Dollar Daze

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It’s easy to be pulled in by the glitz and glamour of high-end, custom promotional items. We all want the newest, shiniest, most advanced versions of our favorite products—but sometimes our eyes are bigger than our budgets. Fortunately, the industry offers plenty of high-quality options at lower price points that still leave lasting impressions with end users.

Bob Herzog, president and COO of Bullet Line in Hialeah, Florida (UPIC: BULLET), says his company—one in a family of firms led by Polyconcept North America and a member of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA)—takes several steps to ensure lower-cost items from Bullet reflect the supplier’s commitment to quality and safety.

“We have the same high-quality standards for our lowest-priced product as we do for our highest-priced product,” says Herzog. “When we do our testing and QC inspections, the price of the product is irrelevant.”

Kim Collins, director of marketing for supplier Crown Products (UPIC: CROWNPRO) in Mobile, Alabama, agrees. “When we establish pricing on an item, it doesn’t matter if it is 99 cents or $29.99—our criteria is [designed] to bring in all items to be safe and of high quality, and to pass on the best value to our customer,” she says. Crown, also a member of QCA, inspects its products before they ship from an overseas factory and again when they arrive stateside.

To determine which products Bullet will sell at lower prices, Herzog says the supplier deploys its team in China to search for new, lower-priced manufacturers. “If we find a lower-cost manufacturer in China, we will either shift our business to that manufacturer or negotiate a lower price from our current manufacturer,” he says. “Obtaining a lower price gives us the opportunity to lower the selling price to distributors.”

Additionally, Herzog says, the supplier seeks ways to decrease decorating expenses. “We are always working to improve our decorating process as well as purchasing newer automated equipment. When we reduce our decorating cost, it also gives us the opportunity to reduce the selling price to the distributor.”

When selecting budget-minded products, Herzog says, distributors should have frank conversations with their suppliers about product safety. “The first question any distributor should ask a supplier is whether they are QCA-certified. Once you know you are dealing with a certified supplier, you should really understand the end user and their needs,” he said. “Once you understand the end user, you can decide on an appropriate product category … within each category will be many lower-priced items.”

Additionally, Collins says, suppliers should ask distributors who their end users are, how the item will be used and what the budget is for the project. “Some good questions distributors can ask of suppliers include, ‘Do you have proper product testing information?’ and ‘Is the product intended for children?’”

 

These products build up promotions without breaking the bank. Click through to view.

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