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Ten Is the Magic Number for Professional Photographers

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Like lots of our competitors the minimum order for printed USB memory sticks has always been twenty five (25) but the feedback we were given at The Photography Show in Birmingham was so supportive of our “show offer” that we have now decided to reduce our minimum order quantities. From today all of the discounted USB bundles and packages of our USB2U photography web site have been had their minimum order quantities reduced to ten (10)!!

So, if you’re a professional photographer, wedding photographer or videographer and you’ve been thinking of making the switch from CD’s and DVD’s but you’ve been out off by the level of upfront commitment you needed to make to buy 25 USB sticks and boxes then this is going to be good news.

Starting today you can get yourself ten fully personalised USB sticks and ten personalised USB gift boxes to go with them for around £100! That includes all of the artwork set-up costs, the printing (or engraving), custom inserts for the USB sticks and delivery by Royal Mail Special Delivery.

You can choose from six different bundles including our very popular wooden USB sticks and wooden USB gift boxes or you might opt for our USB cards with the option of a leather wallet or a printed gift box.

Whichever “bundle” you choose you’ll be getting upgraded (high performance) USB sticks that we assemble specifically for professional photographers – these ensure a higher read/write speed, more read/ write cycles (a longer life) and they all come with a ten year warranty. We print/engrave all of our sticks in the UK so the lead time for any order is normally just a few days (depending on how busy we are).

The feedback from photographers to our range of bundles has been amazing:

A perfect job with perfect service

Having used simple DVDs to provide clients with high res files in the past I had it in the back of my mind that I should present them with something a little more refined. I’ve found that in USB2U, the customised memory sticks I’ve just received have blown me away and the feedback from clients just from posting an image of the sticks to facebook has been amazing. Don’t hesitate order some today! (Russell Lewis Photography)

A very efficient service from start to finish and great communications every step of the way.

I found USB2U very easy to deal with and they provided clear instructions and guidance where necessary – I had seen their website a year or so ago, but since the introduction of their ‘professional photographers’ section on their website, it has greatly improved my ability to present digital images to my clients and brings image and video presentation up to date. With quality in mind, the processing chips are uprated to make sure that my professional products are made to last. (Taylors Photographic)

Innovative stylish products, great quality with fast efficient and friendly service.

Had the chance to view the woodland style USB drives in wooden boxes at USB2U Stand at the Photography Show. Had been looking for a stylish way to present digital images to clients and this product is in a class of its own.  The little touches like the small magnets, to hold on the cap & sliding lid for the box, give that touch of class to what is a very elegant product. The team at USB2U where friendly, helpful and professional enabling the artwork processes to be achieved in a few hours and delivery was on time and as promised. A great experience all round (Andy Meany Photography )

USB2U Memory Sticks and Boxes for Taylors Photographic

USB2U Memory Sticks and Boxes for Taylors Photographic

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Ten Is the Magic Number for Professional Photographers

Promotional USB Sticks – Free Lanyards

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

If you’re looking to buy some promotional USB memory sticks during February and March 2014 then it’s definitely worth checking out the options available from USB2U.

Not only do they offer a huge range of USB sticks but they also have a wide range of gift boxes, lanyards, key-rings and engraved ‘dog tags” that can be used individually or together to make a fantastic promotional package. For a limited time the lanyards are free with any order of 100 or more USB Sticks (just quote FreeLanyards).

In addition to free lanyards you can also get up to 300MB of data pre-loaded onto your USB sticks at no extra cost – the only proviso is that you’re not ordering your USB sticks on their Express or Super Express service (24hrs – 72hr delivery service).

There are lots of different colours of lanyard to choose from and with around 100,000 in stock in the UK there are plenty to go around! If its something that might be of interest to you then speak to one of the sales team and get a quote that includes the free lanyards (and free data loads)!

Irrespective of which colour you choose all of our USB lanyards come with a quick release mechanism that allows you to remove the USB stick from the lanyard without having to struggle to get the whole thing over your head! A small number of the USB sticks they sell don’t have an option to connect a lanyard

USB with Lanyards

USB with Lanyards

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Promotional USB Sticks – Free Lanyards

PostScript to the 5k USB Stick Scam

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Last week we posted an article about a company that approached us in a panic because the 5,000 USB sticks they had purchased direct from a “factory” in China were not working on any of their PC’s or Mac’s. They were dumbfounded because they thought they had done everything they could to make sure the factory they were dealing with was legitimate and that the USB sticks they’d ordered would be up to the job.

