Frequently Asked Questions

We get asked a lot of questions. That's what we're here for!

The PROMO world can be complex, especially if you don't work in it day in and day out like we do!

Here are some of the most common questions we get asked. (And we add to the list frequently!)


If you can't find an answer to your question here, don't hesitate to contact us.



Do you have a catalogue?


Because we order from multiple suppliers, there is no “one” catalogue of what we can get. Many of our individual suppliers offer catalogues but the number that are printing physical catalogues anymore is very limited.

That’s why we have created our virtual showrooms and have a searchable website. The virtual showrooms contain some of the most popular items for the categories we get asked about the most. You can search the extensive database by clicking on the drop-down menus above or the search button on the top right. Just know that it can be a bit overwhelming since we have access to thousands of items through hundreds of suppliers.

If you contact us and let us know a bit about your project, we can likely send you some links or a personalized presentation with some options.

Can I see a sample before I decide?


We have hundreds of samples in our showroom so it’s always a great place to visit to check on items before you purchase. For most items, we can also order in a sample (if you have the time – assume 1-2 weeks for a sample to arrive) for you to see before you purchase in larger quantities.

These samples will be blank or with someone else’s logo on them as there is a cost associated with setting up your logo to print so to get a pre-production sample (one before the whole order is run) will have fees associated with it. The fee is generally going to be the set-up charges for the entire order as well as a charge for that product and shipping.

When we are decorating in-house, we can generally decorate one for you to see first before proceeding with the rest of the order although there may be charges associated with this (we will have to set up all the equipment again when we run the rest of the order) and it will cause delays for your order as we have to wait for your approval on the sample before running the rest of your items for your project.

If a printed sample is important to you and you have the time (assume it can add 1-2 weeks or more to your timeline), please talk to your Promotional Product Consultant.

Can I bring in my own items for you to decorate?


Generally speaking, no. The products we work with are specifically made and sold for the promotional product industry. That means that they are made for decorating – materials, design – and we have instructions from the manufacturer to understand what types of decoration can work without damaging the item or our equipment.

As a promotional product distributor, we have access to lots of brands and types of items and purchasing the items through us is generally the most cost effective. Please talk to us about the type of item you would like and let us find an option for you.

There are times when we can decorate items you bring in but understand that if the item is damaged in any way through the decoration process or you are unhappy with the result, we do not replace the item. There is also a fee for customer supplied products as we still handle them in the same way as items we have purchased (receiving, quotes, mockups, set up, invoicing, etc.) and this fee covers handling costs for your order.

I’m worried about sizing for clothing. Do you have sizing samples?


We have lots of clothing samples in our showroom but generally just one of each item (not every size). If you are making a significant order for your team, and you have the time, we can bring in sizing samples for your group to try on to ensure the correct sizes are ordered. We also have access to sizing charts for most items and can provide those to you.

How long does it take?


It depends on the product, supplier, and time of year but in general, assume about 4 weeks from the time you approve the final quote and artwork so you should always come to see us 5-6 weeks ahead of your event or in-hands date.

That said, many of our suppliers offer rush production and/or shipping so we can often get some products done more quickly, just understand that there may be additional fees associated with rushing your order and expediting shipping can be quite expensive depending on the type of item being shipped. (But with regular shipping, this is still likely 2 weeks.)

Please let us know your in-hands date when you’re placing your order, it helps us to find the right product, supplier and decoration method will work best for your project. There are times and products we can source more quickly when needed.

Can I get items more quickly?


Talk to us about your project and in-hands date and we’ll try to find the best options to meet your timeline. We do have some products and suppliers that can be expedited or have shorter timelines.

Understand that the timeline doesn’t start until we have your quote and artwork approved. This means all sizes, colours, quantities etc. must be known for your order to be placed. We can put together a quote for 50 t-shirts, but we can order any t-shirts until you provide size and colour information. You must also approve all artwork and mockups.

