How to Know if You're REALLY Buying the Cheapest Business Swag

March 03, 2016

How to Know if You're REALLY Buying the Cheapest Business Swag

We had a call last week from someone asking if we guaranteed that our prices were the cheapest for promotional items. 

The question made me think: how do you really know if you're buying the cheapest promotional products? And this is my answer: you can't. 

Just because a promotional company has discount, wholesale, cheapest  or low price guarantee emblazoned across their website, it's still no guarantee that you're getting that promotional item at the cheapest price.

You can Google search, Bing search or Duck Duck Go search for hours and still not be guaranteed that you're finding a product at the very bottom price. 

How do I know that?

Many distributors, like PROMOrx, use their own unique part numbers on their websites. We don't use the part numbers provided by the factory suppliers. That makes it easier for PROMOrx internally, but not easier for you, the promotional products purchaser, to price shop.

Maybe you think the picture of the branded giveaway items you're purchasing will tell you that you're pricing the identical item. Not true. I say pretty consistently that pictures lie.

Two pens that may look identical tell a very different story in person. One is made with this promotional pen with aluminum parts and the other is a custom brass pen. Which is more expensive? The brass one. But the picture may look identical.

If all you do is look at pictures, you don't know that unless the descriptions are really good. (Many aren't. Most of our competitors use factory supplied descriptions which far from tell the whole story! We removed an iPad case from our website after the factory description said it would work for an iPad Air. It wouldn't. We purchased and tested!)

If you have pricing, what do the prices include? Shipping? All the set up charges? Run charges for additional colors? Embroidery charges? Rush charges? If you don't have an all in price you can't determine if you have the cheapest price on the business swag you're ordering. 

We've had prospects gulp at the price they paid a competitor. The item price looked cheaper, but the 'all in' price wasn't. 

So, how did we answer that callers' question? They emailed us the competitor's website link. That website had discount and wholesale all over it. (We're not nuts enough to link and give them SEO and Google juice here on the PROMOrx blog!)  

The competitor's price for 50 2gb Pens + USB drives with a 1 color imprint: $1015.62

PROMOrx price for 50 4gb Pen with USB Drive with 1 color imprint: $875.62 

Our now client didn't notice that the PROMOrx option was 4gb and the competitors' option was 2gb. The custom usb pen was not offered in 4gb on the 'discount' website. In the client's defense, the fact it was 2gb was buried in the text. As I've said, the PROMOrx team is into the details!

On this business swag, PROMOrx was the 'low price leader'.
 But you won't see that mentioned anywhere on our website. On the next item, that may not be true. And in truth, this isn't a totally fair comparison. We're comparing 2gb vs 4gb.

There's a concept in selling called 'loss leaders' -- many websites in the company swag space practice that. These companies break even or even lose profit on one branded item, but not the next one. They get you to their website hoping you'll offset a 'break even promotional item' with an order for promotional giveaways where they make plenty of profit.

If you're a price shopper, be prepared for hours and hours of research and still that unsettling feeling that you may have missed the truly cheapest website for your company's corporate swag. Is your time valuable? Of course it is.


Another option? Partner with a professional (like PROMOrx !) who may not always have the cheapest price on every promotional item you buy, but bails you out in tough situations, offers suggestions others don't and really cares about your business. 

Contact me for a free 15 minute company swag consultation. OK, 17 minutes--I'm a Southerner y'all!  888.553.9569 extension 3 or email Vickie at PROMOrx dot com