For the full USB2U website please visit on a device with a larger screen.

About as Much Fun as Pulling Teeth – Loading Data onto USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 5th October 2015 | Permalink

Millions of promotional USB memory sticks get bought and then get given away every year. Go to any exhibition, show, seminar, conference or university open day and the chances are you’ll get offered at least one USB with a logo printed on the side of it.

Why are they so popular? Well, USB memory sticks, as far as top-end promotional products are concerned are not that expensive (albeit they have a high perceived value), they’re small, they’re easy to carry and they come in a wide range of styles and colours which makes them ideal for branding up with a logo.

The majority of the millions that will be given away in 2015 will have a memory capacity of around between 4GB – 8GB. This is a huge amount of digital storage! It’s about the same as you get on many of the top selling smart phones on the market today. 8GB will support hundreds of thousands of documents, thousands of photos and hundreds of media (video) files.

If you bought a PC a couple of years ago the Hard Disk Drive on the PC would have been smaller (in terms of storage capacity) than that “given away for free!” on a USB stick. Crazy isn’t it but that’s how the digital storage market moves.

The winner from this on-going availability of cheap digital storage in a simple device like a USB stick is the companies that buy them BUT they only benefit if they put the growing storage space to good use.

It’s amazing how many of the millions of promotional USB sticks sold every year are handed out with NO data on them, NADA. ZIP, NOTHING, ZILCH. It’s criminal as a company to buy promotional USB sticks (a product designed specifically to carry data) and not use the memory you have paid for.

One of the primary objectives of giving them away is to build awareness about your organisation, what you do, what your values and what differentiates you from others in your sector. To do this you really should build enough time into your plans to load onto every USB stick documents like your sales brochures, your presentation slides, videos, price lists etc. Load anything that allows you to show off what you’re about and how the recipient of the drive can get in touch with you. Include all your social media links to encourage on-going engagment.

Of course the downside of loading data onto your branded USB memory sticks is actually doing it – it’s the most tedious, mind numbing, soul-destroying job ever! Don’t forget your need to “stop and eject” each USB stick before you can remove them from your PC!

If you have to manually load each and every stick yourself one at a time it will take hours and hours. If you’ve got lots of data (and with 8GB of space you’re likely to) then to load each stick can take 5-10 minutes. So if you’ve got hundreds to do you can end up writing off an evening or two and sometimes a whole weekend!

A much, much better option is to get your USB stick supplier to do the data loading for you. They’ll have the latest state of the art bulk data-loading kit. These machines not only copy lots of USB sticks at the same time but they run algorithms at the end of each run to make sure the data has been copied properly!

Often data-loading will be free but it’s always best to ask but unless you have no social life we’d strongly recommend leaving data-loading of USB memory sticks to the professionals.

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U



Take Care You Don’t Get Duped When Buying Promotional USB Flash Drives

Posted by USB2U on 1st June 2015 | Permalink

It’s a jungle out there and unless you keep your wits about you it’s very easy to fall prey to the scammers when you buy promotional USB flash drives. The sale of fake or “dodgy” flash drives used to be more common on sites like eBay but more recently the fraudsters have realised it’s easier to make money by selling them in volume to unsuspecting corporate buyers.

The biggest risk you take is buying your USB sticks from an overseas seller and more specifically a seller based in China. The fundamental problem is that you won’t know what you’re buying until your goods arrive (by which time you’ll have paid for them) and if you end up with shoddy or fake goods then there are very few options to get your money back. If you’re a company and you’re buying the sticks with your logo printed on then you’ll nearly always be asked to send your payment by telegraphic transfer to an account domiciled in China – getting your money back if things go pear shaped is a non-starter.

Whilst the initial email exchanges with the fraudsters can often go well its what’s ultimately delivered that is important. The most common trick employed includes “masking” the flash memory inside the USB stick so that for example a 512MB flash stick looks like an 8GB stick when you plug it into your PC – this is pretty easy to do and you’ll only know you’ve been sold a “pup” when you try and load more than 512MB of data onto the flash drive.

The fraud won’t be that obvious because it will look like your data has transferred fine – it’s only when you take the USB stick out and re-inset it that you’ll realise the data you thought had been transferred is not there!

Equally if you just look at the “properties” of the flash drive when its plugged into your PC (or Mac) it will say it’s an 8GB drive but it reality its only a 512MB that has been “masked”.

The other thing to watch out for (but again not easy to spot) is the use of recycled and/or reclaimed flash memory chips. These will have very slow read/write speeds and they might only work a few times. So what might look like a bargain 8GB flash drive could well turn out to be a recycled, slow 1GB flash drive that’s only going to last a couple of months!

