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Where Can You Get Printed or Engraved Flash Drives Delivered in 24hrs

Posted by USB2U on 19th November 2014 | Permalink

Pfft – we spit in the eye of delivery promises of 6 days. If you need your flash drives printed, data-loaded and delivered quickly then quickly is what we do! We don’t mess around talking days we prefer to talk in terms of hours. So, if you find yourself (for whatever reason) of needing some last minute promotional drives then firstly don’t panic and secondly pick up the phone and call us (or submit a quick quote enquiry via our web site and we’ll get back to you in 15 mins or less).

We’re based in Northampton in the UK. We hold tens of thousands of different USB sticks in stock in a wide range of styles and memory capacities and we print or engrave IN-HOUSE. No outsourcing to a local printer, no restricting you to one type of product and limited memory size options – we always have stock and we control the process from start to finish using our own team and as a consequence we can (and frequently do) take orders in the afternoon for delivery the next day across the UK, Europe and the USA. Don’t believe us then check out the reviews from thousands of happy customers on Trustpilot (many of whom will make reference to how blown away they were with the speed at which we delivered their order). Here are just a few examples from the last few days:

Beyond the ordinary!

We needed some premium usb sticks in presentation boxes for an event. The production team were even able to make up x100 usb sticks and boxes within 5 hours! To meet our tight deadline – which is beyond what is advertised on their website. I am very grateful and they look superb.

Great service and very speedy turnaround

Very impressed with the service from USB2U. Within 24 hours we had our USBs – they look great, the process was very easy, and everyone we dealt with was extremely happy. We’ll definitely buy from them again.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy !

The ordering process was very simple and the attention to detail excellent. It was an urgent requirement and the sticks arrived promptly.

So, if you have been challenged to find someone who you can trust to deliver a last minute requirement for USB memory sticks with your logo printed on them and with your data files pre-loaded onto them then please do get in touch. It doesn’t matter if your based in the UK, the USA or Timbuktu providing UPS deliver there on a next day service and providing you get in touch reasonably early in the day (ideally before 2pm) then we can normally help.

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

USB2U – Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

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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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Data Loading onto USB Sticks – Boring, Boring, Boring!

Posted by USB2U on 12th November 2014 | Permalink

Someone has to do it but whoever gets the short straw is not going to be happy because there can be fewer more tedious and mind numbingly dull things in life than copying data onto hundreds of promotional USB memory sticks one at a time. Life’s just too short to be wasting it doing this.

Unfortunately if you’re buying USB sticks to giveaway then loading data onto them is just one of the things that has to be done. Given the core product is designed to store and carry data it’s a wasted opportunity if you don’t use the storage available to you to put something onto the sticks before you hand them out. With most promotional USB sticks now being 2GB, 4GB or 8GB there is after all loads of data storage space to play with!

USB Data Loading Machines

USB Data Loading Machines

Obvious candidates to load onto the flash drives are sales brochures, web links, product sheets, press releases, conference notes/slides, and videos. But, remember the more you load onto them the longer it’s going to take to sit and load each one!

Because putting data files onto any flash drive you hand out is a “no brainer” the simple solution is to get the company that supplies you with the USB sticks to load the data onto them for you before they are delivered. Most suppliers will pre-load up to several hundred megabytes of data free of charge – just check before you confirm your order.

If you’re expecting your supplier to do the data-loading for you then you will need to get organised and have your data ready. Don’t expect to be able to just drop the data on them the day before delivery is due because it’s unlikely to get done! Most suppliers will want the data with the order.

Companies that offer a data-loading service will usually use commercial and automatic USB data duplication equipment that costs thousands of pounds. Whilst expensive this kit not only allows them to load the USB stick quickly but they will be able to validate every stick to make sure its ok and they’ll be able to check the data loaded onto them has copied over correctly. These professional data-loading systems are rack mounted, they manage tens or hundreds of USB sticks at a time and the systems can be expanded to meet demand.

At USB2U we have invested in a number of professional data-loading machines which gives us the capacity to load thousands of USB sticks every day. It’s still a tedious job for someone to run these machines but it’s nowhere near as bad as having to load them one at a time on a PC!

