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Why are these trophies dirt cheap?

Updated on April 6, 2013

A good bargain

It's your firm's annual award presentation night and you are organizer has an impossible budget to pull it all off. There is the venue to book, food list to decide upon, entertainment and the all so important trophies and awards to give to the best performers for the past year. There simply isn't enough money to get everything done.

You come across a mailer or advert for trophies at unbelievably low prices. These glittering awards are going at rock bottom prices. Without hesitating, you place an order for 200 units of the trophies. Great! You've saved a tidy sum. Or so you think.

How can trophies be so dirt cheap? How is it possible that the trophy maker can offer such a crazy price?

Lower quality

Every business faces cost pressures. Just as you as event organizer has a budget to meet, the trophy maker also has to balance his sums to run a profitable business. One way to lower operating costs is to offer you a lower quality product and pass it off as a superior quality one. You may ask how is that achieved for trophies?

The main cost going into a trophy is the material and labour. A finely crafted trophy has to be a combination of high quality material and careful workmanship. Everything comes at a price. If you are getting an unbelievable price, likely you will get unbelievable quality too. Unbelievably bad quality.

Some dealers would cut corners by substituting the material of the trophy. Substituting finely polished brass and metal with cheaper, and far cheaper looking plastic would replicate the same form but none of the finesse in an award. Even plastic can be substituted with one that is of a lower clarity and grade. That alone would cut costs dramatically, and the quality of the final product.

Other dealers would reduce the amount of material used by reducing the thickness of the award. Take for example acrylic trophies. The thickness of the upright plate can be shaved by up to as much as 50%! This affects the overall proportion, look, feel and handling of the award.

Remember, if it's too good a deal, something has to give.

Poor workmanship

As the saying goes, more haste less speed. Crafting a quality trophy takes time. It takes thought and care to ensure that the various parts are properly put together, the artwork is properly designed to be compatible with the award. The font selection should be consistent with the overall look and feel of the mood, event and form of the trophy. An elegant font should be favored for a formal awards night, which more playful fonts would be compatible for a less formal event.

The trophy maker also has to ensure that the message is properly engraved and aligned with the main trophy body and the text and logos are sharp and precise. Sloppy or careless work would result in blurred text and even basic mistakes like spelling errors on the trophy.

In the worst instance, poor workmanship can ruin an awards night when parts of the trophy are not properly fused together and parts of the trophy are broken off during the presentation. Generally, such causes are due to inherent design flaws in the trophy and compounded by the careless execution by the trophy maker.

Bad handling and storage will also result in scratches and chipped edges off crystal awards even before your event.

Sounds like a lot of detail? Yes it is. And do you think anyone will go to that extent for $5 a trophy?

Hidden costs

There are plenty of ways which a dealer can pack in hidden costs. Some trophy makers charge an artwork fee per trophy for the design and layout of your message and logo. Imagine an artwork fee of $5 for a $5 trophy. Now that doesn't seem such a good deal right. In addition, dealers may charge an amendment fee for subsequent artwork amendments.

Additional costs may also include packaging. Unscrupulous trophy makers may give you such abysmal packaging for the products that you have no choice but to upgrade to a more acceptable packaging option. And this is where the add-ons would cost you.

Variations would also cost you. Say you need an additional 10 trophies. Rouge dealers would jack up the prices on those additional 10 awards as you have no more time and no one else to turn to. Painful? Very.

Fast, Cheap and Good

It is often a joke but it is very real. Nothing in the world is fast, cheap and good. If it's cheap and fast, it's not good. If it's good and fast, it's not cheap. if it's good and cheap, it's not fast. Hence, rather than try to cut corners on the most important staff event in the company calendar, make sure that you have quality awards. The additional premium paid would be worth it's weight in gold. After all, isn't a trophy meant to reward those who have performed well? Honor them with only the best trophies and awards!


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      festojames 4 years ago

      I've come across some trophies that were broken on delivery and the supplier refused to exchange them.