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Is Chinese New Year to Blame for a lack of Tartan at the Cricket World Cup

Posted by USB2U on 16th February 2015 | Permalink

We’ve been documenting over the last few weeks the challenges that Chinese New Year throws up for the promotional USB memory sticks market but even we didn’t think it would have an impact on the 2015 IIC Cricket World Cup.

Tomorrow is the day when the Scottish team take the field against the co-hosts (New Zealand) in Dunedin but unfortunately they’ll be doing so without their specially commissioned shirts that feature tartan on the sleeves. Not just any tartan either but tartan based on the clan of 19th century test cricketer Gregor MacGregor.

Unfortunately the shirts, which by all accounts were being manufactured and shipped from China, seem to have been delayed and our suspicion is that they’ve been caught up in the same Chinese New Year challenges that we’ve been warning about for weeks. From the various reports flying around it looks as though the Scottish Team just left things a little too late and had no margin for any delays. What a shame because the shirts would have looked great and Ben Fox, a team spokesman has apparently said “it’s unlikely they’ll ever see the light for day now”.

Our best wishes go out to Scotland for their opener tomorrow.

If nothing else this little episode should act as a warning to anyone looking to buy branded goods anytime around Chinese New Year – it really is a case of “buyer beware”.

Our advice is to buy from a local supplier that has what you want to buy in their hands and all they have to do is apply your branding/logo to them. You might end up paying marginally more but at least you’ll know you are going to get them. It’s no good saving a few pennies only for the finished goods to miss your deadline. That’s embarrassing for all concerned – ask the Scottish Cricket Team if you’re in any doubt!

If its USB flash drives with your logo on that you need then at USB2U we hold tens of thousands of them in stock during Chinese New Year and we print/engrave them in-house so we not only control the delivery but we control the overall quality/production.

Unfortunately we don’t supply branded clothing so as much as we might like to we can’t rescue the Scottish Cricket team – USB sticks with a dash of tartan on are not a problem!

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

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Fifty Shades of Grey Promotional USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 12th February 2015 | Permalink

Have your cravings for promotional USB sticks have been left unquenched. Are you feeling just a tad frustrated and still searching for the right model? Perhaps you’re not quite sure what you need or what would be good for your brand and you just need gently leading in the right direction.

Perhaps it’s just a case of whipping up your enthusiasm for these fantastic promotional products – the pricing won’t leave your scarred and you certainly won’t be tied up in any long term contract if you buy from USB2U.

Most of our customers, with little encouragement love the service they get and come back to us screaming for more – can we tempt you?

Our most popular product is the Twister model and whilst it comes in a huge range of colours some of our personal favourites are the range of blacks and greys – hence the fifty shades of grey of course (what else were you thinking it might be!).

50 Shades of Grey Twister USB Sticks

50 Shades of Grey Twister USB Sticks

The Twister (or swivel as some people call it) is a great little performer because it has no cap to lose, it can withstand a huge amount of punishment and it looks great printed or engraved with a logo. We carry them in stock in the UK and we can typically print and deliver them (with your branding on) in as little as 24hrs – we work well under pressure so if you do need your promotional sticks in a hurry please give us a call.

We think all of our flash drives look better handed out in a matching gift box and we have lots to choose from in a price range that goes from “free” (our plain white standard boxes are free) to top of the range premium glossy white printed gift boxes and printed presentation tins with laser cut custom foam inserts. Again, these are held in stock by us in the UK and we can print these (in-house) and deliver them with your USB sticks in the same 24hr timeframe.

Whatever your event or campaign is this year it’s time to drop your inhibitions and get a little more adventurous and order up some flash drives with your logo on. If you’re still a little unsure then rest assured because with USB2U you’re in safe hands. Honest.

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

Printed Tin Boxes for USB Sticks

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That’s it – China is now Closed. USB2U will continue to supply throughout CNY

Posted by USB2U on 2nd February 2015 | Permalink

Although we’re still a couple of weeks away from the day itself the impact of Chinese New Year (CNY) starts to really hit from today. The Year of the Sheep, Ram or Goat (take your pick because depending on who you talk to its referred to as one of these) is officially on the 19th February but understandably the factories that produce promotional USB flash drives want to stop taking orders well in advance of this day.

For the vast majority of factories today is that day. From 4pm today the shutters effectively come down and no new orders will be accepted. What this means in practice is that any orders placed after today will not start shipping from China until March with delivery likely to be around the 4th March at the earliest. If you need promotional USB flash drives before the 4th March (and even this is going to be tight because of the backlogs that build up) then you are strongly advised to find a local supplier that can fulfil your order from their own stock.