Of course all of this is really bad news and it’s even worse if the USB sticks carry your company’s logo on them! The best way to avoid these issues is to buy your promotional flash drives from a reputable supplier in your own country. Check they have a “real” address and a real phone number so if things do go wrong you can get back in touch with them.

Use the Internet as your friend and check out customer reviews on the company. Don’t just buy on price and price alone particularly if you’re buying from an overseas supplier – it’s tempting but it’s the shortest route to being scammed, losing your money and damaging your brand and reputation.

USB2U and relax

Choose USB2U and Relax -you’re in safe hands!


More on Why the Promotional Twister USB Flash Drive Remains Top Pick

Posted by USB2U on 12th May 2015 | Permalink

We’ve been supplying promotional USB flash drives for over 12 years and in this time we’ve lost track of the tens of thousands of customers we’ve supplied millions of flash drives to. What we do know is that one of the very first drives we sold was the “Twister” but what we didn’t anticipate is that 12 years on it would still be the most popular product we sell.

Despite new and innovate designs of USB sticks being released every year the Twister has stubbornly remained the top choice and if current trends are any indication it’s going to remain the buyer favourite for the foreseeable future.

Below we list just some of the reasons why we think this particular USB memory stick will continue to dominate the promotional gift market:

  1. There’s no cap to lose. The Twister (also known as the Swivel or Rotate) gets its name because part of the body (called the “clip”) twists around to protect the USB connector. Because of this no cap is needed and of course there is therefore no cap to lose!
  2. It’s reasonably small – it’s not the smallest but some of the new models are just too small to print on and people worry about losing them. The sizing of the Twister seems to be just about spot on, not too big and not too small.
  3. It looks great printed or engraved! The “clip” the section that is printed has a good print area, its flat and they look good irrespective of whether you print onto them or engrave onto them.
  4. They are available in hundreds of standard colours so it’s easy to match them to the primary colour(s) from any logo. Even if you can’t find a standard colour that works for you its pretty cheap (around £30 as a one-off fee) to get them pantone matched.
  5. The “clips” on any branded Twister USB memory stick can be changed very easily. The beauty of this is that you can change the design or logo printed on them without having to buy new memory sticks – you just order some more printed clips and pop them on! It takes seconds to do and buying clips costs pennies instead of pounds!
  6. The “clips” on a Twister can be supplied in different colours so you can mix and match body colours with clip colours to create an effect that works for your logo/campaign. It’s the sort of simple and easy customisation that lots of car manufacturers are doing very successfully at the moment.
  7. Attaching a lanyard or key ring attachment is easy because there is an integral loop built into the rotating clip on the twister.
  8. Sheer manufacturing volume means that the Twister is the most competitively priced of all promotional USB sticks. 4GB and 8GB are popular sizes at the moment but you can buy them as a promotional giveaway up to 32GB (64GB coming soon)
  9. Held in stock ready for personalisation, data-loading and delivery in just 24hrs. At USB2U we hold tens of thousands of the Twisters in stock in our Northampton office so we can deliver them (fully branded up) in hours rather than days!
  10. We love them!

There have been plenty of new pretenders that have tried to steal the crown of the Twister Flash Drive over the years but they have all be vanquished. For now at least the Twister is the King and nothing in the near term looks set to change this.

Twister USB Memory Sticks

Twister USB Memory Sticks – Top Pick for over a decade!

New Wooden USB Twisters from USB2U

New Wooden USB Twisters from USB2U



And the Winner is…..

Posted by USB2U on 8th May 2015 | Permalink

The votes are in and they’ve been counted and audited and we’re finally able to announce that the most popular promotional USB memory stick is the Twister!

It was a secret ballot; so secret in fact that even we didn’t know it was happening. The methodology we used was simply to look at the thousands of orders we’ve taken in the last 12 months calculated which USB stick had the largest number of orders. We looked at the data in two ways; how many orders were placed for Twisters and how many actual Twister sticks were sold – it was head and shoulders ahead of its nearest rival.

Did the results come as a surprise? No, not really. The Twister USB Stick (also commonly referred to as the Swivel or the Rotate) has been the best selling promotional USB stick of the last decade. Lots of new models have been launched and have tried to challenge its dominance during this period and whilst some have survived and are still bought in reasonable numbers none have come close to the sales of the humble Twister.

Its popularity is down to a number of very simple things; it’s relatively small, it has no cap to lose, it comes in hundreds of different colours and it’s easy to use. The fact that it sells in the millions means that its cheap (well, cheaper than some of the other models) and easy to get hold of – pretty much anyone who sells promotional USB memory sticks will carry the Twister. They’d be daft not to.

