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The Best Promotional Products

Where Can You Buy the Best Selection of Promotional Products?

Name a brand, company, organization or school that doesn't have promo products. Hard to do, right? There's no shortage of ways these groups use to put themselves out there with swag. Run a 10k race and what do you get? A t-shirt, medal, and some kind of fitness gear at a minimum. Go to a college fair and come away with a pile of cups, koozies and calendars - all in the hope that you'll keep them in mind when you (or your child) are choosing a school for the fall.

Is your group making the most of your promotional products? It can be overwhelming trying to decide which tchotchkes are right for you. What's the best combination of value and results? What if you don't have a design ready to go? How much time will it take to get your items produced and delivered?

Tuesday, June 28th

2022 Promotional Product Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Pinnacle Promotions Review 5 Star Rating

Pinnacle Promotions

5 Star Rating
  • Over 14,000 promotional products available
  • Family-owned and in business for almost 30 years
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • 30-day price match guarantee
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • 24-hour rush production available
  • Free online company stores if needed
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Brothers Mitch and David Weintraub founded Pinnacle Promotions together in 1994. Starting as a small t-shirt printing company and growing into a business with over 14,000 promotional products, this family-owned and operated vendor easily ranks as our favorite. Major corporations agree: from Coca-Cola to Milwaukee Tools, big businesses trust Pinnacle Promotions to "stay connected with their customers and clients and keep employees engaged" .

Request a free IdeaKit

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head, struggling to come up with the Next Great Idea for your next event's giveaways? Request an IdeaKit from Pinnacle. You'll tell them your industry, budget, quantity, target audience, and if there are any products you don't want them to suggest (you've absolutely had it with pens and koozies); they'll send you a customized set of recommendations. All free.

Know what you need?

Then again, you may already have an idea of what you need. Use the links at the top of the site to start your order by product, industry, purpose (like giveaways or personalized gifts), brand (with big names like Nike, Moleskine, and Carhartt), new and trending, deals, or deep stock. In a hurry? Be sure to go to the "24 Hour Rush" section and see which promo products can be made and delivered the fastest.

Best filters around

We think Pinnacle Promotions' website is one of the easiest to use. Their filters are exceptionally useful: you can get very granular with what you indicate, like everything from sleeve length to shirt fit for t-shirts or pen features such as stylus, rollerball or gel options. As you scroll through all of the promo products that fit your filter selections, a quick glance will tell you what they cost, color options, minimum order quantities, and the average customer ratings.

Quick and easy order process

Once you've chosen a promo item that interests you, check out all of the information and set up your order. There's a handy Quick Estimate section for entering your desired quantity, zip code, imprint method and shipping speed: your total will populate as you put in the details, and any available savings will be applied automatically (more on that later). That's also where you'll find the button to request a free sample: it'll be blank or with a random imprint, and Pinnacle reserves the right to charge a fee for items worth over $10.

How about an online company store?

Pinnacle Promotions is very convincing when it comes to why businesses and organizations should consider using an online company store. Check out their branded solutions page, and you'll see a detailed, well-thought out wheel showing you how such stores can benefit you with respect to sales, human resources, operations, marketing and event management. These complimentary stores can help you control your brand, manage your spending, and get merchandise with your logo into the hands of people eager to buy it - from alumni to team members and beyond.

Best Promotional Products

Savings available

If you want to save a little on your order, keep an eye on the top of the site. At the time of our visit, there was a seasonal promotion with a 10% discount on all orders up to a maximum savings of $500. That's a nice way to save a little on your budget - or to be able to buy a few more items for your event.

Top-notch reputation

Not only does Pinnacle Promotions have an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, but the BBB reports zero complaints filed there in the last three years. Impressive. Better yet, 95% of their customers give them a four- or five-star rating: we found over 2,000 five-star reviews that frequently mentioned using Pinnacle for years, having excellent experiences with the customer service team, and receiving personalized attention even when placing a smaller-than-average order.

Terrific guarantees

A big part of the way Pinnacle gets things done right is through their guarantees. If your order isn't shipped on time and delivered exactly as you approved it, you can get a refund or have them rerun your order. They also match prices if you find the same item for less on a competitor site - even up to 30 days after placing your order.