The easiest way to move the timeline along quickly is to provide detailed ordering information and respond quickly to emailed quotes and artwork. Remember, each additional day prior to us being able to place the order with the supplier is another day later the product will arrive and because many suppliers are in the east, orders placed in the afternoon won’t likely be started until the following day.

What if there is an issue with my order?


We stand behind the work that we do. If your order is wrong due to an error on our end, please let us know right away. We will always do whatever we can to help you resolve the problem as quickly and as effectively as possible..

If your order is wrong due to an oversight or mistake on your end (eg. You requested the wrong product or didn’t review the order or proof we sent you) or something we warned you about ahead of time (like small text not printing clearly) that you chose to go ahead with we, of course, can’t accept responsibility for the error. But we’re reasonable people we’ll still try to help as best we can.



What is the order process?


There are many ways to place your order, but most orders follow this process:

  1. Item selection.
  2. Confirmation of quantities and decoration.
  3. Quote and mockups.
  4. Quote and mockups are approved.
  5. Product is ordered and production begins.
  6. Order is ready for pick up.

Some people like to come into our showroom to check out the samples and talk to us about options, some like to use our online search or showrooms to find items and some like to tell us about their project and ask us to provide suggestions.

To provide a quote, we do need to confirm all the details – quantities (including sizing for apparel), colours, and decoration as each of these items can factor into your pricing and we can’t place your order with our suppliers until we have all of the details confirmed. As we work on that, we can provide you with price estimates to assist in your planning.

A quote and mockups are provided for your review and approval. You will want to review these carefully to ensure that everything is correct as we will be placing the order and decorating the product based on what is provided. Note that we can’t get started on your order until the details are finalized and we have your approval.

Once you have provided approval of the quote and mockups, we order the product and production begins. Depending on the product, it may mean getting the product shipped to us to decorate, shipping it to a contract decorator or the supplier may be decorating the product. Production times vary depending on the supplier, product, and type of decoration but it is generally 2-3 weeks once the product arrives. Then, if we haven’t decorated the product, the completed product is then shipped to us.

Once we have your order completed, we’ll contact you for pick up and provide the final invoice.

If you have multiple products on an order, we will generally wait until the entire order is ready to contact you unless we know that certain items are delayed due to back orders or longer production times. If certain items within an order are needed sooner than others, let your Promotional Product Consultant know and they can update you as portions of your order are completed.

What if I’m not sure what I want?


That’s what we’re here for! Talk to us about your project and we can find you some great options.

The more information you can provide us, the better but the basic information we’ll want to know are:

  • Quantity – it makes a big difference if you’re looking for 10 bottles or 100. You don’t have to know exact quantities, but a rough estimate will save us both time in narrowing down the best options.
  • Budget – almost every item will have a GOOD, BETTER, BEST option available and there’s no sense in sending you information about $20 items if your budget is only $5 and vice versa. You can provide an overall budget and let us provide some advice on items and quantities based on your goals or let us know how much you are looking to spend per item.
  • Your logo or decoration specifics – knowing what type of decoration you want (full colour, level of detail, size, complexity) helps us select items that are most appropriate for your logo. For example, if your logo is very complex and has fine details, we need to focus on items that have a decoration area and method that can capture those details.
  • Any must haves or restrictions – if you have a very specific idea of colour, size, or type of item, let us know. We’ll also want to know about any restrictions like no sharp objects, breakable items, etc. It may be information about items you’ve done before or the specific audience for the items.
  • When you need it – if you have a very specific in hands date (especially if it’s less than 4 weeks), we need to know this upfront so that we only suggest items that can be produced within the timeline.
What is the minimum order quantity?


A minimum order quantity is the lowest number of items that can be ordered at one time. This mostly refers to items that are decorated by our suppliers or contract decorators. The minimum quantity depends on the item.

We have several items that can be done in quantities of 1 but most items will have much higher minimums. In general, the lower the price of the item, the higher the minimum order. Items under $5 will generally have minimums of 100 pieces or more. Items in the $20+ range will often have minimums in the 24-50 range. If you are searching on our website, you will often see the minimum quantity and quantity price breaks listed in columns with their associated price. The first column is generally the minimum quantity.

