While my primary business these days is publishing FreePromoTips.com, I’ve been in the custom imprinted products business for over 25 years. My client base represents a nice steady flow of product business which means I still have a good understanding of what’s happening our industry.

Recently, I’ve been blessed with a flurry of rather significant business opportunities, with quantities and dollar volumes that I haven’t seen in my long history. In the course of working on these projects, some rude awakening of how the distributor/supplier relationship works, or occasionally doesn’t work, have me scratching my head and asking, “…Really?”

As part of my mental health therapy I’m going to share a few …Really? moments. No suppliers will be harmed during this Rant.

For one project, I needed a same-day quote for 5,000 pieces on a single item. There were not a large number of companies to choose from for this specialty product. I called one supplier that appeared to manufacture the product and was told normally a quote could take two days, but they would put it on a rush and I “should” have it that day. Two days to prepare a price on one item that they MAKE …Really? A $15,000.00 NET sell on order isn’t worth some attention …Really?

I followed up mid-afternoon and was told I would have the quote at the end of the day. With the time difference, my last call only got me voice mail, as they had closed already. No quote. Thankfully in this case, a social media connection thru the industry made another supplier suggestion and that supplier was awesome!

In another project I needed stock sports artwork on the item. The quote from the supplier read: “Stock imprint designs are available at an additional cost.” But the cost wasn’t stated. Wouldn’t it be helpful to note what the cost for the stock artwork is, especially since we discussed it …Really?

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