Design services for a fee

Our only disappointment here is that they don't include art and design services with your order. Pinnacle can absolutely help you - for a fee. What they charge depends on what you need: are you asking them to come up with a design from scratch based on an idea you have, or do you just need them to sharpen up an image or logo? Unfortunately, there's not even a ballpark for what that would cost: we reached out to their live chat and they asked us to send in what we had, and that the art department would get in touch when they had an estimate.

First place among vendors of promo products

In every other regard, Pinnacle Promotions is a rockstar when it comes to helping people get the tchotchkes they need for their group or company. They seem to go the extra mile to make the process as hassle-free as possible for even the smallest of organizations, and there's definitely no lack of items to choose from. We're confident that you'll be in good hands when you choose Pinnacle for your promotional products.

Custom Ink Review 4.5 Star Rating

Custom Ink

4.5 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business for over 20 years
  • Free ground shipping on all orders within continental US and Canada
  • Guaranteed delivery dates within two weeks or less on standard, one week with Rush Delivery, and 3 days with Super Rush Delivery
  • Customer service available 7 days a week
  • Free design review
  • Over 68,000 pieces of art in The Design Lab
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee, with returns within 15 days of delivery

Since 2000, Custom Ink has helped groups, clubs, teams and corporations to bring what they love to life: through custom t-shirts and other fun promotional products. Their team is excited to work with you too, whether you're creating something from scratch or just looking for a new vendor to fulfill your next promo item order.

T-shirts and more

What kinds of promotional products will you find here, besides t-shirts? They offer towels, drinkware, pens and other office supplies, mints and candy, and most of the typical swag you'd expect. We also noticed that they have interesting options for golf gear, chairs and stadium seats, holiday ornaments, umbrellas and even yard signs.

Just a few filters

When you select a category, you'll be able to use filters to see what Custom Ink sells according to color, approximate price, features, brand, and whether the items can be shipped to multiple addresses. Those filters weren't quite as robust as some of their competitors, but they'll still get you where you need to go. As you browse the items that fit what you've specified, you'll know right away how many you'll need to order at a minimum, if there are multiple sizes available, and the average rating from shoppers.

Samples may be available for a small fee

This is where you'd usually be able to order a sample when shopping for promotional products. Custom Ink doesn't have that functionality right on the item's page: you'll have to call to ask for a blank sample for anything you're considering, and it's "usually for a small fee" . However, if you're ordering over 5,000 pieces (<*gulp*) you'll automatically qualify for a free printed sample with your design. On smaller orders, that printed sample will cost you a non-refundable $100 fee.

Awesome Design Lab

We recommend starting by checking out Custom Ink's Design Lab. Add your own logos, browse their templates, and see in real time what your shirt, bag, hat or cup will look like. Enter sizes, see your all-inclusive price, and either place your order or invite your group to enter their own info and submit when everyone is ready. Simple as that.

Best Promotional Products

Free help from professionals

Or maybe you're more like us and designing promo products is about as appealing as your semi-annual trip to the dentist. The Custom Creations team stands at the ready to take that off your to-do list. Reach out to Custom Ink via phone or email and let them know what you're thinking: their services are completely free, whether they're checking your design for sizing or layering issues or redrawing/recreating an image.

Generous guarantees

There are so many guarantees here, it's challenging to name them all. You're covered by a 15-day refund policy if your order doesn't match the design you submitted or if it gets there later than promised. Speaking of delivery promises, Custom Ink guarantees that their free ground shipping in the continental US and Canada will get your order there in two weeks or less; rush delivery is guaranteed in one week and super-rush in just three days. Finally, you'll be able to reach a service rep seven days a week if you need help.

Phenomenal reputation

Custom Ink is a company you can rely on. They've got an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, and there were only 12 complaints registered there in the three years leading up to this review - all of which were resolved appropriately. Even more noteworthy are the 8,000+ five-star ratings we found from delighted Custom Ink clients. Customers praise the service received, the speed of delivery, and the way their promo items turned out as good as - or better than - expected. You can tell that Custom Ink's bread and butter is t-shirts, since most comments talked about color, fit, and so on, but there are plenty of thumbs up from shoppers who bought koozies, pens, and other merch.

