JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO
KNOW ABOUT PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS
We want to ensure that your promotional
products come out exactly as you expect, so
we’ve included the most commonly asked
questions and answers for your reference.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more
details or have additional questions.
602-380-7230 / 866-658-9933
What are promotional products?
Called by many names: advertising specialties, swag,
promotional items, branded goods, chotchkes
(Yiddish), giveaways, promotional gifts, advertising
gifts, or promotional merchandise... promotional
products are goods that have been imprinted with a
company/organization logo, name, or advertisement.
How are promotional products used?
There are countless uses for promotional products.
• Holiday Gifts
• Media Kits
• Retention/Repeat Business
• Sales Promotions
• School Spirit
• Sports Teams
• Staff Motivation
• Appreciation Gifts
• Brand Awareness
• Business Development
• Customer/Donor Loyalty
• Direct Mail
• Events and Launches
• Golf Tournaments
What promotional products are available?
There are so many promotional product options in a
range of categories. We deal with a host of suppliers
across the U.S. that carry the following:
• Banner stands
• Calendars &
• Clocks & Watches
• Corporate Gifts
• Eco Products
• Food & Candy
• Gift Baskets
• Hats & Caps
• Health & Safety
• Holiday Gifts
• Home &
• Pens & Writing
• Office & Desk
• Personal Care & Beauty
• Pet Accessories
• Sports & Outdoors
• Sticky Notes & Notepads
• Tools & Flashlights
• Toys & Games
• Tradeshow Items
• Travel Accessories
How do I decide which products to use and how?
Everything will depend on your marketing objectives. In order to
get the best bang for your buck, we recommend that you
develop a strategy for using promotional products.
1. Define your audience and what you are trying to
accomplish for each one.
• Are you buying products to complement a
prospect marketing campaign?
• Are they being used to show appreciation to
customers, donors, clients, volunteers, employees?
• Do you want to recognize people’s
accomplishments and achievements?
• Do you want to attract new customers or donors?
There are many marketing objectives for which
promotional products may serve your needs.
2. Decide how you intend to distribute your
• Are you giving them out at your place of
business or in off-site meetings?
• Do you intend to mail them? Keep mailing costs
in mind when you select your products.
• Are you planning to re-sell your products online
as a revenue generator? Again, keep storage,
fulfillment, and mailing costs in mind when
selecting your products.
3. Brainstorm creative uses for your promotional
• When you’re using promotional products to
gain customers’ or prospects’ attention, you’ll
get better results when the product matches a
good caption or call to action.
After making an error on a small order and rectifying it,
a business can send its customer a soft tape
measure keychain with a note that says,
“Sorry, we didn’t measure up this time.
Hope you’ll give us another chance.
We’ll make it right!”
The cost of the item is typically unimportant to customers
(69¢ -99¢ each) – it’s the humor and message that will get
attention, soften the mistake in customers’ minds, and
retain them. That is, if it doesn’t occur frequently!
A charity is conducting a fundraising campaign
to re-engage lapsed donors who previously
gave $500+. Fundraisers can mail this compass key
holder (68¢-75¢ each) with a handwritten note
“We‘ve missed you! We hope you’ll find your way
back to supporting our mission to...”
A couple of days after the product is received,
fundraisers can follow up with personal phone calls.
Some donors may be unresponsive, yet after making
a positive impression with the compass key holder,
they may be more inclined to talk with fundraisers.
4. Ensure your products are consistent with
It’s important to ensure that your organization’s
messaging, positioning, and “look” are consistent
on your promotional products. When you use your
brand colors, standardized typography, and
designs in your artwork, you’re sending a
consistent message about your brand to help your
target markets remember your company or
As with everything in marketing, we
encourage you to test your tactics
to see which gets better results.
Should I order my products from an online
company or use a promotional products distributor
This is totally up to you, but here are some points to consider:
• There are discount companies online that sell directly to end
users. Service may be inconsistent or unavailable and you
may not receive consultation on your choice of products.
These companies typically do not offer creative ideas and
• On the other hand, if you know exactly what you want, some
online distributors will sell select items as loss leaders and below
supplier cost to acquire new customers. Admittedly, it can be
challenging for us to compete. We are in the service business
and guide our clients on their selections to build their brands,
steer them away from poorly made goods, and research
discounted and clearance items to save them money.