At USB2U we’ve lived through the impact of Chinese New Year for over a decade now and we’re as prepared as we could possibly be. We’re carrying lots of stock in the most popular ranges and we have them across a wide variety of memory sizes. We’ve increased our capacity to accommodate print, engraving and data-loading jobs in-house and we’ll be offering our usual 24hr and 72hr rush service throughout the CNY holiday period.

We’ve also bumped up the amount of packaging and accessories we have in-house so not only can we continue to supply printed USB sticks but we can continue to offer a wide range of printed packaging, lanyards, keyrings and other accessories. We know we’re in for a tough few weeks and we’re expecting to be putting in some long hours across the team here but fundamentally we don’t want to let anyone down.

We know we’re going to get the last minute panic calls from customers that have been let down by other suppliers who have underestimated the impact of CNY and that’s fine but we will be giving priority to our existing customers but where we can we’ll do all we can to accommodate everyone.

The best advice we can offer if you do find yourself in need of some last minute drives with your logo on is to call us and speak to the team. The situation over the next few weeks is going to be very fluid but by talking to us we can advise on stock availability and our capacity to print your order.

Cheap Flash Drives

USB2U Suppling USB Flash Drives Thoughout Chinese New Year 2015

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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

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Important Company Wide Announcements – USB Flash Drives

Posted by USB2U on 26th January 2015 | Permalink

It’s been interesting to see a rise in the number of companies using branded USB flash drives over the last few months as part of high profile, cross company announcements to their staff. The challenge is how do you give a disparate employee base (not all of whom have access to PC’s at work) critical information at the same time and in a format they can all use. It’s not as easy as you might think!

Say for example you need to announce fundamental changes to your staff’s terms of employment, or changes to their pension scheme arrangements – how, other than trying to get everyone together for a companywide meeting do you manage it? And the company in question employs thousands of staff in different locations; working different shift patterns a “company meeting” is never going to be possible. Do you stream or broadcast the message to televisions at each location, do you send out a letter and brochure explaining the changes, or do you send out teams of senior managers to each location of run a series of co-ordinated presentations? If you do the latter how do you control the message in terms of constancy and “tone” and how do you make sure questions are fully answered with examples and illustrations?

USB Flash Drives for Businesses

USB Flash Drives for Businesses

Until recently one option was to consider using CD’s or DVD’s and sending these out as part of a pack or handing them out as part of a co-ordinated roadshow. These could include comprehensive notes, videos, copies of presentation slides/packs and tons of other supporting information. But, the problem today is that a large number of new laptops don’t ship with a CD/DVD player!

As a result what we are seeing is a move towards the use of a USB stick, typically branded with the company’s logo and normally pre-loaded with lots of multi-media content. USB sticks or flash drives (as some people prefer to call them) are arguably easier to use, they can be plugged into TV’s as well as lots of PC’s Macs and Tablets and they’re reasonably cheap. When they’ve read/used them there is of course the added benefit of being able to use the branded USB sticks for storage of their own personal data.

They can be pre-loaded with their data right at the last minute and because of their size and weight distribution is relatively easy. As such they make the ideal alternative to CD’s and DVD’s and most staff members will have something they can use to read (or watch) the content on them.

If you’ve got an important cross company message you need to get out to your staff then you might want to consider using a USB stick with your logo printed on it and your presentation material pre-loaded onto the.

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Worrying Early News from China on USB Flash Drive Shipments

Posted by USB2U on 21st January 2015 | Permalink

It begins. Today, earlier than anyone expected, UPS, one of main international carriers out of Hong Kong and China has announced that they will not be shipping any more consignments of USB flash drives this side of Chinese New Year.

This is a problem. Not just for us but for the industry as a whole. UPS, we assume, have decided to give priority to other consignments in the run-up to the National Holiday. Clearly there is limited capacity and with everyone knowing that we’re about to enter a 3-4 week “black hole”, that capacity has very quickly been taken.

Shipments that would have originally been scheduled with UPS are now being moved over to DHL but it won’t be long before DHL buckle under the pressure and impose their own restrictions. What’s slightly unnerving about this is just how soon it’s happening. Chinese New Year is on the 19th February, the factories close (or stop taking orders in anticipation of the holiday closures) on the 26th January but between now and the 19th February the hope was that the couriers would operate a near normal service.

This early action by UPS is likely to lead to panic in the market as re-sellers, suppliers and customers around the world who rely on them begin to fight for alternative shipping slots. Expect lots of trouble and lots of disappointed customers.

