The past year has been incredibly difficult, but the promo industry is just now starting to experience the full fallout from the pandemic. Unfortunately, this is going to affect every single supplier and every single buyer. So, the best thing we can do at this point is make sure that you are informed.

There are three areas specifically, where we’re going to feel it the most: Pricing, Lead Times, and Inventory.



As the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports a substantial increase in the CPI across the board, we are also seeing a full-scale price increase from all of our top promo suppliers. In some cases, this is effective immediately. It’s due to a myriad of reasons (increases in raw materials, labor and transportation) but please be prepared for products and projects to be more expensive than in years past.

Lead Times

Lead times are longer. Whereas normally we’d feel comfortable with a 2-3 week delivery timeframe for most projects, now we’re looking at ranges of 3-5 weeks….and sometimes longer. Some of our factory partners are so backed up, they are no longer guaranteeing ship dates. These longer lead times can be squarely attributed to lack of inventory and lack of labor. This doesn’t even touch on the issues with offshore transportation or the log jams at the ports right now.


Speaking of…inventory levels kind of suck right now. We’re finding that stock levels are the lowest they’ve been in years, and we’re not finding out about it until we’re halfway through the order. We’re having to move to 2nd, 3rd and even 4th options if we want something now. The other option tends to be to wait for new inventory which, you guessed it, doesn’t have a firm delivery date either.


So what can you do?

Order WAY earlier than you normally would, be prepared to go with back-up solutions we offer and just know that things are going to be fluid all the way through delivery.

We can promise you that we’re going to do everything we can to steer you in the right direction, and keep you proactively posted. We just ask that you hang with us and please be patient as we try to find the best solution for you, because we don’t know when the volatility will end.

As always, feel free to reach out to us with any specific questions.