Why is pricing important?

Pricing is so important, especially when researching the cost of promotional merchandise. It can be frustrating not being able to find helpful answers to your questions, especially those related to how much a promotional product or service costs. The last thing we would want is for anyone to feel ripped off or not get great value.

When you plan your pricing and your promotional product budgets you will feel so much more confident when you’re faced with a huge marketing campaign.  When you allocate your marketing budgets and pricing for promotional products, you can plan ahead in confidence. Regardless of what promotional product or service we’re talking about, we want to supply lots of information on pricing and costs for your company so you can decide if it’s the right marketing strategy for your brand. We want to be able to provide you with the answers about the cost of promotional products as thoroughly as possible and if you want to pick our brains about costs then be sure to catch us on our email at or even give us a call us on 0116 2852417.

cheap promotional products

How much does promotional merchandise really cost?

A minimum budget of £50- £80 (exc vat) is entry point for promotional merchandise and it will get you something like 100 pens or pencils with a logo printed on. Moving on with £100 + budget you could have sticky notes, coasters, trolley keyrings, car air fresheners. The average order value does start at £250 upwards especially if you are serious about purchasing promotional products with a purpose.

As with most products and services the budget will depend on your quantity, branding, lead time and quality of product you go for. Typically many suppliers of promotional merchandise will always guide you carefully so that you are able to stay within your marketing budget. Prices on most promotional merchandise websites are transparent and may include printing and UK delivery costs but always ask your supplier if there are any hidden costs.


How much does it cost to buy promotional products?

As with any industry, there are always factors that can drive the cost of promotional products up or even down, we've come up with some tips on merchandise and things for you to note when thinking about your promotional campaigns.



The more you have the more it will cost. Low-cost promo items usually have a minimum order quantity and high-end luxury corporate products can be purchased in singles. So it all depends on what you are going for.


Product type.

Promotional merchandise is a huge industry and can range from cheap promo items such as logo bugs to high-end crystal champagne flutes and everything else in between. So there should always be something to suit your budget and campaign.


Lead time.

All products with a long lead time are usually from the far east and can take up to 3-6 weeks. Manufacturing costs are lower in the Far East so your end product will be cheaper too. However most promotional products these days are manufactured in the UK or Europe and available in 1-3 weeks. Always communicate with your supplier when you actually require delivery so they can advise you of the cheapest option in the time frame.


Print colours.

the cheapest option is to print 1 colour, additional colours will incur additional costs because of the extra production time required. Some items can be printed full colour too ( a bit like a colour printer) and this is also a cost-effective way to print your logo if it has more than 2 or 3 colours to it.


Packaging & fulfilment service.

if you require extra bespoke packing and fulfilment it is always worth asking your promotional products supplier as it may be more cost-effective for you. Most suppliers are used to handling data following GDPR processes and can handle fulfilment very easily.



Most suppliers will charge carriage at cost or may include it in the prices for UK delivery. If you need worldwide delivery or split deliveries this will cost extra but your supplier will be able to give you an accurate cost to do this. Just make sure to supply address information.


Express orders.

If you require some promotional products quickly then most suppliers will have an express range of products that can be produced in 24- 72 hours, these may be limited and more expensive than usual.

Good, fast and cheap formula explained.

The perfect formula to consider is our good, fast and cheap merchandise explanation. The thing is you can only pick two out of the three. The best way to explain this is that if it’s good and fast it won’t be cheap. If it’s good and cheap it won’t be quick and finally, if it’s quick and cheap it’s not going to be very good quality. We find that our diagram for Good, Fast and Cheap rarely happens as one element will always suffer, but it's worth knowing so you can try and find a solution to ensure this doesn't happen.


How much should you spend on a giveaway?

Depending on your marketing budget you will have an estimate of the costs required to complete various strategies. It may be a quarter of your marketing budget that goes towards campaigns, launches, shows and other events and from that, you will be calculating a % for give-aways. One thing for sure is you will have constraints to your promotional merchandise budget and knowing your budget is a great place to start. Your promotional products supplier will ask you that straight away.


Good questions to ask yourself when setting your pricing.

  • How many people do we intend to attract / target?
  • How long will this campaign last?
  • What are our customer acquisition costs? If it is a laser targeted campaign then you may need fewer items but wish to spend more. If it is a numbers game then less per head but more quantity
  • What will be the follow up after the promotional merchandise campaign. A give away without a follow up may be a waste of budget
  • What specific outcomes are we looking for with this campaign? Is it more subscribers, more conversions, better reviews, more feedback forms, a foot in the door campaign, brand awareness, increase sales, generating more leads?
  • What did you spend last time and what happened?
  • What are our SMART Goals for promotional products and how do we measure our KPIs against them?
Cost of Promotional Products

The better you understand your budget and the outcomes you are measuring then the clearer you will be about your budget and choosing the right products. Try to use your promotional products supplier as a resource to help you achieve your marketing goals. Advice is free and most UK promotional suppliers are a helpful bunch. The earlier you involve them in the process the better they can advise you.


Do promotional products increase sales?

If the marketing strategy is aligned to the sales target then a creative approach to promotional merchandise can definitely reap rewards and increase sales. The devil is in the numbers. Your marketing strategy will drive the sales revenue and even if your budget is limited you can still give away good quality products. The better you understand the budget required to increase sales the better decisions you will be able to make about promotional products.

The Secret Forumla for Promo

What are the cheapest promotional products around?

Useful cheap promotional products (between £100- £250 budget) are items such as printed pencils, highlighter pens, sticky notes, mint cards, badges, stickers, pull up banners, keyrings, coasters, notepads, magnets, trolley coins keyrings, small bags, stationery items, balloons, silicone wristbands, seed packets, car air fresheners, rulers, lollipops, teabags, snoods, mugs, paperclips.