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Charitable Fund Raising with USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 10th November 2014 | Permalink

If you’ve been co-opted onto your local fund raising committee and you’ve now been tasked to come up with ideas to raise funds for your local school, orchestra, drama group, playgroup or junior football team then the first of many challenges you’ll face is to generate lots of new ideas to ensure the money continues to flow in!

It’s never easy and with so many national causes understandably grabbing the headlines doing something that encourage support for your local charity is getting harder and harder. We’ve always been a nation of charitable “givers” but during times when we’re all feeling the pinch there is only so much money to go around.

In terms of ideas there plenty of “old favourites” to fall back on like quiz nights, car boot sales, hog-roasts, jumble sales, coffee mornings, sponsored events and scavenger hunts. But, most well established fund raising groups are likely to have tried these already and interest in running them again might meet with some resistance.

Creating your own fundraising blog or Facebook page dedicated to the cause will often help build and maintain interest in your charity – it’s a great way to keep people engaged and to keep them up to speed with how the fundraising is getting along. New charity oriented sites like JustGiving.com also create another well tried and trusted option and these have the added benefit of allowing people to donate on-line.

Fundraising Using USB Memory Sticks

Fundraising Using USB Memory Sticks

An idea for pushing the fundraising along and one that dovetails nicely into any Social Media activities you might have planned is to sell printed USB memory sticks.

As a concept it’s simple:

  • The USB memory sticks are printed or engraved with details of the fundraising challenge – this could include a logo, a date, a Just Giving website address or a phone number etc.
  • Pre-load the USB sticks with as much information as you can gather about the cause you’re raising money for. Ideally this should include background articles, video clips, details of what the money will be spent on, profiles of the people or teams involved and don’t forget to include links to any Blog or Facebook pages.
  • The finished printed USB memory sticks are then sold for a profit by whatever means is possible.

There are lot of suppliers of printed USB memory sticks in the UK and with lots of competition in the market you’ll be surprised at how cheap they are to buy. Typically you’ll need to order at least 100 to get a good discounted price but if you can you’ll find there is plenty of scope to sell them for a profit. Just one idea to add to your list of “ideas” under consideration.

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Cheap USB Memory Sticks for Schools and Universities

Posted by USB2U on 14th October 2014 | Permalink

If you’re looking for some USB memory sticks printed or engraved with your logo on and you need them at a really good price then you’ve come to the right place. We’re running some exclusive deals for schools and universities that will blow your socks off!

Let’s be clear, at USB2U when we talk about cheap we mean fantastic value and not “cheap and nasty”, poor quality, poor performing USB memory sticks – we wouldn’t jeopardise our brand or your schools reputation by supply you with inferior products just to secure a sale. No, we’re talking about fantastically discounted offers that are only available to Schools & Universities in the UK so if you qualify and you are looking for some USB sticks do get in touch.

The reason we run these promotions is because we know that school and local education authority budgets are under renewed pressure and we want to help you get the “best bang for buck” when procuring USB memory sticks.

We supply tens of thousands of USB sticks every month and we’ve been supplying them for over 10 years so your order will be in safe hands with us! Just let us know what you need (numbers, memory size, type of flash drive) and send us your logo and we’ll not only get back to you with some cracking prices but we’ll also work up some mock-ups of memory sticks for you to consider.

With USB2U there are no hidden extras, no nasty incidental costs that are tucked away in the small print and there is certainly no compromise on the quality of products. We’ll give you our best price in a simple, uncomplicated proposal with examples of what you flash drives will look like and remember that we only ever supply branded memory sticks with Grade A flash memory chips modules and we certainly never supply re-cycled or “re-graded” flash modules.

All of our school and university customers are guaranteed immediate 30 day terms and all we need from you to get the process started a school or university Purchase Order or an email confirming your order. That’s it. Simple isn’t it.

If we have got your interest just give us a call or fill out our on-line enquiry form and one of our team will get in touch with you.

Don’t forget if you need your printed USB sticks in a hurry that we carry thousands in stock in the UK which we can print and deliver in as little as 24hrs!

