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How to Find the Best Promotional Items and Corporate Gifts
As a business owner or corporate gift buyer you know how hard it can be to find just the right promotional items or business gifts. Do a search on Google and you have literally millions of choices staring you in the face. It's hard to find the best deal on the best item. But all that's about to change.
I worked in the industry for years and I can tell you that there's a lot of money "left on the table" when you're looking at higher end products and plenty of "overstock" options when looking for the good old cheap promotional items like pens and key chains.
For this article I'll focus on corporate gifts and business promotional items. More specifically let's look at those that can be laser engraved since these often carry a higher perceived value by the recipients (when fine woods are engraved, etc.) The first thing you want to do is get some inside information on what the promotional company is paying for a product versus what it charges you. This can sometimes be tough because many companies make you jump through hoops and register as "members" to get a peak at their price lists.
The good news is that most but NOT all promotional product suppliers do this. And lucky for us Laser Bits, one of the best and most widely known laser engravable suppliers in the US, not only shows item costs but also the recommended selling prices once the item has been engraved. And these numbers are very good. They are competitive but allow the average promotional company ample profit to do business.
Now, I'm not saying you should never pay more for an item. A lot of things factor in such as the amount of customization or personalization, if it a rush order, if it was shipped alone and no cost savings were realized, etc. But in general the recommended selling price is pretty much on the money.
And of course, there are factors for paying less than the recommended price. I did the graphic design and laser operation in my shop for along time and I can tell you that setup is the biggest use of time. One thing to avoid is an ambiguous price quote given to you as a lump sum. Ask for itemization. Have them break it down by setup or design fee, cost per unit and shipping (to you NOT from the wholesale supplier they bought from.)
Most shops will charge a setup fee and then per-item amount. This is nice and puts everything right up front. But be warned, there are some out there who go a little lighter on the setup fee and then add a seemingly small amount to each item engraved. The thinking is that a $35 setup fee looks friendlier than a $50 fee and you might not question the extra 50 cents it costs to do each item. Well how could you? If this is his first quote to you for that item there is no way to know. Of course, if you're only having 30 items produced, you break even. But if you need 300, you just overpaid by $135!
The solution that typically works best is to get several quotes, then discuss all the fees presented by the one you like best (not necessarily the one that costs the least.) Chances are he has a lower setup fee and more cost per item. Let him know that you can have it done for a lower cost and then see if he simply needs to allow for a little more setup time to avoid the risk he's concerned about.
And as a closing thought, keep in mind that most local promotional item laser engraving shops are owned by regular people with the best intentions. They're in it to make a profit but don't want to gouge you. They typically invested between twelve and twenty thousand dollars for a single laser part of their profit goes to recovering on that investment.
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1379047
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