Yes, in most cases it is possible to see free samples of products relating to your promotional product enquiry, and these could be sent direct to your address.
Some high-end samples would need to be paid for, because their value dictates that my supplier will charge me for them.
Do you have a minimum order quantity?
Generally, products that are low cost, such as inexpensive pens, will tend to be supplied in 500 or probably more.
However, some will be offered at 250 and higher priced pens (with a unit price of approx £1 and above, may be offered from 100).
For other products, I can supply a minimum of 25 umbrellas, notebooks, travel mugs and a mixed range of clothing.
Ceramic mugs are offered in a minimum of 72 mugs.
What are the artwork requirements?
I need a logo to be supplied as a hi-resolution editable file such as PDF, or EPS.
I cannot use JPEG, Bitmap or Word files.
What happens if I haven’t got proper artwork?
I can easily get logos redrawn in the correct format, and at a nominal price.
So if you DO have an unusable file, I will be able to work with it (but if you can find the suitable artwork, anything to save even a few pounds is a good idea!)
What is a Pantone colour and can you use CMYK, RGB or Hex values instead?
The Pantone (PMS) System is Internationally known as a way to consistently print any particular colour, by any printer. By giving the ‘Pantone’ reference for your particular blue or green or pink, this will enable my printer to mix colours to a recipe, so the correct colour is printed.
To complicate things slightly, there are two versions: ‘coated’ and ‘uncoated’. For most Promotional Products, the coated version reference number will be required (unless a paper product like a notepad is being printed – which would require the uncoated reference) because there can be differences between them.
CMYK values cannot usually be used since they are for litho printing.
RGB and Hex values relate to colours on a web page.
(And sadly, although I am often asked, I cannot determine colours if they are shown on a computer screen – it is not possible).
As a last resort, I can match colours by eye, if I am sent some printed matter which features the logo.
How long will my order take to arrive?
Typically 10 to 15 working days. Sometimes it can be much quicker, depending on the product or how busy my printer is, but my heart sinks when on a Friday I get asked if I can produce product for the middle of the following week! I hate letting anyone down, but while a 48 hour delivery is occasionally possible, there is so little choice of product but so many things that could potentially go wrong!
At the other extreme, some specially made items from overseas, or large orders that will benefit from lower overseas prices may take a few months to arrive by sea.
Where are the products made?
Some Promotional Merchandise is certainly manufactured in the UK, in both the area local to me, and across the UK. A proportion is also made in the EU, but a significant amount comes from China.
The suppliers I use are all mainstream and are big enough to have policies in place, and representatives on the ground in China, to ensure standards are met, including working conditions. I can supply documents to support this, on request.
What is the ‘origination charge’?
Setting up the printing machine takes time: cleaning from the previous job, preparing the printing screen, loading the ink, and calibration. There is a charge to do this, and it is usually applicable to each colour printed.
Can I collect the goods from your address to save on carriage?
I don’t have a factory that makes all the products I sell – it would be an amazing place if I did!
I actually use printers all over the country and sometimes overseas.
A carriage charge will be applied to each consignment and I will need to pass this on, at my cost.
What about environmentally friendly products?
My suppliers are having to change what they supply, as public awareness about the environment and attitudes about single-use plastic, and other problem areas, are at last making a difference. This means that, although it is a small start, I will be able to offer a great many products, which are recycled, or recycle-able. There are now many products, such as pens and bags that have been made from recycled bottles or CDs etc. There are pens made from corn starch or bamboo, and there are plastic carrier bags which are biodegradable.
Please ask for green ideas and I will be able to come up with some really nice products for consideration.
Can I see an actual printed sample with my logo before I order?
The main part of the print process is usually an emailed digital image of the ordered product with the logo shown in the correct place, in the correct size and in the correct colour. This is a free service and it works very well (and a pre-order visual is also possible, by using this same process).
Occasionally I get asked if I can produce an actual printed proof. While this can be done, it can also be very costly, because the printer has to interrupt the normal flow of work to set the machine to produce just one item.
However, with mug printing, it is quite usual to have a printed proof, because colours may change, when the mug is fired- so it is important to check.
Also, for very large orders, it is prudent to produce a one off, before the bulk is produced.
"Steve (at AG Products) is always a pleasure to deal with, and has never let me down during our 4 year working relationship. The products I have received are of excellent quality, certainly meeting and occasionally exceeding the quality I have come to expect. I have absolutely no need to ‘shop around’ for my corporate goodies, as I know Steve will always come through with the right ideas and the right goods, always delivered within the timescales I have asked for."