Sometimes a good way to understand the sensation of smacking your head against a brick wall is trying to shop for a specific promotional product. The industry is always looking for and discovering new products to stamp a corporate logo on, which means more things to choose from every day. The catalogs you need to sort out get bigger almost every day because of the constant growth in our industry.
Inarguably, your best bet is to find a seller with a website and not trying to track down manufacturers directly. The manufacturers that create the promotional giveaways you’re looking for won’t be selling to the general public, but through distributors that are equipped to complete a sale. What this means is that companies that sell promotional items to you are far more interested in giving you pricing and information than the manufacturers will be! These distributors can be so free with information it can actually feel a little like information overload sometimes. This is because, as you will discover, that there are many different things to decide on besides price. Some companies will offer a million products for you to choose from separated into a hundred different categories, which can seem worse than flipping through a catalog.
Millions of promotional products out are out there, making easy to navigate sites absolutely critical to you. Don’t settle for the first company you find, shop around. Online retailers are a dime a dozen, and a significant amount of those web sites are members of various networks that provide catalog information. What you will frequently find are online stores that are, more or less, an uninspired random catalog of tons of items and a shopping cart area to purchase them with. Some online “stores” will even make it difficult to find phone numbers or customer service e-mail addresses!
The good promotional websites will have easy to understand categories that anyone can understand, and not wording that only people in the industry would. When you find what you’re looking for or trying to pick from several different items, prices should be up front and the materials and sizes should be readily available. The words used should understandable and help you find what you’re looking for fairly quickly, and not force you to try to decipher marketing lingo about the product you’re considering.
You should note that a company that puts effort into making an easy to navigate website is also probably putting some time and effort into good customer service, which is the most important aspect of your purchase. Not to mention if the website has more than just things to purchase, like blogs, informative articles, etc. Your promotional product order can seem like a simple thing at first, but if you’re planning to see your logo on a promotional product you need the customer service a good company will provide. There are several steps between placing an order and getting it shipped, and each step means potential mistakes that can happen. Most of the steps are behind the scenes and won’t involve you directly, so even someone who has placed orders before might not realize the minefield an order taker has to navigate an order through. Don’t make the mistake of dealing with a second-rate company where you can expect less care taken during potential trouble spots.
Compared to a heavy paper catalog, the Internet is definitely the way to go. Not only will you find the promotional product you want more quickly, you’ll find it at the price you want and the shape or style you want.