University USB Sticks

University USB Sticks

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New Reversible USB Design Finished

Posted by USB2U on 19th August 2014 | Permalink

The standards group that have been developing the next generation of the USB cable and connector have finally finished their work and have now passed the exact specifications to the USB Implementers Forum.

Expect a smaller USB port with that will support cables and peripherals that can plugged in any way around! There are also significant improvements in the data transfer speeds that can be supported – 10 Gigabits per second which is twice the current maximum supported by USB 3.0.

The next stage is the manufacture of products, cables and peripherals to take advantage of the new specification. Dubbed “USB Type-C” the new connector is not dissimilar to Apple’s Lightning cable/connector.

USB Type C Cable and Connector - Courtesy of Foxconn

USB Type C Cable and Connector – Courtesy of Foxconn

Whilst USB Type-C has many benefits it is not compatible with the current USB standard so it’s going to take a while before it gains any critical mass and of course users will have to upgrade all of their peripherals to take advantage of the benefits on offer.

The move from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 has been slow so it’s going to be interesting to see how quickly the market adopts this new standard. Its adoption is likely to be helped if it’s picked up and marketed by the makers of Android Smart Phones – it’s unlikely it will get any help from Apple who are likely to prefer their own Lightning standard.

USB flash drives that take advantage of the Type-C connector are likely to emerge later this year albeit we may just see first generation prototypes in 2014. Of course without PC’s, laptops, tablets and smartphones to plug them into it’s going to take a while!

Inevitably USB flash drives that take advantage of this new specification will be expensive so they’re unlikely to be used as promotional items and give-aways (unless you’re a company with deep marketing budgets and you’re targeting classic early adopters!). They’re also likely to have much larger data storage capabilities that the typical 8GB or 16GB USB sticks you see today – after all there is little point in putting all that power and speed into a USB stick and then equipping it with 8GB of memory that you could fill in seconds. It’d be a bit like designing a Ferrari with a 1 litre petrol tank – it’ll look fantastic, sound fantastic and drive amazingly well but it would only go 100 metres before you’d need to fill it up with petrol again!

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Branded USB Sticks from USB2U are Gilt-Edged Promotional Products

Posted by USB2U on 6th August 2014 | Permalink

Promotional products have been with us for over 200 years albeit the first “gift” was just a button that was handed out to encourage voters in the USA to elect George Washington to office! In the subsequent two centuries things have gotten a little bit more sophisticated but in the UK it was only in the 1950’s that things really started to take off and companies began to harness the power of promotional gifts.

Today tens of thousands of companies give away promotional gifts with a value that runs into the hundreds of millions of pounds every year! They give them away to promote what they do, what they sell or just to help build their brand and develop customer recognition and loyalty. Promotional products are typically printed, engraved or embossed with the company’s name, logo or marketing strap line.

They’re commonly used as a “give-away” at trade shows, exhibitions, sporting events, conferences and as part of marketing campaigns where recipients might for example be asked to sign up to receive email offers from the company offering the gift.

In 2012 the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) commissioned a piece of research on behalf of its members to establish what the most popular promotional product was. The results from 1,000 respondents not only showed that promotional gifts had an incredibly positive effect and were, more than any other form of medium, likely to engender brand loyalty and encourage buying behaviour.

They also showed that the most popular product to give is a USB memory stick closely followed by the more humble mug!

Gilt Edged Promototional Products from USB2U

Gilt Edged Promototional Products from USB2U

So, if you are looking for a “gilt-edged” promotional product (something defined as high grade, top quality and with very low risk) then you won’t go far wrong with a promotional USB memory stick! There are lots of different styles and models to choose from and with prices (in volume) starting from well below £2.00 per unit they’re not going to break the bank either.

Unlike other give-aways they can also be used to hand out loads of information about products and services. Simply pre-load the USB sticks with files, video clips, photos, price lists etc. before they are handed out! These days you don’t even have to worry about the grunt work of loading the data onto each USB stick – just hand the data files to your supplier and they’ll do the rest for you and usually they won’t charge for this value added service either!

