Your Promotional Product Budget: Making Every Dollar Count

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One of the most common topics we discuss with customers is what they can afford to purchase within their budget. Many of these clients want to select the very cheapest product that will fit within their budget regardless of the outcome. While we understand the sentiment, the cheapest products may not always deliver as much or any sort of return on investment, and the truth is that there are ways to afford more expensive products that will have a greater impact. We suggest the following strategies to everyone who wants to decrease the cost of purchasing custom products but not limit themselves to only the very cheapest products.

1. Utilize specials
Always stay aware of current specials and promotions. Promotions won’t always fit your current needs, but if you stay up to date then surely something will come up that will. If you aren’t sure what specials are available, search the company website and give them a call directly to find out. Calling a company directly gives you a chance to find out if there are other offers not advertised on their website or if there is something you missed. The downside to utilizing specials is that sometimes you need to be ready to purchase at any moment.

2. Plan Ahead
We realize that planning ahead is not always possible. Sometimes events and new ideas come up at the last minute and there is nothing you can do about it. However, planning ahead as much as possible will save a lot of money. By planning and ordering products ahead of time you will be able to avoid rush fees and expedited shipping—both of which can add up fast. This also allows extra time to review product samples, switch products, and adjust artwork to ensure the promotional items will successfully meet your goals.

3. Simplify artwork
This is one of the easiest ways to save money on any order. By making a couple basic adjustments to your artwork like decreasing the number of imprint colors in a logo or decreasing the number imprint locations, you will see an immediate price drop. It is more expensive and time consuming to print a job with multiple colors and locations so if you are in a position to cut back on the number of colors and locations, you will be able to save.

4. Switch product colors
Occasionally there will be a product that is full price in a few colors but is on temporary sale in a different color. Sometimes the reason is simply that there is an overstock of that color and they need to get rid of it or that color is being discontinued and they want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that ordering a discontinued color means it will not be available in the future for reorders, but if the product is only needed for a one-time order, it might be a great option. Another reason to consider switching product colors is that it can make the cost of printing cheaper. For example, white and light colored apparel often ends up selling for less because they require less ink for printing and are cheaper to manufacture.

5. Select the RIGHT products
Selecting the right products to promote your business is essential. You can spend thousands on promotional gear and still get poor results if you spend it all on the wrong products. The key is that in every instance you know your goal and what you want to accomplish by giving out promotional items. By formally coming up with a goal it will help prevent buying certain promotional items simply because that is what everyone else is distributing. By keeping a specific goal in mind, it will lead you in the direction of the right products for you to consider. For more information on selecting the right promotional products for your organization, check out another recent blog of ours here.

6. Select products with standard imprint options
Some printing processes are more expensive than others. When your budget is limited, double check which printing processes are available for each product you are considering. If there is a product only printable in one printing method that is more expensive, you may want to look for a different product that offers a cheaper standard printing method option. For example, products requiring debossing, custom molds, and full-color printing will have higher set-up fees, whereas the setup for ink imprinting will be cheaper.

7. Become one of the regulars
Believe it or not, it REALLY pays to work with the same company and salesperson in the long run. By establishing a long-term relationship with one salesperson they will get to know you, your cause for promotion, and your needs. That sort of information would give any salesperson clearer direction for sourcing great products and always being on the lookout for new ideas. More than anything else, the more you use a salesperson and the more they get to know and like you, the better deals they will give you. Plus, if you let your salesperson know ahead of time what sort of product you’re looking for and when you need it, he or she can keep an eye out for great products on special.

8. Place reorders
Reorders simply refer to purchasing products that have been printed in the past and will be printed again with the exact same artwork. Setting up a print job the first time can be expensive, but once it has been set up for the first time, all set-up fees can be avoided for any subsequent print jobs. Using artwork that can be used in the future for second or third print runs will immediately decrease your final bill.

9. Adjust product quantities
Consider increasing the product quantity you order and each unit will become cheaper. This may not always be feasible option, but if you anticipate ordering more in the future anyway, it makes sense to find a way to buy a larger quantity now to save money in the long run.

We are confident that putting these suggestions to use will ensure making every budget dollar count.

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