Buying Awards Online

    Things to Consider

    Being able to buy awards on the Internet has been around for 15+ years. We have been serving our online customers since 2000. In that time, I have learned a thing or two about Internet awards businesses. I've found that there are 3 key things to look for when ordering online from an awards company. They are timing, quality/price, and relationship, and I will discuss each below.

    Timing & Order Turn Around

    It's universal: The most important thing to our customers is WHEN will they receive their order. After all, what is the use of getting a good deal on high quality awards if they arrive after the awards presentation? Make sure to choose a company who can get you your awards in time for your event. At Trophies2Go, we guarantee a delivery date based on the shipping method chosen during checkout. The customer knows exactly when their awards will arrive. Below are more tips for timing your awards order.

    Order Early! The sooner the order is placed, the better, and the less expensive the shipping will be.  For example, we even have a promotion that allows for free shipping if your order is over $100 and you give us an extra week for production. Many of our repeat customers are aware of this promotion and order well in advance – it is a win-win for all involved when ample time is given.

    Choose a product that we can get quickly. We don’t carry every product in our warehouse, and many times have to order specific awards from our suppliers.  However, a couple of our suppliers are local, such as JDS industries and Plastic Dress Up, and we can get awards from them within 24 hours.  This makes the production time much faster than for products from our suppliers at the other end of the county.

    If you need your awards within 2 or 3 days, be prepared for expensive shipping. Most shops are happy to accommodate rush orders, but overnight or 2nd day air shipping can be expensive.  At Trophies2Go, we can adjust our production schedule in order to meet tight deadlines, but our shipper is going to be the beneficiary of the extra shipping cost.

    If you need your awards right away (24 hours) and cost is a factor, try a local trophy company first.  This may seem contrary to an Internet company making money, but we are in the business of pleasing our customers. Sometimes it’s not worth it to pay $15 for an award and $50 for overnight shipping. Instead look to a local business to accommodate your needs quickly. Even if they charge a small rush fee, you are still ahead of the game.

    Quality & Price

    For many people, price is the main reason to buy online.  However, it’s important to consider quality as well.  If you buy a cheap trophy and it breaks right away, it’s not worth the money.

    At Trophies2Go, we believe offering quality products at an affordable price is important,  But, there’s another component to a finished award that is equally, or perhaps even more important – engraving. I think engraving is the most important part of the finished award, but it often gets overlooked by the customer.

    Choose high quality engraving.  Some Internet retailers use plastic labels for the engraving of medals and trophies. They may also use other methods for engraving acrylic and may surface laser etch their crystal awards. All of these styles provide a faster and cheaper method for marking the awards, but detract from the quality.

    At Trophies2Go, we use premium quality brass and aluminum for our trophy plates and engrave them using a process called “diamond drag”. We laser engrave our acrylic awards. We also laser engrave and sandblast our crystal awards for clean lines and flawless etching. This attention to detail and quality engraving materials makes all the difference in the finish of our award.

    Use a company that has a good engraver.  There is an artistic component to the layout of the engraving. Not all companies have ultra-experienced engravers and this can be reflected in the quality of the finished product. If you are concerned about how the messaging looks on your award, ask for a proof before the engraving is started. This can save an unpleasant surprise when you open your shipment.

    Relationship

    Trophies2Go as the 2012 ARA Large Retailer of the Year. Jeff with the ARA trophy.

    Sometimes the Internet feels very impersonal.  It’s hard to have a relationship with a business where you don’t talk with or see the person helping you.  You have to make a leap of faith that if you order a product, it will actually come to you!  Here are some things to consider when choosing to do business with an Internet awards company.

    How long have they been in business?  If the company has been around for awhile, it’s probably safe to order from them.  Check around their site for customer testimonials or product ratings for even more proof that they’re legit.

    Use Customer Service.  Give the business a call and see how you’re treated.  They should have excellent customer service and a friendly voice on the end of the line.  That’s what we strive for at Trophies2Go.

    Are they flexible?  If you’re looking for something special and can’t find it on the website, call or email.  The company should be able to offer suggestions of products to fit your needs or give you another resource if not.

    Ask around to see who friends and family recommend. Family and friends are usually willing to share their experiences with you, good and bad.  Use Facebook or Twitter to do this as well.  It’s a safe bet you’ll have a good experience if someone you trust did too.

    To summarize, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing an awards company to order from.  If you are looking for a new awards company, give us a try.  We will do our best to provide great products at an excellent value in time for your event. That’s why we are the National Leader of Meaningful Recognition!

    Jeff Anderson, President

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