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Data Loading on USB Flash Drives – An Evil Necessity

Posted by USB2U on 17th January 2014 | Permalink

One of the primary reasons that so many companies are using promotional USB flash drives is because they are looking for a simple, easy and convenient way to distribute lots of information to their customers (or prospective customers). Whether it’s information on new products, pricing, seminar or conference notes, video presentations or any mix of these then USB drives that are pre-loaded with the data are a great solution.

CD’s and DVD’s used to be the preferred option but so few laptops and desktop PC’s now ship with a CD/DVD player that it’s a risk relying on people being able to use these. Arguably with the shift toward tablets (most of which don’t have USB ports) the same issues apply to USB sticks but most people still have a PC or laptop at home or work and all of these will have a USB port.

The other benefit of handing out a USB drives with your data pre-loaded onto them is that flash drives have a high perceived value (much higher than a CD or DVD) and as such people like being given them and that in turns help them to build a bond with any brand printed onto the drive. If you hand out flash drives with spare capacity on (and this is typically always the case) then you’re giving something away that has on-going use after your data has been read. This in turn means your flash drives (with your brand printed on them) will get repeat usage and your brand will get repeat exposure.

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

The real headache is how you get the data onto the USB flash drives before you hand them out! Often files, video and presentation notes are not ready to load until right at the very last minute and if this means you have to load the data yourself then in could take hours and in some cases days! Transferring 1GB of data from your PC could take 10+ minutes per drive – multiply this by say 500 and you can see the challenge!

By far the best way is to get your promotional USB flash drive supplier to data-load them for you. Typically they will have industrial data loading machines that will bulk transfer the files to multiple drives (each machine usually has a “master slot” and can copy the data to up to 20 USB drives in the same time that you could copy one!).

Most suppliers offer this service free of charge for up to 200MB of data but the charges for larger data loads are only pennies – it’ll be the best money you ever spend. No one in their right minds would voluntarily opt to data load their own USB sticks one at a time on their PC.

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We Ship Anywhere in the World and we can deliver within 48hrs of an Order!

Posted by USB2U on 16th January 2014 | Permalink

We’re based in Northampton in the UK and we’re now in our 12th year of supplying USB memory sticks. Until recently we only supplied customers in the UK with the occasional shipment into mainland Europe but due to unprecedented demand for our products and services we now ship anywhere in the World.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in based in Birmingham in the UK or Birmingham in Alabama (USA) or for that matter Timbuktu we’re more than happy to take your order and ship our unique range of USB memory sticks and USB gift boxes to you.

We’ve partnered up with UPS who are one of the worlds most trusted and respected international shipping and logistics companies. Anywhere UPS deliver we deliver. It’s as simple as that. Shipments into Europe, the USA and Canada are usually delivered within 1 day of being sent. Shipments to the rest of the world usually take no more than 2-3 days.

USB-Sticks-Delivered-WorldWide

USB-Sticks-Delivered-WorldWide

The combination of our 24hr “rush” printing or engraving service and UPS’s next day delivery means we can often deliver USB sticks to Europe, the USA and Canada within 48hrs and the rest of the world in 3-4 days.

Check out what our customers (including many international customers) are saying about our product and service on the USB2U Trustpilot review site.

If you’d like a quote for USB sticks and USB gift boxes then just give us a call on +44 1604 684811 or simply click on the “Quote Request” button above.

We think you’ll be surprised by just how competitive our USB prices are and in particular how inexpensive our international delivery charges (they start from as little as £15).

If you’re in based in the EU and you have a VAT number then we can supply your order VAT free (orders shipped to the rest of the world are sent with a zero rated invoice but do be aware that local taxes and duties may be payable on receipt – these vary from country to country so you’re concerned about these then it might be worth speaking to your local customs office).

If there are any charges to pay (taxes and/or import Duty) then UPS will take care of all the paperwork for you – you’ll just need to pay these fees on receipt of your order.

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If don’t Like any of our USB Flash Drives – Build your own!

Posted by USB2U on 2nd January 2014 | Permalink

We currently have around 100 different USB flash drive designs in our portfolio so there is usually at least one model that appeals to any business or school looking to buy them. If however you want something unique, something that only your company or school will have then you could either build your own or commission a bespoke design.

If you want to have a go at building your own (and lots of schools and colleges do this as part of their GCSE Design Technology course) then we can supply you with the core USB flash memory, the controller chips, the capacitor and the USB connector – it’s not as complicated as it sounds. All of these core components are supplied on a single PCB – you just need to design the shell that goes around this. Each PCB is a uniform shape and size and we can supply the memory size to suit your budget.