Not only had they taken the precaution of buying from a “Gold” supplier on a reputable Chinese supplier brokerage web site but they’d also insisted on being sent a sample of the USB sticks for testing before they committed to the final order of 5,000 and importantly before they agreed to pay for them!

The dialogue with the factory was good and the shipment of the sample was arranged promptly. The independent tests on the sample undertaken in the UK suggested everything was in order so they pushed ahead with the order for 5k USB memory sticks. Payment was wired to the suppliers’ bank account in China and three weeks later the USB sticks arrived – then the fun began!

When inserted into any PC a quick check of the “properties” of the USB sticks suggested they had 512MB of memory (the size they had ordered) but when they tried to use the memory and load content onto the USB sticks alarms bells started to ring – it looked like data was being transferred onto the USB stick but when it was taken out and re-inserted it had nothing on it! The same scenario was repeated with multiple samples from the 5k batch and irrespective of whether they used a PC or Mac and irrespective of how large the data was they tried to copy onto the stick nothing was on them when they were re-inserted!

All attempts to contact the supplier in China were met with silence. Panic set in.

Having been sent a couple of the samples our initial suspicion was that the USB sticks had no memory in them at all but having sent the samples to our factory in China they have discovered that the USB sticks do have a very, very tiny memory module and that this has been “masked” to look like a 512MB stick! The small memory module inside the sticks is normally used on “web keys” – its just large enough to carry a website URL and nothing else.

The “masking” of this memory to make it look like it has 512MB of storage is pre-meditated fraud. The supplier knew exactly what they were doing and they knew the 5,000 sticks they supplied were nothing like the original sample. The buyer had been duped and was now thousands of pounds out of pocket and without the USB sticks they so desperately needed for their event.

The simple moral of this story is that whilst it’s tempting to save a few pounds by buying direct from a factory in China it’s also incredibly risky and you’ll have no safety net or recourse – if it all goes wrong as it has in this scenario then don’t expect to recover your money or get replacement USB sticks.

At USB2U we’ve been supplying promotional USB memory sticks for the last 12 years and we don’t let our customers down.

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

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PostScript to the 5k USB Stick Scam

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Personalised USB Flash Drive

Monday, January 27th, 2014

We’re only just over two weeks away from Valentine’s Day and for the old romantics amongst us it’s a time to express how we feel about the most import person in our lives. It’s also big business with spending on Valentine’s Day expected to top £1 billion this year!

This report by the Daily Telegraph last year predicted spending at £978 million so £1 billion a year on (and with the economy and feel good factor on the rise) is going to be easily achieved. Unsurprisingly the most popular gifts are flowers, chocolate and perfumes with men spending almost twice the amount of women (in terms of overall spend)!

What’s less well reported is that companies use this time of the year to engage in business marking using Valentine’s Day as a clever “excuse” to say how much they value and love their customers. Expect to see a mini explosion of Valentine’s Day competitions, website with a red theme, Valentines discounts and offers and marketing copy and adverts that seamlessly tie in with the whole Valentine’s Day vibe that’s about to hit us (whether we want it or not).

Not one to miss out on an opportunity we thought we better let our customers know that we can also offer a range of Valentine’s Day themed USB memory sticks. Unfortunately we don’t have any USB hearts in stock but we do have 24 other types of USB sticks that we can print or engrave with a heart and/or other appropriate message. We can also load your messages of thanks, appreciation and love of your customers onto the USB sticks for you. Better still we can pop them into some lovely printed gift boxes for you and wrap them all up with a pink ribbon!

Here’s a quick example of a heart printed onto one of our circle shaped USB Cards:

Valentine's Day USB Hearts

Valentine's Day USB Hearts

If you are interested in USB Cards for a Valentines themed marketing campaign then ideally don’t do the “bloke” thing and leave it till the last minute. Whilst we can turn orders around in just 24hrs we’re already very busy with Chinese New Year so a little extra time to get things “just perfect” for you would be appreciated.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Personalised USB Flash Drive

Data Loading on USB Flash Drives – An Evil Necessity

Friday, January 17th, 2014

One of the primary reasons that so many companies are using promotional USB flash drives is because they are looking for a simple, easy and convenient way to distribute lots of information to their customers (or prospective customers). Whether it’s information on new products, pricing, seminar or conference notes, video presentations or any mix of these then USB drives that are pre-loaded with the data are a great solution.