Promotional USB Twister Flash Drives

Promotional USB Twister Flash Drives

Ironically there are lots of other flash drives with a larger print area to work with, plenty are also smaller and of course there are others that also don’t have a cap to lose but for some reason the basic Twister model has seen them all off and remains the favourite.

At USB2U we always carry the Twister in stock in the UK and its typically available in a range of different colours and memory sizes. We offer it as part of our “rush” service which means we can get them to any customer (printed and data-loaded) in as little as 24hrs – less if you can collect them from our Northampton office.

We also offer engraved versions of the Twister – we simply change the “clip” the section that rotates or “twists” (hence the name) and replace the standard silver clip with a coloured anodised clip that we can engrave. Some customers prefer these because there is no chance of the engraved logo rubbing off over time.

The reality is we didn’t need any pollsters, or market research to tell us what the winner would be – we knew, almost instinctively that the Twister would still be crowned the winner of our popularity charts. Long may its reign continue.


London 2015 – Get Your Promotional USB Stick Running Gear on

Posted by USB2U on 27th April 2015 | Permalink

Our excuse for not running in the London 2015 Marathon yesterday is that we were too busy printing lots of promotional USB memory stick rush jobs over the weekend and we didn’t have the time. A pretty lame excuse we know and maybe 2016 will be the year it all changes. Perhaps not something to bet on but you never know.

Of course the lack of fitness and stamina across the company might also play a small part! Whilst we’ve got some pretty hardcore cyclists at USB2U (well two) the rest of the team are more of the armchair sports enthusiast type. It’s a sad state of affairs but the reality (as evidenced by this weekend) is that the closest most of us come to any regular exercise is running around in the print room keeping all of our printers churning out USB sticks.

Occasionally we like to mix it up a bit and combine work with sport but by this we mean designing and printing sports related USB sticks. These custom USB sticks in the shape of a running kit are about the closest we’ve ever got to doing any running and of course that’s a “stretch” to say the least!

Sad that it is but our world is centered around flash drives, we eat, sleep and breath them and often we’re working around the clock 7 days a week to supply them against some pretty challenging deadlines. If there was a marathon event or an “Olympics” for USB stick production we like to think we’d be in with a real shout of a medal. Perhaps we just need to get out more!

If you have a requirement for promotional flash drives

USB2U - Running a USB Marathon Every Day

USB2U – Running a USB Marathon Every Day

anytime soon then do bear us in mind. We’re a pretty dedicated team that likes nothing more than to be kept busy. Some might argue that it’s an avoidance tactic so we don’t have to do something more interesting, more stimulating and more rewarding – like running the London Marathon!

We like to think of it as more a single-minded determination to be the very best at what we do. We think of ourselves as the Paula Radcliffe of the USB supplier world but hopefully without the little en-route public “accidents” and we’re certainly not ready to hang up our running shoes just yet.

USB2U – running a USB production marathon every day.



It’s F-F-F-Friday – Order your USB Sticks Today for Delivery Monday

Posted by USB2U on 17th April 2015 | Permalink

If you’ve been meaning to order some USB memory sticks with your logo printed on them this week but other things kept getting in the way then don’t despair because at USB2U we can turn around orders on the same day!

With thousands of blank USB memory sticks in stock (across a wide range of designs and colours) and our own in-house design and print teams we are one of the very few companies in Europe that can accept an order in the morning, proof it, print it and then dispatch it the very same day. So, as today is a Friday you could order your printed USB memory sticks this morning and have them delivered Monday morning (we could even get them to you for Saturday if you’re around to take delivery of them!)

You’ll pay a small premium for our “rush” service but if you really do need you sticks quickly then it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. By

getting your USB sticks designed and printed in the UK you de-risk everything. There will be no exposure to international shipping delays, no exposure to ordering from an overseas company only to find your money is taken and nothing turns up and of course by buying locally if things do go wrong (as they very occasionally do) then getting a resolution is much easier.

At USB2U we design and print tens of thousands of USB sticks in the UK every week. Over the last 4-5 years we have invested heavily in our in-house design and print capabilities and the response from our customers to the range of rush services we offer has been amazing. A significant number of the 5 star reviews we get on Trustpilot (a 3rd party review service) relate to “rush” orders and as much as anything its because customers are blown away by the quality of their orders, the service they get and the sheer speed at which we deliver their order.

What marks us out from our competitors is the range of stock we carry and can print. Lots of companies offer a standard black twister flash drive but these don’t always work with the logo being printed on them and they can to be candid look a bit bland and boring. We can typically offer at least 20 different designs and we also offer the option of printed boxes to go with them (all in the same timescales).

