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If you’ve Still Got Budget to Spend in 2014 – We Can Help

Posted by USB2U on 19th December 2014 | Permalink

Time is ticking and if you work for a company, university or local authority and you’ve got money left in your budget to spend this calendar year then you’re going to have to get a move on and use it. It’s not unusual for budgets to be allocated on a yearly basis (on a calendar year) and typically such budgets are granted on a “use it or lose it” basis.

If this sounds like you then we’d love to help you spend your money. Our core products (Promotional USB Memory Sticks and Promotional Power Banks) are incredibly popular and can be used to support all manner of sales, marketing and educational activities. So, if you have cash left to spend then investing it now in our products rather than losing it would be a sensible decision.

We can work with you in one of two ways:

  1. We can take your order and invoice you before the end of 2014 and then deliver your USB sticks and/or Power Banks as and when you need them. We can even send them out to you in batches with different branding on each batch to reflect different activities you might want to use them for in 2015. Whether you pay for them in 2014 or on 30-day terms (meaning you’ll pay in 2015 but from your 2014 budget) is entirely up to you.
  2. We can take an order from you now and we can print, deliver and invoice your order before then end of this calendar year. We know for some companies it’s critical that goods are actually received within the budget period to allow the budget to be used. Not a problem. Even at this late stage (19th December) we can still print and deliver a wide range of promotional products before the end of the year.
USB Rush Order for 2014 Budgets

USB Rush Order for 2014 Budgets

If this is something you want to do them given the date it’s critical that you get in touch with us as quickly as possible. We are open all through the holidays (with the exception of 24th and 25th December) and we’ll still be offering our “next day” Rush Service throughout.

Don’t worry if your haven’t got all of your artwork and data files ready (assuming you need your USB sticks data-loaded) because our in-house design team can sort all of your artwork out for you and we can data-load right at the last minute (just before we ship your order).

USB2U – we do last minute .com

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Best Time to Buy Your Promotional USB Flash Drives is NOW

Posted by USB2U on 9th December 2014 | Permalink

As Christmas approaches you’re no doubt thinking about your own shopping and what presents to buy for friends and family. In the run up to Christmas personal shopping tends to take centre stage. Even if your job is to source promotional products for your company for 2015 it can be difficult to focus on work acquisitions when the pressure to make sure you get “just the right” gift for you loved ones looms large.

However to ignore the buying opportunity in the market now for items like printed USB memory sticks (printed with your company logo on) is likely to be expensive. Maybe not expensive for you personally but expensive for your company who will pay more for any USB sticks purchased in January rather than December.

The smart, savvy buyer will know that the pricing of USB Memory Sticks follows broadly the same trend every year and they will pick their moment to get the maximum return for their spend. There are two “windows” every year when pricing is low and that is now (in the run up to Christmas and the end of January) and in the summer.

USB Flash Drives

Promotional USB Flash Drives

Pricing is historically low now because there is less demand (the Christmas effect). The factories in China that manufacture flash memory have already sold and shipped their Christmas stock and as a consequence there is an over capacity of production capability and stock. But, leave it too late and things take a dramatic turn and the reason is Chinese New Year.

In 2015 most USB flash memory stick factories will stop taking orders in mid to late January in preparation for their annual two week closure to celebrate the New Year. So, there is a buyers “sweet spot” from now until mid-January. As you might expect the laws of supply and demand are driving this and as we get closer to the factory closures the prices and panic levels rise!

Our advice, and we say this every year, is to buy now. We understand that not everyone has budgets released until the New Year but we can work with you on that. We’re happy to take orders now and lock in your price at today’s rate and only invoice you next year when your budget is available. If you’re good for terms (and we offer terms to the majority of our customers) then you won’t even have to pay for them until February 2015!

Go on – get ahead of the pack and bag yourself a bargain and reduce your stress levels at the same time. Trust us – buying promotional USB flash drives at any point around Chinese New Year is not for the faint hearted.

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Are you paying enough for your Promotional USB Memory Sticks?

Posted by USB2U on 2nd December 2014 | Permalink

We know it’s a bit of a strange question but it’s a question posed in all seriousness. If you’re primary objective when going out for quotes for promotional USB memory sticks is to get the best possible unit price then you need to do so with a very clear understanding of the potential risks you are taking.

Buying purely based on price and price alone is risky and it’s particularly risky when it comes to buying flash drives. The problem with these particular products is that it’s not what on the outside that counts which means you can be sent (or shown on a website) lots of lovely images of USB memory sticks printed with a logo on but what you’re looking at is the outer case only. The case (or shell as the factories refer to it) is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and pretty easy to be made to look good. But, the real value is what’s on the inside – if you want you USB sticks to perform and last (or even work from the get go) you need to make sure that under the skin are good quality components, e.g. Grade A flash memory and Grade A Controller chips.