CD’s and DVD’s used to be the preferred option but so few laptops and desktop PC’s now ship with a CD/DVD player that it’s a risk relying on people being able to use these. Arguably with the shift toward tablets (most of which don’t have USB ports) the same issues apply to USB sticks but most people still have a PC or laptop at home or work and all of these will have a USB port.

The other benefit of handing out a USB drives with your data pre-loaded onto them is that flash drives have a high perceived value (much higher than a CD or DVD) and as such people like being given them and that in turns help them to build a bond with any brand printed onto the drive. If you hand out flash drives with spare capacity on (and this is typically always the case) then you’re giving something away that has on-going use after your data has been read. This in turn means your flash drives (with your brand printed on them) will get repeat usage and your brand will get repeat exposure.

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

The real headache is how you get the data onto the USB flash drives before you hand them out! Often files, video and presentation notes are not ready to load until right at the very last minute and if this means you have to load the data yourself then in could take hours and in some cases days! Transferring 1GB of data from your PC could take 10+ minutes per drive – multiply this by say 500 and you can see the challenge!

By far the best way is to get your promotional USB flash drive supplier to data-load them for you. Typically they will have industrial data loading machines that will bulk transfer the files to multiple drives (each machine usually has a “master slot” and can copy the data to up to 20 USB drives in the same time that you could copy one!).

Most suppliers offer this service free of charge for up to 200MB of data but the charges for larger data loads are only pennies – it’ll be the best money you ever spend. No one in their right minds would voluntarily opt to data load their own USB sticks one at a time on their PC.

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Data Loading on USB Flash Drives – An Evil Necessity

Cheap Printed USB Memory Sticks – But Only if You Move Quickly

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

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

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:

  1. Flash memory prices are at an all-time low
  2. 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
  3. 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!

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Cheap Printed USB Memory Sticks – But Only if You Move Quickly

Could You Pay for Your World Challenge Trip by Selling USB Memory Sticks

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

It’s that time of the year when lots of schools are beginning to think about their World Challenge Trips for next year and in some cases, because the amount of fundraising required, the year beyond.

Although some of these expeditions can cost £3,000 or more per student demand is usually pretty strong and often there is a clamour for the limited spaces on offer. It’s perhaps no surprise really when you consider that you might find yourself trekking in Bolivia or working with one of the local schools in Sri Lanka. Whatever and wherever the expedition is you can be pretty sure that it will challenge you physically; that it will help you to develop a whole range of personal skills and that you’ll build new friendships that will last a lifetime.

In some respects the biggest challenge of signing up for any of the World Challenge expeditions is raising the money to pay for the trip. The expectation (unless you’ve got wealthy parents) is that any participant will raise about 80% of the cost of the trip themselves from a number of fundraising activities – that’s typically about £2,800 so it’s no mean feat!

So, if you’ve been fortunate to get a place on one of the expeditions but now you’re worried about how you raise the money the first thing to say is “Don’t panic”. There are lots of forums on the web that will help with ideas and there are plenty of Facebook groups that will offer advice and support. Often it will mean working as a “group” and getting yourself organised – common fund raising activities include things like Bag packing, Sponsored bike rides, Skydiving, Quiz nights and so on.

Something a little different that you might like to consider is selling branded USB memory sticks – versions of USB sticks that have been printed with your school logo on and/or possibly details of the Challenge trip.

USB memory sticks are really popular at the moment because they’re easy to use; they’re small and handy to carry around. At school or university they are an absolute necessity to take work between school and home so pretty much every student needs one. They’re not expensive to buy and they can be sold at a reasonable profit to the other students. There are also loads of great designs to choose from including some really neat “snap” wristband USB sticks.