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UDP Flash Has Driven USB Memory Stick Innovation

Posted by USB2U on 10th July 2014 | Permalink

When the first USB flash drives hit the market just over 10+ years ago they were all based on one core technological solution and that was the combination of flash memory with a controller chip and a capacitor – these components were soldered onto a printed circuit board and a USB connector provided the interface to the PC. The result was a small(ish), portable and easy to use data storage device – the USB memory stick was born!

The “guts” of the memory stick (the printed circuit board, memory module, capacitor, controller and USB connector) are generally referred to in the industry as a COB solution – think of it as a common engine around which manufacturers build different designs/shells.

In subsequent years the storage capacity of these first generation USB sticks grew from a relatively small 8MB to eventually break through the 1GB barrier. Today memory sticks with a storage capacity of 64GB are common place!

The big shake up in terms of design came with the introduction of the UDP chips – in common with other sectors in the computer and gadget sector what was once achieved on a large COB card could now be achieved on a much smaller form factor. Effectively a UDP chip has the flash memory, the controller and the capacitor all rolled into one and as you can see it’s much smaller.

USB Memory Sticks  - COB vs UDP

USB Memory Sticks - COB vs UDP

As a consequence the USB memory stick product designers have had a field day! No longer did their designs have to work with a largish rectangular internal component but instead they could now unleash their creative talents and come up with all sorts of shapes, designs and styles.

Today the market is awash with thousands of different designs ranging from super thin credit cards to tiny little Iron Sticks and lots of really cute custom USB sticks. UDP chips are a boon to designers of Custom USB sticks because pretty much any shape can now be accommodated hence the proliferation of custom USB lips, USB animals, USB truck and cars and USB sticks in the shape of characters from movies.

USB Cards Using UDP Chips

USB Cards Using UDP Chips

There is no difference in the performance of USB memory sticks that use UDP technology. Their read/writes speeds are just as fast and they’ll support the same number of read/write cycles. Arguably they are more stable because there are no soldered connections to break or weaken over time.

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Buyer Beware – Promotional USB Memory Stick Scams are Rife

Posted by USB2U on 26th June 2014 | Permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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What Artwork is needed to Print USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 25th June 2014 | Permalink

When you set out to buy promotional USB flash drives there are some basic things you’re going to need to ensure you get exactly what you want. At the most basic level you’ll need to have a reasonable idea of how many USB sticks you need or can stretch to (you’ll find the more you buy the cheaper the unit price will be) and you’ll need to know what memory size you need – these two elements are the key drivers behind the unit price you’ll pay.

Choosing the right amount of memory is less easy than knowing how many USB Sticks to buy. It’s easy to just go for the smallest memory option (typically

Vector Artwork

Vector Artwork

128MB) but bear in mind if you do this that the promotional USB sticks won’t be of that much value to the recipient because they won’t have much room to store their own data on. Less storage space = less perceived value = less actual usage = less brand exposure. Our advice is to go for a 4GB or 8GB USB stick – this is normally large enough to store any of your own files one before you hand them out and gives the recipient tons of spare space to use for their own files.

Surprisingly the level of detail in the print or the number of colours printed is not really a major cost driver. A few years ago you might have had to pay a set-up fee per colour and a fee to print each colour but these days there are only pennies between a single colour print and a full colour print.

The real issue when it comes to printing (and therefore to a certain extent cost) is the quality of the artwork supplied to print from. Contrary to popular belief it is really possible to produce good quality printed USB memory sticks from a JPEG file (this is the sort of image you usually see used on Web Sites) because they are typically low resolution files. They might look ok to the eye but if you try and print from them you’ll typically get poor and often blurred results. A really good high quality JPEG might be OK but it’s worth getting it checked first rather than being disappointed with the printed results.

By far the best thing to do is to supply good quality Vector Artwork files – Vector file types are .eps, .ai, .pdf and .swf. You CANNOT re-save a JPEG into these formats and magically get a Vector file you have to set up the artwork files as a Vector Graphic and then save them in these formats. If you’re not sure ask you design team or external designer to supply you with Vector Artwork. Full details of how to send your artwork files and the formats we can work with are detailed here.

Please also don’t (as one school did) just scan the badge on the front of their school blazers and ask us to print from that – the computer programming adage of “garbage in, garbage out” will apply!

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