That said, ordering more is your most economical option when you consider shipping, set-up and decoration costs.

Can I order just one?


We have a limited number of items that can be produced in quantities as low as one piece.

We can also order most apparel one piece at a time, but this is not economical for you as the shipping for that one piece will likely be $20-30.

We also have some in-stock items that we can decorate in small quantities.

When do I pay for my order?


For your first order or large orders, we may ask for a deposit or full payment once the quote is approved and we are ordering your items.

For regular customers, payment is normally made when items are picked up.

If you would like to set up an account to establish different payment terms or processing of purchase orders, please talk to your Promotional Product Consultant and they can provide you the paperwork required.

How do I pay for my order?


We accept cash, cheques, debit, Visa and Mastercard. We can also accept email transfer or EFT.

What if I need to cancel my order?


Contact us as soon as possible if your order needs to be changed or cancelled. The costs associated with changes or cancellations will depend on the work and inventory we’ve put into your order up to that point.

Can you ship my order?


Unless discussed with us prior to the quote being finalized, your quote is based on your order being picked up at SJA Promo. Should you wish to have your order shipped to you, please provide your shipping account information and we can process the shipment, or we can coordinate shipping and include the cost in your final invoice. (Note – as we don’t do a lot of shipping so we are paying retail rates for shipping.)

For many items, we can have them drop shipped directly to you from our suppliers instead of shipping them to our location and then shipping them to you. We will need this information at the time of order to ensure suppliers have the appropriate shipping information.

What if I don't live in BC?


We do a lot of work for clients across Canada! We simply have the products shipped directly to you from our supplier and always look for the most economical way to get your PROMO in your hands!

We have built a network of suppliers and decorators to effectively handle projects from coast to coast. We know that even our local customers can't always make it into our showroom so we have lots of online tools and can help you without ever stepping foot in our beautiful showroom!

My Sales Rep is on vacation, I don't want them to miss out on their commission. Do I need to wait for them to return?


Definitely not. First thing, our sales team is not on commission. We feel strongly that getting the perfect PROMO in your hands is a team effort, it takes our entire team to ensure you get the products and services you're looking for! We also believe our whole team needs to be focused on what's best for you and your project, not worrying about what projects will provide the best commission for them. We work as a team and celebrate success as a team.

That said, when we do connect you with a particular sales person, they will tend to continue to work with you on projects because they have gotten to know you, your logo, your preferences and past orders. It makes it easier for them to ensure you get what you're looking for and as the relationship builds, we feel it provides you the best service. (But know that we're all working together and sharing ideas in the background so you are getting the value of the whole team!)




What kind of artwork files do you accept?

Ideally, the best artwork to provide is vector artwork. Generally, it will be a .eps, .cdr or .ai file and you likely can’t open it as it’s designed for graphic software. Sometimes a .pdf document will have a vector file, you can tell if you zoom in and the image does not lose quality (no blurry edges or pixelation).

We can set up your embroidery files with a .jpg, .jpeg or .png file if necessary, just know that we won’t be able to do other types of decoration or products with the file.

If you no longer have the vector files for your logo, we can help. To have your logo vectored can range from $30 - $60 depending on the complexity of the logo. Talk to us if you need help with this.

PS – You can’t just “save as” to make a vector file. To create a vector file, the logo is essentially “redrawn”. You can learn more about file types and why we need vector files by checking out our blog post here.

To put pictures on products (sublimation, printing), we need high resolution files. They need to be at least 300 dpi at the size they are being printed. So, no, the image off the internet or FB will not likely be high enough quality. For best results, the file should be as close to the person who took the picture as possible because every time pictures are shared and forwarded, they are often “shrunk” and lose quality.



How can I get vectored artwork?

If you don’t have your logo or artwork in vector format, there’s a couple of places to check before you pay to have your logo vectored.