Downsides, but not many

There are only two reasons why Custom Ink didn't earn our first-place ranking. As we mentioned, their focus is clearly on t-shirts and apparel: other types of promo products are a bit of an afterthought here, though they still do that quite well. That's probably why free samples aren't exactly highlighted here either. The other reason - likely related to the first - is that they don't offer online stores for companies and organizations. For groups that want to streamline apparel orders, let customers or team members purchase branded items directly, or offer a way to select gifts and rewards from a curated selection of promo items, those stores are a helpful tool that Custom Ink just doesn't offer.

Great choice for most clients

Overall, Custom Ink checks most of the boxes as a fantastic vendor of promotional products. Their clients rave about their attention to detail, high-quality items, and exceptionally reliable delivery timeframes. They're kept out of our first-place spot for a few reasons, but those aren't going to be that important to many prospective customers. Custom Ink gets our vote as a worthy alternative to our first-place winner for promo items.

Crestline Review 4 Star Rating

Crestline

4 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business for nearly 60 years
  • Over 10,000 promotional products
  • Free virtual proofs, design services
  • Get up to $10 in samples at no cost
  • Free custom online company stores
  • Carbon-neutral shipper, 100% solar-powered offices
  • Guarantees include price matching, on-time delivery, and satisfaction

Crestline says, "we know promo" and they're not exaggerating. As a Geiger brand, the company is the largest family-owned and managed distributor of promotional products in the world. There are over 10,000 items in their online catalog, ranging from traditional bags, totes and pens to more novel things like phone wallets, pop sockets, and handheld fidget and anxiety items. You'll find options for setting up tradeshows and events, like table covers and runners, lanyards and retractable badge holders, and the actual set-up for your booth or display.

Options and more options

When you select a product category, you'll see a series of option images at the top of the page. For example, when choosing Drinkware, you'll be shown options for wedding cups, stadium cups, party cups and cups with lids/straws. Browse the options or use the filters to zero in on what you want: color, price, production time, minimum quantity, size, material, and so on.

Lots of info on product pages

There's plenty of detail on each promo product's page. It's easy to see all of the color options, pricing by quantity, and how much you'll pay. Keep scrolling to see product reviews: it can be fun to look at what customers say about how they used the promos and how the recipients responded (particularly with more entertaining swag like color-changing cups or MopTopper pens).

Transparent delivery timeframes

We also love how Crestline makes it very obvious what you can expect timewise where it says Standard Production Schedule: assuming you're placing an order that day, it populates when your items will be in processing, then production, and then an estimated ship date. You can't select rush services on that page, however. You'll have to call their toll-free number to set that up, and not every product can be expedited.

Complimentary design services

What if you've just got a logo sketched out on a piece of scrap paper, or your image isn't exactly pixel-perfect? You can take advantage of Crestline's free graphic design and art prep services. Provide whatever you do have, even just an idea or concept, and their team will put their expertise to come up with something you'll love.

Call for samples

You can request up to $10 in samples at no cost. You'll have to reach out to Crestline at their toll-free number to set that up, and be aware that it doesn't include apparel. That's a little different from some of their competitors, who let you request specific samples right on the products' pages.

Best Promotional Products

Expect setup fees

Another difference is Crestline's setup fees. It's a one-off cost on each product you order (and maybe you could consider it as what you pay for the "free" design service?). If you reorder the same product in the future, though, you won't pay a second time for that setup cost. It's not exorbitant - for example, on an order of 300 pens at $192, the setup charge was $11.

Free custom online stores

Crestline is one of a handful of vendors in our review that offer complimentary, custom online stores. Maybe you want to set up an employee recognition program that lets your staff choose branded reward gifts, or you want to make it more streamlined to order apparel. No problem. Over 1,000 brands use Crestline to do just that. We encourage you to view the demo store featured on their website to see how it might work for your business or organization.

Near-flawless customer feedback

Crestline earns an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau. Most companies have at least a few complaints filed with the BBB, but not this one: zero over the last three years. Don't take that to mean that Crestline isn't doing a brisk business, though: over 2,500 people say that this company deserves a perfect score for customer service, super-fast delivery, and terrific product quality.

Committed to the environment - and to clients

There's also a lot to like about the way Crestline does business. It's the only vendor in our review that has 100% solar-powered offices and that aims to be carbon-neutral in every possible way. They also offer all of the guarantees you'd expect from a top-notch company, like full refunds if your items aren't delivered as approved in your proof, price matching, and making your order free if it doesn't arrive by an agreed-upon event date.

