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Archive for the ‘Promotional USB Sticks’ Category

Stick-It USB Flash Drives – Ultimate Promotional Flexibility

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

What a brilliant idea! As their name implies these Stick-It USB Flash Drives simply stick onto anything and turn even the most mundane brochure, flyer, instruction manual or press release into something much more interesting.

They come in a wide range of colours (see image) they’re easy to use and apply (they have Scotch Double sided tape already applied to them) and when they’re stuck on they don’t come off easily. They’re available in a range of memory sizes (usually 128MB to 16GB) and they’re incredibly easy to use.

stick-it-USB Flash Drives

stick-it-USB Flash Drives

You get all the benefits of standard promotional USB flash drive but in a form factor will compliment and enhance your existing communication material. Although they are typically used unprinted there is scope to print a message or instruction on them albeit the text/logo would have to be pretty small. Some companies have printed the message “pull here” or “slide out” on them or on the brochure they are being attached to help the user understand what they have to do to use them albeit most people “get it” straight away.

The opportunities they open up are endless. If for example you send out user manuals with your products you could now attach a Stick-It USB flash drive to the manual and include on it all the software files (assuming it’s a product that needs software), videos on how to use the product, FAQ’s, instruction manuals, and embedded links to your website(s) to keep the user engaged and updated.

Equally if you have a press event/product launch and you want to add a bit of pzazz to it then these Stick-It USB flash drives are something that you can add quickly and easily and they “lift” a paper press release into something much more interesting, usable and more importantly memorable. You can load them (right at the last minute) with copies of the presentation slides, speaker notes, videos, product brochures, pricing plans white papers, competitor “knock off” sheets and so on. With 8GB to 16GB to play with frankly there is scope to provide tons of information in a truly interactive format.

They’re also really handy for breathing new life into existing marketing material. If you want to change the pricing, change the manuals etc. then just change the data you’ve loaded on the flash drive – Simples!

We carry these in stock in the UK in a wide range of different colours – call us if you’d like a free sample!

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Stick-It USB Flash Drives – Ultimate Promotional Flexibility

Promotional USB Memory Sticks – Struggling to decide what to buy

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Promotional USB memory Sticks remain incredibly popular. They’ve been around now for over 10 years and whilst their dominance as the promotional gift of choice has been threatened over this time they still remain the preferred option for many businesses, school and universities. Millions will be given away in the UK alone this year but globally the number will run to hundreds of millions!

Part of the reason for their continued popularity is because they grown-up with us over the last 10 years. Back in 2003/04 when businesses first started to use USB sticks for promotional purposes they only had around 16MB (megabytes) of storage on them and there were only a small handful of designs to choose from. Today thousands of models are freely available and typical memory sizes are anything from 4GB to 64GB! – that’s significantly more storage than you’d get on any average PC 10 years ago and now you can give it away on a USB stick for a couple of pounds!

Promotional USB Memory Sticks - Spoilt for Choice

Promotional USB Memory Sticks - Spoilt for Choice

If anything the challenge for anyone looking to buy a promotional USB memory stick today is too much choice. Go to any company’s web site selling promotional flash drives and there will be all sorts of styles and designs to choose from. They come in plastic, wood, metal, leather, cork and rec-cycled paper/card. Designs range from “standard” shaped USB Drives to bottles, barrels, keys, pens, credit cards, wristbands, bottle openers, hearts and batteries. Even then if there is nothing that quite matches what you need you can commission your own 2-D or 3-D design!

If you go down the “design your own” route then pretty much anything is possible and there are some great examples on the web of just how creative companies have become at designing custom USB memory sticks.

Of course it you really can’t decide then you could just buy a few of each model! This can be an expensive way of buying your promotional USB sticks though because understandably there are set up costs/design costs that have to be absorbed into the unit cost of each model. But, if you’re buying say more than 100+ of each design it won’t be as bad as you think!

The benefit of buying several different designs/styles is that some work better than others for any given promotional activity or audience. Wristbands tend to work better with the youth so they are popular with schools and universities (and great for fresher fairs or recruitment fairs). On the other hand USB credit cards work better with a professional audience so lend themselves to business seminars and conferences.

If really not sure then get yourself some samples (they are normally supplied free of charge) and that way you can conduct your own market research!