If you have previously ordered PROMO products or signage, check with your supplier or sign shop to see if they have your logo in vector format. If your organization has brand guidelines (a document that outlines the colours and “rules” for you logo), it will likely include a vectored file. For larger organizations, reach out to your marketing or public relations department and they can likely help. For franchises, you will likely have access to the files through your corporate website or support person.


I need artwork created or need changes to my artwork for this project. Can you help?

Probably. We can help with creating new designs and logos for your project. If you have supplied vector artwork (see artwork file types we accept), it will be easier for us to make changes. Depending on the extent of the work required, there may be a charge. Your Promotional Product Consultant can review the changes with you and confirm artwork charges before we commence work.


Can you print my logo in different colours?

It depends on your logo guidelines. For the most part, yes, we can work with you to find the colours that will work for the products being decorated. If it’s your company and your logo, this is easy, you’re the boss!

For larger corporate customers, your company has likely identified logo guidelines that provide directions on how your logo is to be printed and we are obliged to follow those guidelines unless we have authorization from your marketing department. We can help determine the options available to you in these circumstances and help identify the appropriate authorization requirements.


Do you have my artwork files?

Your artwork is kept on file from past orders so if you have done work with us before, we will have the artwork used for those projects.


I have previously ordered products from Imagine That! or Crayon Box, do you have my artwork files?

Very likely. Imagine That! joined our team in 2021 and with that, we have their previous artwork files. When Crayon Box closed in 2022, we purchased their artwork files to assist their customers in having consistency for their PROMO. Contact us and let’s see how we can help.


How do I get my artwork to you?

Most files under a couple of MBs should be easily transferred through email, depending on the settings for your email provider. If you are sending multiple files and they don’t seem to be making it through, just send them on separate emails.

If your files are too large to send through email, you can upload them to us here. It’s a good idea to let your Promotional Product Consultant know you are sending your files so we can easily match them up with your order.


Can I use pictures from the Internet for my artwork?

Yes and no. Providing images of artwork you like helps give us an idea of what you want but there are two issues. They are typically low resolution and size and will likely be quite pixelated or blurry, especially on larger prints. They are likely copyright or someone else’s intellectual property which means that they would own the rights to the picture or design, and we can’t print without their permission.


Can you print sports team (or other) logos for me?

We can only print logos of organizations you have permission to print. If you are not authorized to order products for the company you work for or the team you play on or follow, we can’t print the logo for you. This includes local sports teams, but we may be able to help put you in contact with someone who can authorize their use.



Do you price match?


Yes and no. We know that our prices are fair, and we provide great value for the prices we charge. We also know that many competitors and online sites do not offer nearly the service and quality that you will receive from us.

However, we are aware that some of our direct competitors are willing to do whatever they can to get your business and may, from time to time, offer discounts to do so. Please speak to us and we will see what we can do. We will often ask you to provide a copy of the written quote to ensure we are comparing “apples to apples”.

What is a “set-up fee”?


A set-up fee is charged for the time and resources to get your logo in the proper format to decorate and getting the equipment ready for your order. This fee is generally unrelated to the number of items you are purchasing. For example, in screen printing it relates to the creation of the screens required to create your design, for engraving it can be the process of setting up the “instructions” for the engraver to print your design at the size and on the material of the product.

Most items will have a set-up fee, but many suppliers will offer a reduced set up fee for an exact repeat order (same product, same decoration, same size, same colour).

What is a “run charge”?


For many items, the supplier has decided on a particular decoration method and location and that is included in the pricing. If you wish to use a different decoration method, add additional colours or print in multiple locations, there may be a fee associated with these changes, these are what is referred to as a run charge.

Do you offer discounts based on quantity?


Yes. The more you purchase (at one time), the more opportunity we have to offer lower pricing. The specific quantities vary depending on the product and supplier producing the item.

Can I mix and match sizes, colours and styles to get quantity discounts?


