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Are Your Suppliers Of Custom USB Sticks All Heart

Posted by USB2U on 14th February 2012 | Permalink

Custom USB memory sticks are available in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for you can always get your own design commissioned. But, before you rush to get your own custom USB sticks designed and manufactured it’s worth spending some time researching what is already available.

Don’t think you’re going to be restricted to a range of pretty basic rectangular shaped plastic sticks because the range now is vast – off the shelf options include square drives, round drives, drives made from wood, leather and metal, flash drives that “glow”, bamboo drives that are 100% recyclable, flash drives that are made to wear like a wristband and flash drives that are in the shape of a heart.

The list is almost endless and then add to this colour variations within each model, the fact that some come “trimmed” with leather or metal and you start to get a feel for just how overwhelming it can be to narrow it down to a suitable drive.

If you do struggle or you’re not the most decisive of people when it comes to making a decision about these sort of things you could ask your supplier to work up a few examples for you – most will do this and most have in-house designers that over the years will have developed an “eye” for what works and what doesn’t. Push the problem (or challenge) at them and get them to apply some creativity to the sales process.

Remember that whichever Custom USB sticks you finally choose you should get your suppliers to pre-load your sales material, press release information etc. onto the sticks – and don’t expect to pay for this service unless you are loading huge amounts of data onto the sticks. It’s not a question of the suppliers being “all heart” and doing this for the love of it but instead it’s a reflection of just how competitive things are in the market at the moment.

Heart Shaped USB Memory Sticks

Heart Shaped USB Memory Sticks

Other things to expect from your supplier as part of the “standard service” are; free delivery (in country anyway), free print and payment with the order should be a “no no”. It’s fair enough if you’ve not traded with them before to expect paying as they ship your order to you but not as you place your order which could be up to 2-3 weeks before they ship them out. You might even be able to squeeze out a free “rush service” if you’re in a hurry and they have spare capacity – it’s certainly worth asking the question.

If you’re suppliers are not able to supply the above core services and/or are not prepared to negotiate on some of the things they would normally charge for them be prepared to walk away or at the very least shop around for competitive quotes.


Where To Buy Your Custom USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Posted by USB2U on 5th January 2012 | Permalink

The happiness in China at the prospect of the forthcoming New Year holiday to celebrate the Year of Dragon is in stark contrast to the challenges faced by customers who have come to rely on China’s ability to turn-around orders for custom USB memory sticks in a matter of days.

Whilst there are hundreds of suppliers of custom USB memory sticks in the UK the vast majority of these will place their orders on a host of specialised factories in China or they will have their own manufacturing capabilities in China. Either way Chinese New Year will effectively mean that nothing gets produced or shipped for around 3-4 weeks and even when production starts up again it can take a week of two for things to get back to normal.

Buying Custom USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Buying Custom USB Memory Sticks During Chinese New Year

Normal production and delivery schedules are typically 7-10 days from the date you place your order with a UK suppliers albeit a fairer measure is from the date you approve the production proof which can be a couple of days after the order has been placed. Given the logistics involved it’s no mean feat to make this happen and understandably a major event like a long national holiday can have a dramatic impact.

The key dates to be aware of are the 6th January to the 4th February. If you place an order for custom USB memory sticks after the 6th January then there is a very strong likelihood that you won’t get your order delivered until the end of the first week in February (at best) and most likely mid-February. So, be very wary of any delivery promises you are made over the next few days and weeks because we’re about to enter a very unstable and unpredictable time.

The only safe way to buy Custom USB Memory Sticks if you have a delivery deadline that falls during the next few weeks is to find a local supplier that holds UK stock and can print and dataload (if needed) the stock for you.

Given the costs and risks associated with doing this most of the smaller suppliers won’t be able to offer what is commonly called a “rush service”. Instead, you’ll need to seek out one of the larger and more established companies like USB2U who always carry a large inventory of blank USB memory sticks and have in-house capabilities to print and dataload the USB sticks.

The “Rush Service” that USB2U offer allows them to fulfil orders in as little as 24hrs but during Chinese New Year this can get stretched to 48hrs as demand for the service increases.

For the very latest information about what USB sticks are available and in what memory sizes you are best to give them a call.


Daily Christmas Offers From USB2U – Check Out Our Advent Calendar

Posted by USB2U on 5th December 2011 | Permalink

We’ve decided to get into the Christmas spirit early this yeas so in the run up to Christmas we’re running a whole series of special offers and prize giveaways. All of the details of the offers and the offer codes will be revealed on our Advent Calendar.

