Ordering 101

OrderingReturning to Avalon Image Group and the promotional products industry full-time is very exciting for me!  I’m loving getting back into it, growing my LinkedIn and other connections, and talking with existing and new clients.  In this process, and knowing the multiple steps to promotional products, I thought I’d start with the basics for my first blog – ordering.

When we meet and talk, or if you email Avalon for a quote, here are points we’ll need to know:

In-hands date
Knowing your in-hands date allows us to get your order to you on time.  Suppliers can produce product several ways – 24 hours, 3-day, 5-7 day, etc…  Some charge rush fees, while some have well-stocked items specifically for 24 hour production.  It’s best for everyone’s sanity to have 2-3 weeks for order entry, proof review, production, and shipping*, but we can and have been known to turn things around quickly. 

*Speaking of shipping, items come from a supplier who can be located in Florida, New York, Cali, or oh you get the point!, so don’t forget that even with a 24-hour order, you still may have 3-5 days for shipping unless you are willing/able to pay to expedite this.

“…there are many steps to promotional products…”

There are $20.00 pens, and $1.25 pens.  There are $50.00 sunglasses, and $2.50 sunglasses.  Knowing your budget helps us look at the right suppliers from the start.  Plus, we’ll search for specials and monthly or quarterly sales.  Budget goals are two-fold: maximize your budget AND get you the most bang for your buck. 

If you only need a small quantity of something, many suppliers offer a Less Than Minimum fee. Otherwise, catalog minimums apply.

Let us know if you need a specific color for an item or event.  This helps us hit the ground running for you!  We keep an eye out year-round for ideas for existing clients whose color(s) we know.

Suppliers need an Adobe Illustrator/EPS true vector artwork file.  A PDF saved as an EPS file is no good – all you, I, and the supplier can do is view this file.  A true vector EPS file is resizable so the suppliers to manipulate the art file with their machines.  If you don’t have the EPS file, we can have our graphic artist** help you with that (for a fee, of course, as her expertise and time are very valuable!).

Most of these points are valid for each order.  Once we’re working together, we’ll have your artwork on file.  If you have a special project that needs a variation from your typical artwork, we can bring in Sara, owner of **Mighty Spark Design, for these instances.  More on this in another blog!

Hope this is helpful, and until the next time~  mandy

Photo credit: Orders by ekw118 via flickr.com

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