Poor Richards Promos

Trade Show Marketing Tips & Promotional Items – Trade Show Advice. Call us 1-866-587-0271

Archive for December, 2007

More Tips for the Procrastinating Trade Show Gift Buyer

Posted by poorrichardspromos on December 28, 2007

This entry is from Part #5 of the 7 Deadly Mistakes Exhibitors Make When Purchasing Promotional Products For Trade Shows – “Ordering Late”

Ship It To the Hotel, I’ll Take It In The Cab

Ok, so we know you should try to avoid ordering late, but here are 3 things you can do if you find yourself under the gun.

  • First, send your art to your distributor immediately. Even if you don’t know what product or quantity you need, the distributor can get your art converted and ready to go. This could save 1 day.
  • Adjust your product decision to fit your time frame. If you need a Trade Show Traffic Builder, use something that has better terms for rush service.
  • Order something lightweight and small so the shipping won’t break you. Remember you will probably end up shipping this to the hotel and walking it into the show so think small and light.

This Is Not Your Last Show

Here’s another tip that will make your life easier. Order for multiple shows and you will save money and worries! Having these items in stock is one sure way to avoid rush charges and the stress associated with last minute orders
for trade show giveaways.

To top it off, if you order higher quantities of items, you will be able to take advantage of cheaper end quantity pricing.

You know what else? Re-orders produce faster than initial orders. So if you are late, sometimes it is best to stick with what you have done in the past depending on that product’s turnaround time and shipping cost.

Wise Buyers

Before we go any further, I want to set something straight. The resources and tips in these mini-courses are worthless to you if you do not follow through with them. I’m sorry to have to plug my site at this time but the truth is – knowing the main features and benefits of http://www.poorrichardspromos.com will help make your follow through easier. Fair enough?

Here’s what you should know:
1. Poorrichardspromos.com has over 20 products that ship in 24 hours with no rush charges. You can easily find them by checking out our "Rush Service” page

2. We offer a smart limited selection of products because we want them to be retained. You won’t be overwhelmed by 100’s or 1000’s of products Also, the suppliers we represent can be relied on to ship when they say they will.

3. Remember, also as a Wise Buyer, you get free art preparation service (We do this to encourage you to send your art EARLY in case you have a rush order). You can submit your logo to us at any time and we will covert and store it in our database until it is needed.

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Ordering Late -When time is NOT on your side

Posted by poorrichardspromos on December 12, 2007

This entry is from Part #5 of the 7 Deadly Mistakes Exhibitors Make When Purchasing Promotional Products For Trade Shows – “Ordering Late”

Let me ask you this question – What portion of your overall responsibility would you say includes purchasing trade show promotional products? Probably less than 1%, right! This is probably the reason why so many buyers find themselves ordering late and paying for rush service and overnight shipping.

So Why Does It Take So Long?

Think about this – every promotional product we sell is customized. Unlike retail products, these products aren’t just taken off shelves and shipped. The reality is that they require time to produce.

So what should you expect when it comes to timing? Well to start, you should figure on the art preparation (1 to 2 days) the production (standard 5 to 10 days) and the shipping (ground 1 to 5 days).

A good rule of thumb is standard production on most items with shipping and art prep require 3 to 4 weeks from the time you order to the time you receive your goods. Keep in mind some products require more or less time.

The bottom line is this – if you order early, you will save money and eliminate unnecessary stress.

Rush Jobs Go Bad

Consider this. If you think paying through the nose to rush an order is your biggest problem, guess again! The fact is- rush orders have twice the risk of creating much bigger problems. Imagine getting the wrong product, having a misprint, or even missing a delivery in time for the show.

So what should you do? Well, think about my last post.  Remember, there are approximately 5000 manufacturers in this industry. The problems start when you pick a product you see on a large website or catalog and your distributor has to deal with a manufacturer they have no experience with.

The solution? Keep it simple… like Poor Richards Promos. And believe me when I tell you to trust only about 50 of them.

Here’s a True Story

I once had a customer who ordered promotional luggage tags requiring a special imprint. So I called a manufacturer I found who could print them. They assured me the order would ship on time with a 30% increase in the price. It was a large order and it absolutely had to ship on time, so cost was not an issue.