For apparel, sizes - definitely. Colours too. (Although you may find that you want to print your logo in different colours depending on the colour of the item which may incur some additional charges.) Styles – it depends. For most items, yes if it’s a different style of the same type of item and same (or mostly the same) supplier. Your Promotional Product Consultant can work with you on your specific order to identify how to achieve quantity discounts.

For hard goods, or items decorated by our suppliers, we don’t always have control over the ability to mix and match but can follow up to find out.

How can I keep my price down?


There are four key elements in your price – the product you select, the decoration, timeline and quantity. If you are looking to find a more economical way to provide PROMO for your project, consider the following:

  • Product – there are often GOOD, BETTER, BEST options for each item and retail brand names will always have a premium price, talk to us about finding a more cost effective option.
  • Decoration – fewer colours – for many types of decoration, you pay per colour so creating one colour design will be more cost effective.
  • Decoration – fewer locations – decoration is priced by location so the more locations you decorated, the more expensive it will be.
  • Decoration – smaller decoration – especially with embroidery and printing, size matters as it takes more time and materials to create larger designs.
  • Decoration – change decoration method – some methods are more labour and material intensive and will be more expensive.
  • Timeline – rush fees or expedited shipping can be expensive; time can also be a factor in utilizing the most cost-effective products and decoration methods.
  • Quantity – the more you purchase at one time, the more cost-effective it will be. You will save on shipping and set-up fees over time and have access to quantity discounts.

Also know that your Promotional Product Consultant is always working to find you the best pricing for you. Whether it’s looking for different suppliers who offer better pricing, discussing quantity discounts (yes, sometimes buying a few more makes the whole order cheaper) or suggesting different types of decoration methods based on your project, talk to them if you need to find a more economical solution.

Are there any hidden fees?


When you are ready to place your order, you will be provided with a detailed quote that will outline all the fees.

When you are looking through our website, to get ideas and pricing information, be aware that some products are priced as blanks, and some include decoration. There may also be set up fees or run charges that may or may not be listed in the product information, shipping and taxes. Your Promotional Product Consultant will provide you with a detailed quote for your approval prior to placing your order.

Should there be any additional fees that come up through the production of your order, you will be contacted by your Promotional Product Consultant to approve these charges. In the rare occasions this comes up, it is generally related to a decoration method that is not achieving the desired result and so we are suggesting a change to ensure you are happy with the final product or if you have a tight timeline, the requirement to expedite shipping or rush production to meet your requirement.

We’re a non-profit organization, do you offer a discount?


We believe that we offer all customers very fair pricing and do a lot of work for local non-profit organizations. That said, we do have a soft spot for the organizations that make our community better so give us your pitch and we’ll see what we can do. Sometimes we can help source some great specials or discontinued items to help you save money.

Why is the website price different from what I was quoted?


If this happens, please let us know. When searching on our website, know that this is being pulled from a database that our suppliers are responsible for updating and some suppliers are better than others at ensuring the pricing is kept up to date. For certain suppliers, we are billed in USD and depending on the supplier or the day, the pricing might have been for US based customers or the calculated exchange rate differs.

Also, some of the items in the database are sold as blank products and then decoration is added, some are sold decorated so the price might have been for the blank product. There are some decoration methods that incur run charges like adding additional colours or changing the style of decoration.



What is required to embroider my logo? How do I get my files set up?


To embroider your logo or design, we need to set up your embroidery files. This involves creating a digitized file for each size of embroidery you would like to do. This digitized file instructs the embroidery machine in running your logo. It also provides us with stitch count (the number of stitches in your logo) for pricing.

To digitize your logo, you will need to provide an artwork file. In this case, we can use a jpg or png image but always prefer a vectored file if you have one (eps, ai, cdr, sometimes pdf). We also need to know the sizes you wish to have set up (eg. left/right chest, hat, side panel on hat).

Separate files have to be set up for each finished size of embroidery, you can choose to set up multiple files at once or set files up as you need them for a project. We generally suggest setting up a left/right chest size (can also work on sleeves or centre panel of a hat) and left/right panel size at the beginning.