Give Crestline a chance

Crestline is an obvious choice as one of our top three promotional product companies. They take very good care of their clients, offer plenty of items to choose from, and have a terrific reputation overall. A few aspects aren't as streamlined as their rivals (like having to call to request samples or to set up rush processing) but those are pretty minor considerations. Crestline is definitely worth a look for your next purchase of promo products.

Deluxe Review 3.5 Star Rating

Deluxe

3.5 Star Rating
  • In business for over 100 years
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • No-Risk Guarantee
  • Custom online shop available
  • Free rush production on certain items
  • Free product samples for some items
  • Free art modifications and virtual proofs
  • Price matching

Deluxe does big business - with entities large and small. You may know them primarily as the original creator of checkbooks and checks, but they offer services across the spectrum, particularly for small businesses and organizations. In fact, Deluxe has over 4 million active small business customers, helping them "create jobs that grow our economy" .

Many types of promo items to choose from

You'll find a broad array of promotional product types at Deluxe. Categories range from Apparel and Automotive to Workplace Safety and Writing Instruments, and everything in between. We didn't see a specific category for Toys, but if that's what you have in mind, you might find ideas under the headings of Party Favors & Games. You can also use the dropdowns at the top to see promo items that are eco-friendly, made in the USA, are eligible for free 24-hour rush production, staff favorites, or Deluxe's top 100 products.

No guesswork on minimum quantities

There's no way to sort promotional products by minimum order quantity, but you can see that at a glance as you browse. For example, in that top 100 category, can coolers had a minimum order of 50, as did sunglasses and sport bags. On the other hand, the more expensive items like cooler bags and jackets usually have lower minimum orders of just 6 or 12. The reverse is also true: basic ballpoint pens have a minimum quantity of 300, stylus pens are 250, and so forth.

Not many ratings on products

It was a little surprising that even in Deluxe's most popular product list, there were rarely more than a couple dozen user ratings. (We definitely think that Deluxe's main focus is bank checks.) Fortunately, those reviews were usually at least a 4 out of 5 stars average, so you're getting quality promo items here.

Up to 3 free samples

Only some Deluxe promo products offer free samples. You can request that right on the individual items' pages, for up to three products per order. You'll have to be a registered customer, and it's free up to a $10 value including shipping costs. You may have to pay the difference if your sample order's cost goes over that, and Deluxe reserves the right to take a refundable deposit on higher-value samples (fleece jackets, more expensive tech gadgets, and so on). Also, for items that need to be as close to perfect as possible, you may want to consider getting a pre-production proof. Also known as a spec sample, it comes exactly like your item will print. Be aware that you may have to pay a setup cost for this one-off production of your promo product. These are available by calling Deluxe's toll-free number.

Need a free custom online shop?

We love the idea of having a custom online shop, letting employees or organization members place their own orders from a preselected set of items already customized to match the appropriate brand colors and logos. Deluxe makes this possible with no annual fees, fulfillment costs on storage or packing, or upfront inventory costs. This feature lets you track budgets and orders with ease, and it comes with a dedicated consultant to keep everything running as expected.

Best Promotional Products

No charge for design changes and proofs

Deluxe also offers free art modifications and virtual proofs. Once you've designed your swag and submitted your order, it'll be placed on an internal hold so that their art department can get to work - within one business day. There's no charge for this service, and you can request any changes you want before giving it your final approval.

Keep an eye out for savings

When you visit the Deluxe site, you might get a pop-up offering you a 15% discount on your first purchase. You'll have to enter your email address to qualify, so expect to find yourself subscribed to their mailing list. At the time of our most recent visit, there was also a promo at the top of the site with a discount of $50 on any order of $350+.

Decent reputation overall

Generally speaking, Deluxe's reputation is good. What else would you expect from a company that's been around for over a century? They've got an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, and we were surprised to see less than three dozen complaints registered there over the last three years: that's impressive for such a big business. Customer sentiment is a bit more mixed. In other places we looked, we found that about 75% of clients give Deluxe a "good" or "great" rating, but 20% rate the company as "bad" . Complaints tend to center around customer service and are usually specific to bank checks and not promotional materials, but Deluxe reps seem to be responsive when those negative reviews are posted.