World Challenge Fund Raising With USB Wristbands

World Challenge Fund Raising With USB Wristbands

There are lots of opportunities to sell USB memory sticks printed with a brand or logo including selling them to your friends, your fellow students and your teachers, lecturers and family! If your school holds sports days, award ceremonies, stages plays or has musical performances then you could record these and load the video footage and/or photographs onto the USB sticks and sell them to pupils and parents.

Ideally you need to find supplier (like USB2U) that is sympathetic to your fundraising requirements and will offer them to you at a discount and will ideally offer you 30-day payment terms meaning you won’t have to pay upfront for them. You may need to ask you school to place the order on your behalf to secure the payment terms but if you can do this then you’ve got around a month to sell some before you have to pay for them.

If you think selling printed or engraved USB memory sticks might be a good way to raise money for your expedition then get in touch with USB2U – it’s free to call on their 0800 number!

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Could You Pay for Your World Challenge Trip by Selling USB Memory Sticks

Wedding tech – USB Sticks Lead the Way

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The BBC today posted a thought provoking story which examined the ways in which technology is gradually changing some aspects of the traditional wedding. Some of more extreme examples are:

Augmented Reality Wedding Invitations – These are printed invitations that play a video message from the happy couple when invitation is scanned by a

Image Courtesy of BBC

Image Courtesy of BBC

smart phone or tablet. It’s a technology that’s been around for a couple of years now and it finally looks as though it’s gaining some traction.

Wedding Dresses that automatically display well wishes sent by Twitter on subtle LED’s threaded into the fabric of the dress.

Robot ring bearers – cute little robots dressed in a tuxedo and bowtie that can be hired for the wedding ceremony!

What the article failed to mention is that USB memory sticks are already changing the way in which guests are invited to weddings, the way in which they are encouraged to participate in wedding and the way in which video footage and photographs from the day are stored and distributed.

At USB2U we’ve supplied  tens of thousands of printed and engraved USB memory sticks to professional wedding photographers who now regularly use them in preference to CD’s and DVD’s. We also supplied personalised USB sticks to the bride and groom to hand out as wedding favours but a recent request took the use of USB sticks to another level:

The USB Wedding:

The Invitations to the wedding of Ben and his bride to be were sent out on a USB stick engraved with their names, the date of the wedding and an image of the wedding venue. The sticks were sent out to the invitees in a beautifully printed box (with colours that matched the theme of the day) and the USB sticks themselves were pre-loaded with the wedding invitation, a video montage showing cute photographs of the bride and groom and children and through their courtship.

Nothing too unusual about this but where it really started to get interesting is when Ben said the instructions sent with the USB sticks asked the guests to load onto them their own photos and videos from the day. They were then to send them to Ben after the wedding – he in turn was then going to edit everything he was sent and create a short film of the day that included images captured not just by the professional videographer and photographer but by the guests themselves!

The final “edit” would be returned to the guests on the USB sticks as a keep-sake from the day! What a great idea.

USB stick might not be in the same league as Augmented Reality and Robots but they do illustrate that much against the view of traditionalists that technology is already a feature in a growing number of weddings.

USB Memory Sticks for Weddings

USB Memory Sticks for Weddings

 

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Wedding tech – USB Sticks Lead the Way

Cheap Branded USB Memory Sticks – 7 Day Flash Offer

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

We’re days away from the end of our Financial Year at USB2U so we’re looking to end the year on a high. This is your opportunity to grab yourself a bargain because we’ve got some cracking offers to tempt you. We have thousands of USB memory sticks in stock ready to be printed or engraved and delivered within 5 days that have had their prices slashed.

So when we say “cheap” we’re not talking “cheap and nasty” – these are genuine offers and discounts on some of our top quality USB memory sticks. Not everything is included and the offers will either lapse at the end of October or when the stock has gone (whichever is the sooner). So, if you’re interested you need to move quickly because the stock will be sold on a “first come first served basis.”

Included in the offer are our stunning engraved metal USB sliders, our cute little triangle USB cards, some of our leather USB drives, our wooden USB twisters and our high performance USB Databars. All of these have had their prices slashed by up to 50% of their normal price and the discounts apply to all orders of 25 sticks or more. Email us for prices or fill in the quote request form on our website or better still pick up the phone and call us on our Freephone number and speak to one of our account managers.