Our advent calendar is dead easy to use – simply click on the window that matches the date to reveal the offer of the day. There’s no registration needed – you simply claim your offer or gift by mentioning the Gift Code when you send you quote request in or when you speak to one of our account managers.

USB2U Advent Calendar

USB2U Advent Calendar

To give you a taster of what’s going to be on offer the daily deals will include

  • Unlimited data-loading on your USB sticks (any size of data will be loaded by us using our professional data loading machines) – we usually charge for any data over 200MB so if you have particularly large files to pre-load onto your USB sticks this an offer that is well worth watching out for.
  • Special discounts on certain memory sizes or types of USB flash drive.
  • Free pantone matching – match the body colour of the USB stick to one of the colours from your logo or choose a colour that will help your logo stand-out. Colour matching usually costs around £50 so if it’s something you’re interested in then keep an eye out for which window this will be behind.
  • Free 16GB USB Flash Drives with every order.

If you don’t think you’ll remember to go to our Advent Calendar everyday then you could follow up on Twitter where we’ll be posting out the offer of the day every day!

Now’s a good time to buy your promotional USB Flash Drives because not only will you be able to take advantage of these cracking deals but you’ll avoid the scramble for USB sticks that takes place every year in January when the factories in China that produce them close to celebrate Chinese New Year.


We Make ‘Cool USB Flash Drives’

Posted by USB2U on 2nd August 2011 | Permalink

In attempts to be a fully pro-active company as opposed to a reactive company we like to keep an eye on the micro-environment and on the wider industry.  Being a promotional USB company this sometimes means looking at new USB models and styles.  This can oftentimes be quite a fun job especially with the imagination and creativity of some people with a lot of time on their hands out there.

Lego Custom USB Memory Stick

Searching ‘cool USB drive’ on Google Images is not the most effective way of keeping up to date with new USB flash drive news but can certainly be an entertaining 5 minutes looking at some wacky things that people have come up with.  Nintendo Wii remote controls, Lego bricks, wine corks, cars, clothes pegs, vegetables and figurines are a small number of the shells that people have made to case their USB flash drive in.  We think that these flash drives are certainly cool and deserve some kudos, some of them can even make you laugh or have you stare in amazement at the level of attention and detail.  These novelty drives, although extremely imaginative, seem also very impractical.

One of the greatest benefits of USB flash drives is that they are portable and can be stored with a large amount of data for their size (up to 256GB for one specific flash drive).  It has to be asked how often some of these novelty USB drives would be used for what they were made for, or how much they would sit on a desk as an ornament.  I’m sure many of us have had the situation where our USB flash drive fit into our laptop or the back of a computer tower because they pack the USB slots so close together and our flash drive is a little too bulky to fit between the leads and existing USB connectors.

A Selection of Our Custom USBs

We also sell a variety of novelty branded USB flash drives disguising themselves as other things.  Although in most cases our Promotional USB memory sticks are not as bizarre as some that can be found on Google but fortunately, they are much more functional.  Take, for example our USB mini people which can be customised to our customers requirements.  Our USB pill drive, not surprisingly resembles a pill, the credit card range are almost exactly the same size as the real thing and our USB key drive disguises itself nicely on a key ring.  We sell many more in our standard range of Logo USB memory sticks; metal and plastic USB bottle, USB pen range, USB bottle opener, the list continues.  All of these drives are easily portable and extremely functional.  If however, a custom USB flash drive really is what you are looking for then we have just the thing for you.

We can cater for your custom USB needs by customising the shape, colour, size, almost everything about the USB flash drive.  Contact us via telephone, email or via our quote form so we can work with you to produce your perfect custom USB and who knows, maybe your USB will be seen in our next search for ‘cool USB drives’ on Google Images.


Don’t Gamble On Your USB Flash Drive Supplier

Posted by USB2U on 18th July 2011 | Permalink

Having watched Jim Eastwood in the final of The Apprentice last night it’s tempting to fill this article with puns such as “when the chips are down” and “it’s a sure bet” but I’ll try and resist the urge!

These bespoke USB poker chips were designed and manufactured by us for our customer. Despite their appearance they work just like any regular USB flash drive, they’ve got an internal memory of several Gigabytes, they can hold thousands of documents and files and they connect to any PC or Mac via a standard USB connector.

The real benefit of commissioning a USB flash drive in a custom shape is the impact they make when they are handed out. Lots of companies now use standard USB flash drives that are printed up with their logo on but far fewer go to the trouble of getting USB flash drives produced in a custom shape.