• Dealing with a promotional products distributor has
many advantages. You’ll receive professional
marketing guidance, consultation, and advice on
the products you choose or that they recommend.
Honest distributors will tell you why or why not a
product can meet your needs and whether it is a
good fit from a marketing and branding
We’ll steer you away from products
we know about that have had
problems in the past. We work with
select suppliers we know and trust.
Plus, as professional distributors who
want to wow and retain our clients,
we check for closeouts and specials to
help you save on your purchases.
As with most business relationships, good distributors
want to partner with you, keep your needs at the
forefront, and build your trust in them. It’s all about
service to you. After all, it’s your brand on the line
when you give out promotional products.
We pride ourselves on partnering with our clients and
providing top-notch service coupled with our
Do promotional products work?
Promotional products can be very effective tools in
your marketing arsenal. Here are some recent facts
and statistics from the 2014 ASI (Advertising Specialty
• Just one item can deliver a message for a far longer
time period than other forms of advertising.
Advertisers can reinforce their brand or a call to
action for an average of six months, and up to a
year on some products.
• Promotional products are not simply thrown away.
People keep items because they’re useful or give
them to someone who can use them. Advertisers’
messages often go beyond the initial recipient.
As awareness of recycling in the U.S. has become
more prevalent, so has the desire to pass along
unwanted promotional products.
• People will be much more likely to keep useful
– About 77% of product recipients indicated that
an item’s usefulness is the primary reason to keep
– In addition, 29% of recipients said they kept an
item because it’s attractive, and 29% said they
keep a promotional product simply because it’s
“enjoyable to have.”
• 85% of promotional
merchandise recipients can
identify the item’s advertiser.
• Over one-half (52%) of the
time, ad specialties leave a
more favorable impression
of the advertiser.
• More than a third of
recipients say they are more
likely to do business with
advertisers in the future after
receiving promo products.
• Advertising specialties are
less expensive per impression
than most other forms of
Which promotional products will work for my
How does pricing work?
Promotional products are priced by the unit cost. The unit
cost gets lower with the higher quantity you order.
For example, the compass key holder (displayed earlier)
was priced at 68¢-75¢ each. The higher price is for an order
of 150 units (the minimum), and the lower unit cost is for
2500 units. There are prices in between for different
When there’s a closeout
or special, the unit cost is
typically one price - no
matter how many you
order, however, there is
usually a minimum
quantity to meet.
Other charges you need to factor into the price:
• Setup Fees.
Setup fees cover the cost to create a die, plate, or
screen needed to imprint your promotional
products with your logo or name. This is often a one-
time cost. Should you re-order the same products
within a year or two, your setup has already been
Because each supplier is different, some
may charge a repeat setup fee that is
less than the original setup fee. We will
advise you of these costs when we
prepare your quote so you can
make an informed decision.
Most items have a setup fee unless the supplier is
running a special and the fee has been waived. Each
promotional product can have different imprinting
specs – that’s why items have separate setup fees.
When you imprint your products with more than one
color or in more than one location, there can be a
separate fee for each color or location. An exception
is digital printing which typically has one setup fee.
If you use your artwork on the same item,
but in different colors, there’s usually no
additional setup fee. For example, if
you’re printing your logo on a blue bottle
and a white one, the ink and artwork won’t
change, so there’s one setup cost.
• Rush Production Fees.
If you plan to order promotional products with a
tight deadline, you may require rush production
from our suppliers. In some cases, they will charge
additional fees. Some suppliers have select rush
production products they offer at no extra charge.
• Proof Fees:
Virtual proofs are free. If you are placing a large
order, have enough lead time, and
want to ensure you are completely
satisfied before signing off, our
suppliers will send you a product
proof that includes the cost of the
item, set-up fees, and shipping
• Shipping Costs.
Our suppliers are located across the country, so shipping
costs will vary depending on where you’re located and
how quickly you need your goods. That’s why we take
your location into account when we work with you, and
we’ll try sourcing your chosen items as close to your
location as possible. Before you place your order, we
can get a shipping estimate from our suppliers so you
can budget accordingly.
If your products require a split shipment to different
addresses, our suppliers usually charge a
small additional fee for each
• Graphic Design Costs.
