Advertising specialties is the imprinting of company logo or information on literally hundreds of thousands of different products to help promote their company name or the theme they have on the product. The business is a multi billion dollar industry with sales exceeding $17 billion. Some of the products that are used are: Wearables, Pens, Calendars, Drinkware, Bags, Desk/Office Products, Magnets, etc. Wearables can comprise of T-shirts, hats, golf shirts, jackets and any other item that you can wear on your person.

The business is comprised of two different types of companies: Suppliers & Distributors. The Supplier companies actually produce the product and imprint it with the message. These companies usually imprint multiple product lines and imprint by a number of processes. Imprinting can be through Embroidery, Silkscreen, Pad Printing, Embossing to name a few. Suppliers do not sell to the general public but distribute their lines through the distributors. Distributors should have a vast knowledge of products available and should be able to give you promotional ideas based on budget, themes, and materials. Distributors are the companies that will sell to the end user. Distributors should have a number of catalogs and web tools at their disposal to help you find the right product for your promotion. One tool is a database that can be accessed via the web to search for product ideas and costs that you can use at any time that is convenient for you. These companies have source companies both domestically, as well as, overseas. Depending on time available they will use domestic factories or custom overseas outsourcing. Costs can be substantially lower for overseas outsourcing but also usually takes longer to produce and ship. There are over 20,000 distributors in the United States. End users can find distributors in their local Yellow Pages, online and most local printers are also distributors of promotional products. There are also companies that help end users, or buyers, find distributors.