Friday, February 11, 2011

Why Use A Distributor For Promotional Imprinted Products?

You can Google a product you're interested in on the web, yourself, & find the manufacturer. Doing this you'll feel you made great strides in your marketing plan & that you saved money. But are you sure you saved money? I believe you'll lose money & time, not to mention your marketing campaign may not go the way you thought it would.

I've heard so many sob stories from people, mainly new customers, who bought directly & were sorry later. They were stuck because the company they bought from had no interest in them or their problems once they had their money.

Here are a few of the actual complaints that were told to me.  Pens......they quit writing within a short time of receipt; they had a very limited choice of fonts or the client didn't like how the type looked on his pen--too small or hard to read; the grips left their fingers feeling sticky. Want to hear more......the sharp blades fell out of the letter openers (ouch!); tops didn't fit on the water bottles or the copy rubbed off as they were using them; bags tore after only being used once. My favorite: copy on the sticky notes wasn't centered & the customer didn't know to ask for a proof.

When you buy a pen or any other customized promotional product, you're not just buying the item--you're buying advertising that is telling the public what your business is & what it stands for. Would you tell a consumer that you have nothing more than the next guy to offer or to buy from you because you're cheap & nothing else matters? No, you definitely would not, so don't say it on what you hand out. Your competition doesn't.

Contrary to belief, dealing with a distributor when buying your promotional imprinted products won't cost you any more. Their prices are the same, if not less, than what you found on the web. But they know the quality of the vendors in the field & they know how to find specials that will really save  you money. With this in mind, here are more reasons to go through a distributor:

1. Good distributors go beyond selling promotional items.  Successful promotional campaigns don't just happen by chance. To achieve your goals, buying promotional wholesale products take alot of consideration: your targeted audience, the best product for your budget & the ultimate result to be gained. A distributor is aware of this & will work with you to get the result you want.

2. Professional distributors have access to vast product resources, including an extensive data base which contains more than 500,000 items. Yes, you can find a mug online; but a distributor can find hundreds of mugs in a multitude of colors, sizes, shapes, materials & those that are on sale. What if you ordered what you thought was a maroon mug but when it came it was actually more purple than dark red? Is it worth the savings if you get the mugs & they are so breakable due to inferior materials that they are virtually unusable? 

3. Distributors know their products including items that work & ones that don't. They can add creativity & imagination to make your promotional product have that extra impact. Many online services show you the products they want to sell while a qualified distributor will listen to what you want & help you find the right product for your needs--& at the best price.

4. Personalized service is the role of a good distributor. When going online your selection is what the internet company determines to make available. When you work with a distributor, your selection is determined by your needs & goals. That's enhanced by the experience, creativity & recommendations of the distributor who has your best interests at heart. Online, you're a faceless, nameless buyer. With a distributor you're a client & should have a working relationship with this dealer that will be vital to your marketing campaigns. He should act as your own personal shopper, giving you service along with ideas & the best prices. 

5. Industry distributors can offer experienced advise on & IF to imprint items. You may have found the flashlight you want, but will your logo stand out on it? Will it be recognizable? Some things just won't work or there might be something else that will work better. Once you find the item you want, a trained specialist can work with you to accurately transfer your artwork, including fonts, sizes, spacing & many other important factors. Besides working with you, they deal with the vendor to make sure your copy is clean & your layout fits properly in the space provided.

6. Trained distributors can save you money in the long run. I mentioned earlier thow they can find special discounts on may items. It's not just the cost of the product, it goes further because there's additional costs you have to take into consideration when deciding on a budget. In a generic catalog or or the internet, many times the price you see does not cover the "hidden" costs involved--set-up fees, copy changes, charges for exact color matches, shipping, etc. A good distributor can help you avoid unexpected & unbudgeted costs by quoting the total price up-front. 

Next time you want to purchase a marketing item with  your name & logo on it, avoid finding something "cheap" & "fast" on the internet. Call a reputable distributor. They  know what you buy & hand out represents your company & will help you put your best foot forward with the promotional custom products you choose.

I hope this helps & good luck with your next promotional campaign.
Ronni Sherman


  1. I can vouch for this article and I can vouch for Ronni Sherman as the best distributor around. Many regions from our corporation have been using her for over a decade and she always provides us with quality and low prices. She has saved us money with every order. She's a bottomless well when it comes to knowing the products, the companies to use and the companies not to use. She's never at a loss for ideas and has provided us with helpful suggestions over and over.

  2. Your summaries are always top-notch. Thanks for keeping us apprised. I’m reading every word here.