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Promotional USB Memory Sticks – Struggling to decide what to buy

Buyer Beware – Promotional USB Memory Stick Scams are Rife

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

It’s not quite made it onto Rogue Traders just yet but you do wonder how long it will take before the scams that are rife in this sector are exposed to a broader audience than we can achieve on our blog site.

The problem for anyone buying USB memory sticks is that it’s relatively easy to mislead and to end up buying rubbish. The big problem is that on the outside a fake USB stick can look genuine BUT it’s what under the skin of a USB stick that really matters and not how good they look on the outside. You can’t even trust the brands printed on the outside of the USB sticks because these are easy to fake to!

The Chinese factories will produce any shape of USB you want and print any logo on them – rarely are questions asked about who owns the brand, if there is permission to use the brand and so on. Consequently if you wanted to buy USB flash drives that look exactly like say a Kingston Flash Drive then no problem – how many do you want tends to be the only question asked and then it’s just a question of how much (or little) you want to spend on the internal components!

The fakes might look like the real thing but when used don’t be surprised to discover that the claimed 16GB flash drive only contains 4GB of flash memory. When you plug it in and check the properties of the flash drive it might look like a 16GB but the try and load 16GB of data onto it. If you have bought a 4GB USB drive that has been “masked” to look like a 16GB then when you load more than 4GB of data onto the drive you’ll get a “disk full” error message. Masking is a common problem and because very few people know they have an issue until they’ve been using the sticks the scammers often get away with it.

The other common issue with fakes is their build quality and data transfer speeds. Most fakes use cheap, grade “B” flash memory components many of which will be recycled. As you can image the problem with these components is that they have a high probability of failure and they typically have slow read/write speeds.

Promotional USB flash drives are sold to companies, school and universities in their millions every year and whilst they are ordered from local suppliers pretty much every USB memory sticks will have been manufactured to order and flown in from China.

Pressure to reduce prices and win business has seen some unscrupulous local suppliers of branded USB memory sticks supply “masked” sticks and pass them off as drives of a higher capacity. The only way to be sure that you are getting what you are paying for is to load one of the USB memory sticks to the limit and check that you can load 4GB of data onto a 4GB USB Memory Stick. You’re never going to get access to 100% of a 4GB drive because some of the capacity is used to manage the way the USB stores its data but you should be able to use around 95% of a 4GB drive.

We strongly recommend that you buy from a known and trusted local supply. Ideally choose a company that has been around for a good number of years and who are not going to disappear overnight. You want to buy from a company that is financially stable and is going to be there stand behind any guarantee that’s on offer. A 10 year guarantee is only any good if the company is still around to claim against it!

If you buy from direct from China and pay up-front (as you will have to) then you open up a whole additional set of risks/issue. Only an option for the brave or the foolhardy.

 

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Buyer Beware – Promotional USB Memory Stick Scams are Rife

What are Grade A USB Flash Drives and Should I Buy Them

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Promotional USB Flash Drives have been around for over 10 years now and the appetite for them shows no sign of abating. This year millions of them will be given-away in the UK alone prompting the obvious question of what are we doing with them all and isn’t the market saturated by now?

Their continued popularity seems to be fuelled by the fact that prices relative to the amount of memory inside the flash drive (and more memory equals greater usage options and increased desirability) have fallen dramatically and businesses are forever finding new and exciting uses for them.

Whilst lots are still just handed out at trade shows, conferences, seminars and press events today Professional Photographers have adopted them in preference to CD’s and DVD’s. Distributors are using them to send out large catalogues and price lists around Europe, 3D and 4D baby scan companies are increasing giving out (or selling scans) to parents on USB drives. House builders are handing them out in show homes pre-loaded with videos, price lists and interactive applications to help the buyer choose their new home – the ideas and opportunities for their use seem endless!

However, if you are about to start the process of sourcing promotional USB flash drives for your own project then be prepared to be slightly bamboozled by the amount of choice you’ll have and the sheer number of companies looking to sell you USB sticks. Your immediate challenge will be to try and get prices (very few companies quote them on their web sites because they prices are so fluid) and having got prices it’s then a question on trying to work out if you are comparing “apples to apples”.

