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Sep 30, 2019

Eight convincing reasons to order your merchandise early

When we arrive at the office each morning, the coffee is on, and we fire up our computers – our biggest motivator is to get you the best products and design for your budget. We often deal with last-minute orders, and we’ll always move mountains to push those through. But we want to pull back the curtain, and share how much MORE is possible with a few more weeks’ lead time.

Here are eight important reasons to order your promotional merchandise earlier than you think you need to.

  1. You get a much better price

Budgets are often limited – that’s just a reality of life. And your job is to squeeze every last drop of value out of your budget.

What would you think if we said you can have the exact product you want, substantially cheaper? This would mean you can either save a chunk of your budget – or for the same budget, you can reach more people, or upgrade your product. A big win, whichever way you look at it.

Here’s the thing: You absolutely can. All it takes is a little more planning, so that you can order your product a few weeks earlier. The difference in what you’ll pay if you order five weeks ahead, compared to two weeks ahead, is probably more than you expect.

So, why is it cheaper to order early?

Good question! A big chunk of the price you pay hinges on where you order your product from. Many of the best deals come from the Far East, and UK & European suppliers will hold these products too. However, UK warehouse storage comes at a premium. So, for the exact same product manufactured in the Far East, you’ll pay a lot less for direct shipping than ordering from UK stock.

For particular tech items (the wildly popular powerbanks and wireless chargers), air freight is not an option for technical reasons. With sufficient lead time, you can have them sea freighted. However, if you order with just a week or two’s notice, you’ll be restricted to UK stock (which we’ve established costs more). The difference could be 50% extra (e.g. £3 for 5 weeks, £4.50 for 1 week. Ouch.)

On large orders, using sea freight alone can save thousands of pounds (see #8 for an even more important reason to use sea freight).

  1. You can access early bird offers

Another way you can save money is to grab an Early Bird offer. Manufacturers love to fill up their order books early, as it helps with planning and generally ensures everything runs smoothly. You will find that if you can order certain items early, you will be rewarded with a better price.

Any time you can expect a glut of orders – Christmas, big sporting events, summer holidays – look out for the Early Bird offers. Not only will you pay less, but you can sometimes secure a better delivery date too. You don’t generally have to commit to every detail in advance, and often a PO is all you need to lock in the deal.

  1. You can Pantone match

For many corporate brands, it is crucial to replicate brand colours with absolute accuracy. The only way to achieve this is through a full-colour print with Pantone-matching. Travel adaptors, bottles, notebooks – the list of what we can Pantone-match is endless. The catch is, you need sufficient time for Pantone-matching – for example 4-5 weeks for travel adaptors.

  1. You can create bespoke products and better branding

 If you come to us for an A5 notebook in two weeks’ time, we will get you a great-quality A5 notebook in two weeks’ time. But give us six weeks, and you can have… full-colour bespoke printing on the front, back and spine; branding on every page; back pockets, front pockets, a tipping page. The notebook possibilities are endless with an additional few weeks.

Time can also buy you better branding. We order our footballs directly from our fully-compliant manufacturer in India, and for this we need at least three weeks. This saves money compared to ordering from UK stock. But it is time, care and attention (not money) that buys you better branding.

By allowing more time, you can see and feel samples, you can view 3D mock-ups, and we can help you to perfect your branding – going back and forth as needed to get the best final design. This is possible across all of our products because we do our own design in-house.

  1. You can even design your own product

 Bespoke notebooks, bespoke-printed full-colour wraps, Pantone-matching and on-point branding are all fantastic, but did you know they are just the start of what is possible?

 If you give yourself enough time, we can get you absolutely anything bespoke-made. We have recently taken an order for 30,000 custom-made lunchboxes where our client has specified every element of the design – from the number of compartments to the print area.

 We have custom-made everything from Jenga sets to bottles to rice bowls for our clients. This process takes longer than ordering off-the-shelf or customising existing products, but what you get is a product that no one else has.

  1. You can fully benefit from our expertise

At Bounce Creative Designs, we pride ourselves on taking the time to find out your objectives, help you select the right product at a great price, ensure it is printed well, and as environmentally-friendly as possible. We also make certain that your customers will like the product, keep it and use it often – which is how you will achieve maximum impressions.

The thing is, getting all of this right does take… time. Whilst we can virtually always come up with solutions at short notice, without sufficient time to do the work properly we just can’t give you the full benefit of our expertise. We don’t just want to tick a box and supply a product. We want to create the best product, the best branding, and the best results for your campaign.

  1. You can avoid print disasters

Not trying to use scare tactics here… but we have seen our fair share of print disasters. If you order a set of mugs with 48 hours’ notice, for example, you would order them today, they would be printed tomorrow, and in a box for delivery the following day. This doesn’t give the ink a chance to cure, and you will risk scratches to the design. It’s not an ideal scenario.

There is always a risk of rushed print jobs going wrong in some way, and the worst-case scenario is boxes full of products that no one will want.

  1. You can substantially reduce carbon emissions by using sea freight

Now that we have hit you with all the reasons you’ll personally benefit from ordering early, we want to talk about the most important reason of all.

Carbon emissions.

The impact of carbon emissions on the natural environment is a huge concern at the moment, and within the promotional merchandise sector we have a responsibility to minimise the environmental impact of our industry.

This can mean sourcing products made from more sustainable materials, using suppliers who manufacture responsibly, pushing manufacturers to use less packaging, and choosing items that will be appreciated and kept – and not sent to landfill.

Carbon emissions are another vitally important consideration, and the carbon footprint of air freight is substantially higher than sea freight. However, this is not a trade-off between paying more for the responsible option or saving money – because if you use sea freight, you will save significant sums of money by doing the right thing.

How does sea freight work?

Large container ships operate on fixed routes around the globe. If you are ordering from the Far East and you book early enough, you can take advantage of sea freight to transport your product to the UK in a more sustainable and cheaper way.

This plan can fail, though, when there are delays, e.g. in artwork sign-off. A delay of just two days could mean you miss a container ship’s scheduled stop, and the next one may not arrive for another fortnight. At this point, your only choice is to use air freight – skyrocketing your carbon emissions and obliterating a chunk of the cost savings you made from ordering overseas in the first place.

Get in touch to find out more

Hopefully, we have inspired you to consider adding a few weeks’ lead times to orders where this is possible. Not only will you get a better product for less money, but you can help minimise carbon emissions and avoid print disasters.

If you want to know more, we are happy to chat! You can reach us on 0208 3189603 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Written by Tanya Squires

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Members of the Advertising Speciality Institite America.

Award-Winning Promotional Products and Brand Management Company Based in London


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We are a team of makers, thinkers and explorers. We approach our work by playing around with curiosity and experimentation – creating meaningful branded merchandise that connects with people just like you!

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