Monday, August 20, 2012

How To Avoid 1000 Little Mistakes When Ordering Promotional Custom Products

So you think you've found the product that's perfect for your promotional campaign. Where did you find because it was advertised to be cheap & the picture looked good or did you call a distributor of customized promotional items? I hope the latter. We have the experience & have developed good relationships with reputable vendors to bring you the best quality.

If you go directly to a company advertising promotional products online, you'll have no idea whom you're dealing with & no recourse should your marketing products come & it's not what you ordered. That same company who eagerly answered all your emails & phone calls before you placed your order could now avoid you once you paid upfront & your order was shipped.

I am a distributor of promotional imprinted products & often wondered about these ads I see online that sell imprinted pens from .08 - .28........they look good & the price is good, but there has to be a catch.  Well, there was but you have to read the information in little print that they try to hide.  This is what I found in one of the ads I read.  While it may not be true for all cheap pens selling direct to the consumer, it is typical of many of them. 

1. IMPRINT--sometimes you only have a choice of two basic & boring fonts--Helvetica or Times. There's nothing to make your copy stand out & be noticed. The ad I looked in to added a third font: Comic Sans, which any graphic artist will tell you is the one font to avoid.  To make matters worse, your copy is small because they suggest you use four lines.  Even if you use only two or three, the type size doesn't get bigger.

2. NO PROOF--they tell you to proof the copy you're submitting carefully because once they receive it, they print as you sent it & they're not responsible for any mistakes. What, no proof so you can see how it will look? Wait until you get the pens with that small copy.

3. MINIMUMS--their minimum order was 1000 & that's a lot if you've never ordered pens & this is a trial order. Most minimums, when you order through a distributor, are 300 - 500. Your actual cost could be almost the same as what's in the ads.

4. INITIAL ORDER--this is the best one........the price of .28 (in the ad I read--it differs) is only for the first order. Every order after that, the price jumps to .48.  Even the ads that advertise pens for .08--read the small print because they also go up to .40 or higher.
The ads you read may not have the glitches I found, but most of them have something along the same lines.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Save yourself time, money & a lot of aggravation & go with a distributor who can guide you to the right pen or other promotional imprinted product that works best for you & your company.  And still will fit your budget.

Ok, now you found a distributor of promotional products & you've discussed what items are best for your business. You've read the description, seen the photos & you're ready to order. At this point it may be worth seeing a sample of the product prior to placing the order.

If the product is inexpensive they can usually be sent to you free of charge. This simple precaution will ensure there are no nasty surprises when you receive your full order.  An image of a pen may look great on your computer screen but when you get the actual item, it could look totally different. If you don't have time for a sample & if you're dealing with a reputable distributor, they may have had customers order the pens in question & can give you feedback. They will also have a list of best selling pens for you to make a selection.

Now you've placed the order. The next step in the process will be the most important approve the proof.  This is the most important step because from the time you approve the proof onwards there is no turning back. Take your time to check & recheck all the copy, color & positioning. I make sure a virtual proof is sent is sent back to my client. This is true with every order I take, no exceptions.

A distributor can make a simple pen stand out & give it pizzazz!

If you follow the above suggestions then you might save yourself from receiving 1000 little mistakes delivered to your office. There is little worse than handing out 1000's of customized personalized pens or other products only to discover the website is wrong, pens skip when writing, the lids don't stay on the travel mugs or the lip balm stings rather than soothes the lips.

I hope this helps the next time you're thinking of ordering promotional items.
Ronni Sherman

1 comment:

  1. Chock full of good advise. You should repost this monthly. Your articles on marketing are some of the most informative on the web.