Have a great Friday and remember if you need your promotional USB memory sticks on Monday then give us a call.

USB Flash Drives in a Hurry

USB Flash Drives in a Hurry



How to get the most from your Promotional USB Memory Stick Budget

Posted by USB2U on 2nd April 2015 | Permalink

With sales of promotional USB memory sticks continuing to show no signs of slowing it’s obvious that companies large and small understand the benefits of using them as a give away. If you’re about to join in the fun and you’ve started looking for your own USB sticks with your company logo printed on them then you’ve probably got a reasonable idea of how much you want to spend on them.

In terms of making sure you get the “best bang for your buck” when sourcing them you can either pursue a strategy of getting the largest number of USB sticks your budget will buy or, you can embark on a plan to make sure that your giveaways make the greatest impact possible.

If you go for volume (and lots of companies do) then you’re probably just looking for something cheap and cheerful that you can hand out at a show or at strategic locations where your target customers can be found. A real example of this approach is Barratt Homes who handed out thousands of USB sticks at two Tube stations in London. The tube stations were adjacent to their new housing development and just “blanket bombed” the stations over a couple of days and targeted commuters – the USB sticks they handed out were printed with details of the housing development and they were pre-loaded with the sales brochures, floor plans and prices of the apartments they were trying to sell.

Cheap Printed USB Memory Sticks

Cheap Printed USB Memory Sticks

The primary objective in this scenario was to get the USB sticks into the hands of as many people as possible. So, they opted for the cheapest design (the Twister) with the smallest amount of memory needed to pre-load their documents onto. To keep the print costs down they only printed in 1 colour and finally they wanted the sticks delivered in “bulk” with no outer packaging – this not only reduced the manufacturing costs but the reduced weight and bulk reduced the overall shipping, storage and handling costs. They were not interested in the recipients keeping and using the USB sticks over and over again their principal objective was just to market their apartment and push their brand.

Whilst this approach was fine for Barratt Homes it’s not necessarily the right approach for everyone. If, for example, you’re trying to encourage journalists to write about a new product or the launch of a new service or you’re targeting executives at a conference or seminar then you’re best to use your budget to buy a smaller number of “top-end” USB sticks with lots of memory and bags of style or alternatively you might even want to commission your own fully bespoke (custom) USB sticks.

Top-end USB sticks include USB writing pens or USB stylus pens that also double up as a USB memory sticks – these products exude quality and get incredibly positive feedback but they’re too expensive to use a “give-aways” to random prospects. Custom USB sticks are, as the name suggests, designed and manufactured exclusively for one customer and are typically manufactured in the shape of one of their “hero” products.

Squeezing the most from your budget depends on what your underlying objectives are; if you want quantity then go with the budget ranges, choose smaller memory sizes, print just 1 colour on one side get your USB sticks supplied in Bulk (with no packaging). But, if you want to make an impact or you have high-end clients to build a relationship with then sacrifice numbers and go for quality or, in an ideal world, get your own Custom USB sticks commissioned.


Tins aren’t what they used to be – Well at least not USB ones!

Posted by USB2U on 10th February 2015 | Permalink

There was a time when a presentation tin box for a promotional USB stick was a pretty bland affair but times they are a changing!

There are two main factors are at play here:

  1. More and more companies that buy USB memory sticks to give-away (for whatever reason) are understanding that you get a much more positive response if your package your sticks rather than just give them out without any thought about how they are presented. It’s pretty easy understand why this might be the case – after all how many of us hand over birthday presents or Christmas presents without 1st wrapping them up or at the very least putting some effort into their presentation. Gifts (even corporate promotional gifts) handed out in pretty/attractive packaging look better, they generate a better response and they provide another medium onto which to promote the companies brand.
  2. Print technology has advanced in leaps and bounds over the past few years. Today it’s relatively simple to print across the full surface area of the USB presentation tins and the price to do this has dropped markedly. The results, as you can see from the images below, are fantastic and really do lift the overall impact of a simple USB stick.
Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

So, if you are thinking of buying promotional USB flash drives anytime soon it is definitely worth chatting through the options for packaging and in particular our metal presentation tin gift boxes. Not only can we now print in full colour (with print bleed right to the edge of the lid) but we can custom cut the foam insert to match any model of drive.

Of course it’s not just tins we offer so if tins are not your thing but you want a gift box then check out the extensive range of options we offer on our website. Pretty much all of them are held in stock in our UK warehouse and most (including the tins) can be printed and delivered in as little as 24hrs (you’ll pay a little more in rush fees for any “rush service”).

Remember we offer free samples (not with your own logo on but samples of our tins and boxes) so if you’re not sure which works best for you just ask and we’ll pop a sample or two in the post.