Engraved Metal Slider USB Memory Sticks

Engraved Metal Slider USB Memory Sticks

If you want to see what any of these sticks will look like with your logo printed (or engraved) on them then just email us through your logo or artwork and our in-house design team will work up a range of mock-ups for you.

The lead-time on all of the branded USB memory sticks included in our end of year sale is just 5 days from proof approval. So order them on a Monday for and we’ll aim to get them to you by close of business on Friday.

Branded-USB-Data-Bar-Offer

Branded-USB-Data-Bar-Offer

If you need to pre-load data files onto the sticks then we can do this for you as well – it’s all part of the service.

Finally, don’t forget to take a look at our extensive range of packaging options – we’ve got some stunning gift boxes and presentation tins that we can print and/or engrave. These, like the USB sticks are held in stock in the UK and can be branded and delivered with your order.

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Cheap Branded USB Memory Sticks – 7 Day Flash Offer

It’s our Birthday and we’ve come along way in 11 years

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

USB2U started out in October 2002. We’ve just celebrated our 11th birthday and we’re fast approaching adolescence and the tricky teenage years! It’s been an interesting journey so far and our little company has come a long way during the last 11 years.

Back in 2002 we ran the business from a garage, we had a limited range of products, we had a dial-up Internet connection and a very basic website. Orders were taken over the web or phone and then re-keyed into a simple accounting package from which we generated invoices and picking and packing notes. Every order was individually weighed and postage stamps of the correct value were put onto each package before being taken “on the school run” to the local village post office!

Most of our business was the sale of first generation USB memory sticks (USB 1.0) with an average storage capacity of 16MB to 64MB. In those early days USB memory sticks were a niche product favoured by the tech savvy. Remember (if you can) that back in 2002 most people were still backing up their files onto 3.5” floppy disk drives or CD’s. By comparison USB sticks were “exotic” and expensive.

A standard 32MB USB stick would retail for around £15, a larger capacity 256MB stick would sell for nearer £40-£50 – significantly more than a floppy disk but much easier to use and much easier to carry around.

Despite the higher price tag sales of USB memory sticks took off and pretty soon we moved to a small business unit in Daventry and we hired our first staff. Sales of USB memory sticks continued to grow spurred on by increases in storage capacity, falling prices and the introduction of USB 2.0.

By 2004 we were getting requests to supply USB memory stick printed with a logo printed on them, not many, but some schools and businesses had recognised the benefits of handing out branded USB sticks and were willing to pay a premium for something that was still not in the mainstream. By way of illustration a quote we gave to a company in October 2004 for 500 x 64MB USB sticks printed with a simple logo on a basic stick was £10.55 + VAT each!

Lead times were also more challenging back in 2004 with the average time from order to delivery at around 3 weeks!

USB2U New Offices

USB2U New Offices

Despite the costs and the relatively long lead times the sale of promotional and branded USB sticks continued to flourish and in 2007 we moved into a new 4,000 Sq ft warehouse/office unit in Northampton where we still run the business from today.

In the last 5 years we have invested heavily in our own in-house design, print, engraving and data-loading capabilities giving us the capability to print, engrave and data load up to 5,000 USB stick per day.

We’ve coupled this with a significant investment in SalesForce (the Worlds leading CRM system) Docusign (the market leaders in e-signature) to allow our customer to e-sign their orders quickly and simply from any PC, Smart Phone or Tablet and we use Lead Forensics to track visitors to our website.

Our team has grown to over 20 people and we’re currently advertising for more sales and support staff, which will increase our headcount to 25.

We now supply thousands of customers with millions of printed and engraved USB sticks and gift boxes every year. We are recognised as one of the leading suppliers of top quality promotional USB memory sticks in Europe and with a strong focus on quality and customer service we’re delighted to have had reviews from over 1,000 customers on Trustpilot (an independent 3rd party review website) who collectively have given us a 5* Excellent rating

Today a typical USB stick used for promotional purposes has around 2GB to 4GB of storage, costs £3-£4 per stick and can be supplied fully personalized and data-loaded in as little as 24hrs! A far cry from where we were in 2002. The futures going to be interesting!

Promotional USB Memory Sticks From USB2U

Promotional USB Memory Sticks From USB2U

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It’s our Birthday and we’ve come along way in 11 years
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