Posted by USB2U on 12th December 2016 | Permalink
Chinese New Year is fast approaching so the time to plan your USB and Power Bank orders for January and February 2017 is now!
The celebrations for 2017 fall earlier than recent years have. This year the celebrations will take place (and factories & production closed) between 21st January – 8th February 2017. Therefore the cut-off date for standard orders placed is as early as 11th January to avoid delays.
Can’t order in time? Don’t fear! With our UK stock and in house printing facilities we are able to serve you seamlessly throughout this period.
We guarantee reliable delivery of USBs, Power Banks and other tech products – just get in touch with our friendly team here at USB2U.
We hold a large amount of UK stock!
Contact us on:
0800 008 7079
Chinese New Year
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.
USB2U Suppling USB Flash Drives Thoughout Chinese New Year 2015
Posted by USB2U on 7th January 2015 | Permalink
February 19th 2015 might be the official day for the start of the Chinese New Year but the impact of New Year holiday on the supply of promotional USB memory sticks will last significantly longer than just one day!
The year of the Goat (or sheep depending on your own personal interpretation of the Chinese Animal Zodiac charts) will, for many workers in China, usher in the start of a 2 week holiday that combines New Year festivities with the Spring Festival. It’s a period for families to reunite, to spend time together and to celebrate. There will be plenty of fireworks, plenty of food (in particular fish which is believed to bring wealth in the coming year) and loads of red decorations and lanterns (the colour “Red” is strongly associated prosperity.
The strong desire for families to reunite during this period in a country as vast as China throws up all sorts of logistical challenges and the travel networks become incredibly busy with people spending hours/days trying to get home to the provinces.
In previous years the New Year holidays have resulted in the factories that manufacture promotional and electronic goods like USB sticks closing for a few days but this year the closure period is longer and the “wind down” and “start-up” periods are considerably longer!
The net effect of this is that there will be a period of 4-5 weeks when it will be impossible to get any orders for promotional USB memory sticks shipped out of factories in China. The last day for new orders for many will be the 5th February but the earliest these will then ship from China to the UK will be the 4th March. Even when shipments do start again the factories (and transport networks/couriers) will have to handle a significant backlog of orders that will cause more delays and the inevitable chaos that comes post Chinese New Year!
Our last day for new orders at USB2U is the 26th January (this is for orders that have to be with you before the start of Chinese New Year). Orders placed after this date will arrive around the week commencing 9th March! Clearly this is a huge break in what is normally a very slick and quick supply chain so our advice is to get your orders in now!
To try and deal with the inevitable chaos that ensues every year we will carry lots of USB Memory Stick stock in the UK which we can print (or engrave depending on the product) and which we can deliver in as little as 24hrs (worldwide).
Chinese New Year – USB Sticks
Posted by USB2U on 31st December 2014 | Permalink
We say it every year and every year we give the advice a little earlier because every year, without fail, Chinese New Year has a huge impact on the supply of promotional products like USB flash drives.
Don’t get confused, we’re not talking about the 1st of January which starts off the New Year on the Gregorian calendar that most of us use. No, we’re talking about Chinese calendar and in 2015, according to this calendar; New Year is on the 19th February!
The date that New Year is celebrated changes every year because it’s based on the Chinese lunar and solar calendars but it always falls somewhere between late January and mid-February. In 2015 it’s particularly late (in 2014 in was on the 31st January) and it will be the Year of the Goat (every new Chinese year is marked by an association with a zodiac animal).
Chinese New Year 2015 – USB Memory Sticks
Why is Chinese New Year an issue for us in the UK? Well if you’re a buyer of promotional products then it’s vital you understand the impact Chinese New Year has on the supply chain of promotional goods into the UK (and the rest of the world). Pretty much all promotional products are manufactured to order by factories in China and the finished items are then air-freighted in in a matter of days. Outside of New Year everyone gets used to lead times of 7-10 days but during the annual Chinese New Year “shut down” the lead times can be as much as 6 weeks or more!
So, if you have a sales event, a marketing campaign or a trade show scheduled for February or March 2015 and you are planning to use promotional items like USB flash drives then to make sure you get them you need to order them early!
Problems develop because China takes its New Year celebrations very seriously. We’re not talking about a 1 or 2 day break but rather a 2 week shut-down! Factories and offices close, couriers stop working and pretty much everything comes to a standstill. Employees travel thousands of miles to be with their families for the duration of the holiday and for once all things work related take a back seat.