USB Memory Sticks - Chinese National Holidays 2013

USB Memory Sticks – Chinese National Holidays 2015

If you place an order for promotional USB sticks and your order gets caught up in this then bear in mind that it could be March before you see your order. Yes, March and even then it could be mid-March! Once your order is “in the system” there is little that can be done – you’re at the mercy of the couriers, the customs teams and the good will of all involved. Typically your contract won’t allow you to cancel or back-out of your order once placed (because no-one else will want a USB stick with your logo on) so it’ll just be a case of waiting for them to arrive. If you’re got a time critical event you ordered them for (a seminar, trade show, conference etc.) then this could be a bit of a problem!

Our advice (and we’ve been saying this for several weeks) is to place your orders now, don’t wait and place it with one of the larger companies that has some leverage in the market and will be able to use the contractual relationships with the couriers to get your order through in the next few days. Failing that order from a local company that has stock in-house and can print and supply from stock – this completely de-risks everything and means you could get your finished sticks in a matter of days from order!

Having been through this madness every year for the last 10 years or more we always stock in advance of Chinese New Year so that we can offer our customers UK printed and engraved options. This year we will again continue to offer our various “rush” service offerings throughout Chinese New Year. To be assured of delivery of promotional USB Flash Drives during over the next few weeks give us a call.

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Psst… Something Big is about to happen at USB2U

Posted by USB2U on 16th January 2015 | Permalink

We’re not very good at keeping secrets at USB2U and this one has been bubbling away for a while so it’s been really hard to keep quiet about it. So here we go, here’s the first little taster of what’s about to be unveiled. If you’re a professional photographer then please do read on because this news is hopefully going to be of interest to you.

Over the last year (since attending The 2014 Photography Show) we’ve been blown away with the interest in our range of USB photography packages (branded USB Memory Sticks and gift boxes). Thousands of you have trusted us with your brand and worked with us to produce some absolutely stunning results. Our dark wood and light wood “Woodland” flash drives combined with our matching wooden boxes have been a clear winner and we’ve been humbled by the feedback we’ve been given. The Facebook posts that customers have made, the tweets that have been shared and photos that have been posted on Pinterest have all been amazing. Thank you. We, the whole team here and it is a team effort, are genuinely happy that that you like our work. It means a lot.

But, (there’s always a but isn’t there) we know we can always do more and we know (from all of the great feedback we’ve had) that lots of photographers don’t just want packaging options for their personalised USB memory sticks, they want packaging options that will allow them to include some printed photographs as well and they want gift boxes that are large enough to allow them to add their own personal touch to them (fillings, inserts etc.).

We’ve listened and for the last few months we’ve been working on a special project to bring to you a range of bigger, better and we hope even more exciting USB and photo packaging options. We’ve taken a cue from our smaller (most popular) USB boxes and we’ve used these to develop two new ranges of top quality presentation boxes. Don’t worry,  none of the current boxes and packaging option will disappear, we’re just adding to them to give you greater choice.

With The 2015 Photography Show just weeks away we’re now ready to start the reveal of our new bigger boxes. The final reveal will take place at the Show so please do put a date in your diary and come and see us – we’re on Stand H131. We’ve love to meet you and get your feedback on our new USB packaging. We’ll have lots of great offers running at the show and some really interesting give-aways – not USB sticks ;-)

New Photographer USB Boxes Coming Soon from USB2UNew Photographer USB Boxes Coming Soon from USB2U

New Photographer USB Boxes Coming Soon from USB2U

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Professional Photographers – We’re Talking your Language

Posted by USB2U on 13th January 2015 | Permalink

Since we were mobbed at The Photography Show at the NEC in 2014 we’ve been looking for some very bright and talented people to join our team and top of our wish list was to find someone who had a passion for photography. Ideally we wanted someone who could see things not just from our perspective as a supplier of USB flash drive packages but also from the perspective of a professional photographer.

We’ve been selling USB sticks since 2003 and we think we’re pretty good at what we do but selling and supporting the Professional Photography sector is relatively new to us and as we’ve discovered photographers have their own unique set of requirements. Although we’ve responded and adapted our offering as best we could we really did want to up our game by hiring someone “from the other side” that could give us an insight into the industry and someone who could empathise with our photography customers.

Step forward Godfrey Hatton.

Godfrey Hatton - USB2U

Godfrey Hatton – USB2U Account Executive

Having been with us a few weeks here’s Godfrey in his own words:

“My name’s Godfrey and I’m the account Executive of the photography department at USB2U. I take great pride in this role, as I myself am a photographer.

I first got interested in photography when I was a teenager, when my dad let me use his old Pentax 35mm and it didn’t take long before I was hooked. Hobby turned into passion and I now have a degree in the subject.

