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USB Fan Enquires Coming In – Summer must be on the way

Posted by USB2U on 28th March 2014 | Permalink

From the depths of our office and warehouse we don’t need to be able to see out of the window (although that would be nice) to know that summer is on its way instead we can quite easily rely on the number of enquires coming in to USB2U for USB fans to gauge what the weather is doing (or about to do).

Maybe those making the enquiries have read the various reports in the press about Britain heading for our hottest summer yet. According to various publications weather experts are suggesting there is a 75% chance that over the next few months we’ll be bathed in Mediterranean-style temperatures! We’ve already had a couple of days this month where temperatures crept up to 20 degrees Celsius and whilst we’ve come back down to earth with a bump over the last few days expectations are that we’re in for a very long hot summer – bring it on!

USB Fans

Promotional USB Fans

Of course it’s not so great if you work in an office or study with little natural ventilation (you can’t open the windows in many offices) and you don’t have air-conditioning.  Your best bet in these circumstances is a fan and if you budget won’t run to the latest Dyson Bladeless Fans then you could go for a personal USB fan – these don’t need any batteries, they plug directly into any spare USB port on your PC (or Mac) and can be positioned to get the air flowing directly at you. The fans are 100% safe and they’re really quiet and unobtrusive.

If you’re a company looking for an “in your face” promotional gift for 2014 then you might want to get in early whilst we still have stock and order you USB fans now. We have thousands of them in stock in the UK but if you wait until the temperatures start rising then you might be disappointed as these fans have a habit of flying off the shelves every year when the mercury starts rising!

The fans can be branded with your logo (see the images below). The usual lead time from order is around 5-7 days but we can do turn them around a little quicker if you’re in a real hurry – just call us for prices and details of our rush service.

USB Fans from USB2U

USB Fans from USB2U

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Buying Cheap Promotional USB Flash Drives

Posted by USB2U on 20th March 2014 | Permalink

It’s understandable in today’s economic climate to make sure when you’re buying promotional USB flash drives that you do your research and get the best possible price you can for the flash drives you buy. So cheap is best right? The answer is “not necessarily”.

The problem with just using cheap as the benchmark against which you make your buying decision is that it can mask all manner of other issues and the potential problems of buying “cheap” can include but are not limited to damage to your brand and reputation. Ironically often the exact opposite of what most companies are trying to do when they hand out promotional products.

USB2U for Promotional USB Flash Drives

USB2U for Promotional USB Flash Drives

If all promotional USB memory sticks were manufactured to the same specification and all suppliers took the same degree of care and responsibility in the supply of your order then a decision based on price would be reasonable. But, buying promotional USB flash drives is not, for example, like buying a Samsung TV of a particular model where you know exactly what you’re buying because every reseller is selling exactly the same product and you can read not only the reviews on the product but on the supplier as well!

Instead buying flash drives is a bit like entering a minefield – one wrong step and you could be looking at a very costly mistake.

Why is it so difficult? Well the fundamental problem is that although lots of USB sticks look exactly the same on the outside it’s what is on the inside that is important. Buy cheap and you’re likely to get something that looks pretty good but inside the shell will be cheap components (cheap flash memory, cheap controller chips and a cheap capacitor) that are likely to fail or will have very slow read/write speeds and might even be masked (this is an expression used to describe flash drives that have been “adapted” to make a 128MB chip look like a 4GB chip).

Over the 12 years or so we’ve been selling flash drives we’ve heard our fair share of horror stories and our advice is simple:

  1. Buy local because at least this way you can check out the supplier, you can read reviews on their service, you can spend a couple of £ and find out who’s behind the company and if things do go wrong then at least you have some recourse in law (in a jurisdiction you are familiar with).
  2. Get some assurance from your supplier on the type/quality of the components used inside their USB sticks (get this confirmed on the order as well as just the memory size).
  3. Read the terms and conditions of supply and ideally don’t part with any money until your USB sticks are ready to ship – if you have a good credit record then ask for payment terms. This way you’ll get your USB sticks before you have to pay for them and you can make sure they are exactly what you were expecting.
  4. Read the reviews sites and see what other customer are saying about the suppliers you’ve contacted.
  5. Check the length of any warranty and be clear about the process to invoke any claim under the warranty.

Yes the price is important but so is your brand so make sure you are buying from a supplier that you feel comfortable trusting your brand and your company’s reputation to.

 

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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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