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  • Writer's pictureThe Promotional Images Family


Recently, a friend that works for a small company reached out for mousepads. They had always just gone online for their promo products, but since I work in the industry, they decided to ask for a quote and see if maybe a distributor would be a good fit. Once they sent the artwork they intended to use, it was easy to see that with a deboss method, the imprint would be too small. We were able to work directly with the vendor to adjust the artwork and ensure they have a legible imprint, but also offered alternative methods, such as a screen print in case they did not want to alter the logo. The pricing was the same as the online site! Had they simply ordered online, they may have received an item that did not have a quality imprint and would ultimately be a waste of money or would not be a great representation of their company when handed out. They could have taken the time to try to return it or get a refund, but ultimately that is more time and effort spent on a small project.

Meet with a promotional products distributor

A well-known phrase in business is “time is money”, which is why you should consider using a distributor for your promotional products. Distributors are the masters of their industry and can help you save a lot of time, and possibly even a lot of money!

Below we have put together the top reasons why you should use a distributor.



You may have the exact item in mind, but aren’t sure exactly where to find it or the best place to purchase from, but your sales rep will! Call or email your account manager and explain what you are looking for and they can spend the time finding the item that you are looking for. If you aren’t sure what you are looking for, a distributor can save you even more time! Let your Account Manager know the budget, theme, or even a faint idea of what you are looking for, and let them send you ideas to help narrow down your search.


A quality distributor will be able to provide you with expert advice on your promotional products needs. This advice might range from: if your artwork will print correctly, to what items will have the biggest impact. Sales reps are continuously increasing their knowledge of top trends, and know the best vendors to use for each item. Having a strong relationship with your account manager can help them suggest items as well. For example, if you have a specific PMS color or brand standard, they can let you know when a new item is launched that will best fit your needs and requirements. They can also offer suggestions if an item you are interested in is out of stock or would not arrive on time.


Distributors are familiar with production lead times, as well as shipping times through various carriers to ensure that your packages arrive on time. Also, large conferences or trade shows may have specific delivery instructions, such as a specific ship date, or how packages must be labeled. This can be especially true during the holiday season when shipping and production times increase! You can save yourself the stress of not knowing when your items will deliver and rely on your distributor to ensure your order will arrive on time.


Ever think of a really cool idea, but wonder if it can really be done - and if so, can it be done well? The answer is most likely, yes! Distributors are in contact with a multitude of vendors that can produce more than your typical promo products, but these vendors are not always accessible directly to clients and ultimately a custom item may end up costing you more or not be what you are looking for if you choose a random online vendor. Also, if you are looking for a creative idea, but aren’t the creative type, reach out and ask for ideas. Thinking of sending a speaker, but want to stand out? Add a QR code that links to a custom Spotify playlist! Want someone to remember your company mascot, have it made into a custom stuffed animal!


It may be easy to skip a distributor when everything is going right, but you will be happy to have them when things go wrong! Ultimately, using a distributor should mean that everything will go smoothly, but things happen. Imagine you place an order for ceramic tumblers and they arrive broken. If you ordered these on your own, your next steps are to file a claim with the shipping carrier or reach out to the site you purchased from and hope that they will help. Meanwhile, you have already spent money on an unusable product. If you use a distributor, they will file all the paperwork necessary for your claim and work on getting a replacement!


While we mentioned that a distributor will save you time and that is ultimately money, they may actually save you money upfront. Many distributors receive price breaks due to ordering large amounts of items, as well as receiving discounts with some retail vendors that they are able to pass along to you. You may also receive discounts on additional fees, such as setups and shipping when using the same distributor for repeat orders. While some items may be cheaper through an online resource, ultimately you won’t receive the same service and may end up with a low-quality item. In the world of promo, it is true that you get what you pay for.


Using a distributor offers many benefits, but it is important to find a distributor and account manager that you can trust and feel comfortable with. Make time to have a conversation with your account manager and be honest about your needs and expectations. Remember that they are the expert in their field, the same way that you are in yours, so be open to their feedback and suggestions.

Finding the right distributor is the key to saving time and money on your promo needs!


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