Build Your Own USB Memory Sticks

Build Your Own USB Memory Sticks

If you buy the USB PCB’s as part of a school project/competition and there was a “winning design” then we could take the winning design into full production and supply the entire school with a branded (printed or engraved) version of the stick. If it’s really good and we feel that it has wider commercial appeal we might even consider working with you to jointly develop the design and market the design. The school would enjoy royalties on the sale of each USB stick!

If you don’t fancy having a go at building your own but instead want us to develop a custom USB stick in the shape of one of your products or perhaps in the shape of your logo or something that represents who you are and what you do then no problem – we’re up for that!

All you need to do is send us a rough idea or what you’re after even basic photographs of any product you want us to copy will do. We can often get enough to go on from a website or product sheets. What you don’t need to do/supply is detailed drawings or CAD files – we take care of all this for you.

Over the years we’ve produced some fantastic custom USB flash drives including USB dinosaurs, USB ducks, USB lipsticks and so on. Surprisingly the minimum order quantity is only 200 pcs and there are no set-up, tooling or design costs to worry about. The finished USB sticks will cost a little bit more than standard factory designs but we’re only talking pennies!

Bespoke USB Memory Sticks

Bespoke USB Memory Sticks

Whether you want to build your own USB flash drive or want us to design and build them for you just give us a call and speak to one of our team. We’d love to hear from you because we love doing custom USB sticks!

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Buy Your Promotional USB Sticks Now Whilst Prices Are Cheap

Posted by USB2U on 3rd December 2013 | Permalink

If you’re looking to buy promotional USB memory sticks for use in early 2014 then you might want to think about buying them now.  The reason is simple – they’re cheap at the moment but the current dip in prices is unlikely to last.

We’ve been supplying promotional USB sticks for the last 11 years and we see a fall in prices around this time every year and every year we advise customers to take advantage of the opportunity to buy early and save themselves a chunk of money. For budgetary reasons, sign-off reasons and because it just seems too early, many customers cannot commit to buy and understandably some sceptics think we’re just trying to drive sales (which of course to some degree we are).

The reality is that December always sees factory prices fall – it’s because it’s the “quiet period” when flash products for Christmas goods have already been manufactured and sold and it’s a few weeks ahead of the Chinese New Year when prices rocket because of the China “closedown”.

Promotional USB Memory Stick Prices Set to Rise

Promotional USB Memory Stick Prices Set to Rise

This year the impact on prices is even more pronounced because USB memory sticks and flash memory are traded in US Dollars ($) and at the moment the USD ($) is falling against the GBP (£) – over the last couple of months its dropped nearly 10% against the GBP (£) which has a direct impact on the price paid for Promotional USB Memory Sticks.

By way of illustration you can currently buy 500 x 8GB promotional USB sticks for well under £3.00 per stick!! To be clear that includes the printing (or engraving), a dataload and a simple white gift box for each USB stick. There are no other “hidden” costs of delivery costs. Less than £3.00 each for an 8GB USB Stick!

History suggests that between now and late January the core price of USB sticks will increase by 10% and of course if the USD ($) recovers then this could add another  5% – 10%. So, worst case the 500 X 8GB sticks could end up costing another £300 more in 4-6 weeks time.

So, if you can buy your promotional USB sticks now, or at least get your order in now then not only will you save yourself a few pounds but you won’t be rushing around at the last minute (in the midst of all the Chinese New Year madness) trying to find a supplier that can deliver the sticks you want, when you need them and for the budget you have.

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Promotional USB Flash Drives in Tins

Posted by USB2U on 2nd December 2013 | Permalink

How many of your will be handing out your Christmas gifts this year in the plastic carrier bags you were given by the shop you bought them from? Perhaps you’ll throw the carrier bags away and just leave then (unwrapped) under the Christmas tree or maybe you’ll hand them out (unwrapped) on the day itself – not for you the “frippery” of gift wrap. After all it’s a waste isn’t it and think about the impact on the environment of all the wasted wrapping paper, gift tags and sellotape!

Seriously though wrapping up the gifts and then seeing the pleasure on people’s facing when they first try and guess what they’ve been given and then finally rip off (or in some cases carefully remove) the paper to reveal their gift is one of the biggest parts of Christmas day. It just wouldn’t be the same if the gifts you’d carefully selected were just handed over unwrapped – your family and friends would think you didn’t really care and it would take the edge off the whole “gift giving” experience.

