When you start looking for promotional products, you will soon discover that there are thousands of manufacturers and distributors of said items. The promotional merchandise industry is a robust one despite the recession precisely because more and more companies see the need to promote their products through useful, memorable and relatively valuable items.
From amongst these businesses, working with distributors is strongly recommended for many reasons. For one thing, you have more selections because distributors work with many manufacturers. For another thing, you will often be provided with valuable assistance to make your promotional blitz successful.
The trick is in choosing the right distributor for your promotional products. With the thousands of distributors, it pays to carefully consider each one according to the following set of criteria:
* Professional Service – You should be provided with satisfactory customer service from start to finish of each contract. Live chats, e-mails and phone contacts must be made available on an almost 24-hour basis, if possible.
* Delivery Time – You should ensure that the distributor has the capability to deliver the promotional products as previously agreed. Do your research, ask around and even order just a small sample to determine if the vendor can deliver on rush orders.
* Product Quality – Yes, the distributor may not manufacture the products but it should provide the assurance that only good quality items are delivered. Keep in mind that your name is on these promotional items, too. Again, it pays to ask for a pre-production sample, which may be charged a smaller price than the final products. It is worth the cost if only to ensure that the products conform to your vision.
You may ask why location is not included in the criteria. Well, this is because the Internet makes it possible to order your promotional merchandise half a continent, or world for that matter, away and still get them on time.
Once you are satisfied with the sample promotional products, you should request the distributor to start working on your order. Be very sure that you have read the fine prints of the contract especially where delivery times and product quality are concerned. This is true even when you have done many transactions in the past with the same distributor.
Keep in mind, however, that samples may not be available. This is alright with a few items just as long as you have a good idea of the final appearance of the promotional items mainly through detailed pictures.
You should also establish delivery venues and times for the promotional products. It can be your company office, branch warehouse, and even the trade show venue, whichever makes for more effective and efficient distribution of the said items.
Of course, do not forget to agree on the pricing structure for your promotional merchandise. You should go over the catalogs for changes in prices brought by bulk orders, shipping requirements and product specifications, to name a few factors.
Generally speaking, prices will depend on the type of products chosen. The most affordable are often just a dollar for keyrings, key tags, stress balls and jelly pens while the most expensive may be digital photo frames, nylon jackets, stainless steel gold-trimmed signature pens, and note takers.