Satisfaction guaranteed

You're also protected by Deluxe's No-Risk Guarantee. If your items arrive and are different from the proof you approved during the order process, you can choose between a reprint or refund. The same goes for anything that is damaged or defective upon delivery.

A company you can trust

Although Deluxe doesn't have quite enough promotional products to compete with our highest-ranked stores, it's still a solid, trustworthy company. There are plenty of reasons to consider using this vendor for your next order of promo items, especially if you don't find what you need elsewhere.

4imprint Review 3 Star Rating

4imprint

3 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business for nearly 40 years
  • 360° Guarantee: on-time delivery, 30-day price matching, customer satisfaction
  • Free samples
  • Free art design and prep

4imprint began as a direct-to-consumer catalog company for promotional items back in 1987. Based in Wisconsin, this retailer has been recognized as an exceptional workplace and for supporting charities in its local community - but with more than a million orders annually throughout the US, Canada and UK, this is no small operation.

Better-than-average selection of promotional products

If you can imagine it as a promo item, it's probably in the inventory at 4imprint. Basic categories include Apparel, Bags, Drinkware, Technology, Trade Show & Signage, and Writing, among several others. Within each of those categories, you'll find plenty of subcategories: for example, under Wellness & Safety, 4imprint offers hand sanitizer, sunscreen, lip balm, and so forth. Options abound: looking towards the bottom of the site at their 10 of their most popular search terms, we saw over 1,000 water bottle choices, 236 types of flashlights, 583 magnets... you get the picture.

Big discounts if you know where to look

Looking for a bargain? Scroll down to the middle of the landing page and you'll see a weekly deal, a daily deal, and even "steal a deal" where you can make them an offer. At the time of our review, the weekly deal was a Sonado Notebook with Pen at a discount of up to 34% ($2.19/each), the daily deal was a cotton sheeting economy tote bag ($215 for an order of 100 with company logo, regularly priced at $264), and the "steal a deal" was on a Parkland Kingston laptop backpack (most recently priced as low as $39.95 in the 4imprint outlet section). If you don't have a firm choice in mind for your next giveaway swag and sticking to a budget is your main focus, be sure to visit this part of the 4imprint site.

No-hassle sample requests

Like most vendors of promotional products, 4imprint offers free samples. But, where many of their competitors limit that to a $10 value, this company lets you request samples of even their most expensive items - though you might have to send those back instead of keeping them. You'll find the button to ask for a free sample right by the product description on each page, and you'll need to create an account to complete your request.

Best Promotional Products

Complimentary art design and prep services

What can you expect from the order process? Once you've selected the promotional products you want and placed your order, look for your email confirmation. You'll reply to that message with your desired artwork attached. If you don't have any and need some help, no problem: 4imprint's professional art team will work with you to create it - at no charge. All of the art design and prep, whether using your own artwork or theirs, is completely complimentary.

Customer sentiment on the decline

We were a little confused by 4imprint's mixed bag of customer feedback. On the one hand, the company earned an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, and there was only a single complaint registered there in the last three years. Customer reviews, however, weren't as universally positive. In fact, we didn't see any comments from satisfied clients in the six months prior to this evaluation. We did read dozens of complaints, describing serious problems with delivery times, unprofessional treatment from company reps, and orders being canceled for no apparent reason.

Decent guarantees

That's disappointing, considering all that 4imprint promises in its 360° Guarantee. It states that you'll get your order free if it doesn't arrive in time for your event, you'll get double the price difference back if you find that your order would have cost less somewhere else (within 30 days of purchase), and that you'll get a rerun or a refund if you're not 100% happy with your items. They also offer a $25 discount on your next order if you wait more than 60 seconds to speak with a rep when you call their toll-free number.

Not the best, not the worst

We've given 4imprint a three-star rating because we think the company means well, despite more recent issues with customer service. We're hoping to see an improvement in client feedback in the future, to match 4imprint's reputation with the BBB and to show that they're making good on their guarantees. But, in the meanwhile, you'll probably want to consider what our higher-rated promotional product vendors have to offer before committing your purchase to 4imprint.