Custom USB Poker Chip

Custom USB Poker Chip

Custom USB flash drives take a little longer to produce (allow around 3-4 weeks) and they are a little more expensive than standard, printed USB drives but bear in mind you are getting something unique produced and you’ll “own” the mould and design so no-one else can have flash drives produced in exactly the same shape.

Most custom USB flash drives are made from PVC, rubber or some form of silicon compound and pretty much any shape or design can be manufactured. At USB2U we’ve designed and supplied custom models in the shape of pieces of fruit, outside toilets, floor heaters, eggs, Nike trainers, fork-lift trucks and removal vans to name but a few!

Just like standard flash drives we recommend pre-loading any custom USB drive with your company information (sales data, press releases, presentation slides, white papers, price lists etc.) before they are handed out. The more information you can pre-load onto them the more printing and distribution (postage costs etc) you can offset to help cover the cost of buying the USB drive. Not only this but customers seem to prefer getting sales brochures etc. in an electronic format because they have less to “lug around” (particularly useful at trade shows and conferences).

If you’ve already decided that you want a Custom Shaped USB Flash Drive then the next challenge will be to find a supplier you can trust to help you turn your concept into the finished article. There are lots of companies in the UK that will claim they can offer a custom service but our advice is to go with a supplier that has been around in the industry for a number of years, has a proven track record of delivery and ideally ahs in-house designers that can help you with the early stages of the product design. As I mentioned custom USB flash drives take a little longer to produce so you don’t want to have to repeat the process should your first choice supplier let you down.


A Custom NHS Reform Calls for Custom USB Drives

Posted by USB2U on 15th June 2011 | Permalink

The NHS reform has recently had a lot of media coverage, but what’s it all about?  The Coalition Government announced a proposed NHS reform last summer and it consequently received a lot of criticism.  The original proposition included opening the NHS up to allow for promoted competition in the form of private companies, passing the responsibility of the budgets and purse strings over to GP’s and to roll it out quickly to be in full effect by 2013. USB2U has already provided a wide range of medical USB branded flash drives from our classic pill drive to a customised branded syringe drive for Boots.  All of these drives were pre-loaded with marketing content designed to lobby and sell to potential customers.  A branded USB packed with marketing information and sales material would be a great idea for private companies to lobby to GP’s to provide medical services for the NHS.

Substantial criticism caused by the proposition lead to an independent review.  The review suggested the following amends to the original proposition: to have managed competition as opposed to more promoting competition, nurses and hospital doctors would also be included in the control of the budgets alongside GP’s and the roll-out would be slowed down and the consortia of nurses, doctors and GP’s take control in areas of the UK where they can.  As the review has called for a more managed approach to competition in the NHS it will take additional marketing touches like a branded USB drive packed with pre-loaded marketing material to stand out and secure the business.

Yesterday David Cameron spoke about the independent review of the original proposal.  He said that although the reforms general aim of wanting better care for patients was kept, the details and how that is achieved has changed.  Surprisingly the prime minister admitted that they had made mistakes in their proposal, but they had called for the review and they were amending the proposal accordingly.

Similarly to the new aim for the NHS, ours is to meet the individual needs of our customers whatever the purpose and shape of the USB drive.


Custom USB Flash Drives Flying Off the Shelves

Posted by USB2U on 8th June 2011 | Permalink

Are you looking for an inexpensive but top quality aeroplane then forget Ryanair, Easyjet and Flybe because when it comes to custom USB flash drives the latest little beauty to be unveiled by USB2U is in a class of its own! OK, we accept that you can’t actually fly anywhere in them but they’ll certainly give any marketing campaign a real lift!

Custom USB Plane

Custom USB Plane

Our custom USB planes are made from solid stainless steel so they’re heavy but the combination of their weight and their polished finish gives them are real quality feel. They make great executive gifts and they double up nicely as a paperweight. We can engrave or print them with your logo and of course we can pre-load them with your own data files that could for example include all of your sales brochures, press releases and media files.

Most companies are still buying standard USB flash drives and just getting their brand and/or contact details printed on them which is fine but custom USB flash drives that either represent a product you sell or “dovetail” into your overall marketing campaign create a much greater impact. Custom flash drives simply have more impact they are more memorable they typically create lots of “chatter” that standard flash drives can rarely match.

The lead-time for our USB planes is around 14-days but if you wanted your own custom shape then that’s not a problem. Our in-house design team will work with you to come up with a series of design concepts (rough ideas) that we’ll then ask you to narrow down to one particular design. We’ll then create a physical sample of your flash drive for approval and once you’re happy we’ll move onto full-scale production.

Custom Aeroplane USB Flash Drive

Custom Aeroplane USB Flash Drive

If you opt for your own shape then be prepared to wait a little longer – the typical lead time for a fully customised USB flash drive is around 6 weeks compared to 2 weeks for our USB planes and around 10-days for our standard USB flash drives.

