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True Creativity - Let's speak about Bespoke

Posted on September 17, 2019 at 11:40 PM

an example of the customisation with bespoke bags


Last time we focused on some of the logistical details of ordering a promotional bag, and what you should consider to ensure your printed totes arrive on time, and as described.

Now let’s delve deep into the area of the bespoke bag, and try to explain in detail how to go about ordering a made-to-measure, unique branded product – be it a shopper or a rucksack – that ticks all of the boxes.

Why go Bespoke?

Two main factors are most likely to lead to going bespoke rather than off-the-shelf. The first, and maybe more obvious, is that you need a product that no-one currently makes. Otherwise, it might be that you simply want a standard cotton shopper – but it has to be in your exact corporate Pantone colour, or with a seamless edge-to-edge print. Your requirements could be ultra-specific, and in order to have a bag with all the features you desire, it has to be made from scratch.

The other, less obvious reason is cost. When ordering large quantities of products directly from the source you can often get a better price.

For example, if you order 5,000 cotton shoppers every month, you might look at ordering a year or two’s worth of stock, bringing the overall cost per unit down, and having the bags at your disposal as and when needed.

In reality, there’s nothing stopping you as a customer going direct to the Far East to order your bags – cutting out the middleman, and further reducing costs.

Big players such as the High Street supermarkets already do this, but if you don’t have their experience of buying in bulk and across borders. The reality can be daunting, and the results disappointing. You can end up with no control, and potentially out of pocket.

The Process

Ordering unique, made-to-order items is actually not too dissimilar from the normal order process, although there are obviously some additional steps. For our part, however, we carry out many more processes behind the scenes to ensure you get a stress-free, minimum-risk experience.

Not only do we pride ourselves on our unrivalled product knowledge and affordable pricing, we also have the customer service and flexibility to adapt to each and every individual business need, because every customer is different.

Promo merchandise can be divided into two markets


    Have a concept/design or brief.
    Arriving at Bags of Ideas with a ready-made (digital) design is of course great for us – and certainly speeds up the process – but if all you have is the germ of an idea, we can help you use that flash of inspiration to create a winning concept.

    For starters, we clarify the type of bag you want to produce, the size, the colour, what materials will be used, and how many items you need? What will the printing be and where? You also need to settle on extras – zips, pouches, pockets, etc. If you’re creating a unique shopping bag, this process may not take too long, but if you're creating a rucksack, or kit bag, there will be many more elements to consider and agree on.


Putting it all together
Once all the ideas have been put together and agreed upon, and a digital concept created and approved, we then do our work. 

Exactly which manufacturer we approach to produce your bag – and in what country – depends on the chosen material and style.


The Rule of Three
To ensure we get the best price and quality we normally gather quotes from at least three different suppliers and come back to you with a rough offer – it’s “rough” partly because prices can fluctuate due to exchange rates.


Sample Our Wares
After provisional approval comes perhaps the most pivotal stage in the process – the sample. Only when you see the finished article can you really assess your marketing investment. The manufacturers may have been forced to make adjustments to the original pattern, or they may make recommendations that they believe will give a better end result – for example, the choice of zip, material weight, etc.

Whatever changes are required, we’ll explain them in detail, including any change in the resulting cost of the final item

It’s at this point that you need to test your bag, to see if it meets your brand standard, and that it matches your aspirations. Further samples can be created if required, so we advise sitting down and analysing the results in detail.


Giving the Order
Once you're 100% happy, we move on to actual production. Delivery will vary depending on the quantity and complexity of the product.


On your Marks
The manufacturer will alert us near the close of production, and it’s now we call in an independent third-party quality control company to spot check the results against the pre-production sample, using a detailed checklist which we provide. This ensures we are confident that what will be delivered is just what you ordered.


Special Delivery
As a customer you will be provided with an expected date of arrival, but behind the scenes you can be assured that we'll be working hard to keeping things moving: getting goods to the vessel on time, obtaining customs clearance, and making sure that your bags’ journey to their final destination goes off without a hitch.

Things to Consider

If you are going to go down the bespoke route, ensure the company you choose always provides pre-production samples. And even if you make small changes to the sample that you received, request another.

The timeline for bespoke orders can vary, but 10-12 weeks is normal. We do not advise ordering bespoke products for an event that is closer that 15 weeks, as there are too many variables involved that can cause delays.

Remember that revisions always add time, so be prepared for resulting delays. Changes will also push up the cost.

Bags of Ideas pre-purchases currency to make the process easier for you, meaning we can guarantee you an exchange rate which lasts longer than 24 hours. If you order bespoke from a competitor it’s worth finding out if they can offer the same peace of mind against fluctuating prices. And if they don’t have the funds in dollars, request pro-forma payments, even if you are an existing client.


Finally, it’s worth mentioning that ordering huge numbers of bespoke totes, or any other promotional material requires space to store them. If this is a problem, Bags of Ideas can help to manage your stock. It could be as simple as holding them and sending 1,000 each month to a bespoke online shop, or allowing different locations to put in orders as and when required.

Bags of Ideas, pride ourselves in our ability to deliver the best in bespoke products. Our experience stretches more than 20 years and with annual trips to China and Hong Kong to check out suppliers – as well as a trusted network of factories spreading from Turkey to India – not only can we make your product to exact specification, you always know you’re in safe hands.

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  • With over 40 years of experience within the promotional merchandise industry we realised that the sale of promotional bags made up the largest part of the market – whether it be Polythene carriers, or bespoke rucksacks...
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Copyright 2014 Bags of Ideas 70 Hampden Way, Muswell Hill, London N10 2NX. Bags of Ideas is a trading name of Galpeg Ltd; Registered Company Number: 1233774, ISO 9001:2008 Certification Number: FS 619781.