VistaPrint Review 2.5 Star Rating

VistaPrint

2.5 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • Just over 1,800 promotional items to choose from
  • "Absolute guarantee" on every order
  • Design services available for an extra fee
  • Shipping fees range from $5.99 to $34.99, depending on order total and desired speed

VistaPrint was founded in 1995. As a Cimpress company, they focus on helping small business owners with their marketing: business cards, marketing materials, stationery, signs and banners are just a few of the possibilities.

Not the most useful filters

VistaPrint doesn't have as many options to choose from as some of its rivals, but there are still almost 2,000 promotional products on offer. They're in the categories you'd expect: Clothing & Bags, Writing & Office, Drinkware, Technology, Lifestyle, and Snacks & Treats. The site doesn't have as many helpful ways to narrow it down, either: there's no way to see just the products that fit your budget, other than sorting results by price. The only filters are by category, color, brand and decoration, and at the top there's a toggle for showing only those items that don't have a minimum quantity to order.

Product quality fails to impress

Scrolling through just the first page of promo items at VistaPrint, we weren't blown away by the customer rating averages. Keychain with light? 2.9 stars. 26 oz. water bottle? 3.4 stars. Notebooks? 3.6 stars (and that was over 660+ reviews from buyers). And that doesn't even take into account the hundreds of items that didn't even have ratings posted. We get the impression (pun intended) that VistaPrint isn't doing a brisk business in promotional products.

Design and review services cost extra

When designing a product here, you can either upload your own design and edit it or choose from one of their templates (depending on the type of product you're ordering). While some promo product vendors give you art design and review at no cost, you'll have to pay extra for it with VistaPrint. You'll find those options under the Design tab or towards the bottom of individual product pages.

Best Promotional Products

Slow, spendy delivery

You can expect a shipping timeframe of at least 10 business days on all promo items at VistaPrint. There's no free shipping here, either: expect fees ranging from $5.99 to $34.99, depending on your order total and selected delivery speed.

Good guarantees

On a more positive note, VistaPrint offers an "absolute guarantee" on everything they sell. If you're not happy with your order, you'll get a reprint or an account credit. If all else fails, they'll refund you in full.

Mixed reviews

Despite earning an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau, VistaPrint gets very mixed reviews from clients. Over 50% of them give the company a perfect five-star rating. If Deluxe manages to get your pens, bags or shirts to you with no issues, great. Then again, nearly a third of all shoppers rate VistaPrint with the lowest possible score of just one star. In other words, you're either going to love or hate your experience here.

Better choices available

After reading through hundreds of comments from deeply dissatisfied customers who said that product quality has declined over the last year, orders were much later than promised, and system upgrades have left the online store more difficult to use, we can see why people may want to avoid VistaPrint. Why not shop with a vendor that gives you more for your money: better quality, more perks like free design services, and more attention to customer service?

Positive Promotions Review 2 Star Rating

Positive Promotions

2 Star Rating
  • In business since 1947
  • Up to $10 in samples at no charge
  • Guaranteed lowest prices
  • 24-hour "fast track" service
  • Free art proofs
  • Satisfaction guaranteed

Positive Promotions got its start in 1947. For more than 70 years, they've helped companies and organizations get the giveaways and gifts needed for employee recognition ceremonies, trade shows, special events, fundraisers, celebrations and more.

Traditional and novel promo items

The range of promotional product categories you'll find here is impressive. You'll find the basics of apparel, pens and pencils, and calendars, of course. But why not think outside the box a little and look at toys, automotive tool kits, or items for the home? There are plenty of options within each category as well: for example, in Food and Candy, you'll find individually-wrapped chocolates and hard candies but also larger gift sets that might include a hot/cold tumbler and cocoa or tea bags.

Simplify your life with filters

Because there's so much to choose from, you'll probably want to use the filters to narrow down what you do and don't want. Besides selecting the promo product categories you prefer, you can also indicate the imprint method (foil stamp, label, laser engraved) or eliminate any items that come with a set-up fee. You may also have a budget or delivery timeframe in mind, so be sure to check the boxes that describe your situation there. And, depending on how many items you intend to buy, the Minimum Order Quantity dropdown can be used to display only the promo products that fit your plans.