Promotional USB Flash Drives from USB2U

Promotional USB Flash Drives from USB2U

Whilst USB flash drives can all look the same on the outside there can be huge differences on the inside and it’s what’s inside that to a large degree will determine the price, the quality and the performance of the USB stick (performance = read/write speeds, number of read write cycles the USB stick can perform). It’s also not uncommon for some unscrupulous suppliers to sell fakes – they’ll make a 128MB drive look like an 8GB drive and you’ll only find out when you try to load your files onto them and read the same files in another PC. In simple terms it’s a jungle out there so be careful!

One phrase you’ll see popping up all over the web sites of USB suppliers is “Grade A” – the inference being that they only supply the best quality product and that their product is somehow superior to others that don’t supply “Grade A” USB Flash drives. It’s a phrase and pseudo “standard” that was introduced a few years ago to try and help buyers differentiate the good from the bad BUT there is no regulation over its use, there is no independent authority that makes sure the “standard” actually means anything. Nothing is tested, no rigour is applied, anyone can and does use the phrase and it’s down to the buyer to challenge with the seller exactly what they mean by it and to understand how to check when they ultimately receive their USB sticks.

“Grade A” is now a largely hollow and vacuous marketing statement that means very little. It’s banded around by lots of companies and unfortunately clung onto buy buyers to reassure themselves that they are buying the best in the market. Sadly in many cases they are being duped – we know because we often end up picking up the pieces when things go wrong!

Our advice is to buy locally, buy from a supplier who has a hard fought for reputation in the market and who is not going to put it (and your relationship and brand) at risk by selling you rubbish.  Check out 3rd party review sites to see what other customers are saying, do basic checks like using Google Maps to check out the suppliers address (you’ll be surprised how many companies that look great on their web site operate from a residential house) and if you can run and Experian, Credit Safe or Equifax check on the company to check their financial stability – if things do go wrong and you need to claim against the long warranties on offer then you need to have some confidence that they are going to be around to honour them!

At USB2U we use “Grade A” as a statement in our marketing because the market dictates that we do but in our case it’s true – we are careful not only to specify the standard and grade of flash memory used in the manufacture of our USB sticks but we also specify the controller chips and the capacitors – all 3 components are critical in terms of performance and reliability and if you skimp on these then you undermine any intent to supply top quality promotional USB flash drives.

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What are Grade A USB Flash Drives and Should I Buy Them

Best Promotional Product for Trade Shows, Seminars and Conferences

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

With the upturn in the economy and a general feeling of wellbeing slowing making its way across the county lots of companies will this year start to reignite their marketing and advertising activities. Many will be dipping their toes back into exhibiting at trade shows, lots will be organising seminars and conferences and even more will be looking to attend such events.

If your company is exhibiting or organising an event then at some point you’ll no doubt be considering whether you should invest in promotional products to support your sales team at the show/event.

Whether you measure it in terms of money, time or resources, exhibiting at a trade show is a large investment and as such it’s critical that this commitment is fully optimised. Lots of energy tends to get put into the location of the stand in the exhibition hall, the design of the stand, the lighting and who’s going to staff but often important things like giveaways and collateral for the show tend to get overlooked.

This is a mistake because whilst an on-stand promotion, a competition or a promotional product won’t make or break a show it will certainly help to maximise your investment. When you’re competing for the attention of potential customers against hundreds of other exhibitors its vital that you equip you sales team with all the tools they need and a giveaway that pulls people onto the stand and gets them talking to your sales team is key.

Promotional USB Flash Drives

Promotional USB Flash Drives

Your challenge is to decide what the best promotional product for your company, your sales team and critically for your target audience. What give-away is going to deliver the greatest footfall onto your stand and what’s going to get your product and company to stand out from all the others?  If you’ve ever attended a show then you’ll know only too well that at the end of the day you leave with tired legs, heavy hearts and laden down with carrier bags full of brochures. As an exhibitor you need to “wow” the attendees and ideally secure an order on the stand. Failing that you need to get them interested enough so that when they get back to their desk they recall your company and remain open to further dialogue about your products/services.

The problem is that there are lots of inexpensive giveaways that you could consider including printed bags (which double as a “walking advert” for your brand), printed pens (which cost pennies). There are even sweets that can be printed with your brand and help get people to approach your stand.

With all of these simple ideas there is very little carry through post the event, there is no incentive to use them on an on-going basis and they don’t deliver much information about you’re company or products.