How much does delivery cost?

A lot of promotional merchandise suppliers will charge delivery at cost and many suppliers like us will include the cost for delivery in the unit price. However, at the quote stage, each supplier will confirm carriage costs. Worldwide distribution or split delivery will incur additional costs. So always give as much accurate information you can to gain accurate costs.

Know your Numbers

How much do promotional merchandise companies charge for print?

On top of unit costs for the product some promotional merchandise suppliers also charge for the print set up. This is a one-off cost to create the print screen, emboss dye, embroidery disc or tool. This cost may be called: origination, tooling, die, disc or set up. The good news is: once it has been created it will be easier and cheaper for future repeat jobs. Many suppliers like us tend not to charge for this to keep the buying process nice and simple.


Will a promotional merchandise company give us a refund if we are not happy with the promotional products?

Yes, most companies will have several processes in place so that it doesn’t come to this. However, if you receive goods which are not as promised then you will be offered full replacement or refund. You should be able to buy in confidence from the companies listed above and most UK promotional merchandise suppliers because before you receive the goods you will have received a sample, visual proof and in some instances a ‘pre-production sample’ to check too. Most UK promotional products suppliers are members of the BPMA and follow a strict code of conduct.


What are the base pricing rates for promotional products?

There aren’t any base rates but products are priced as plain costs (no branding) and then with additional costs to brand the product as required. Some promotional companies will split the cost out so you know exactly how much you are paying for each component and some companies will have it all included in the unit cost. Some companies may have a minimum order value you need to place and some won’t, so always ask.


Is labour cost included to create the promotional product?

In most instances, labour is included in the unit cost but any additional extras such as fulfilment may be costed out separately. This is why it is recommended that you speak to your supplier about your exact campaign requirements.


What accessories, features, and add-ons can we have?

Many promotional merchandise companies supply uniforms for staff, printed letters, gift cards, brochures, banners and stickers, add such as bespoke packaging or eco-friendly bags are important details that are always worth discussing with your supplier. If you want to brand something that’s not on a supplier website please always ask.


Do you charge VAT?

Yes, most suppliers of promo products are VAT registered and prices may or may not include vat on the quote so always check this. In most instances, your company will be able to claim back the VAT but always get advice from your own accounts/ finance team so that you are clear.


Are there any package deals?

Most suppliers will have offers or deals on their website and will be keen to help if you are looking to buy a package, always ask for deals.


Are there any additional costs to think about?

You may want to budget for picking and packing, storage and future repeat orders. Repeat orders are sometimes cheaper depending on the branding method so it’s worth knowing about these costs for future projects.


What to do next?

If you know what you want or are unsure about your budget then a good place to start is by speaking to your preferred promotional merchandise supplier who will have lots of experience and advice.


Which is the cheapest promotional merchandise company in the UK?

When is comes to pricing, most promotional merchandise suppliers set very similar prices to each other. The industry is highly monitored by the trade bodies and most reputable promotional merchandise companies adhere to the BPMA code of conduct when sourcing from legitimate factories in the UK, Europe or the Far East.

If there is a price difference then this is usually down to some suppliers offering more of a “hand-holding” service as opposed to a more automated approach to ordering online. If in doubt just ask. Most suppliers will happily answer your queries on price differences.

Some companies offer different services such as cheaper manufacturers, lower quality products, better customer experience so it is worth getting to know how your promotional products supplier operates.


Here is a list of some of the biggest promotional merchandise suppliers in the UK.


  • 4Imprint UK: They make ordering printed products quick and simple! They guarantee you'll be 100% satisfied with your order, you won't find a lower price elsewhere and that if your event is missed because if they don't dispatch in time then it'll be FREE!


  • Total Merchandise: is an award-winning promotional product, branded merchandise and corporate gifts supplier in the UK. Founded in 2004, Total Merchandise is one of the UK's leading suppliers of promotional merchandise printed with your company logo and marketing message.


  • Totally Branded: The Leading Norfolk based supplier of promotional merchandise branded with company logo. With over 10,000 useful promotional products and branded clothing garments available all of which can be personalised with your custom business logo and company contact details, we are here to drive awareness to your brand and help advertise and promote your business at your next company event.


  • EverythingBranded: the UK's number one supplier for promotional products, merchandise, and gifts. They stock over 40,000 different promotional items that can be branded to your business and printed for your next campaign, event, or marketing activity.


  • Outstanding Branding: Creative. Professional. Outstanding. Outstanding Branding was established with one goal in mind; to become one of the best, most trusted suppliers of promotional products & merchandise globally.


  • Fluid Branding: Meaningful Merchandise. Exceptional People. At Fluid, they deliver consistently high-quality promotional merchandise.


  • Arcadia Online: Arcadia is committed to finding the most effective branded promotional products to support its clients’ marketing activity.  Services include stock management programmes, promo web stores, fulfilment, warehousing and global distribution.


  • Allwag Promotional Merchandise: Started out in 1999,  and have earned a reputation among their clients as a reliable, inspiring, and trusted UK supplier of printed promotional merchandise, branded business gifts and corporate clothing.


All of these companies are well established and have the knowledge and expertise to answer all of your cost questions. You may prefer to work with a local supplier but it is always a good idea to get to know them first as much as you can. After all, you are depending on them to represent your brand properly.

Most supplier pricing is clearly displayed on the supplier websites too so you shouldn’t have a problem getting a general idea of costs. Remember to always use a trusted BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) approved supplier.


Contact us.

Sometimes all you need is a little idea or spark to bring your campaign to life. If you would like any advice or tips about budgeting or costs for your promotional merchandise then please contact us at or give us a call 0116 2852417 and someone from the team will be happy to help.