Full Version: Getting into promotional products..do you have any tips?

From: joyce (JLADY) [#1]
 24 Mar 2006

This summer we will be expanding into promotional products which we do now on a very limited basis. We know we are going to be using Sage as a search engine.

I really want to do this (it is my idea, I had to talk my husband into it) but I am nervous because it is a different beast (and not as much in our control when we don't do the work) and potentially high $$ because of volume etc....

Right now we don't have any promo products in the showroom, but I want to set up an area and just make sure all of our customers know what we can get....I think they don't even realize what we can do. I think this alone will get us a good chunk of business.

Are there any tips, suggestions, what to show in showroom, what kind of items not to get involved with. Is it best to have all orders delivered to customer? Or any other general tips???

Also is there a message board geared towards promo products...I did a google search and couldn't find anything.

From: GBengraver [#2]
 24 Mar 2006
To: joyce (JLADY) [#1] 24 Mar 2006

We have a black bookshelf we purchased at Staples.

We display various ad specialty samples. It does well for us with very little effort on our part.

www.distributortalk.com is a good forum for info.

Good luck.

From: joyce (JLADY) [#3]
 24 Mar 2006
To: joyce (JLADY) [#1] 24 Mar 2006

One thing I am unsure of is tee shirts/caps. I would assume there is a lot of business in this because of all the sports/clubs that we deal with. But I also assume it is lower volume per order so I am not sure if we should mess with it.

We currently don't sublimate on tee shirts and really haven't discussed it...my thought was there were so many local places that already do tee shirts/caps that why would they come to us when they can go down the street (other than convenience..and I do know that alone is a big factor). I am sure we will/could get that type of business or at least inquiries.

Do you guys deal with local screen printers vs finding a vendor on the search engines for this type of stuff??

From: joyce (JLADY) [#4]
 24 Mar 2006
To: joyce (JLADY) [#3] 24 Mar 2006

Another thing...because there are infinite types of items that can be considered promotional products. Is it best to try to specialize in something or a few areas.

For instance setting out samples. Should we set out anything we can get our hands on (we have been to the PPAI/ASI show and have lots of samples). Alot of them are cheesy cheap little gadgets. Or should we just pick and choose what to set in the showroom. Or just take the inquiry's as they come no matter what.

I know you can apply the same principles in promo end as the awards end. But we walked into an already established business and with the showroom already established as well as areas of specialty.

I think I am starting to repeat the same question as the first post :S 

From: GBengraver [#5]
 24 Mar 2006
To: joyce (JLADY) [#4] 24 Mar 2006

Wether you limit what you put out for display or not, make sure you can identify the supplier when you need to get pricing or place an order.

If you don't have some way to know where the items you display come from they are basically usless or you can waste alot of time trying to figure out who the supplier is.

There are alot of multi-line suppliers out there. So you can offer a variety of items without having to have alot of different supplier accounts set up.

That is a good way to start until you learn the ins and outs of the business of ad specialties.

Profit margins are not as great as with plaques or trophies so wasted time is wasted money.

You will also need a system for processing and converting logos and layouts to meet supplier requirements. If you do not submit art the way your suppliers demand it slows down production time and can incur additional charges by suppliers.

If your business is anything like mine, you will find that for the most part the customers you will be catering to will be small businesses that are not looking for huge quantities and have limited budgets.

Not necessarily a bad thing. I find it is a niche that can be profitable and sometimes frustrating.

Sorry this post is so long, but there is alot of little things needed to be learned if you want to tap this market.

Good Luck,

From: joyce (JLADY) [#6]
 24 Mar 2006
To: GBengraver [#5] 24 Mar 2006

If your business is anything like mine, you will find that for the most part the customers you will be catering to will be small businesses that are not looking for huge quantities and have limited budgets.

Do you get a lot of people needing less than minimums...and what do you do there...just keep looking for other vendors who have lower minimums??

From: GBengraver [#7]
 24 Mar 2006
To: joyce (JLADY) [#6] 24 Mar 2006

A lot of suppliers offer less than minimums, but they charge a less than minimum fee that usually ends up costing the customer almost as much as getting the minimum qty.

That usually convinces customers to go with minimun qty.
And they probably cannot go anywhere else and get a better deal anyway for less than min. qty.

Also with anything less than min. you seldom make enough profit to justify your time.


From: Josh (WIZURD) [#8]
 30 Mar 2006


I have found a simple answer to most of my promotional product issues. There is a company called Kaeser and Blair.


I just affiliated with them because of several issues that I had with suppliers. While I am considered quite large in the awards area, I pale in comparison to some of the larger companies in the promotional products world. They pay for all orders, deal with the factories and handle any issues that arise out of the process. I don't like the idea of losing control of a process by having a third party personalize items that I am going to supply to my customers but with K&B at least I have some weight with the suppliers.

They have a list of preferred vendors who offer EQP and also has a catalog where the prices will beat anyone else's in the industry.

Give me a call if you want any more info.

From: Engravin' Dave (DATAKES) [#9]
 30 Mar 2006
To: Josh (WIZURD) [#8] 30 Mar 2006


Kaeser & Blair has a good reputation in the industry, but don't buy in on the idea that they have a patent on low pricing. I go up against their franchisees all of the time in the Kansas City market, and haven't found them to be difficult competition as far as pricing goes. They do get out and pound the pavement, which is one area I cannot compete in with my current business structure.

From: Josh (WIZURD) [#10]
 30 Mar 2006
To: Engravin' Dave (DATAKES) [#9] 30 Mar 2006

I totally agree with you. My point was not the competing on price issue but rather the number of vendors that readily give you EQP just for being affilitated.

From: Engravin' Dave (DATAKES) [#11]
 30 Mar 2006
To: Josh (WIZURD) [#10] 30 Mar 2006


EQP seems to be the latest discounting craze with suppliers. We always ask for it and are surprised by the number of companies who offer it to gain the business.

From: joyce (JLADY) [#12]
 30 Mar 2006
To: Engravin' Dave (DATAKES) [#11] 30 Mar 2006

What is EQP??

From: Josh (WIZURD) [#13]
 30 Mar 2006

oops sorry, end quantity pricing.

From: UncleSteve [#14]
 30 Mar 2006
To: joyce (JLADY) [#12] 30 Mar 2006

"End quantity pricing" referring to the maximum "listed" discount available based on large quantity orders. It is made available for smaller quantities as an incentive.

Back to thread list | Login

© 2024 Project Beehive Forum