Much better to use a promotional USB flash drive with your brand or logo printed onto it and more importantly with your company brochures, pricing and promotional videos loaded onto it! Not only are promotional USB flash drives much cheaper now than they were a couple of years ago but they can be delivered (printed and data-loaded in as little as 48hrs)

More fundamentally research undertaken by the BPMA shows that of all the promotional gifs given away people prefer to be given memory sticks and they will keep them and use them after the show. This is good news for your brand because it means money spent on promotional USB sticks will lead to on-going brand exposure and of course your sales material will be there every time the flash drive is inserted into a PC!

USB2U deliver promotional USB flash drives in as little as 24hrs so if you do leave things right until the last minute don’t panic!

 

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Best Promotional Product for Trade Shows, Seminars and Conferences

Buying Cheap Promotional USB Flash Drives

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

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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Buying Cheap Promotional USB Flash Drives

Looking for a Good Young Enterprise Idea? – What About Promotional USB Memory Sticks

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

This year there will be around 250,000 students participating in the Young Enterprise programme. At some point they’ll all be at that tricky point when they’re trying to come up with that “killer” idea that will ensure the success of their initiative.

No doubt they’ll all have been glued to the latest episodes of Dragons Den and a few of them might have poured over copies of Richard Branson’s and Alan Sugar’s autobiography to get some insight into what makes a successful entrepreneur tick.

But when it comes down to it having that “gem” of an idea is what’s needed to get you started and then it’s all about execution, teamwork and enthusiasm.

One option for any Young Enterprise team is to consider selling promotional USB memory sticks – these are USB sticks that carry a company’s brand or logo and optionally also have data-files pre-loaded onto them.

Promotional USB memory sticks are incredibly popular at the moment because they’re so easy to use, they’re small, portable and they come in a great range of styles and colours. Millions are sold every year to businesses that use them as a give-away to prospective customers at shows, exhibitions and events. Typically businesses will pre-load the USB sticks with sales brochures, presentation files or media files before they are handed out – this way they can offset the cost the USB sticks by saving they make by not printing their sales collateral.

Because of their popularity there are lots of opportunities for a Young Enterprise Group to sell promotional USB memory sticks including selling them to their fellow students, selling them in the school shop and to teachers, lecturers, parents and friends. They can be sold (pre-loaded with photographs) following school sports days, award ceremonies, stages plays and musical performances.

The primary target has to be local businesses – use your “local” knowledge and your networks and any contacts parents of the group might have. If this is just too big a leap then just target he school and gets some USB sticks produced with the school logo or crest on and sell them through the school shop.

Finding a supplier of USB sticks that is supportive of an Enterprise Initiative will be key. Ideally you need to identify a supplier that won’t demand payment up-front (This way you’ve got around a month to sell some before you have to pay for them and you won’t have to deal with one of the big headaches of starting a business and that’s cash flow!)

Promotional USB Wristbands for a Young Enterprise Scheme

Promotional USB Wristbands for a Young Enterprise Scheme

USB2U have been supplying branded (and unbranded) USB memory sticks to Young Enterprises participants for a number of years on the following terms:

  • Free design support using their team of in-house designers. So, if you’ve got an idea but need someone to bring it to life then just chat through your requirement and their designers will weave their magic on their Apple Macs
  • Free Print Set-Up and Origination. When you order printed USB memory sticks it’s typical to get charged for the artwork to be “set-up” before the sticks are printed but for Enterprise Groups these fees are waived.
  • Free Lanyards (neck straps) – these come in a variety of different colours and are available with every order.
  • Discounted packaging and gift box options
  • 30-Day trade terms on all orders. You won’t have to pay for your branded USB memory sticks until 30 days after delivery! (to qualify the order needs to sent to your school or university)
  • Wide choice of styles and memory sizes and you can select different colours and sizes in a single order.

If you think branded USB memory sticks might be suitable for your Enterprise project then get in touch with USB2U – you can email, pick up the phone (it’s a Freephone number so you won’t have to pay for the call), fill in the on-line quote form or “chat” to the team in real time using their web based chat system!