Since graduating, I have won Shots.net Young Photographer of the year 2012, as well as being shortlisted for a number of other competitions. If you’d like to take a look at my work, you can check my website www.gchattonphotography.co.uk

I look forward to working with you. Any questions, just ask!”

Naturally we’d like to keep Godfrey busy so please feel free to give him a call or just ping him an email (Godfrey@usb2u.co.uk.). We’ll exhibiting again at The Photography Show 2015 this year (we’ll have more people on the stand and lots of new products) and Godfrey will be there so please do stop by and say hello.

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Enter our Facebook Prize Draw and Win £300 of USB Sticks and Gift Boxes with your logo on

Posted by USB2U on | Permalink

We wanted to kick off 2015 with a bit of a bang so we’ve decided to run a competition on our Facebook page. We’re giving away 25 of our popular 8GB woodland USB Flash Drives and 25 wooden slide boxes to go with them (light or dark wood – the winner can choose).

The package is worth over £300 and includes printing (or engraving) the USB sticks and the boxes with your logo (you’ll need to supply us with your artwork). This particular product/package is popular with lots of professional photographers but the offer is open to everyone anywhere in the world!

To enter all you need to do is go to our Facebook page, find the post (its “pinned” to the top of our page) like it and share it. That’s it. You have until the 31st January to enter. We’ll make the draw shortly after and we’ll post details of the winner on our Facebook page and once the USB sticks and boxes are branded we’ll post pictures of these as well. Good Luck!

If you are looking for a USB sticks and gift boxes and you don’t fancy trusting to luck then you can of course just get in touch and order your branded flash drives now. We offer over 200 different types of differing memory sizes many of which we hold in stock. We offer a range of delivery options ranging from 24hrs, 73hrs to 7-10 days.

There is no upfront payment on any order. We either offer 30 day terms (upon application) or we ask you to pay when your USB sticks have been produced and are ready to be sent to you. All of our orders are covered by our 10-year no quibble warranty and as a company that’s been supplying USB sticks since 2003 and has a ranking of “Excellent” on TrustPilot you’re going to be in safe hands with any order you place.

There are loads of examples of our work on our Flickr pages and our Pinterest pages to fire your imagination but if you’re still not sure then simply email us over your artwork, logo or design and our in-house design team will work up some examples for you and we can put some samples in the post to you so that you can examine them in the flesh.

Good Luck with the competition.

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Wow – The Arrival of the 1TB (One Terabyte) USB Drive

Posted by USB2U on 9th January 2015 | Permalink

OK it’s unlikely to be used as a promotional giveaway any time soon but if you really do need a small, portable USB backup device then they don’t come much bigger (in terms of memory size) or faster in terms of read/write speeds than this new beast which was launched by Samsung at the CES 2015 show in Las Vegas.

Named the T1 it really does take portable storage to another level and demonstrates that there is still plenty of life in the portable storage market. Yes, the “cloud” is having an impact but it’s have little impact at the promotional end of the market and recent “hacking issues” have raised genuine concerns about the security of any data stored in the cloud.

The Samsung T1 is smaller than a credit card (72mm x 52mm), it looks amazing (hats off to Samsung on the design) and they have addressed users concerns over security by including password protected access and AES 256-bit encryption of the data.

Samsung T1 SSD Drive

Sammsung T1 Drive – Image courtesy of ZDNet

Of course the big news (no pun intended) is the memory capacity of the T1. One Terabyte is 1,000,000,000,000 bytes of data. That is huge for a product this small. Bear in mind that only a couple of years ago your average USB memory stick held a seemingly insignificant 1GB of data! To give you a more meaningful idea of what you could do with 1TB of storage it will hold 17,000 hours of music or 320,000 high resolution photos or around 250 DVD films! That’s an awful lot of data in something the size of a credit card!

To make sure you don’t have to sit around for hours waiting to transfer your files to and from the T1 Samsung have worked really hard to improve the read/write speeds and claim “unparalleled” speeds of 450MB per second! (Your average USB 2.0 memory sticks have read/write speeds of around 4-8MB per second).

In summary it’s a beast albeit a small, perfectly formed beast.

The T1 will be available in a couple of weeks’ time but we’re still waiting on prices. Expect them to be north of £300-£400. (The smaller 250GB version is priced at £154.79).

To be clear the T1 is built around Solid State Drive Technology and not Flash Memory but it does connect via a USB cable and to all intents and purposes it works just like a USB flash drive (just a tad quicker). No, we’re not offering these as a promotional USB drive option (yet).

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