We’ve grown up expecting gifts to gift wrapped and for some degree of thought and effort put into how they are wrapped and presented. It’s not just Christmas either but it’s one of those “rules” that applies to Birthday’s, Wedding’s, Anniversaries and so on – we expect (rightly or wrongly) our gifts to be gift wrapped or at the very least for some level of thought to have been put into how the gift is handed over.

Promotional USB Flash Drives in Gift Boxes

Promotional USB Flash Drives in Gift Boxes

The same basic principles apply if you’re a company that is handing out promotional gifts – yes, there will always be the anti-packaging and pro-environment lobby but the reality is that gifts given out it a gift box or some form of packaging are typically better received. They play into our psyche of expecting a gift to be wrapped and they get a better reception, they engender stronger feelings of “warmth” and they create a stronger emotional bond to the brand of the company that is giving away the gift. Considering that the cost of a decent gift box or gift wrapping will only a small amount to the overall cost of giving the gift then its money well spent.

In the case of promotional USB flash drives (one of the most popular promotional gifts over the past few years) there are lots of packing options including printed gift boxes and printed tins. All of these are supplied with custom foam inserts for the USB flash drives to sit in and all of them really help to raise the impact the USB drives make when they are handed out – judge for yourself from the examples shown on this page!

Promotional USB Flash Drives in Gift Boxes

Promotional USB Flash Drives in Gift Boxes

If you’re looking to giveaway promotional USB Flash Drives for Christmas or anytime for that matter then do think about how you’re going to warp, box or present them – it will make a big difference to how the “gift” is received.

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Emergency, Emergency Promotional USB Sticks Needed Tomorrow.

Posted by USB2U on 29th October 2013 | Permalink

In the overall scheme of things struggling to find a supplier that can deliver your promotional USB memory sticks in a hurry is in the irritating and annoying category rather than career threatening. That is unless it’s something that you were asked to do weeks ago and you’ve just been putting it off or have simply forgotten about it – then it does have have the potential be career damaging.

Sometimes the need to find a USB supplier urgently can be as a result of being let down at the last minute by your normal supplier – problems with “customs and international carriers” are often cited as reasons why USB sticks are late and miss their promised delivery dates.

You can also find yourself in this dilemma because someone you thought someone else had it under control only to find out at the last minute that they had

emergencyUSB

emergencyUSB

nothing under control!

All the planning and preparation in the world can’t accommodate these little “bombs” when they happen but what you can do is try and factor in a little contingency in your plans. Granted, it’s not always easy and contingency has a nasty habit of just being “absorbed” into any project – it’s the nature of the beast!

Our advice if you do find yourself in desperate need for some branded USB memory sticks is – don’t panic!  At USB2U we pride ourselves on being the “4th Emergency Service” We regularly rescue customers from tight scrapes, save reputations and keep careers on track. The reason we can do this is because unlike our competitors we carry tens of thousands of  plain, unprinted USB sticks in the UK which we can print and get delivered in as little as 24hrs!!

Whilst we don’t carry the full range of USB sticks shown on our web site we do have around 20 different styles to choose from so there is bound to be something in our “rush range” that meets most customers’ needs. In addition to a wide range of USB sticks we also carry thousands of USB gift boxes, lanyards and keyrings all of which can be combined with our USB sticks.

So, if you do find yourself in a tight spot and you need some printed or engraved USB sticks in a hurry then just give us a call and speak to one of our experienced sales team – they’ll talk you though the options and our in-house designer will work with you to make sure we can deliver a promotional USB stick that not only gets you out of trouble but exceeds your expectations.

Printed-in-24hrs

Printed-in-24hrs

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Top 4 Branded USB Memory Stick For Schools, Colleges and Universities

Posted by USB2U on 22nd August 2013 | Permalink

Most educational establishment now offer branded USB memory sticks to both pupils and staff alike. With so many USB models in the market the following details 4 models that should tick most of  the boxes.

Option 1. Capless

For obvious reasons the most popular memory sticks are those without a cap to lose.  Not only is there the inconvenience factor of losing the cap, it could be argued that caps are a choke hazard.

By far the most popular cap less model is the Twister as it has a rubberised body and sturdy metal clip and comes is a range of different colours.

Twister USB - from USB2U

Option 2. Slap Wristbands

These memory sticks fit around the wrist so are easy to access, difficult to lose, made from a rubberised material for greater protection and above all they look great.  They come in a range of vibrant colours and plenty of room for branding.