Promotional USB Flash Drives for Young Enterprise Schemes

Promotional USB Flash Drives for Young Enterprise Schemes

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Looking for a Good Young Enterprise Idea? – What About Promotional USB Memory Sticks

Printed and Promotional USB Sticks – A Roller Coaster Ride

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

No, this is not about the challenges of finding a reputable supplier of promotional USB memory sticks but instead it’s about the changes taking place at theme parks around the world and how USB sticks are now likely to be offered to you at the end of your rides/visit.

Visit any theme park and you’ll quickly discover that your picture is worth a small fortune (it has to be given the price you’re asked to pay for photos at the end of each ride).  Let’s face it when you visit a theme park it’s almost impossible to avoid having your photograph taken whilst you’re scared out of your wits on an extreme “thrill” ride or whilst you’re getting soaked on the log flumes and water slides

The savvy theme park operators know that these photos, as embarrassing as they are, make brilliant souvenirs and of course they’re a great reminder of a fun packed day spent with family and friends. As a parent “pester effect” at the end of each ride as you’re corralled though a gift shop and photo booth can be irritating but the photos are a great source of revenue to the theme park operators.

USB Sticks Enjoying a Day Out at a Theme Park

USB Sticks Enjoying a Day Out at a Theme Park

If you’re tempted to buy any of the photographs then there is the hassle of carrying them around with you all day (and keeping them dry and flat). Some theme parks have a facility where you can order them at the end of each ride and pick them up on your way out. Handy.

It’s been possible (from some of the theme parks) to buy a portfolio of photos at the end of your visit on a CD or DVD and recently, some of the larger and more “switched on” theme parks have introduced an option to buy the ride photographs on a printed USB memory stick. This is a great idea because it’s far easier and a lot more convenient to carry around a small USB flash drive with you as you go around the park. Then, at the end of each ride if you see a photo you like you can simply hand over your flash drive and get the images copied onto it! There’s even scope to combine an admission of “fast pass” wristband with a USB stick – a USB wristband!

The benefit of buying digital copies of the snaps is that they are easy to print off on your own colour printer and just as easy to upload to Social Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. Of course you can do this with your smart phone but it’s a bit tricky taking a “selfie” as rocket around a thrill ride and you’re pulling several “G’s” in a tight turn!

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Printed and Promotional USB Sticks – A Roller Coaster Ride

PostScript to the 5k USB Stick Scam

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Last week we posted an article about a company that approached us in a panic because the 5,000 USB sticks they had purchased direct from a “factory” in China were not working on any of their PC’s or Mac’s. They were dumbfounded because they thought they had done everything they could to make sure the factory they were dealing with was legitimate and that the USB sticks they’d ordered would be up to the job.

Not only had they taken the precaution of buying from a “Gold” supplier on a reputable Chinese supplier brokerage web site but they’d also insisted on being sent a sample of the USB sticks for testing before they committed to the final order of 5,000 and importantly before they agreed to pay for them!

The dialogue with the factory was good and the shipment of the sample was arranged promptly. The independent tests on the sample undertaken in the UK suggested everything was in order so they pushed ahead with the order for 5k USB memory sticks. Payment was wired to the suppliers’ bank account in China and three weeks later the USB sticks arrived – then the fun began!

When inserted into any PC a quick check of the “properties” of the USB sticks suggested they had 512MB of memory (the size they had ordered) but when they tried to use the memory and load content onto the USB sticks alarms bells started to ring – it looked like data was being transferred onto the USB stick but when it was taken out and re-inserted it had nothing on it! The same scenario was repeated with multiple samples from the 5k batch and irrespective of whether they used a PC or Mac and irrespective of how large the data was they tried to copy onto the stick nothing was on them when they were re-inserted!

All attempts to contact the supplier in China were met with silence. Panic set in.

Having been sent a couple of the samples our initial suspicion was that the USB sticks had no memory in them at all but having sent the samples to our factory in China they have discovered that the USB sticks do have a very, very tiny memory module and that this has been “masked” to look like a 512MB stick! The small memory module inside the sticks is normally used on “web keys” – its just large enough to carry a website URL and nothing else.

The “masking” of this memory to make it look like it has 512MB of storage is pre-meditated fraud. The supplier knew exactly what they were doing and they knew the 5,000 sticks they supplied were nothing like the original sample. The buyer had been duped and was now thousands of pounds out of pocket and without the USB sticks they so desperately needed for their event.