From that, we create the embroidery file and do a sew sample for you to review and approve. Sometimes we do quite a few samples before we call you to come see the sample as we edit the embroidery file to get the best results.

Once you’ve approved the file (including your standard logo colours), we’re ready to start producing your orders.

What does it mean to “digitize” my logo?


Digitizing is the process of translating your printed logo into stitches and instructions for the embroidery machine.

Is there a set-up fee for embroidery? Do I pay this every time?


Setting up a file (digitizing) will likely range from $40-60 depending on the size and complexity of the logo. This is a one-time fee, but files do need to be set up for each finished size of embroidery so if you have had your files set up for a hat and then you want a larger file for the pocket of a backpack, a new file will need to be created.

Why do I need to pay to set my file up again?


It likely means that you are looking to embroider your logo in a different size. Although small adjustments in size can be made to an existing file, between 5-10% depending on the file, all it does is shorten or lengthen the stitches rather than add or remove stitches.

What this means is that if an existing file is “shrunk” it puts the same number of stitches in a smaller area so you lose detail and depending on the density of the file, it can end up looking like a clump of stitches. Similarly, if you “expand” the file, the stitch length becomes longer so you have the same number of stitches in a larger area so the embroidery could have “bald” or loose areas and image distortion.

Because we always want your embroidery to look its best, our experts will provide advice on the best way to proceed.

What if I just want text embroidered, is the set up less?


It depends. If it’s a stock font that we can recreate the image easily, yes.

If your text has added effects or features that mean that we are still digitizing from the image of your logo so that it looks the same, regular set up fees will likely apply.

What is the minimum quantity for embroidery?


We can embroider as few as 1 but it is much more economical to do larger quantities.

How do I keep my embroidery costs down?


Pricing for embroidery is based on three things: stitch count, locations, and quantity.

Stitch count relates to the number of stitches it takes to create your design. The greater the number of stitches, the longer it takes for your file to run, the more expensive the embroidery. Stitch count is determined by size of the finished embroidery and fill.

The first is easy to understand – it takes more stitches if your embroidery is 5” x 5” than 1” x 1”. Fill is like ink coverage in conventional printing. How much of the space will be covered in stitches. For example, if your logo has a fully stitched shield or design behind it, it’s going to have more stitches than a text logo.

The greater the number of stitches, the longer it takes to run your embroidery, the higher the price so reducing the size of the embroidery or removing heavily stitched elements (backgrounds) will reduce stitch count.

Each location that is being embroidered is a separate fee as we need to hoop the area and set up the file to run that location. If you are looking to reduce costs, reduce the number of locations. For example, putting a name on one sleeve and position on the other is 2 locations, combining both on one sleeve reduces the cost.

Embroidery is very quantity driven as the time to set up for one hat is the same as what is required to set up to do 100 hats. We create a mockup, find the correct file and program the machines, and thread the machine with the correct thread colours in the specific needle locations. So, rather than doing 12 hats a month, you will have immediate savings even if you did 24 every other month or 48 three times a year.

Can I change the thread colours?


Yes. We know that certain embroidery colours will look better on certain coloured apparel and there will be times when you want to be more subtle with branding.

The “instructions” to embroider your logo aren’t specific to colour so each of the thread colours can be changed. Depending on how the file was set up, you would be restricted to all elements of your logo in one colour that would need to be done in the new colour.

Can names and/or numbers be embroidered to personalize the items?


Yes. We can definitely help you with that. Just know that larger names and numbers will be more expensive than using other decoration methods so it’s best for names on the sleeve or chest area, not for sport uniform name bars or large numbers on the back.

What’s the largest size you can embroider?


Our largest hoop is 17” x 17” so we can embroider a design slightly smaller than that size.

How long does it take to get something embroidered?


It can vary depending on the time of year but is generally going to take 2-3 weeks from the time we receive the product from our supplier. Depending on where the product ships from, it could take 1-2 weeks for the product to arrive.

Your Promotional Product Consultant can review the schedule and provide an estimate of the timeline when your order is placed.



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