USB Snapband - from USB2U

USB Snapband - from USB2U

Option 3. Lanyards / Neckties

These USB models are built into the form of a lanyard. Easy to carry, keep safe and accessible. However, these MUST come with a safety release clip to ensure no pupils get hurt if the lanyards get caught.

Lanyard USB - from USB2U

Lanyard USB - from USB2U

Option 4. Carabiner Style

This is a new style of branded memory stick that can be attached to a belt or bag, making it harder to lose. They made from a robust material and look great.

Carabiner USB - from USB2U

Carabiner USB - from USB2U

Personalisation

Finally educational establishments need to consider how memory sticks that get mislaid are repatriated with their owner. To achieve this consider adding either a signature strip onto the memory stick or ask about having them personalised when placing your order.

An attractive alternative it a metal tag with the owner’s name engraved onto it and can be attached to any style of memory stick.

Personalised USB Sticks - from USB2U

Personalised USB Sticks - from USB2U

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Best practice for schools purchasing Branded USBs

Posted by USB2U on 16th August 2013 | Permalink

The exam results season is upon us again, which can only mean that it’s time for the start of a new academic year. With this comes new school budgets and the procurement process beginning all over again. As part of this, Branded USBs, which have become an intrinsic part of schools technology resources, will be high on the spending agenda.

With the current scrutiny of school budgets and horror stories in the media of poor procurement from schools / LEAs, what should you consider when purchasing Branded USB memory sticks.

  • Try to obtain three quotes from established UK suppliers. Ensure these are based at business premises as there is a growing trend for individuals to set up from home without the infrastructure to support you if things go wrong.
  • Ensure that you are offered a line of credit, you should not be required to make any upfront payments.
  • A free sample of the proposed USB Memory stick should be requested.
  • Explore getting a local company to sponsor the production of the memory sticks and in return you can add their logo / contact details to the back.
  • Parents may be willing to make a contribution to the Custom Memory Stick so they can become cost neutral.
  • Finally ask for extras – perhaps free lanyards, boxes, dataloading. You will be surprised how accommodating most suppliers will be.

These few tips will certainly ensure you get a great produce and the best ‘bang for school buck’!

USB Flash Drives for Schools

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Cheap Promotional USB Sticks Can Be a False Economy

Posted by USB2U on 1st August 2013 | Permalink

Everyone likes a bargain and it’s no different when people are shopping around for promotional USB memory sticks. The problem is when you get the prices back from the various suppliers you’ve approached how can you be sure that you’re really comparing like to like. We’re in our 11th year of supplying USB sticks and other USB products and at times we find it hard so if you’re buying them for the first time it’s incredibly easy to get bamboozled and quite frankly it’s easy to get ripped off.

Of course everyone you get quotes from is going to say that they are only supplying “new”, “Grade A” top quality products with a guarantee that’s as long as the sentence handed out to Bradley Manning by in the US this week. But, the reality is that whilst USB flash drives might look the same on the outside it’s what under the skin of them that really matters. So unless you are willing to take your USB sticks apart when they arrive it really is an act of faith that you are getting what was promised when you placed your order.

There are a few basic things you can do to protect yourself and your company – after all it’s going to be your company’s brand that’s printed on the USB sticks so if they do fail then it’s going to be your brand that takes the hit and not the brand of the USB supplier!

Our advice is as follows:

Buy Local – Of course we’re bound to say it but we strongly recommend that you buy from a local reputable supplier that has a proven and visible track record of delivery and happy customers. There are loads of review sites around today including sites like TrustPilot so use them to check what other customers are saying.

The added advantage of buying local (as opposed to buying directly from China) is that if things do go wrong then you have recourse in the UK. Trying to get a refund or resolution to a problem from a Chinese supplier you spotted on the web can be challenging to say the least!

Company checks – Do some basic checks on the company you’re planning to buy from. If you have access to Experian or Equifax run a company search. Check them out on Linkedin it’s surprising what information it can throw up.

Check the Terms & Conditions on Supply – Some companies write into their conditions that they can undersupply by as much as 5% of your order and you have no recourse.

Warranties – a lifetime warranty sound great providing the company offering it is still going to be around in 6mths or a year to honour it.

Basic Checks to do when your USB sticks arrive:

  1. Insert one into your PC or Mac and check the properties to make sure it’s the correct memory size.
  2. Load files onto the USB stick close to the stated maximum capacity of the USB stick
  3. Remove the USB stick and plug it into another PC and make sure the files you loaded are still there
  4. If they are not then it’s likely that you’ve been sold a “masked” USB stick– this basically means your say 2GB stick is only a 1GB stick that has been made to look like a 2GB. Send them back!

