The Riskiest Product in Our Industry…
An article written by Jenna Markowski from Quality Logo Products got us thinking about perils of selling flash drives, which is one of the most popular items in our industry. Flash drives are a practical item and offer a great branding opportunity. They can, however, be risky from a supplier, distributor and consumer standpoint.
We've asked our friends at TIER 1 FLASH to share their expertise on this important issue. In addition to providing some beneficial selling information giving you a competitive advantage, they will give you tools to empower your profitable sales efforts. Through July 31st, 2014 TIER 1 FLASH will give you a FREE personalized flash drive website. They will also teach you how to protect yourself and use that risk to your advantage so you can sell like a pro.
Amazingly, at the AusCERT conference, an event focusing on information security, IBM unknowingly distributed flash drives that contained two-pieces of malware. You wouldn't think that a huge company like IBM would hand out infected USB drives at a security conference, but it happened. This story can be found here. Where did the malware come from? Somewhere in the supply chain, but who knows exactly where?
Distributors should provide quality products that protect their client's brand. Obviously, that didn't happen here.
Nearly 40 percent of USB drives sold on the web do not contain the tier 1 flash they claim. Unscrupulous sellers use black, upgraded and recycled flash to lower their costs and increase profits. These drives can fail and corrupt their data with no warning leaving a stain on the reputation of the client who put their logo on it. Anyone that does not take the time to vet their suppliers can fall victim.
Remember that flash memory is a commodity—like corn, crude oil or pork bellies. It costs every manufacturer the same to buy it so if someone is offering a price that is below market, be very suspicious! The only way to ensure your safety and the safety of your client is to buy from a reputable supplier. Reputable suppliers will deal only with ISO certified factories that they visit themselves to ensure that stringent quality control protocols are followed.
Here are a few tips to ensure you are purchasing safe products:
Ask your flash drive supplier about their Quality Control (QC) protocol. If they aren't sure what you're talking about or can't walk you through it you should consider buying elsewhere. Ask for references that you can call to check on their quality and service. If they won't provide them, move on! And NEVER buy blind from the web. Establish a relationship with a supplier who answers your questions assists you with your sales and makes you feel comfortable when you call.
The manufacturer TIER 1 uses is more than a little crazy about quality, which is why we asked them to share their expertise. If you're nerdy and into details here is the testing procedure:
- Test all incoming raw NAND (the memory component) chips
- Format all incoming NAND, which removes absolutely ANYTHING that might have been surreptitiously added to the chip (Take note of this IBM!)
- Test again after NAND is soldered to the IC (integrated circuit board)
- Test while loading data if there is a data load
- Test after data is loaded
- Test 100 percent after put into casing
- Test a statistically valid sample before shipping
WANT TO BECOME A FLASH DRIVE EXPERT IN 5 MINUTES?
You can start selling more; SAFE flash drives at higher margins! Email Education@Tier1Flash.com for a brief educational brochure (5-minute read) that will give you enough focused knowledge to appropriately scare your client, establish yourself as a flash drive expert and position yourself as the safe solution allowing you to close flash sales at higher margins even when competing against lower prices.
Armed with the right tools you can beat the online lowball price sellers on this hot promotional product. Take advantage of these free resources your friends at FreePromoTips.com and TIER 1 FLASH are providing!
My goal is to provide relevant content that you can use to build your business. I hope you will take advantage of the tools we have put together. Armed with this information, you can be confident in your ability to profitably sell the one of the most popular, but riskiest products in our industry.
Jeff Solomon, MAS, is a distributor affiliated with a top 10 distributor company. The FreePromoTips.com website and e-newsletters he publishes are packed with beneficial information. On the website, you can opt-in to receive these informative twice-a-month e-newsletters! Check out what's new in the GP2: Good Products-Good Prices section of the site. Take advantage of free end-user safe product videos you can share from the yourpromotionsolution.com website. Like the FreePromoTips.com page on Facebook follow it on Twitter and connect with Jeff on LinkedIn.