If you’re interested just give us a call on our Freephone number (0800 008 7079) or just fill out our on-line quote form and one of our team will get back to you in a flash!


Build Your Own USB Flash Drive

Posted by USB2U on 21st February 2011 | Permalink

USB flash drives are incredibly popular at the moment and have pretty much replaced the CD and DVD as the preferred medium on which to store and carry personal data. Floppy disks, with the exception of the few die-hards that still use them, are all but extinct and there’s a whole new generation that will have never seen or used a floppy disk.

USB flash drives are popular because they’re relatively cheap, they’re easy to use, they’re small, they’re portable and you can transfer data onto them quickly and without fuss or any technical knowledge. Because pretty much every PC and Mac has a USB port when you use a USB flash drive to store and carry data around with you, you know you’re going to be able to access the data on pretty much any PC you use, whether the PC is at home, work or school.

Of course most people when they want a new USB flash drive they’ll pick one up at the local store or order one from the myriad of on-line stores that sell them.  The only downside of doing this is that most of the stores carry the same style, brand and type of flash drive and most of them are the same rectangular shape – not exciting but they work and the core design around which most are built is a tried and tested shape.

Build Your Own USB Flash Drive

Build Your Own USB Flash Drive

Many crave the opportunity to be different, to push back on the bland uniformity of everyday product design but for many part from putting a “sticker” or two on the drives there’s not much that can be done, or is there?

USB flash drives are pretty simple devices made up of 4 components; the core flash memory module, the flash memory controller chip (the brains of the unit); the PCB with integral USB connector and the “shell” that encases these parts and gives the flash drive its styling and look.

Today it’s possible to buy a USB PCB with the flash memory module and controller chip already on-board. – This effectively give you a functional USB flash drive but without a body shell. But if you buy these then you can design and make your own shell and have a truly unique flash drive that is personal to you.

Some schools are catching on to this idea and buying USB PCB’s and setting their students the task of designing and building a USB flash drive – it’s a great idea and a fantastic way to get the students engaged in product design, manufacture and packaging – who knows, they might even come up with a design to challenge the big, established brands.

USB2U is a supplier of branded USB flash drives but can also supply “build your own USB Flash Drive” kits for schools or colleges – call now for a quote or fill in the on-line


There’s Still Time to Buy Branded USB Memory Sticks For Christmas

Posted by USB2U on 26th November 2010 | Permalink

If you’re still wondering what to send your customers or clients for Christmas then with only 4 weeks to go you’re leaving it late but if you hurry there is still time to order USB memory sticks printed with your company logo on and an appropriate message.

usb xmas, xmas tree usb, usb xmas tree, xmas tree usb decorations, usb flash drive, usb memory stick

Xmas Tree with Hanging USB Memory Sticks

The lead-time for USB memory sticks printed with a logo is around 10 days but ideally you need to allow a few days more because at this time of the year the factories that produce them are incredibly busy as are the carriers that ship the printed sticks from China to the UK. Some suppliers, like USB2U do carry UK stock that can be turned around in 48 hrs but typically this locally held stock will be limited in terms of quantity, memory size, colour and style. Bear in mind if you do order your sticks at the last minute and you’re forced to use locally held stock and if your sticks are printed in the UK then you’ll end up paying a premium for them.

Like most promotional products, USB memory sticks are assembled and printed to order and the most cost effective way of doing this is to get the factories in China to manufacture them one an order has been placed.  This way your local supplier can offer you the widest possible choice of styles and memory size and can even give you lots of additional options like pantone matching the body shell, supplying the sticks with lanyards or keyrings and a range of different packaging options.

A realistic deadline for orders that can be fulfilled from China is the 6th December 2010. This gives enough time for your USB sticks to be manufactured, printed, a sample photo sent to
you for approval, the sticks then manufactured and finally placed in the hands of an international courier like TNT, UPS or DHL to get them to the UK for onward delivery to you. The challenge for your UK supplier is managing and co-ordinating all of the elements involved and ensuring they all run smoothly and ultimately making sure you get your printed USB memory sticks in time for Christmas.

If you miss the deadline of the 6th December you might still be able to send USB memory sticks out for Christmas but your challenge will be finding a local supplier that holds blank stock that can be printed up for you. Whilst there are lots of companies that “supply” USB flash drives very few of them hold stock and are able to print and data-load the sticks – USB2U is one such company so if you are struggling its worth giving them a call.