If you have your artwork already created in the required
format, you will not have to pay any design fees. If, however,
you have your logo in a file format that is incompatible with
the required format, there may be a small fee to convert your
artwork. It depends on the selected supplier – some will create
the design at no charge.
If you need any artwork developed from
scratch for your imprint, we will give you
a graphic design quote based on your
need. We keep these costs as
reasonable as possible for you.
If you are located in the State of Arizona, and your
organization is not tax exempt, we will add taxes to your
invoice. If you are located outside the state, we are currently
required to add taxes to your invoice.
• Under/Overs Cost Adjustments.
During the imprinting process, our suppliers may
discard products that don’t meet their standards.
Some will frequently run extras to ensure they have
enough imprinted pieces to fill your order.
Typically, the range is between 5% under and 5%
over, but for certain products it can be 10% or
higher. We will invoice you for the exact quantity
they ship or make an adjustment on your credit
card after the order ships and we know the
Please be sure to order enough
items so you’ll have enough
products in case there is an under
What are your artwork requirements?
Most of our suppliers require Vector artwork. Vector art is
made up of mathematical lines and shapes (as opposed
to pixels) and will not become blurry when enlarged. The
most common Vector file types are AI, EPS or PDF. These
files must be created with all type converted to outlines
with a resolution of 300 - 600 DPI.
For embroidered products, we require
digitized files in Tajima format with color
sequencing. If you don’t have this, we can
create it for you.
Unsupported art file formats include InDesign,
Pagemaker, Freehand, and Photoshop. Microsoft
Office Programs (Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint,
and Excel) are not graphics programs and are
unacceptable artwork file formats.
Some of our suppliers use specific ink colors on their
promotional products. When this is the case, we will
send you a graphic of the available colors so you can
choose the ones closest to your brand colors. Some
suppliers allow you to match an exact PMS (Pantone
Matching System) color for free or a small additional
One thing to keep in mind when choosing
promotional products is the available space for your
imprint. Keeping the design simple is best because
many products have limited imprint areas.
Can I use images I find on the web in my designs?
No. Images taken from the Internet may not only
infringe on copyright, they are typically inappropriate
for high-end output. They are usually small in size, with
a resolution at only 72 or 96 DPI (dots per inch). The
minimum resolution required for promotional products
is 300 DPI.
You should ensure that the images you
supply for custom imprinting is
unencumbered by copyright and
other usage rights connected to the
image(s). If you have purchased any
stock photography or illustrations,
please review the vendor’s rights for usage.
How do I send my artwork to you?
If your artwork file is too large to send by e-mail, we
will send you a link where you can upload your file.
How do I pay for my promotional products?
We require a 50% deposit by credit card or business
check before placing the order. The balance
is due once our supplier has shipped the goods.
Any checks submitted for payment of our
invoices that are returned for insufficient
funds will result in a charge of $50.00.
What happens if I need to cancel or change
my order once it has been placed?
Once you have approved your
product proof electronically, or
in writing by fax, and we have
placed your order with our
supplier, we cannot make
changes to, or cancel your
order. That’s why it’s important
to thoroughly review the proof
we send to you.
At which point do we own our merchandise?
We will provide you with a firm ship date for your order
and will recommend the most efficient and cost-
effective shipping methods based on your location
and deadline. Our products are sold F.O.B. (freight on
board) from our suppliers and you own them once
they are picked up by transportation carriers.
What happens if there are shipping delays?
We always communicate and advocate on your
behalf with our suppliers and will do everything we
can to ensure you receive your products by your
deadline. Occasionally, there may be shipping delays
due to bad weather, “acts of God,” or other
circumstances beyond our control.
That’s why it’s so important to allow
yourself ample lead time when
ordering promotional products.
What happens if there’s something wrong with
our order when it arrives?
We encourage you to inspect your
merchandise upon arrival so we
can facilitate the resolution of any
claims on your behalf with our
Should you have any problems
with your order, please contact us
As with any print-related project, please note that we
cannot guarantee 100% consistency in color and
materials. There will always be minor variations in dye
lots, material thickness, and finishes due to the
If you think you may want more of the same product
later, it’s prudent to place your order for the total
quantity at one time to improve consistency.
Contact us for additional information
and guidance. That’s why we’re in
602-380-7230 / 866-658-9933 (MST/ -7 GMT)