The big problem is that even if you ask for re-assurances that the cheap price you’ve been given includes Grade A components the stock answer tends to be “Yes we only ever use Grade A components” – so how do you know? How really know when comparing prices that you are comparing on a true like for like basis? The honest answer is you don’t know and you won’t know until your order arrives and even then you’ll only know if you thoroughly test them and you know what tests to do and how to interpret the results.

Capless Twister Style USB Memory Sticks

Capless Twister Style USB Memory Sticks

To avoid being scammed (because this is what it is) we strongly recommend that you buy from a trusted supplier (check 3rd party review websites, check Goole Earth to see where their offices are – you’d be surprised how many so called “leading suppliers” operate from a back bedroom, check companies house and check the Terms and Conditions of supply and what options you have to return your order if things go wrong!).

Remember that when you buy promotional USB memory sticks with your brand/logo on they immediately become mini ambassadors for your company and as such you want them to look good and perform. What you don’t want is for them to fail, to corrupt any data loaded onto them or even worse to damage any PC or Mac they are plugged into!

It’s incredibly tempting to always go with the cheapest price you get but like most things in life you ultimately get what you pay for and saving a few pennies on something that is going to carry your brand is not always the best option.

At USB2U you’re in safe hands. We’re in our thirteenth year of trading (most of them selling USB products and specifically printed flash drives), we’re based in Northampton in the UK, over 2,500 real customer reviews (good and bad) on Trustpilot, thousands of reference customers across all industry sectors, a dedicated team of 20 staff, a QA process that is second to none and we don’t take any payment up-front when you place your order and for a significant proportion of our customers we offer 30-day payment terms!

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Unlike our USB Credit Cards the Real Versions are taking a Hammering Today!

Posted by USB2U on 1st December 2014 | Permalink

With Experian predicting that consumers will spend £451,000 a minute today it’s a pretty safe bet to say that credit cards are going to take the brunt of the punishment! Let’s hope the website of the leading retailers (and the payment companies that handle the on-line transactions) can cope today otherwise we’ll be in for another day of frustration and carnage.

If your shopping today is restricted to buying promotional USB flash drives for your company’s next marketing campaign then hopefully we can help you with a slightly more relaxed shopping experience. We’ve got over 100 different styles of memory sticks on our web site and lots of them we hold in stock in the UK so we print (or engrave) them to order and deliver them in a day or two (not weeks). By managing most of our orders in the UK we have much greater control over the quality of the finished product and more importantly we don’t expose quite so many customers to the risks of flying in their orders from China.

With the political turmoil in Hong Kong escalating we’re getting increasingly nervous about the knock on effect on our time critical shipments. Our levels of anxiety are not helped by the extra scrutiny that Chinese customs are now enforcing on all shipments! Equally the regular delays to consignments entrusted to international freight handlers like UPS are making life just a little difficult. Now is not a good time to be a “just in time” importer or a shopper trying to bag a pre-Christmas bargain!

USB Credit Cards

USB Credit Cards

Our advice is to de-stress your life (and to some degree ours) by ordering your promotional flash drives from the range we hold in the UK. This includes our USB Credit Card model which we can offer in a range of different memory sizes and which we can print in full colour on both sides (with full colour bleed to the edge of the card). They come in a range of different memory sizes and not only can we turn them around in just 24hrs but we can also pre-load any data you might have onto them as well (at the same time).

As a finishing touch they can be supplied in a leather like printed (or embossed) wallet. These add only pennies to your order but they’re a great way to elevate the overall impact the cards make when they are handed out.

USB Credit Card Wallets

USB Credit Card Wallets

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New Home Sales Supported By USB Flash Drives

Posted by USB2U on 17th November 2014 | Permalink

Over the last couple of years it’s been interesting to see how many estate agents and builders have started using USB flash drives as a way of marketing their houses and new developments.

We’re not suggesting for a minute that this is part of a trend that will see all marketing of home move to flash drives in preference to traditional paper brochures, the web and the local newspaper but, they clearly do have a place in the mix of marketing options available. After all, we have to assume that where they have been used that they’ve been successful because in many cases the same agents and developers come back time and time again to place repeat orders.

Large national builders with lots of housing stock to move are using USB flash drives with their logo printed on as a “hand-out” or “give-away” in their shows homes or at prime sites where there is a good footfall of people that match the demographic of their target customer – think major housing developer with promotional staff handing out flash drives in the hundreds at the exit of Dockland light railway stations (which just happen to be adjacent to a development they are marketing!).

USB Sticks for Property Developers

USB Sticks for Property Developers

By pre-loading the flash drives with lots of interactive media including individual property details, prices, floor plans, video clips, links to their website and social media pages together with lot of information of the local area (amenities and schools etc.) the developers are able to impart lots of information quickly and relatively cheaply and they do so in a way that is easy to receive.

