Giving away promotional products from China as a corporate gift plays a major role not only in maintaining the business relationships but also develops the business. Some of the items that can be given as promotional products are pens, notepads, key chains, wine bottles, champagne, coffee mugs, t-shirts, personalized beach balls, etc. Some of these can also be given away as gifts to the clients. However, when you select the promotional products from China, the following factors should be taken into account:
- Price: The main reason for buying promotional products directly from China is the price. However, you should be careful as some of the suppliers will offer these at market prices for the users in Europe and the US. It also attracts shipping costs and import duty. Yet another factor to be noted is that the prices are volatile and might change at any point of time. Go for the broker who has better buying power and deals in bigger volumes.
- Lead Time: You have to order well in advance taking into consideration the production time, shipment time and the time involved in clearing from the customs. So ordering in bulk will help you in negotiating the shipment charges and when you go for smaller shipments, air freights are affordable. When you hire the services of customs clearing agents, your work will get done easily.
- Communication/Customer Service: Communicating with the Chinese supplier is quite difficult as they know only Chinese. There is also the problem of time zone. So when you order, it is delayed at least for 24 hours.
- Credit Terms: Most of the Chinese firms do not offer credit. Even big companies will ask for large deposits and also the payment of the remaining amount before shipment. Only way left is to go for a letter of credit which is done through the bank. Apart from that, there are also problems of piracy, storms, accidents, etc. Hence, requires huge insurance.
- Goods fit for purpose: Whatever goods you buy should come in good and safe condition i.e. tin products should be food safe, inferior memory chip will render them unusable, print problems on the promotional tins might require to be done again. At times of tight deadline, this can be disastrous.
Hence, you have to take into account the above factors before going for promotional products from China. It is wise to go for them only if all the above factors are met positively.