FAQs: Production Times
for Promotional Products
How early do I need to place an order?
Allow adequate lead-time for producing your custom items. While many basic items can be produced in under a week (2–3 days in some cases), rush charges may apply and expedited freight may add significantly to the cost. Special overseas orders can take up to 3–4 months.
I'm on a tight deadline. Which products have a short turnaround?
Items that can be produced quickly include pens, drinkware, key chains, flashlights, bags and tools. These products are customized via pad printing, screen-printing or sublimation, which do not require long production times.
If I need a custom die made,
how long will it take?
Die-struck items such as lapel pins, coins and medallions require a custom die, which takes time to produce. Allow 4–6 weeks for these items if possible, especially if you need to see a production proof. Lapel pins can be turned around in as little as 2 weeks, but at considerably higher cost and with limited proof options.
Cast items such as Lucite embedments and machined acrylic require 3–4 weeks. A new process that prints full color on the reverse of acrylic sheets or blocks takes only 1–2 weeks, and possibly even faster with rush charges.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of overseas production?
Some labor-intensive items, such as Magic Cubes, are only produced overseas. While the production itself takes 4–8 weeks, ocean freight takes another month or so. Air delivery can speed up the process, but it increases freight cost significantly, especially for heavier or bulky items.
Specialized overseas production is at least 30% cheaper than a domestic custom run, but setting it up requires an order in the amount of several thousand dollars. Two notable exceptions are lapel pins and caps, which are routinely produced overseas at significant savings, in quantities as low as 250.
In addition to the savings, overseas production offers the advantage of creating a product to exact specifications. Instead of having to choose from stock colors and limited decorating options, the product is built from scratch, allowing for the widest possible range of customization choices.