BNoticed – Proofs and Samples

Product Samples

What are they? – A sample is an individual example of a product. Typically, samples are the actual product that is being considered for an order. On occasion, samples for a specific product or product color may not be immediately available due to inventory levels, etc. In such cases, factories may provide a comparable product (e.g. different color, larger size, etc.) which may still provide adequate illustration of the material, design, function or other attributes.
Are they imprinted? – BNoticed’s policy is to request imprinted samples from the factory in response to customer’s requests whenever possible. This provides customers the opportunity to see not only quality and functionality of the product but also the quality of imprint. On occasion, factories will not have imprinted products available and will provide a blank product.
Why request a sample? – BNoticed recommends that customers that are unfamiliar with a product and who have specific requirements on fit, form, function, material, color, imprint, etc. request samples of products to ensure that the product will meet their needs. Because most products are customized with your logo or artwork, products are not generally returnable except in the case of damage, defects, or errors made by BNoticed or its suppliers. While requesting samples does require some advanced planning, it is the best way to ensure Customer’s satisfaction.
When requesting samples, we urge customers to advise us if they have any specific concerns that they are seeking to assess in the sample so that we can ensure an appropriate sample is provided by the factory. For example, if you are concerned about the shade of red that a product comes in, BNoticed will advise the factory that only a red sample is acceptable. Obviously, if inventories cannot support such specific requests, then samples will not be available.
How much does it cost? – Typically, BNoticed, at its sole discretion, will provide a limited number of domestically imprinted samples to established customers free of charge; we’ll even pick up standard ground shipping costs. For additional samples, higher valued items and requested blank goods, there may be associated costs. Likewise, any rush shipping (e.g. overnight shipping, etc.) will be the responsibility of the Customer. In the event that there are costs associated with a sample request, we’ll advise you of the product cost and estimated shipping so that you can confirm the sample order prior to finalizing. 
In the case of products manufactured and imprinted overseas where there is not domestic inventory available for samples, the costs of the sample and airfreight will be the responsibility of the Customer. These costs can be high given airfreight costs and can range $75-$100 or more per piece.   
How long does shipping take? – Lead time for sample delivery can vary by product and supplier as well as based on inventory levels. In most cases, samples are shipped within a day or two with transit time of 1-5 days domestically.   In general, samples are typically in-hands in 1-2 weeks. For overseas samples, lead times will typically be a minimum of 2 weeks.

Virtual Proofs

What are they? – A virtual proof is an illustration depicting your artwork on the product to be imprinted. These are created by superimposing your artwork on an image (i.e. digital picture) of the product. 
What is the purpose? – Virtual proofs provide you with a general idea of what your logo looks like on the product. It is important to note that virtual proofs are not intended to be exact representations of how your logo will appear on the product. Because products are three dimensional and often features surface contours that are not easily represented in a two dimensional image, it is not possible to precisely represent imprints (including size, position, perspective, etc.) on the image of a product.   As such, virtual proofs should be viewed as a general approximation of the relative location, size and appearance of an imprint.  
What if I need a more precise representation? – If the primary concern is size or scale of the imprint, a scaled artwork proof may be sufficient for your needs. A scaled artwork proof depicts your artwork laid out to within a two-dimensional space (e.g. square, rectangle, circle) representing the imprint area of the product. This will provide you with a representation of the size of the imprint. 
If the scaled artwork proof and virtual proof are not sufficient for your needs, most suppliers will provide a Pre-production Proof for an added fee (see below).
How much does it cost? – Typically, BNoticed will provide virtual proofs free of charge upon request once an order has been finalized.  If a virtual proof is required prior to placing an order, there may be nominal costs associated.   
How long does it take? – Virtual proofs can generally be provided within 1-3 days.

Pre-Production Proofs

What are they? – A Pre-Production Proof, also known as Spec Sample, is a sample of the selected product imprinted with your artwork. 
What is the purpose? – Pre-Production Proofs enable you to see what the actual imprinted product will look like prior to imprinting products in bulk quantities. Pre-Production Proofs are typically required for fully custom products and many overseas products. Typically, pre-production proofs are delivered to the customer for hands-on review. However, if near term need dates preclude delivery, some factories will provide a photograph of the Pre-Production Proof for customers to review.
How much does it cost? – Pre-Production Proofs can be expensive since all tooling required for imprinting must be made simply to imprint the individual product. As such, at a minimum, cost of pre-production proofs will include the price of the product and all associated set-up charges and run charges. In addition, some factories will have additional charges for producing an individual product. As such pre-production proofs can cost in excess of $100 or more beyond the price of the product. However, most factories will not charge for additional set-up costs when completing the full order.    If a pre-production proof is required, a quote will be provided.
For high quantity overseas/custom orders requiring pre-production proofs, the costs of the pre-production proofs are typically included in your quote for the entire order.    
How long does it take? – Lead-times for pre-production proofs can vary substantially depending on custom tooling requirements and other factors. Overseas pre-production proofs can frequently take in excess of 30-60 days depending on the product and factory. If a pre-production proof is required, an estimated delivery date will be provided with your quote. As with all overseas orders, products may be subject to custom delays so delivery dates cannot be guaranteed.