If you are looking for a trusted promotional products supplier should you:
a. Google ‘Promotional Products’ and hope for the best.
b. Check out ‘Alibaba’ and pick one at random.
c. Decide purely based on price – the cheaper the better.
d. None of the above.
If you answered d, then ……thank goodness for that!
And, yes, I know we might seem biased.
But, if being in this business for 16 years + has taught us one thing, it’s that choosing a promotional product supplier is not as simple as it looks.
The problem with Google? Two words – choice overload. Having options is all well and good but having 350 million options isn’t going to help anyone. Especially, as most of the promotional companies online appear to be doing the EXACT same thing.
The problem with Alibaba? More of the same (LOTS of options with little to distinguish between them) but with an additional layer of risk. Not only is it unclear which advertisers are factories and which are just trading companies, wholesalers or scammers posing as legitimate businesses, it is also a question of liability. Did you know that whoever imports the promotional products from overseas is responsible? Yup, responsible for all those important product safety, testing and compliance procedures. So, whilst sourcing direct from sites like Alibaba might make economic sense, they can open a whole can of brand-damaging worms when things go wrong.
The problem with cheap? If you wanted to show a friend how much you valued them would you seek out the cheapest gift you could get your budget-friendly hands on? Probably not. And yet, when it comes to branded merchandise, you can bet your bottom dollar that’s exactly what they’ll want. Your bottom dollar. The problem with rock bottom prices? To get the figure that low, its likely something has had to be compromised. It might be the quality (you get what you pay for and all that.) It could be the safety (cutting corners to save on cost). Or even worse, it could be the working conditions that have been compromised (sadly, modern slavery is alive and well even in 2021).
Ok – so now you know how NOT to choose your promotional products supplier – how can you find one you can TRUST?
1. Talk to a human.
Online forms and live chat are no replacement for speaking to a real person. You will get a good sense of the type of customer service you are likely to get within seconds of speaking to a potential supplier. Are they listening to your needs? Asking you questions? Offering value? Being able to give our clients a 5-star customer experience is one of the things that gets us out of bed every day!
2. Ask the right questions:
A few simple questions can quickly weed out the companies that care about safety, fairness and ethical sourcing. When it comes to ordering promotional products your supplier shouldn’t have any problem answering ‘Where is it made?’, ‘What is it made of?’, ‘What are the supply chain risks?, ‘Do you conduct factory audits?’ etc. Supply chain transparency should be standard procedure in our industry and yet, amongst many suppliers, it’s still severely lacking.
3. Look for experience:
The barrier to entry in the promotional products world is fairly low, which is why you’d be smart to look for one that has some longevity. Companies like ours which have been doing this for years not only have trusted relationships with our factories/local suppliers (which offers quality assurance and timeline reliability) but years in the game also result in significant purchasing power which means we can get you the best price for the best product – which let’s be fair, is exactly what most of us is looking for.
4. Talk to Inck. Why? Because we make it EASY!
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