If you’re loading large images or videos it’s also worth checking several to make sure they have loaded properly – If the sticks have been made using cheap sub-standard components then images can have lots of white lines across them and videos either won’t work or will be very jerky.

In summary when deciding where to place your order for promotional USB memory sticks don’t just go by the headline price unless you do so in the full knowledge of the possible consequences. Ideally choose a company that has an establish pedigree and can point to lots of repeat business and will offer guarantees and warranties on their products that have some meaningful recourse.

Buying on price and price alone is an easy option but to do so is to ignore the complexities and risks of what should, on the face of it, be a simple and safe transaction.

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier for Promotional USB Memory Sticks

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier for Promotional USB Memory Sticks

 

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Advice for Buying Branded USB Memory

Posted by USB2U on 31st July 2013 | Permalink

Branded UBS memory sticks are an excellent way to promote your business, to support the launch of a new product(s), to distribute important news and/or press releases and finally to build brand awareness and customer loyalty.

There are lots of promotional products on the market to choose from including popular products like pens, cups, bags etc. but they simply don’t offer the same level of perceived value and usefulness. Don’t just take our word for it because there are plenty of surveys available (including one from the highly regarded BPMA) that put USB sticks at the top of peoples most wanted list.

If you’ve decided promotional USB sticks are for you then there are some basic rules to follow when buying them:

  1. Take time to choose a USB stick that will work with your brand: There are hundreds, if not thousands of different styles of USB memory sticks to choose from. Most are manufactured from plastic but they are also available in metal, cardboard, wood and some are trimmed with leather.

    The most popular types tend to be “cap-less” with one particular model – “The Twister” dominating the market.

    Photographers tend to choose more “upmarket” wooden or leather drives whilst lots of conference organisers choose dual purpose products like USB writing pens and USB paper clips.

  2. Memory capacity: The general rule is to buy the largest capacity you can afford (unless you plan to simply hand them out like sweets at a show).

    If you want people to hang onto your USB sticks and continue to use them then you need to make sure there is enough memory on the sticks for their daily needs. Give them something useful – a good size to aim for is a 1GB or 2GB.

  3. Choosing the right logo to print (or engrave): If you have a complex design or logo that includes graduated colours and/or tints then you will limit the range of USB flash drive that will take this type of print. Most USB sticks only have a print area of around 2cm-3cm so unless you are willing to simplify your logo it’s not going to look great on a USB stick.If you must print a complicated logo then choose something like a USB credit card because these can take a full colour print to both sides of the card.
  4. Artwork formats:  The general rule of thumb is to supply the best (highest resolution) artwork you can lay your hands on. Ideally you need vectorised artwork in .EPS or .AI format.

    If you just “grab” a logo from your web site or PowerPoint slides the final print will look very patchy and blotchy.

  5. USB Sticks look better in a box:  By default promotional USB memory sticks are supplied “in bulk” – this normally means in simply poly bags or plain white boxes. These “protect” the sticks in transit but they don’ really add to the overall impact when you hand them out.

    There are now lots of different USB packaging options to choose from so just as you take time to think about your USB sticks take time to consider how you want them packaged. Engraved wooden boxes or printed high quality white gift boxes look fantastic and don’t add much to the overall price.

  6. Make sure you can get them delivered in time: It’s critical that you allow enough time for your USB sticks to be manufactured, printed and delivered – ideally build in a day or so contingency. The typical lead time for printed USB drives is 10 working days so use this as a general rule of thumb.

    USB2U have over 20 different models of USB sticks they hold in stock in the UK and can deliver in as little as 24hrs so start with these if you’re working to a tight deadline.

  7. Cheapest isn’t always the best: There are lots of fake and sub-standard USB drives around at the moment and unless you’re an expert it’s difficult to tell what you’re buying. Even companies that claim to offer Grade A chips are often passing off masked and re-cycled USB’s as Grade A. The usual rules apply – if it seems too good to be true it probably is.
  8. Get references: Lots of suppliers of USB memory sticks seem to pop-up overnight and many disappear just as quickly. Before you place any order ideally get references from other customers or check out 3rd party review sites like Trustpilot. At USB2U we’ve been around for nearly 11 years and in this time we’ve supplied millions of USB sticks to tens of thousands of customers. We’re also rated as “Excellent” on Trustpilot where we consistently get 5* reviews. We’re also ranked No.1 in the Promotional Items Category in the UK.
Wooden USB Memory Sticks

Wooden USB Memory Sticks

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