Use Helpful Links for more options

Our favorite filter is the Helpful Links dropdown. We're not sure why Positive Promotions calls it that; it sounds like you're going to be taken to blog articles or something informative. What you'll actually find there are some extra ways to narrow down your results. Maybe you're really interested in swag that is eco-friendly, made in the USA, or antimicrobial? Or do you only want the very newest items in their catalog? This filter is where you can specify all of that and then some.

Best Promotional Products

Free samples

As you discover promotional products you like, you can add a sample to your "sample cart" (you'll find that tab under the Select Print Option section of the page). Positive Promotions offers up to $10 in free samples, though we're not entirely sure how that works when you're considering items that are more than $10 each.

Failure to respond to BBB complaints

Because this business has been around for over half a century, we were expecting a pretty sterling reputation. However, when we looked up its listing with the Better Business Bureau, we were disappointed to see a "D-" rating for failing to respond to 16 customer complaints. Granted, 27 complaints in three years isn't excessive, but there's no excuse for not answering - especially when you have been in operation for so many years. When clients describe their experience working with you as "nightmarish" , it's generally wise to respond - quickly, professionally, and maybe even apologetically.

Clients would advise you to order elsewhere

And, from what we saw on the BBB listing and elsewhere, there's plenty to apologize for. Customers report placing orders in June and not receiving them until the end of September - for an event that had already taken place two weeks earlier. Orders are accepted with no forewarning that items may be out of stock, on backorder, or just plain unavailable. It was genuinely challenging finding any clients who say that their experience buying promotional products here was smooth from start to finish. So much for the 100% satisfaction guarantee they promise.

Choose a more reliable vendor of promotional products

We hoped that Positive Promotions would live up to its name. The company offers a great selection of promo items and some novel features, like an easy-order webstore to let customers or clients choose their own gifts and apparel sizes directly. Unfortunately, clients say that this provider doesn't deliver. We recommend placing your order with one of the higher-ranked vendors of promotional products in our evaluation.

4Customize Review 1.5 Star Rating

4Customize

1.5 Star Rating
  • Traditional selection of promotional products, like flash drives and koozies
  • Lots of categories to choose from

At first glance, 4Customize looks like an option worth browsing for promotional products. "We put your logo on cool stuff" sounds like a promise we can get behind, right? Maybe not.

Lots of categories, few products

You'll see the usual promo items here: categories include bags, drinkware, health, office, outdoors, stickers and labels, tech, and "under $5" . There aren't a ton of options in each category; "health" included just nine styles of face masks, "outdoors" consisted solely of essential oil diffusers for the car, and "tech" was only slightly more robust with options for USB drives, clip-on selfie ring lights, webcam covers and, for some reason, custom-printed pins. Pricing is about average, depending on the quantity you order and the item itself, but nothing to get excited about.

No design help, just products

You also need to have your own design, logo, and image file ready to go. 4Customize has no design services: they're strictly fulfillment. That's a huge downside compared with other providers we evaluated: let's face it, not all of us have an artistic side, and we need all the help we can get. Not here.

Free shipping... or not

What can you expect with shipping costs? Their FAQ states that 4Customize offers free standard shipping on orders over $69. That's not what most shoppers report finding when they go to check out, though. You could see a nasty little surprise in your cart too.

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Hard to reach

You're not going to have an easy time getting in touch with this company if you have questions about your order. You'll have to use their online form, email address, or call an international phone number (since the company is based in China and, to our knowledge, doesn't have any corporate presence in the US). Their social media channels are pretty quiet too: at the time of this evaluation, their most "recent" posts were several months old.

No returns on custom items

That would be a problem if you needed to make a return. However, their return policy states that customized items aren't eligible. Isn't everything here customized? From where we sit, that looks like a "zero returns" policy even if their site states you'll have 14 days.

Not professional

4Customize says that their risk-free guarantee, low price guarantee, and delivery guarantee are compelling reasons to get your promotional items through their store - but they fail to provide any details on those promises. That's not the only odd thing about this store's website; we found numerous typos and strangely-worded text that left us feeling like anything we ordered there might come out far from professional and perfect as well.

