Bulk Buying Isn’t Always Best: Short-Run Orders for Impact and Budget

  • Mar 25, 2021

We’ve become accustomed to thinking that bulk buying is the best way to score a deal. 


But as technology has evolved, it’s become possible to make products that fit the needs of every budget—whether you’re bulk buying or not. In fact, let’s just say that you aren’t: there’s a whole host of advantages to short-run orders.

Recognizing individuals

We’ve all been in scenarios where everyone gets the exact same gift. It works, but in certain situations, it can feel a little lackluster. Because while everyone appreciates a gift, people also appreciate being recognized as individuals.


Yet for a long time, bulk buying promotional gifts was the only option. Individualized products were too expensive. Fortunately, the times have changed. You can now give staff-appreciation gifts that truly celebrate each person. No more flashbacks to everyone getting the same T-shirt on the soccer team—or the same winter hat from grandma.


These days, a different logo on every mug is both convenient and affordable. 


Let’s say that a health foods market wants to thank their employees for working through the pandemic. They could order a small batch of eco-conscious, reusable travel mugs for their staff. The company logo might be featured on one side of the mug, but the other could have the staff member’s name or a graphic that represents a favorite activity—such as hiking, reading, or dancing.


Not only could the market thank their staff in a way that fits with the business’s ethics, but they could recognize each employee as being their own unique part of the team.

Embracing flexibility

Another advantage to skipping the bulk buying commitment is that it creates the opportunity for increased flexibility. Not only can you get the exact number and style of products that you need, but if there’s a last-minute change, you can work with it.


For example, take a consulting firm that wants to help their employees through the last of the cold-weather, quarantine blues by encouraging participation in a wellness program. The firm might want to add to the appeal of joining the program with promotional gifts that celebrate staff participation—say a to-go water bottle for staying hydrated or a backpack. 


Interested participants sign up, products are ordered, and then at the last minute a few more people decide to join. Rather than declining to give these last-minute additions gifts, the program coordinator can embrace the change and welcome the latecomers with gifts purchased as part of a small order.

Making it memorable

Promotional gifts work best when they get used a lot. So don’t settle for a gift that might fit with someone’s interests—get particular!


With today’s enhanced technology eliminating the need to bulk buy promotional products, there’s no reason not to get staff or clients gifts they’ll enjoy and use. After all, favorite products that get more use go the extra mile in building appreciation and creating a positive connection to your brand.


If a law firm wants to recognize top clients, they could give a promotional gift such as a mug or notebook. And to show their clients that they know them as individuals and value their relationships, the firm could order gifts with unique logos that reflect the clients’ interests.

Personal, meaningful gifting 

Businesses give promotional products to clients and staff for a myriad of reasons—but many of these organizations are small to midsize businesses where it doesn’t necessarily make sense to buy in bulk. 


Don’t feel obligated to buy gifts that are all the same. Instead, let personalities shine through with individualized logos—allowing the gifts to convey to staff and customers that you value their unique aspects. After all, part of the point here is to strengthen relationships and build goodwill.


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