If you’re looking to buy some USB flash drives printed with your company or school logo on then no doubt one of the criteria you’ll evaluate them against is cost. Getting a price of USB flash drives supplied in bulk and printed with your artwork on is not as straightforward as going to a web site and getting a price.
Why? Well, although some suppliers do put prices on their web sites those that do tend to have particularly high prices to cushion themselves against the daily fluctuations in the market. Buying USB drives in bulk is a bit like buying other commodities such as coffee, tea, gold or oil – they are all subject to the dynamics of the market and prices can be volatile, even within a single trading day.
Suppliers of promotional USB flash drives have to adjust their prices to take into account changes in the price if flash memory, seasonal supply and demand volatility and fluctuations in the exchange rate – all USB flash drives are purchased in USD ($) so when the Pound (£) weakens against the dollar prices increase.
The fluid nature of the market coupled with the fact that most companies looking to buy printed USB drives want them within a matter of days means that the best prices tend to be quoted on a “spot” basis and are only held for 2-3 days. So, to ensure you are getting the best price you need to shop around and get a couple of quotes from reputable suppliers.
When you get your quotes back do check to make sure that all of the costs are included and you’re not going to be landed with any nasty surprises – most good companies will include the print set-up, printing, data-loading and shipping costs. You also need to make sure that a low price does not equal a sub-standard product. Get reassurances about warranties, performance, read/write speeds and the grade of the flash memory being used in the USB stick.
There are some basic things you can do to reduce the likely cost of the flash drives you’re buying:
- Only buy the memory you need – the most popular size for promotional or give-away USB sticks is 1GB. These are normally large enough to pre-load your own sales material onto and they have enough storage on them to be used by whoever you give them to (so your brand will get on-going exposure)
- Buy the more popular models like the Twister Flash Drive – these get sold in the millions so they tend to be the cheapest option. Don’t be put off by this, they have remained popular over the years because they are an excellent drive, they’re a good size (physical size), they don’t have a cap to lose and they come in a wide range of colours.
- Buy a sensible number of them in one go – you can order as little as 25 at a time but if you do this expect to pay a hefty premium. It’s simply because some fixed costs (print and carriage) have to be amortised across every order so on small orders every USB stick is picking up quite a high proportion of the fixed costs.
- Allow at least 10 days for your order to be produced and delivered – you can get USB sticks in as little as 48hrs but typically these will be printed in the UK (rather than at the factories where they are made in China) so you’ll not only pay a premium for the UK print costs but you’re pay a premium for the “rush” service to get them to you.
If price is an issue then buy the twister, buy no bigger than a 1GB version and give yourself 10-days for the order to arrive.Back