My Mug is Cheaper than Your Mug! ... A Cautionary Tale

Philadelphia, PA, April 19, 2006 --(PR.com)-- You’ve just been asked to order some promotional imprinted mugs for client gifts, so the first thing you do is jump on the internet. You find a few sites with similar looking products, yet the prices vary greatly, what do you do?

If you are like most people, you’re likely to buy based on price alone, as that 16 oz. Stainless steel mug for $3.99 looks exactly the same as the one for $7.99, so why spend double the money? Bill Litton, a promotional products specialist from IASpromotes.com, says to be careful because there are, in fact, tremendous differences in items that may look the same on a computer screen.

"Not just for personalized mugs, but across the board, with all of our promotional items, there are key factors to understand the difference in price points," Litton says. He adds, “We see a trend towards educating the buyer to understand the price differences, and empower the customer to make the best purchasing decision for them, their budget and their brand. We don’t mind if our clients purchase the least expensive mugs we carry, we just want them to understand that the materials used to manufacture that mug can be different than the cup that is 50% more in price, although they make look the same and serve the same purpose."

It’s important to remember that whichever advertising promo item you purchase, is a direct reflection on your brand, so you need to consider that. If a mug breaks or can’t withstand high heat, or the imprint rubs off then was it really worth going with the cheapest?

Mr Litton reminds his buyers that the last impression is often just as important as the first impression when it comes to promotional merchandise. “I would advise readers to consider the following when purchasing promotional mugs or promotional product materials of any kind – whether through us or any other web-based firm”:

1. Where is the item manufactured? Origin of manufacture can play a large part in the cost of an item. Generally, Union and USA made items are more expensive, but quality control standards are often higher as well.

2. What does the price include? Make sure you know all the costs included in a unit price. Does the price include printing? How many colors? Are the art and set-up charges factored into the unit cost? How about freight?

3. How quickly will my order be completed? Certain factories are specialists in rush service and charge a premium for that service, others take longer but can keep their labor costs down that way and pass it on to the buyer.

4. What materials have been used to manufacture this product? ** This is critical ** A white ceramic mug looks the same as a white porcelain mug, but they are not the same. Some stainless products are 18/10, some are not. Some are dual wall insulated, some have plastic liners. Some pens are metal throughout, some are veneers.

5. Is the item a Brand name? Generally, brand names cost more, but similar items can often be found for less when sourcing through a reputable promotional products firm.

6. Is the firm I’m buying from reputable? Check the history and track record of a company. All too often, web based promotional firms will pop-up, advertise some unbelievably low price and then not be able to deliver on their promise or never return their phone calls.

7. What is the return and satisfaction policy? Never use a company that doesn’t have a return policy as inexpensive products can have inexpensive packaging and damage in transportation or even worse, be inferior.

About Bill Litton: Bill Litton, is President of IASpromotes.com, the online promotional products division of Independent Ad Specialties - both award winning entities. As a 13-year industry veteran, he has worked with many of the top companies in America and can be contacted through its website at http://www.iaspromotes.com or toll free at 1-800-780-1962

Independent Ad Specialties
Bill Litton