In practice what this means is that everyone rushes to place orders on the factories before the holiday starts so the factories will typically impose a “last order day” around 2 weeks before the start of the New Year. This allows them to process all orders and get them shipped before they close. On their return to work 2 later they then face a huge backlog of orders and it can take several weeks before things are up and running smoothly again.
It’s the same with the International couriers and freight handlers – the closer it gets to the 19th February the more likely it is that it won’t go anywhere for 2 weeks.
Our advice and it’s the same every year is to plan ahead, get your order(s) in early and remove the stress from your life. If you do leave things too late then you’re going to have to find a local company that carries blank stock and has the capability to brand it up for you. Unfortunately , very few companies carry blank stock of flash drives in the UK and when they do the stock tends to be limited to a couple of standard models and memory sizes and your choice of colour will be limited.
At USB2U we’ve been supplying branded USB flash drives since 2002 so we carry the scars of past Chinese New Year’s! Because of this we always buy in lots of blank stock so if forward planning is not your forte give us a call.
Posted by USB2U on 24th January 2014 | Permalink
The Chinese New Year National Holiday (The Year of the Horse) is almost upon us. Unlike our own New Year holidays where people typically take a day or two off in China it’s their big annual holiday and most workers take at least two weeks off work.
This extended break gives millions of workers from the cities the chance to travel home and be with their families in the provinces. The number of people on the move during the holiday is staggering (estimated by the BBC at 285 million) but what even more mind boggling is the distances they travel and the time it takes to complete their journeys – take a look at this photo blog post from the BBC – it helps put the occasional travel challenges we have in the UK into perspective!
The knock on impact of the extended holidays and factory and office closures is that pretty much nothing gets manufactured or shipped for a 2 – 3 week period. Our partner factory in Shenzhen closes this week-end and won’t start manufacturing USB memory sticks again for 2 weeks. It’s the same for most of our competitors as well because whoever they are the likelihood is that their partner factory will also be In Shenzhen, China and as a result it will also close.
What this means is that after today it will become increasingly difficult to get an order for USB memory sticks delivered much before mid-February! Forget the usual promise of 6 to 10 days because no one will be at the factory to produce and print them and even if they were none of the freight forwarding companies are working so they wouldn’t get shipped anywhere!
If you need printed or engraved USB memory sticks in a hurry your only option for the next couple of weeks is to find a local supplier that holds them in stock and is able to personalise them locally as well. There are a few companies that will hold the Black Twister (Capless) model in a range of different memory sizes but that’s about all.
At USB2U we’ve lived through the challenges of Chinese New Year lots of times so we now always ensure we carry lots of stock in the UK whilst it’s on. At the moment we are unique in being able to offer 24 different styles and designs of USB stick in a wide range of memory size. Most of these can be supplied in 24hrs on our rush service but do check because out print schedule can get full pretty quickly!
If you can’t find what you want it’s not the end of the world – at least you’re not on a 33 hour trip home just to be able to spend precious time with your family.
USB Memory Sticks from USB2U During Chinese New Year
Posted by USB2U on 8th January 2014 | Permalink
If you’re looking to source branded or promotional USB sticks for use any time in the next few weeks then you need to familiarise yourself with the Chinese Zodiac Calendar Why? Well, 99% of all of USB memory sticks in the world are manufactured in China and most of them are made to order with a turn-around time of 1-2 weeks.
Very few suppliers of USB sticks hold stock locally and even fewer have any capability to print, engrave and data-load USB sticks in-house. So, the lead times that you see quoted are almost always based on a rapid turnaround from a “partner” factory in China. This is usually fine but when China closes production and shipping stops.
In a couple of weeks China will “close down” as the country takes an extended holiday to celebrate the start of a new year. The year 2014, according to the Chinese Zodiac Calendar is the Year of the Horse and it officially starts on the 31st January but it’s a big deal in China so offices and factories close en-masse.
New Year (also known as Spring Festival) is a huge event for Chinese communities around the world so expect the usual fireworks and extravagant displays that have become a familiar sight at the start of any New Year.
To allow families to gather together (often across huge distances) most offices and factories close for at least two weeks. As a result production of pretty much everything in China stops during the New Year festivities. The impact of this is a mad clamour to get things like promotional USB sticks produced before the holidays start followed by a period when nothing gets produced because of factory closures. This is then typically followed by a crazy week or two when the factories return and everyone is desperately playing catch-up!
