Where Can You Buy Cheap Branded Memory Sticks

We all understand the need to get the best bang for buck and to stretch budgets as far as they will go and of course everyone wants a bargain but when it comes to buying branded USB memory sticks should you do cheap? Does cheap mean going with the lowest cost provider for the same standard memory stick or does cheap mean going for something that looks like a standard USB memory stick but is in someway “cheap” in all the wrong ways?

How can you be sure when comparing quotes from different suppliers that they are all quoting for exactly the same thing? If you’re not sure of this then you are of course not comparing “apples with apples”. The danger of going with the cheapest price without first qualifying exactly what you are going to get is that you may end up with something that’s of very poor quality and with something that reflects badly on your brand and company.

When you’re shopping around for quotes for branded memory sticks there are some important questions to ask of all the suppliers before you commit yourself to an order and these are:

  1. What flash chipset will be supplied? USB flash drives come in all different memory sizes with 1GB and 2GB being the most popular at the moment. The core flash memory module inside the flash drive should be new and ideally it should come from one of the named manufacturers like Samsung, Toshiba or Hynix. If you are getting a very low price from one supplier check that they are not proposing to supply re-cycled or Grade B flash chips. This is a common way of reducing the cost of a memory stick but be aware that the failure rates on these chipsets are high and they tend to operate very slowly compared to new and branded flash chips.
  2. Masked flash chips – these are difficult to spot until the printed flash drives arrive on your desk. Companies that “mask” flash chips basically make smaller flash chips look as though they are larger so for example a 256MB flash chip might be “masked” to make it look as though it’s a 1GB. The external stickers on the flash drive will suggest it’s a 1GB and the internal labels might also suggest it’s a 1GB but when you try and load more than 256MB of data onto the stick it will fail.
  3. Are they RoHS Certified? All computer and electrical components imported into the EU must comply with the current Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation. Failure to comply can lead to hefty fines. All imported flash memory sticks should be RoHS compliant and your supplier should be able to supply you with Certificates to demonstrate this.
  4. Get a sample – if you’re suspicious of the price you’ve been quoted then ask for a sample and get it in writing that the sample is representative of the memory sticks that will be supplied. It amazing how little differences in the manufacture quality and the component quality can affect the overall look and feel of a product. From photographs products like the popular Twister Memory Stick all look the same but in the hand the differences are surprising with some being much heavier and more robust.
  5. Take references – If time permits then ask for references and call them. At the very least check out the suppliers web site for testimonials and examples of printed memory sticks they’ve supplied before.
  6. Make sure the price is “all inclusive” – when comparing unit prices make sure that the suppliers have included in this all the print set up and origination costs and that any additional costs for data-loading, boxes, lanyards, and UK delivery are clearly set out. It’s amazing how these seemingly little things can add up and make a significant difference to the overall price.

Having done all of the above make sure you speak to someone at the company you’re planning to deal with and then make a final decision based on your gut instinct. Whoever you choose to supply your branded memory sticks needs to work with you during the order process and to support you in the unlikely (hopefully) event of any post sale issues so its important you can trust and work with them – gut instincts are a tremendous asset when making this judgement!

Branded Memory Sticks

Share story