Last choice for promo orders

The main reason we give this company a low 1.5-star rating is because there are a small number of testimonials on their website and social media channels. Can we say with certainty that they're legit? No. But, on the off chance that someone, somewhere, has gotten promotional products from 4Customize that they've liked, we're willing to extend that half-star rating in a spirit of "benefit of the doubt" . But honestly, we don't see a good reason to use this company for your next event's tchotchkes when you can get trustworthy, reliable service from any one of several much more professional platforms. 4Customize earns our lowest ranking.

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Continued from above...

If you're the point person for promo products at your institution, take a deep breath and relax. There are many vendors who will assist you at every step of the way and even make it fun to get answers to all of your questions - from sample kits to help you brainstorm to in-house design teams who can take your hastily-sketched-on-a-napkin drawing to a professional-looking logo.

Looking at the different suppliers out there, can you tell which ones are experts and which ones you should avoid? We've got some ideas you can use to decide for yourself:

  • Variety and quantity of products. The more promo items a company carries, the easier it is to come up with just the right ones for your event or group. Within any category you're considering, click to see how many options there are: it's great if they offer pens, for example, but not if there's only one style of pen to purchase.
  • Design services. Let's face it: some of us are just not talented in the design arena. The best vendors of promo items will give you all the help you need, whether that's from-the-ground-up artwork or simple tweaks on what you already have. Even better if those services are free.
  • Delivery timeframes. When you have an event coming up, your promo items probably won't do you much good if they arrive a day late. Choose a supplier that not only offers a shipping timeframe that matches your needs but also makes it right if the order doesn't get there on time.
  • Guarantees. Your promotional products should match your submitted design, be the quality you expected for what you paid, and arrive when promised. What will the vendor you're considering do if any of those expectations aren't met?
  • Reputation. Promises are easy to make, but not so easy to deliver. What do other clients say about how well the vendor fulfills orders? Do they make good on everything they offer?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best providers of promotional products available today. We hope this information helps you find all the right swag for your business, organization, or even your next big family reunion!

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Promotional Product FAQ

There are lots of reasons why companies and organizations invest in promo products to give out. They're a great way to build visibility for your brand: when you hand out things that can be reused, like a tumbler or towel, your prospective and current clients are reminded of your business on a regular basis.

Some branded items are offered in an online store where team members can buy their own merch as they wish; maybe one person prefers a polo while another wants to rep the brand in a baseball t-shirt. Finally, promotional products are frequently used for recognition and awards ceremonies. You're only limited by your own creativity.
Every year sets a new trend. Remember fidget spinners? And yet, there are some promo items that are always popular, like drink cups, t-shirts and pens. It's up to you if you want to try and capture people's attention by having the newest, most novel swag to give away or if you prefer something more traditional.
Yes, most of the time you can request a sample right on the product page. It will probably be unbranded (or may even come with another company's logo) and you may have to pay for it. Many promo item retailers will send you up to $10 in samples at no cost; on more spendy swag, you may have to pay for it, put down a deposit, or return it at your cost.
That depends on the vendor and the product. If you have a logo and a product preference ready to go, and it happens to be an item offered as a quick production product by a supplier, you could theoretically have your order in hand within three business days. Obviously, though, the more lead time you have, the more likely you are to get a high-quality promo product that meets your expectations and that arrives in time for your event.
Yes! Most promotional product vendors have in-house design teams that will take whatever you have and improve it until it's picture- (or pixel-) perfect. These experts can often work with you to create a graphic or logo just from your idea too. Sometimes these services are included as a complimentary perk, while other vendors charge a fee.
Yes, most of the time. On items that cost less than $1 each, expect minimum quantities of at least 100. On more expensive promo products (think fleece jackets or high-end laptop bags), those minimums may be just a dozen or even less.
A custom online store is a personalized website offering the branded merchandise you choose to make available to your team, organization, or even to the public. It's an easy way to let people select what they need, like uniforms or other apparel, in the correct sizes. Some companies use these stores as a rewards portal: employees can choose gifts within a certain price range as a holiday gift or incentive for reaching a milestone. Not every vendor of promotional products offers custom online stores, so keep that in mind if it's an option you'd like to have.
Usually, but there are some stipulations. You'll almost always get a digital proof when ordering promo products, and if your items arrive and don't match that proof, you should get a refund or re-run: your choice. However, if you get them delivered and just don't like the color or style, not every vendor will offer a refund if it matches the proof you approved.
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