In the weeks just before Chinese New Year (Now) it will come as no surprise that the price of USB sticks start to increase (classic supply and demand) and these higher prices tend to linger for several weeks after the holiday finishes before gradually falling over the following months.
Lead times also take a battering around Chinese New Year with typical lead times of 7 – 10 days often being extended to anything up to 6 weeks!
Our advice (and we say this every year) is to plan ahead. If you need or think you might need promotional USB memory sticks during February then don’t wait – please get your orders in now! Not only will you get a better price but you’ll be able to choose the model/design you want and you’ll be assured of getting your USB sticks when you need them.
If you do leave it late then don’t panic. Having lived through (and survived) many a Chinese New Year we now plan ahead and invest heavily in holding UK stock – this allows us to continue to offer a wide range of different USB sticks all of which can be printed, engraved and data-loaded and delivered in as little as 24hrs!
USB2U Year of the Horse
Posted by USB2U on 31st December 2013 | Permalink
If you’re searching the web for some cheap printed USB memory sticks then you’ll soon realise that the vast majority of companies selling them don’t put prices on their web sites – you either have to call them or fill in one of their on-line quote request forms. Understandably this can be a little tedious and time consuming but there are good reasons for it.
The core components that make up printed USB memory sticks are traded like commodities (tea, coffee, gold and silver etc.) and as such the price is incredibly sensitive to global events and the currency markets. Prices change daily to reflect the “spot market” for flash memory and the prevailing exchange rates – add into this mix other external events like national holidays (Chinese New Year is a good example) and you start to get a feel for just how fluid pricing can be.
The problem is compounded because most USB memory sticks are bought to order – in other words when you place an order for say 500 USB memory sticks the flash memory to make these will be purchased in the market and your sticks will be made to order. The procurement of the flash memory, the assembly of the flash and other components to create the USB stick and the final printing of the sticks takes place in a matter of days! Very few companies are willing to bulk buy and hold flash memory and take a risk on holding overpriced stock hence why the pricing is so dynamic.
Cheap Printed USB Memory Sticks
To buy USB memory sticks when they are at their cheapest you need to choose your moment. There are certain times of the year when it’s better to buy than others – its bit like waiting for the alignment of the moons! Right now (and probably for the next few days) is a good time. The reasons are:
- Flash memory prices are at an all-time low
- Flash is purchased in USD ($) and the dollar is currently trading against the pound (GBP) at $1.65 compared to around $1.50 just a few weeks ago! That’s a 10% shift in a matter of weeks
- Demand is low(ish) because lots of companies are still on holiday over the Christmas and New Year period but the factories in China are still working!
BUT in just a week or so prices are expected to rocket buy around 20% – the reason for this is classic supply and demand driven by the closure of the flash memory manufacturing plants in China. It happens every year – companies in the UK and Europe return to work after their Christmas and New Year holidays and want to buy printed USB memory sticks but by the time they get around to placing an order they find that supply is limited because “China closes” to celebrate Chinese New Year! We’re not talking about a day or two either, most factories that manufacture USB drives close for about 3 weeks! This leads to a mad scramble to buy stock and this in turn drives up prices – if the currency market shifts in the wrong direction at the same time then you have a perfect storm which will drive prices even higher.
If you’re looking for Cheap printed (or engraved) USB memory sticks for use in early 2014 then don’t wait – buy them now!
Posted by USB2U on 15th February 2013 | Permalink
In response to growing demand from our customers we have introduced a 5 day service for a large proportion of our USB memory sticks. There are no additional charges for this service and it includes engraving or full colour digital printing (on both sides) of the USB sticks and if needed data loading onto the sticks.
We have also retained our popular “Super Express 24hr Service” and our “Rush 72hr Service”. So whether you need your order the very next day or within a few days there are now plenty of options to choose from and you’re not limited to just one or two different designs. Irrespective of which timed (and guaranteed) service you choose from there are currently 18 different models to select from and some come in a range of colours and memory sizes so you really are spoilt for choice!
One of the attractions of this service is that once your order has been confirmed then delivery of your USB memory sticks is guaranteed. There is no exposure to “customs delays” or international shipping because your order will be fulfilled from UK stock. All you have to do is sign off your proofs in a timely manner, arrange your payment (if you’re not on 30 day terms and a lot of our customers are) and then finally make sure that you’re in when your USB sticks are scheduled for delivery!