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks


Can you get Cheap USB Photography Bundles (boxes and sticks)

Posted by USB2U on 9th February 2015 | Permalink

The short answer to this question is of course yes. There are plenty of companies that will supply cheap USB memory sticks and gift boxes to professional photographers and if price is your only criteria for making your buying decision then it’s unlikely you’ll buy from us at USB2U.

Arguably it’s the same in the Professional Photographers sector – there is always someone with a camera who is willing to offer a cheaper wedding day package or portfolio shoot and again if price is the only determining factor then that’s fine, isn’t it?

From our perspective we’re simply not interested in a “race to the bottom” in terms of quality and price. We’ve been selling promotional USB memory sticks since 2003. We sell millions ever year to thousands of customers around the world and any cursory inspection of our company accounts will testify to this. We don’t make exaggerated claims about our company or our products instead we prefer to let our customers be our advocates and ambassadors – see our 2,500 + reviews on TrustPilot.

Why is this relevant? Well, if you’re a professional photographer then your might be interested to know that a couple of years ago we extended our range to include a number of products aimed specifically at your sector (general professional photographers, specialist wedding photographers and videographers). We put a lot of time and effort into carefully sourcing a range of top quality USB sticks and matching gift boxes and from day one we set out to make sure that the USB bundles that we sold were very different from the standard promotional products we’ve been selling for years.

We’re not knocking our standard promotional USB Flash Drives (after all that is what we sell the most of) it’s just they are a different product. They might not look like it from the outside but promotional USB sticks are freebie “giveaways” and their performance, specification and prices reflect this. More often than not they’ll find their way into a bin or the bottom of a drawer within a couple of months. They are not and should not be compared to the higher quality products we sell to professional photographers.

All of the USB sticks in our photography bundles have upgraded high specification components; upgraded controller chips, upgraded memory and upgraded capacitors and we offer them with a full 10-year warranty.

To the best of our knowledge (and bear in mind we’ve been in this market the last 12 years) you cannot buy high quality 64MB, 128MB and so on. In fact you can’t really buy high quality flash below 4GB these days so if you’re a photographer and you’re being offered this type of product you need to be asking some very serious questions about the validity of any “quality” statements that accompany them.

Our bundles start at 4GB. We do this not because we want to charge more money for the product and force you to buy more expensive sticks but because we know that anything below 4GB is going to be made using “promotional” standard flash. Put simply our brand and reputation means too much to us to sell you cheap, inferior promotional products and we hope your brand and reputation equally means as much to you and that you’ll invest wisely in your USB presentation packs (boxes and sticks).

Wooden USB Sticks for Professional Photographers

Wooden USB Sticks for Professional Photographers


Cheap Promotional USB Flash Drives – In Short Supply

Posted by USB2U on 28th January 2015 | Permalink

If you’re in the market for any quantity of promotional USB flash drives over the next few weeks and you’re looking for cheap and cheerful drives to hand out at shows or events then you might be in for a frustrating time.

At any other time of the year it’s usually possible to pick up cheap 128MB promotional USB flash drives (typically around £1.50 each all branded up with your logo if you buy enough of them) but right now, in the run-up to Chinese New Year, things start to get challenging. The problem is that the factories that produce the world’s supply of these items shut for two weeks to celebrate the start of the New Year and National Day.

When the Chinese factories shut (or stop taking orders in anticipation of their closure) the stock available to buy is that held by local suppliers and these suppliers (like us) tend to carry the more popular 4GB and 8GB models. Obviously these are more expensive than the 128MB versions but you know the old adage “beggars can’t be choosers”.

If you have any need for cheap, low capacity USB memory sticks in the next couple of weeks you are strongly advised to get your orders in now. Don’t wait, don’t dither, don’t spend ages trying to negotiate the price down by a couple of pennies – just get your orders in now because it’s the only way you are going to stand any chance of getting your order this side of the Chinese New Year blackout. If you delay you either won’t get want you want or you’ll end up having to buy versions with a much larger capacity and at a higher price.

At USB2U we have invested heavily in blank stock across a range of different models (and memory sizes) which means that we will be able to offer a wide range of options to our customers throughout this period of instability. Be warned though it’s invariably the case that however much stock we buy that it gets sold through very quickly and some customers always end up disappointed.

As ever our recommendation is that you either email your account manager or give us a call to talk through the options and discuss when we could schedule your order. At the moment (28th January 2015) we still have lots of print slots available but it’s a dynamic situation so please don’t wait.

Cheap Flash Drives

USB2U Suppling USB Flash Drives Thoughout Chinese New Year 2015