The simple moral of this story is that whilst it’s tempting to save a few pounds by buying direct from a factory in China it’s also incredibly risky and you’ll have no safety net or recourse – if it all goes wrong as it has in this scenario then don’t expect to recover your money or get replacement USB sticks.

At USB2U we’ve been supplying promotional USB memory sticks for the last 12 years and we don’t let our customers down.

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

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PostScript to the 5k USB Stick Scam

A Cautionary Tale – Buying USB Flash Drives Direct from China can be Very Expensive

Friday, February 7th, 2014

It’s incredibly tempting when you are looking to source promotional UBS Flash Drives to have a go at buying them direct from China.  In todays connected world with easy access to Chinese suppliers over the internet and via email it all seems so simple.

On the face of it all you need to do to save a few pounds is to find a Chinese supplier on a supplier directory website like Alibaba, ping off a few emails, agree what you want and confirm your order. You’ll then need pay for your order (up-front and in cleared funds to a bank account in China) before anything is produced and then you’ll need to wait for the order to arrive. Easy. What could possibly go wrong?

Well here’s a cautionary tale from a large(ish) UK marketing company that called us in a panic yesterday. We should stress that this is not the first time we’ve fielded such calls and it’s unlikely to be the last. Hopefully by publicising this issue we can help other businesses avoid the same pitfalls, anxiety and cost (loss)!

The 5,000 USB Stick Sting:

Business A decided to search for a Chinese supplier of promotional USB flash drives. Their online search led them to Alibaba and from there to a “Gold” supplier. Let’s call them “Supplier B”.

Supplier B responded to their enquiry quickly, professionally and they have a web site that suggests that they are a supplier to Sony, Kingston and other well-known brands. They also promote a 5 year warranty and have lots of images on their website of supposedly happy clients from around the world. They supplied a sample to Business A for testing and all was well. Business A then placed and order for 5,000 USB sticks and wired a payment to their Chinese bank account.

Two weeks later the 5,000 USB sticks arrived and they looked fine. The only problem is that none of the PC’s that they were plugged into recognised the USB stick. They tried other PC’s and Macs all with the same results. Panic began to set in. They called us and sent us some samples for testing.

Our tests confirmed what Business A had already suspected – they’d been scammed. The USB sticks “looked OK” but when taken apart there was no flash memory inside them so when we ran a battery of tests on the USB sticks it was no surprise to anyone that they failed them all!

The Chinese Supplier can’t be contacted, they are not responding to emails or phone calls – they only have a gmail account anyway! The net result is that Business A is now thousands of pounds out of pocket, has no USB sticks for its event and is hugely embarrassed by the whole situation.

There is little or no recourse open to Business A. It’s incredibly unlikely that any legal action against Supplier A could be taken or indeed be successful, the Chinese authorities are unlikely to be interested and the Chinese Embassy in London have historically proven unhelpful. It really is a case of “buyer beware”.

Our Advice on Buying Promotional USB Flash Drives is simple – buy locally, buy from a proven supplier, buy from a company that operates from a country that has laws and protection you can fall back on if things go wrong, check 3rd party review sites. Use simple tools like Google maps to make sure they are operating from a business premises and not a back-bedroom in a house, use credit reference agencies to check that they are financially sound (they only cost a few pounds) and don’t deal with companies that use free email accounts (Hotmail, gmail etc.) and only use mobile phone numbers! Use you common sense.

USB2U - A trusted UK Based Supplier of USB Flash Drives

USB2U - A trusted UK Based Supplier of USB Flash Drives

At USB2U we’ve been supplying USB sticks since 2002. We’re a UK registered company with 20 staff. We’re based in Northampton in the Midlands and we assemble and print the majority of the USB sticks we supply on-site in the UK. All of our USB sticks are supplied with a 10 year warranty and you pay nothing until your sticks are ready to be sent to you and for many customers we offer 30-day terms. We have over 1,400 reviews from genuine customers on Trustpilot where we have a score of 9.6 out of 10 and are ranked as “EXCELLENT”.  But, more fundamentally if anything goes wrong with your order we will guarantee to put it right – we take enormous pride in what we do and we want our customers to love their USB sticks. We can help if things go wrong but we’d much rather be your supplier of choice in the first place – trust us, it’s far less painful all round!

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A Cautionary Tale – Buying USB Flash Drives Direct from China can be Very Expensive
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