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Archive for the ‘Promotional USB’ Category

Promotional USB Flash Drives in Tins

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

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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Promotional USB Flash Drives in Tins

Emergency, Emergency Promotional USB Sticks Needed Tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

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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Emergency, Emergency Promotional USB Sticks Needed Tomorrow.

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

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

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

Best practice for schools purchasing Branded USBs

Friday, August 16th, 2013

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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Best practice for schools purchasing Branded USBs

Cheap Promotional USB Sticks Can Be a False Economy

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

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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Cheap Promotional USB Sticks Can Be a False Economy

Advice for Buying Branded USB Memory

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

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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Advice for Buying Branded USB Memory

Blimey a 128GB Thunderbolt Drive – That’s Massive!

Friday, July 12th, 2013

When we started USB2U a little over 10 years ago the most popular USB sticks we sold had 16MB or 32MB of storage. At the time these storage options seemed more than large enough and it was difficult to see why anyone would want anything much bigger. Of course the memory size was always going to increase but I don’t think back then that anyone could image we’d now be talking about a thumb drive that had 128 Gigabytes of storage and what’s more could transfer the data to and from the drive at the break neck speed of 10 Gigabytes per second!

To be fair we’re not talking about USB technology here but Thunderbolt. Thumb drives that use Thunderbolt look very similar to USB sticks (see image below) but the connector and underlying technology is different.

Thunderbolt is a joint development between Apple and Intel. It’s 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and twice as fast as the new USB 2.0 standard which would allow you to load a full length HD movie in around 30 seconds!

But Apple and Intel are not hanging around – at last week’s Computex show in Taipei they not only announced the launch of Thunderbolt 2 (which sees transfer speeds increase to 20GB per second) but they also showcased a Thumb Drive with a whopping 128GB of storage!

Effectively what we’re seeing here is a glimpse of the future – these are first generation products that will appeal to the classic “early adopter” who is not going to be put off by a fairly limited choice a high price tag. For the next few years most consumers will continue to use USB 2.0 and increasingly USB 3.0 products but it’s going to be interesting to see how quickly Thunderbolt moves into the mainstream.

The price of Thunderbolt peripherals and in particular Thunderbolt Memory Sticks means they are not going to challenge the dominance of USB memory sticks in the near future. The promotional goods sector is one of the largest markets for USB sticks at the moment but they work to budgets of £2-£3 per USB sticks so they’re unlikely to make the move to Thunderbolt thumb drives in the next few years!

So if you want to get your hands on a super-fast Thunderbolt drive with tons of storage then you’re going to have to put your hands into your own pocket and buy one because no sensible company or school is going to be giving them away as part of a “promotion” any time soon!.

Thunberbolt USB Flash Drive - Image courtesy of Intel

Thunberbolt USB Flash Drive - Image courtesy of Intel

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Blimey a 128GB Thunderbolt Drive – That’s Massive!

Chinese Public Holidays – Why it Matters When Buying USB Memory Sticks

Monday, April 8th, 2013

The majority of Chinese workers live and work in cities, whilst many of their relatives remain in their ancestral towns / villages. With such a vast country, returning home can take many hours, if not days. This coupled with increased prosperity and disposable income has resulted in national holidays taking on greater importance.

The 4th April is the start of ‘Tomb Sweeping’ and is regarded as the most important custom in the Qingming Festival from which the name of Tomb-sweeping day is got. Cleaning the tomb and paying respect to the dead person with offerings are the two important parts of remembering the past relatives. Weeds around the tomb are cleared away and fresh soil is added to show care of the dead. The dead person’s favourite food and wine are taken to sacrifice to them, along with paper resembling money. This is all burned in the hope that the deceased are not lacking food and money.

So why would this impact on Branded USB Memory sticks? In short, the vast majority of Promotional USB Memory sticks are manufactured in the Far East, in particular China. This includes all the component manufacturers such as flash chip suppliers and the assembly / finishing factories.

On the run up to a major holiday, chip manufacturer start to slow and stop production. This in return results in a shortage of supply and increase in prices prior to and for a short period after the holiday.

The leadtime for delivery is also increased as factories and couriers will shut over the holiday period. This delay is compounded by backlogs that are built up at Chinese Customs, which can add several days to the delivery.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Firstly try to order ahead of major holidays (see list below) and if this is not possible look for a provider that holds UK stock of USB Memory Sticks, such as USB2U.

Chinese New Year has passed and the price of USB flash has rocketed. They are starting to stabilise now, but the pattern will continue, so be mindful if you are looking to order branded USB memory stick or frankly any Chinese manufactured products.

