-22T13:20:54-08:00

Our standard card packages come in packs starting at 25. Do give us a call and we can work with you if you need a custom package.

Is there any advantage/difference in white vs blue vs gold cards?2021-02-22T13:22:58-08:00

The difference in card color depends on your needs. Historically, our customers have used different colors to mean different levels of employees. White represents employees, blue represents managers, and gold represents supervisors. However, it is entirely up to you.

Can I get hand sanitizer in a small 2 oz bottle?2021-02-22T13:48:09-08:00

Our smallest hand sanitizer size is a 16 oz bottle with a pump.

Do you have purchase minimums on hand sanitizer?2021-02-22T13:48:46-08:00

There is no purchase minimum, but you can order in multiples to reduce costs.

What is that checklist?2021-02-22T13:49:14-08:00

The checklist is used in hotels, motels, and other bookings of the sort. The housekeeping staff sanitizes each item on the checklist and leaves it in the room to assure guests that they have met the high standards of sanitization required during COVID-19. 

What is the difference between a shield and a mask?2021-02-22T13:49:53-08:00

A shield is a transparent plastic which covers your eyes, nose and all the way down to the mouth.  A mask should fit snugly over the face and cover the nose, mouth, and chin. As per the CDC guidelines, a shield alone does not protect you completely.  Masks are the number one protection, while the shield gives more comprehensive safety. 

Why does the “ply” matter when it comes to face masks?2021-02-22T13:51:39-08:00

A “ply” is a layer of material and the number of “plys” tells you how many layers of material are used in the mask. Masks that are 2-ply and 3-ply provide more protection when compared to the basic 1-ply, which can let particles through more easily.  The KN95 mask offers maximum protection with an advanced filtration technology that goes beyond the amount of layers.


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