T-Shirt Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are any of you familiar with the ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute) or the PPAI (Promotional Products Association International)?

I'm thinking about joining one of these organiztions but I want information from someone who has done it before. Is it worth it? (I know that that's a personal question) Does it save you a lot of money? Any feedback
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Check out this thread and this post by Mark, it might help a bit:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/general-t-shirt-selling-discussion/t14608.html

Screenprinting and Digital Garment Printing University


Hopefully if others have experience with these organizations, they'll add more info to this thread as well.

We belong to ASI- you are supposed to receive discounts from ASI suppliers that are different than that of regular wholesale discounts. We have not found that to be true as of yet. Basically our membership paid for us to be on a list for suppliers to send endless amounts of catalogs and junk mail and for ASI to try to sell us software and websites. However, we did attend one ASI conference and the sales seminars were very helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We belong to ASI- you are supposed to receive discounts from ASI suppliers that are different than that of regular wholesale discounts. We have not found that to be true as of yet.
Wow, this is what I was apprehensive about. Do you offer the endless variety of promo items that are hot in the industry? I definitely do not want to pay the membership dues if it doesn't give me greater discounts on bulk orders.

Thank You all for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Wow, this is what I was apprehensive about. Do you offer the endless variety of promo items that are hot in the industry? I definitely do not want to pay the membership dues if it doesn't give me greater discounts on bulk orders.

Thank You all for your help.
We do some promotional items - so maybe ASI might be more helpful to a business that sells all promotional items- I don't know. But I have to add that it has been very hard to take advantage of any of the "membership benefits" they offer. I suspect it is because we are not a multi million dollar distributor. We have been trying since January to get the UPS discounts promised- our emails are mostly ignored. Also, we tried to take advantage of the merchant account cost review they offered. They "lost" our fax that contained our membership application for that THREE times so we just gave up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,664 Posts
How about Option #3! This would be my method if I had to start over 4 years ago. (Read Below):

Go to PPAI's website and see if there is a Regional association that meets near you. If so, register with the regional one. It is cheaper. The one near me is PPAF. They meet once a month and usually bring in a Supplier to talk about different sales techniques. It can be a very educational event depending on the speaker. You should definitely get educated on how to sell promotional products. It is a much different type of sales and you need to make sure that you do everything correct or you could be eating the cost of a mistake. I believe the dues are around $125.00 year.

ASI also allows the regional association members access to its tradeshows for free as well. Might have to pay for the seminars though. Definitely go to a tradeshow, ASI - PPAI - Sage host them, as you can get a lot of information.

Go to PPAI's website and sign up for a UPIC # (industry ID number for promotional products distributors). There are some requirements, but almost any decorator can provide the adequate information. Remember, the largest piece of the promotional products industry is wearables - what we deal in everyday. There is no cost for a UPIC # and you don't have to be a PPAI member either.

Once you have a UPIC #, sign up for access to Distributor Central. This is a much more smaller database of promotional products than what ASI's ESP has, but is it FREE! Test your customers out using this free software and see if you have a market for these types of products. If you are selling a bunch of them, look into getting a subscription to SAGE or one of ASI's products.

Hope this helps. Best wishes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,664 Posts
Not a problem. Here is the link to the regional association in Houston - Houston Promotional Products Association. Just let us know your experiences (good or bad) with the entire process and your success. I personally found the sales education to be very valuable for me and how to overcome objections. Best wishes.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,081 Posts
There is another promotional item company that is very similar to ASI... PPAI is sort of the umbrella company for the promo industry..the other company is SAGE: Promotional Products Business Services It has recently joined forces with PPAI...so now is you join PPAI..I think basic cost is about $495 you will get credit to join Sage without any other payment..ASI, the last I heard was about $1300 or so for a year. There is another free service, DistributorCentral - The Industry's Premier eCommerce Sales Engine - Home However let me add that while I am a member of PPAI, UPIC, Sage and Distributor Central, it is not a move that will benefit most of us in the garment decoration business. I am a member because I started in the promotional product sales arena and then added garment decoration...If one is not going to focus on promo products, membership in one of the free services, UPIC and Distributor Central, would probably work best. Oh forgot to mention, Sage membership will get a website hosted free.

I should add that membership is not automatic in any...you will need to show that you are in the 'business' and not just looking for a one or two item purchase. Most companies who sell in this area deal in multiple units for most products
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Hi. I joined ASI in August. I feel they were quite deceptive in their marketing to me. To be clear, for $200/month you get listed in the catalog, supposedly. I say this cause I was NEVER advised that my $200/month would NOT allow me access to the catalog. I cannot see distributors or other wholesalers. for an additional $100/month I could have access to distributor lists and possibly send emails or call them. Because of the bad experience I've been having so far there's no way I'll sign up for this cause the marketing person lacked integrity the first time around I hate to see what else I have not been told. RED FLAG, bull**** companies have long, long contracts cause they have no intention of acting with integrity. So I've asked to be released from my contract and if they won't I'll still stop all future payments and let them sue me. I am well versed in lawsuits having prepared many a defense from when I owned a casualty claims investigation firm in the Chicago area. Their confusion in operations is a nightmare. The training tutorials they send is full of baffling outdated info...while they continually (apparently) update their computer systems they don't update their training. UGH...find somewhere else to advertise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I'm a pretty small printer, and mostly do my own custom work, so I joined to get access to the bigger distributors, like Sanmar and Alphabroder through the ESP web. I thought I would be able to get better wholesale prices than what I was getting through the secondary distributors, but in most cases, the prices were the same. In one or two cases, the prices were actually a slight bit higher on ESP than what I was getting through blank clothing.ca, without having to buy cases of stuff.

I guess if you do loads of promotional products and need access to water bottles and caps and such, maybe it would be worth it, but at the cost per month, I would have to be spending way more than I do now to make it worthwhile.

I still get junk mail from them. At least it's something to read at the breakfast table...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I was a member for about 6 months. I emailed them and told them that I wasn't getting anything out of the membership, and they closed my account. I'm sure it's par for the course...

Jenn
This is my first exchange so I apologize if I'm not responding correctly.
Thank you for your comment...gives me hope I can stop my association without drama. I appreciate your sharing your experience.
Kim
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top