As a gift idea USB memory sticks printed with your company logo and pre-loaded with a Christmas message from your team are a brilliant idea – USB sticks are incredibly popular, they’re useful, they get lots of re-use so your brand gets lots of exposure, they have a high perceived value and despite all of this they are not that much more expensive that Christmas cards you buy in the high street!

The relatively low cost means you’re not going to run into any trouble from the naysayers about being profligate with your company’s money at a time when the economy is in trouble. Quite the reverse is true – a branded USB memory sticks is more cost effective than a Christmas card because it is far more likely to lead to repeat business, to reinforce your brand and if you use the memory on the USB stick to pre-load sales and marketing information about your company you can turn a “gift” into a genuine sales tool.


Which Are The Cheapest USB Flash Drives I Can Buy

Posted by USB2U on 27th September 2010 | Permalink

If you’re looking for cheap USB flash drives with your logo printed or engraved on then its first worth understanding some basics so that you end up with a great price for your flash drives rather than “cheap and nasty” flash drives that do nothing but harm to your brand and companies reputation.

There are some golden rules when looking for the cheap price for your branded USB flash drives are they are:

  1. Allow enough time for your supplier to produce them at the factories in China. It sound impossible but nearly all USB flash drives are manufactured to order in China and then flown via TNT, UPS or DHL to the UK for onward shipment to our customers. The lead time for this is usually as little as 10-days and this includes getting you a proof to sign off, mixing the plastic/ink to create a body shell that matches your pantone, printing your logo on the drive case, assembling the drive and passing the drives through a rigorous QA process.If you go looking for printed USB drives and you’re working to a very tight deadline then don’t expect the prices to be cheap and be prepared to compromise on the model, style, colour and memory size. The reason for this is that very few companies hold blank stock in the UK and when they do it tends to be limited to one or two models in the most popular memory size. Additionally, any printing incurs UK labour and print charges and this pushes up the price.
  2. Simplify your logo. If your logo has lots of colours in it or has graduated tints then expect to pay a premium to get it reproduced on a USB stick. This is particularly true if you have to get the sticks produced and printed in the UK because the UK printers will charge a set-up and print fee for each colour. If you can accept a single colour print then this will reduce prices for you without any compromise on memory size or quality.
  3. Choose a popular model. If you can work with the Twister or Chic models then you’ll get the best price
    Twister USB Drive

    Twister USB Drive

    because these are the most commonly produced versions of flash drive and as such the factories often have “offers” and “promotions” on them. Expect to pay a premium for anything new, anything leather, metal or a little different like USB credit cards and USB wristbands.

  4. Don’t go overboard on the memory. The most popular versions of USB flash drive in the promotional sector are 1GB. You can get smaller memory sizes but the price differential is relatively small and if you give away flash drives with too little memory they’re unlikely to get used which negates the value of giving them away in the first place.
  5. Abandon boxes and tins – Most USB flash drives come individually wrapped in thin polythene bags or in a plain white or silver gift box for no extra cost. You can buy fancy tins, plastic boxes with magnetic clasps, or branded cardboard boxes but if you’re over-riding requirement is “cheap” then just go with what’s on offer for free.
  6. Get several quotes. As a rule of thumb get at least three quotes from different suppliers making sure when you
    Chic USB Drive

    Chic USB Drive

    do that they have a good reputation and have been around in the industry for some time. A quick check of their web site, their testimonials and companies house or even Google Earth is normally enough. When the quotes come back make sure the prices are for Grade A, New (not recycled), flash chips and all print set-up and origination charges are included. Also make sure you know what the final price is going to be including any delivery costs and when comparing check to make sure whether they all include or exclude VAT!

  7. Question any really cheap prices. If you get a price from one supplier that looks great but is at odds with other prices you’ve been given be careful before you proceed. Incidents of suppliers “masking” drives so you think you are getting 1GM when in fact it’s a 128MB drive made to appear as 1GB are growing. It’s also increasingly common for some unscrupulous manufactures to supply USB memory sticks with re-cycled or Grade B flash chips inside them. Whilst these might work they will have a very high failure rate when in use and their data transfer speed will be slow.

At USB2U we’ve been supplying printed and fully customised USB flash drives since 2002 and we list hundreds of household names amongst our customers. We like to think our customers choose us not just because we offer flash drives at a great price but also because we’re passionate about producing really stunning flash drives for our customers. We never have and never will compromise on the quality of components used in the flash drives we supply. We also carry a significant amount of blank stock in the UK to help our customers out if they need flash drives in a hurry. Of course we’ll always recommend you allow us 10 days to get you a better price from our factory in China but we’ve been around long enough to know this is not always possible.