Optional extras like printed or engraved gift boxes, lanyards and key rings can also be specified when you use any of our express delivery services. If you do have a particularly large amount of data you want pre-loading onto your printed USB sticks then we can normally accommodate this but you do need to consider how you get the data to us. Our data-loading team will test the data and check the “load times” and then agree with you how quickly the data can be loaded – with 4 separate professional data loading machines on-site we are able to load thousands of sticks a day (subject to the data size and structure).
During “pinch points” like Chinese New Year when lots of USB suppliers struggle to maintain their usual service levels these guaranteed delivery options are likely to prove incredibly popular. So, if you do need printed or engraved USB memory sticks in hurry and you don’t want to take any risks with delivery just give us a call or send in a quote request via our website.
USB2U New Rush Service Announced
Posted by USB2U on 23rd January 2013 | Permalink
Well, you can’t say we didn’t tell you! As we get closer to Chinese New Year things are starting to get interesting in the promotional USB stick market. Prices are rising; anxiety amongst businesses trying to source USB sticks against tight deadlines is increasing and something close to panic looks set to ensue over the next week or so.
Ironically it happens every year and every year, starting in December, we try to make as many customers as possible aware of the likely issues and encourage them, where possible, to place their orders early. The benefits are; cheaper prices and assured, stress free delivery.
Understandably not everyone is in a position in December (or early Jan) to know what USB sticks they might need but it is nevertheless surprising just how many businesses leave things right until the last minute.
The core problem is that the Chinese New Year holidays last around 2 weeks and during this time pretty much everything comes to a standstill. No factory that produces USB sticks wants to be taking new orders right up until the start of the holidays so they draw a line in the stand about a week before the festivities commence. This year the actual day of the New Year is the 10th February so expect factories to stop taking orders a week or more before this.
When the factories re-open they then typically take a week or more to catch up with the backlog of orders that have built up so “normal service” can be disrupted for about one month!
If you’ve been caught up in the delays brought on by this years Chinese New Year break in production then your best bet is to find a local supplier of USB memory sticks that holds stock and has the capability to personalise this stock in the UK.
Most UK suppliers are just intermediaries and won’t carry UK stock of their own or if they do they’ll typically have a very limited range of models and memory sizes to chose from. At USB2U we’ve seen our fair share of challenges during Chinese New Year over the last 10 years and we now make sure we bolster our stock holdings during this time.
So, if you are beginning to worry about whether you will get your promotional USB sticks in time the best advice we can give you is to pick up the phone and call us – one of our team will talk you through the range of models, memory sizes and colours we hold and they’ll talk you through a range of delivery options that include our Rush 24hr service.
Chinese New Year - USB Sticks
Posted by USB2U on 16th January 2013 | Permalink
As each day ticks by we nudge ever closer to Chinese New Year and the Year of the Snake and whilst this might be good news for those planning to celebrate the New Year it’s definitely not good news for anyone looking to buy printed USB memory sticks.
In 2013 The Year of the Dragon officially starts on 10th February. It’s a huge festival for Chinese communities around the world so expect the usual fireworks and extravagant displays that have become synonymous with the start of any New Year.
The days and weeks after the start of the New Year is a typically a time for families to gather together, to feast and to relax. As a result production of pretty much everything in China stops during the New Year festivities.
The impact of this is a mad clamour to get things like printed USB sticks produced before the holidays start followed by a period when nothing gets produced because of factory closures and then a mad couple of weeks when the factories return and everyone is “playing catch-up”!
In the weeks just before Chinese New Year as demand for USB sticks increases it’s no surprise that the price increases – usual supply and demand rules apply! The higher prices tend to linger for several weeks after the holiday finishes before gradually falling over the following months.
Lead times also take a battering around Chinese New Year with typical lead times of 7 – 10 days often being extended to anything up to 6 weeks!
If you need or think you might need promotional USB memory sticks during February then please plan ahead and buy now. By doing so you’ll get a better price and you’ll be assured of delivery of your USB sticks when you need them. Leave it much longer and you’ll potentially expose yourself to a whole world of pain!
If you do leave it late then your only option will be to find a company that holds blank stock of USB memory sticks and is able to printed or engrave them in the UK. Most companies that do this tend to carry a few basic models in one or two colours so your options will be very limited.
One notable exception to this is USB2U who carry a wide range of different USB sticks all of which can be printed, engraved and data-loaded and delivered in as little as 24hrs! If do need USB flash drives printed with your logo on from a UK supplier during Chinese New Year (or any other time for that matter) then give the team at USB2U a call.
USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year