Cheap Promotional Gifts Guide

Cheap promotional gifts will give you a good return on your investment because they have a lower cost per impression. For example, a budget pen costing 10p that is used frequently can generate a better return than a more expensive gift like a clock costing £3 per unit. The key is to select the right product.

If you’re on a budget, doing your research is paramount. It’s crucial to choose the right gift that gets you maximum exposure for your money. Read on to discover what we know about gift item choice, with buying tips to ensure you get the best deal.

Top 3 cheap promotional gifts

Many people assume the more you spend on a promo gift, the more you’ll get back in return. This is not necessarily the case. In fact, research shows that gifts which are useful are the most effective overall. So, choose a practical product in your campaign for the best possible results.

BPMA promotional gift research gives us an insight into the types of products people like best, use most often, and keep the longest. In 2011 independent researchers surveyed over 500 business people who had received promo items. Here are 3 of the most successful cheap promotional gifts.


When asked which gifts they’d kept the longest 18% of respondents said mug, 15% USB stick and 12% pen. People keep mugs longer than any other item. The longer the recipient keeps your gift, the more exposure you get.  This is coupled with the fact that mugs have a very low cost per impression, calculated at just £0.001.


When asked what item they’d most like to receive, writing instrument was the most popular out of the cheaper promo items. 39% of people would prefer a pen, and 36% said a mug. Not surprisingly 45% said USB stick, but when you consider the difference in cost, a pen will give you much more for your money.


BPMA 2013 research found that 22% of people would prefer to receive a luggage item most. This doesn’t have to mean expensive leather goods. You’ll find many low cost promotional gifts in this category such as tote, draw-string, and cool bags priced at less than £1 per item.

Buying tips

Quality counts

Associating your business with a ‘cheap’ item is a bad move, creating an unfavourable impression of your company. In the cheap promotional gift market, you’re buying items in bulk, so paying a few pence more can make all the difference. Something of slightly better quality will be kept longer, and you’ll see greater effectiveness. So, choose a good quality gift at the most competitive price.

Don’t just look at the ‘from’ price.

Pricing can be very deceiving in the discount promotional gift industry. This is because there are so many additional charges and variables to consider such as design, printing, VAT, delivery and minimum order quantities. Some suppliers quote a low from price then load the cost later with expensive print design or delivery charges. Rather than trawling the net trying to compare costs, contact a few specialist companies for an inclusive quote. This will save you lots of time and ensure you get the best deal overall.

Compare like for like.

Try not to swayed by an extremely low price, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Wholesalers which seem ultra-cheap may simply be selling an inferior item. Make sure you’re comparing like for like before you decide on your supplier, and never buy from a photo alone. Request a sample before you commit, it’s not just the item itself you need to watch out for…print quality is equally important.

Ask about end of line items.

If you’re looking for seriously cheap promotional gifts enquire about special offer merchandise. Many suppliers offer large discounts on clearance items and discontinued lines. This can be for a variety of reasons - they cannot supply the product in bulk because they’ve only limited numbers left, or the item has been discontinued by the manufacturer. Even if you don’t see anything advertised, it’s always worth asking.

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