The real beauty of putting all of this on a flash drive rather than just printing it (apart from the obvious weight, costs and environmental benefits) is that people find it incredibly hard to throw them away – brochures that are handed out have a nasty habit of being stuffed in the next bin but flash drives, particularly those that have a reasonable amount of storage space on them are typically kept and used!

So rather than being an expensive marketing gimmick developers and agents have quickly learnt that used correctly and with the right amount of information pre-loaded onto them, that promotional USB sticks can be a strong addition to any sales and marketing program.

Arguably the same is true when selling any high value product but the housing market, and specifically the sector involved in the sale of new developments to your city types is one that has tapped into the opportunity with some gusto.

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Did We Mention Our Free USB Gift Box Offer – You Need To Be Quick Though

Posted by USB2U on 20th October 2014 | Permalink

Just in case you hadn’t heard we’re currently running a promotion where you can claim free gift boxes for your promotional USB memory sticks. The boxes can be printed with your logo (or any other message you want) at no extra cost –that’s no artwork set-up fee, no printing fees and no charge for the boxes themselves –they’re free! Honestly.

Ok, to be fair there are some caveats to the offer and these are:

  1. The offer is only running on orders placed this month.
  2. You need to order a minimum of 25 USB sticks to qualify and we’ll supply (at your request) one printed gift box for every USB stick you order.
  3. We’ll print the box on one side with whatever design/logo you supply and this can be different to the design/logo that we print on your USB sticks.
  4. The offer applies to our Standard White Gift Box only.
  5. The offer does not apply to any orders placed using our “Rush Services”
Free USB Box Offer

Free USB Box Offer

Putting your promotional USB memory sticks in an attractive gift box can really help to lift the perceived value of sticks. As a promotional gift we know from lots of research that they’re a really popular and people just like being given them. Load them with useful data and leave a bit of space for their own files and they’re even more popular but package them up in a branded gift box and they’ll look even more appealing.

As with any “gift” the packaging and presentation is ever important. It can elevate a “so what” gift into the realms of being a really memorable gift. We’re not suggesting our printed white gift boxes will deliver loads more sales for you or get you a significant uplift in plaudits but what they will do is just make your “give-aways” look more professional and the extra space they offer will help you to get a clearer marketing message out. Let’s face it the print space on a standard USB stick is quote small so the additional space available on a gift box allows you to get creative and include those strap lines that you’ve invested so heavily in!

If nothing else a printed USB gift box will allow you to get your website URL and contact phone numbers out into the hands of your customers!

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Gotta Show – Get some Promotional Wooden USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 16th October 2014 | Permalink

Have you got a corporate event coming up soon? Maybe you’re about to invite the press to a launch of a new product or perhaps you’re getting ready to exhibit at a trade show. If you are then it would be prudent to ensure you have something to hand out to the attendees.

Why? Well let’s face it if you’ve gone to all of the trouble and expense of organising these events and you’ve invested a significant amount of time in making sure the right senior executives and other key personnel attend then it makes sense to ensure they leave not only remembering who your company is but also what you have to offer them.

No one is saying you’re going to secure lots of new business simply by giving them a promotional gift and equally you stand no chance of influencing a journalist by handing them a USB sticks or power bank (however amazing or cute they might be – the gifts not the journalist!) But, it is incredibly important at these events that you engage with your audience and ensure they leave with all of the information they need to either make a buying decision or to write reviews on your products/services.

One option would be to go down the “fun”, cheap and cheerful route and hand out basic items like pens, bags or mugs – all of these simple promotional gifts work to a degree albeit many of them have a tendency to end up thrown away or discarded in the back of a cupboard.

What they don’t do because they are fundamentally inert objects is provide any more information about your company. At best you can typically get you brand, web address and phone number of them and possibly, depending on the object, a couple of small images of your products.

Promotional USB memory sticks on the other hand go significantly further because they can be pre-loaded with lots of information about your company and your products. The information can be interactive, it can be include videos, product sheets, press releases,, price lists – anything! Bearing in mind that most memory sticks that are given away today have around 4GB of storage on them there is loads of scope to get creative..

By loading this type of information onto a USB stick you’ll also save the cost of printing tons of material so if you’re clever about what you load onto them the flash drives will actually save you money!

If you accept the argument that you should/ought to offer a promotional item at your event(s) then you should put USB memory sticks at the top of your list.

There are loads of different designs and styles to choose from and the eco-lobby are also accommodated with a growing number of flash drives manufactured from sustainable wood. These are a great option if your company is pushing an environmentally friendly message and of course they work really well when you load electronic copies of your documents onto them rather than print them!

If you like the idea of something made from wood but USB sticks are not your thing them what about wooden Power Banks – OK, they don’t have quite as many argument in their favour but they are the current “hot” give-away.

