What is a Job Lot?

Definition: Job Lot – Many manufacturers get large orders for custom products. The custom products require the manufacturer to set up machines and custom make each product identically.

It wouldn’t make a lot of sense for the manufacturer to produce a few of these products at a time then have to set up the machines again later on to make more of them. Instead, they batch the production together in groups and produce large quantities at one time. These batches are often called job lots.

What Does Job Lot Mean?

Job lots are groups of custom products that a manufacturer produces at once. Each product is identical to each other and different from other orders or products that the manufacturer produces.


A good example of a job lot is political lawn signs. You know how it goes. Every election year, political election lawn signs magically start showing up on people’s lawns and houses. Well, these first start out as a custom design developed by the candidate. When the custom design is finished, it is sent to a print house. Since these signs are different from the other signs that the print house makes, it has to set up a special operation to print them.

Since each sign is identical, the print shop can print hundreds or thousands of them after the machines are properly set up. This would be considered a job lot. The job is printing the custom signs. When many of them are produced together, it becomes a job lot.

Job lots are not only restricted to manufacturing. Job lots also exist in service industries as well.

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