Let’s face it, we’ve all had that one time (or maybe a couple times) that we wish we would have started getting things together a little sooner. Knowing when to order your products can be key to a successful event. Take a look at the main guidelines to follow for easier ordering:


In-hands date: Knowing what day you need your items to arrive by is key. The day you need the product delivered by AKA your “In-hands date” or “preferred delivery date” should always be provided even if it isn’t firm. Even if you don’t have an event approaching, make sure you’re allowing time for any unexpected delay that may or may not arise. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t have an IHD, you will have more freedom in your item selection, production times, imprint methods and cost.


Budget & Payments: Know your budget before you browse. Budget plays an important part in quality level,quantity, and shipping. Many companies charge a “rush” fee for expedited production. This means that you may be paying more per item or more per order (sometimes both) in order to push your request to the front of the line. Rushing the production doesn’t mean the shipping is expected. This is a common confusion with online shopping. Production time is strictly the time it takes to make and decorate the item and the transit time is the time it takes for delivery.

Payment method can determine your release time for production. Paying with a credit card versus a purchase order, or a Net30 agreement can vary processing time. In an industry where stock can fluctuate, paying for your items reserves your spot in line.

Artwork, Imprint, & Samples: The complexity of your artwork can determine the amount of production days you’ll need for various imprint methods. E.G.: A tumbler with a full-color imprint may take longer to produce than a one color imprint for quality control reasons. Depending on your artwork, you may need to go with a particular imprint method. Different methods of decoration require different amounts of time.


All orders include a free virtual proof, but if your order requires a physical sample; you’ll need to add an estimated 3-5 business days for a random sample or up to 25 business days for a pre-production sample.

Product Availability & Ordering: Check with the company that is providing your items. Make sure stock levels are good before placing your order. On occasion, you may need to allow more time for alternate items, higher quality items, seasonal items, or large orders. For example: If you’re ordering a large quantity of ornaments around the Holiday months, you may acquire a delay due to stock outage or production delays, due to the high volume of requests for that item during the Holiday season.

In most cases, promotional products can have a quick turnaround time under the right conditions. Though your timeline may vary depending on sample requests, large order quantity, and quote approvals, this checklist should have you off to a good start!  

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