Wooden USB Memory Sticks

Wooden USB Memory Sticks

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Hang onto your Hats if you’re about to buy Promotional USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 15th September 2014 | Permalink

At USB2U we’ve been supplying promotional USB memory sticks for nearly 13 years and because of this we’re pretty good at understanding when things are likely to get challenging in the market.

We’re about to enter such a period and it has nothing to do with the forthcoming vote on Independence in Scotland albeit the uncertainty around this has caused a bit of a spike in prices because of the pound has fallen heavily against the dollar.

No, the turbulence we’re about to experience happens every year and it is holiday related. Not ours but the factories in China that manufacture the flash chips and assemble the USB memory sticks. The holiday in question is one of the biggest taken in the year – The combined “National Day and Golden Week”.

National Day is celebrated on the 1st October and whilst the official holidays break is only 3 days it tends to be extended into the week-end with most factories and offices closing for at least 1 week. This extended holiday allows their staff to return to the provinces to spend time be with their families.

Whilst a week might not sound long the problem is that people panic buy in the lead up to the holiday, the factories get rammed with orders and the whole mess that ensues can take weeks to sort out. Of course when the factories return from their holidays they have the double whammy of trying to deal with orders not fulfilled before their holiday and handing the backlog of orders that have built up during their holiday!

Chinese National Holiday - Promotional USB Sticks

Chinese National Holiday – Promotional USB Sticks

The cut-off day to get an order sent from the factories in China before they close for their holidays is the 25th September. If you miss this date then they won’t start working on your order until the 6th October when they get back to work. The reality is that on this day they’re going to be handling a large back-log so the usual turnaround times will be extended. You could, depending on when you place your order, be looking at a 4 week lead time!

Our advice is to get your order in now. Don’t wait. Get your place in the production queue secured. The longer you leave it the more likely you are to be disappointed. If you wait until next week then beware of any promises you are given on delivery.

Buying locally will de-risk your order and ensure you get your promotional USB memory sticks when you need them but the challenge will be finding a supplier in the UK that holds stock and has the capability to print or engrave them. A small number do but typically those that do only hold a very small range of products and a limited range of memory options.

At USB2U we’ve learnt over the years that customers need support during this period which is why we hold large quantities of USB sticks that we can print or engrave in-house. We also offer a “Super Fast” 24hr turnaround service on a wide range of USB sticks, a service that is designed to get customers out of trouble.

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We’ve Smashed Through 2,000 Reviews for USB2U on Trustpilot

Posted by USB2U on 30th July 2014 | Permalink

As a relatively conservative British company it’s not really the done thing to brag but we’re so pleased to have broken through 2,000 customer reviews for USB2U on Trustpilot that we couldn’t resist the urge to post an update about it on our website. It’s a big milestone for us and the fact that the vast majority of our reviews rate our service and products as “Excellent” is something we’re really chuffed about!

We started using the independent review service provided by Trustpilot a couple of years ago. We did it (and we have to pay for the service) because we wanted to give our customers a chance to comment on the service and the promotional USB memory sticks they receive from us.

At the outset we had no real idea what the reaction would be. We felt that we were offering a good service, it’s certainly something we strive to do and the team here at USB2U put their heart and soul into trying to give our customers the best experience they can. But without actually asking our customers for their feedback we were really just guessing what people might be thinking and of course if there were issues with our service we were never going to find out. OK, we might get the odd one or two customers providing feedback but by introducing a trusted and independent 3rd party to manage the reviews we’ve found that customers are much more willing to provide feedback (good and bad).

We’re by no means perfect and we’ve picked up a few negative comments over the last couple of the years. Mostly it’s been where we’ve dropped a catch or made a silly mistake – we’re all human and with the thousands of orders we handle ever year the odd one or two errors are bound to creep in. We’ve taken these on the chin and when they do happen we use the feedback as constructively as we can to make changes and improvements or our processes. Any negative feedback hurts but more importantly if a customer has taken the time to write it then it typically means they’re pretty unhappy and we’d rather know about this so we can deal with their issues and make sure we get it right next time.

Our current ranking based on just over 2,000 reviews if 9.7 out of 10 which of course we’re delighted with! There are simply too many to highlight and post here but if you are interested pop over to the Trustpilot site and have a browse through the reviews – we can’t moderate or adjust them, all we can do is ask/encourage customers to say a few words and rank us.

If you are looking for trusted UK supplier of promotional USB memory sticks then checking out 3rd party review sites like Trustpilot is a good place to start!

Promotional USB Twister Flash Drives

Promotional USB Twister Flash Drives

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Stick-It USB Flash Drives – Ultimate Promotional Flexibility

Posted by USB2U on 2nd July 2014 | Permalink

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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