 

 

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Chinese Public Holidays – Why it Matters When Buying USB Memory Sticks

Wedding Photographers Guide To Buying Promotional USB Memory Sticks

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

If you’re a professional wedding or portrait photographer and you’re thinking about moving away from CD and DVD’s in favour of engraved or printed USB memory sticks then there are some basic facts you need to be aware of before you make the move:

  1. The vast majority of companies in the UK that supply customised USB memory sticks that are typically supplying them to schools, universities and companies that are looking for cheap promotional giveaways. Often they are used as free giveaways at open days, seminars, conferences and tradeshows and as such price tends to be key determining factor when universities and companies are buying these USB sticks

    Because price is the driver performance is sacrificed so typical read/write speeds of a “standard” promotional USB memory sticks are at best around 2MB per second (write) and 6MB per second (read). Whilst this is “OK” if all you’re doing is loading up a couple of sales brochures onto the sticks but, if you’re a professional wedding photographer and you want to load lots of high quality images onto the sticks they are unlikely to be good enough for you.

  2. If you do decided to buy standard promotional USB memory sticks rather than high specification sticks that are recommended for professional photographers then you’ll notice that they’re not the quickest of products. If you’ve been used to working on Apple Mac’s and you use top end Memory Cards in your cameras with fast read/write speeds, or perhaps you use Firewire or Thunderbolt to move data around then by comparison a promotional USB memory stick is going to be painful in the extreme!

    For example mid-range SD or CF cards have a read/write speed of around 40MB per second which is 10 times the speed of standard promotional USB memory sticks.

  3. Top end, high performance USB 2.0 USB sticks from the likes of Kingston and Transcend will have read/writes speeds of around 20MB per second which is significantly faster than the promotional versions but these high performance USB sticks carry a hefty price tag and they can’t be printed or engraved with a logo – if you use them you’ll have to settle for a USB stick that carries the manufacturers brand rather than your own.
  4. Another option is to consider getting prices for USB 3.0 USB sticks. This is the very latest USB standard and USB 3.0 sticks are capable of read/write speeds of 50 – 100MB per second. This makes them incredibly quick but they are expensive and to get the speed benefits you need to use them with a PC or Mac that has USB 3.0 ports.  They will work on USB 2.0 PC’s but only at USB 2.0 speeds!

    But, if you buy USB 3.0 sticks and you have a Mac or PC that can support them you can dramatically reduce your own data-loading times and time is a precious commodity so it’s definitely something you should think about.

  5. A compromise that lots of professional photographers settle on is to opt for a upgraded USB 2.0 flash drives – some reputable USB suppliers will proactively suggest this if they know you are a photographer. Others won’t because they know the costs will be higher and they are therefore less likely to win your business.

    Upgraded USB 2.0 flash drives will use better quality components (faster flash memory, better controller chips and better capacitors) they’ll be a little more expensive but they’ll have better performance levels, they support more read/write cycles and they’ll have a longer life – effectively you’ll be getting something close to the high performance products sold by Kingston and Lacie but without paying their prices and with the flexibility to add your brand or logo to the sticks.

  6. Remember if you don’t ask for high performance or “upgraded” USB sticks then you will just get “standard” promotional USB flash drives which are fine but they’re going to be slow!
  7. Ideally talk to your supplier about what you plan to use your USB flash drives for and get them to recommend a solution. If you’ve chosen your supplier well and they know their industry they should not only be aware of the issues but they should be able to put forward a range of different solutions.
USB Memory Sticks For Wedding Photographers

USB Memory Sticks For Wedding Photographers

 

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Wedding Photographers Guide To Buying Promotional USB Memory Sticks

USB Flash Drive Prices Rise by around 15%

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Sterling has been on the slide for the last couple of weeks and reached a 31-month low against the dollar on Friday. This was before the announcement by Moody’s of it downgrade of the UK from the much coveted AAA rating. Today sterling has continued its slide and it’s a brave man that would predict where things are likely to end up by the end this week.

Whilst a weakened sterling is good news for exports its really bad news for imports. Given all USB flash drives are manufactured in China and traded (paid for) in US dollars it’s particularly bad news for any business or educational body looking to buy printed or engraved USB memory sticks right now.

What makes things worse is that the factories in China that manufacture USB flash drives are just returning from a 2 week Chinese New Year Holiday. This long break creates a build-up in demand which in turn drives up prices. This annual “spike” in demand always drives up prices until things settle down again but this year there is the spectre of a “double whammy” of rising prices and falling currency values – combined the net effect is broadly a 15% increase in USB flash drive prices.

The Chinese New Year effect usually lasts around 4 -6 weeks before prices begin to come down again but an 8% fall in the value of the £ against the $ is unlikely to mean prices will return to where they were just a couple of weeks ago.

If you need to buy your promotional USB flash drives now or in at any time during the next few weeks then brace yourself for higher prices. If you can delay your purchase for even a couple of weeks it’s probably worth doing so.

USB Flash Drive Prices Rise on Back of AAA Rating Downgrade

USB Flash Drive Prices Rise on Back of AAA Rating Downgrade

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USB Flash Drive Prices Rise by around 15%
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