Just to make sure, I would call every couple of days to see that we were on schedule. Needless to say, they assured me everything was O.K.

You can probably guess what happened next. I called on the day they were scheduled to ship and what did the customer service agent tell me? “We don’t guarantee any order would ship when it is scheduled. Just because you have a scheduled ship date doesn’t mean it will ship on that day”

They must have conveniently forgotten to mention this “Company Policy” when I was calling around with this large order.

Now, I’m a guy who is always honest with my customers. I like to keep them informed of the status of rush promotional product orders. So I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I felt sick to my stomach over this.

So completely nerve wrecked, I had to wait until the next day (the day my customer was expecting the shipment!) to find out if it had shipped out or not. Meanwhile my client was in Vegas anxiously awaiting the product at the hotel.

Fortunately, this story did have a happy ending. This order did ship that day and the customer was happy. But make no mistake about it – it could have been a disaster.

I’m a firm believer in the “under-promise,” “over-deliver” philosophy. If I can’t say with confidence that I can’t get an order to them on time – I will tell them that. Better that, than let them down and ruin my customer’s confidence in my service.

Believe me when I tell you again – there are a large majority of manufacturers in this industry who simply do not care about you or me. But always keep in mind that there are 50 great suppliers who do.

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If It’s Cheap, You are Cheap

Posted by poorrichardspromos on December 3, 2007

This entry is from Part #4 of the 7 Deadly Mistakes Exhibitors Make When Purchasing Promotional Products For Trade Shows – “Buying Promotional Items Based On Price”

I Have a Dollar to Spend and I Want Embroidered Hats

Let’s recap from the last post. You should never buy products that are not the highest quality in the class because you want the product to fit into your budget. But the reality that goes with that is this – you may not be able to get the type of product you want for what you budget allows. For example, you’re not going to get a quality promotional hat that will be retained or re-used for one dollar. At this point, I would usually make fun of printed mesh back hats. (But they have become popular over the last few years)

I could easily offer 5,000 different hat styles if I wanted. But, as you have hopefully learned by now – I am not like other people in my industry. And Poor Richards Promos is designed provide you with a selective “smart” selections. Think about it – How much time and patience would you need to choose between 5,000 different hats?

In the last 7 years, I have sold one style of hat. And I’ve used this one hat for one simple reason. It has universal appeal and will get worn. It is not the most expensive hat, but it is the best quality hat I have found – and I am a hat guy.

This same principle can be applied to most products. Take bic promotional pens for example. 30 companies make a knock off of the bic click stic pen for 10% to 20% less. Here’s the problem – you may think you have saved 10% but consider this; 10 out of 10 bic pens will write – they will write for 1½ miles in fact! The cheaper pens will have defects and will not work for as long.

Remember the last time you picked up a pen and it didn’t work? That 10% saved doesn’t look so good now, does it?

If It’s Cheap You Are Cheap

Here’s the worst part. When you put your logo on these items, they represent and reflect you. Makes sense, right? It still amazes me how many crappy products are offered to customers in our industry.

Too Much Competition

To complicate things further, think again of the huge selection of products out there. In dealing with trade show promotional products, we have suppliers who usually specialize in one
certain item, and then also offer a bunch of other “stuff.” Now the products they specialize in may be a great value – but what would you guess the quality is of the other “stuff?”

Let’s face it, the other items in their product mix are just add-ons offered because of one or two reasons. One, they are cheaper. Two, they want to take advantage of the new trend of consumer buying patterns. You already know what I think of the “new,” “cute” products out there. Stick with the quality re-usable items and you can’t go wrong.

Still not convinced? Go to any other promotional website and look up any product category. 100’s of choices will show up. This should terrify you.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind – you must buy the top quality (which usually translates into highest price) item in the class.

Now you’re probably wondering, “How can I possibly sift through the garbage and pick a product that will last?” Great question – especially with distributors offering so many products.

The reality is that there are just not that many quality products out there. And to make matters worse, there are not that many quality conscience manufacturers. They simply want you to purchase the products. They don’t care if your product
last you a day or a year. But there are things you can do to get better products at better rates.

Maximize the Budget

Think about it… it makes sense to buy more and save. This industry has lower price points if you order more. Use your trade show giveaways for other purposes. Buy for more than one show. Order early and save on rush charges and overnight freight.

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