Practical and specialized features, and fashionable contours are among the key enhancements.
Value add-ons and novelty shapes are taking the usability and visual appeal of China promotional novelty radios a notch higher. Although the line is meant for advertising purposes, suppliers continue to boost the products' practicability. Speakers, and musical alarm, snooze and countdown features are among key enhancements. Many units boast calendar, projector and thermometer capability as well. Most are equipped with digital displays.
One of Max-Future Electronics Co. Ltd's best-sellers is the model F-1758 cubic radio doubling as a mini stereo amplifier for A/V devices. It can also hold mobile phones and MP3 players. The manufacturer offers versions that project the time and come with wireless indoor and outdoor panels showing the temperature.
Enterprises are also releasing more variants boasting specialized functions. Acever Gifts Industry (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd, for instance, will launch promotional novelty radios incorporating built-in compasses and solar panels for camping, pedometer and breathalyzer capability for hiking, and adapters for clients offering mobile phones. The maker will also develop units that double as USB flash drives.
Recognizing the convenience of such devices during outdoor activities and emergencies, manufacturers are adding compatibility with alternative power sources in keeping with camping and disaster preparedness.
Zhejiang Shengbo Electronic Co. Ltd carries a series of units that run on solar energy when the batteries die. About five to 10 other makers offer similar models.
Max-Future has released a design with a built-in hand crank power generator.
Acever expands functionality further with a product that can supply energy to various types of mobile phones. It also utilizes solar panels and a rechargeable Li-ion battery, and is equipped with a flashlight.
Several versions are water-resistant. One such alternative from Zhejiang Shengbo has connectors treated with rubber strips. As the unit is suitable for bathroom use, a hook is attached for hanging it on the showerhead.
With regard to aesthetics, companies are developing new constructions to widen buyers' choices. They are taking advantage of the line's design flexibility, which separates it from other traditional industries where homogeneity is a problem.
Shape is a key element of promotional novelty radios in drawing buyer interest. Among the latest popular contours are milk carton, cow, soda can, cup, book, car and credit card. Releases with a vintage look are likewise gaining attention.
Customization is high on suppliers' list of services as OEM orders dominate shipments. Creating a new mold requires $5,000 to $8,000. A5,000-unit purchase will bring the additional cost to between $1 and $1.60, which is often considered by makers as an acceptable rate.
It is typical for buyers to give specifications at this MOQ. Those procuring fewer items stick to traditional shapes to avoid the expense. They customize features instead.
China suppliers offer promotional novelty radios in all shapes and sizes. Rectangular versions represent 50 percent of output.
Plastic, typically ABS, is used for the housing, while some parts come in steel. Design, functions, logo application method and packaging are the key price determinants. The additional cost of customizing molds if necessary is also factored in.
Low-end models may be square or rectangular, and have AM and FM receivers. These run on dry-cell batteries and measure 8x6cm. Quotes range from $1 to $2.
Midrange designs go for $2 to $5. Aside from features found in basic releases, the units boast LCDs, and calendar, clock and thermometer functionality.
Upscale promotional novelty radios are priced from $6 to $9. The majority has emergency chargers and solar panels. Each additional feature raises quotes by $1 or $1.50.
Silk-screening and pad printing are the most utilized logo application methods. Only the former is done by hand.
The two techniques produce vivid hues and clear lines. Both are suitable for polychromatic designs and flat surfaces, although pad printing is also effective on round exteriors.
Paper stickers are a good option for low-volume orders. Offset printing is popular as it yields sharp colors. More than 3,000 self-adhesive logos cost $200. Steel slices have a higher perceived value but can be easily peeled off. These must be positioned strategically on a unit with an accommodating shape.
Trademarks can be preset in molds during customization, saving the buyer from spending on logo application. The procedure is recommended for simple images and patterns without much color variation.
Packaging also affects final prices. Corrugated paper boxes, used for high-end radios, come in three- or five-layer constructions and white or multicolor exteriors. Options with windows make products visible but cost 30 percent more.
At rates similar to those of corrugated paper boxes, gift tin boxes provide better protection for upscale models. They may likewise have a clear side. Blister cards, 40 percent less expensive than the above choices, are popular alternatives. The thickness and transparency determine outlay.
Prices of promotional novelty radios are expected to remain stable in the next six months. Increases will most likely be limited to between 5 and 10 percent. Rising costs and the appreciation of the yuan are among the major reasons for possible adjustments.
The average labor outlay in China's coastal provinces, where the major production hubs for promotional novelty radios are found, climbed from 15 to 20 percent YoY in the past half-year. Additionally, the continuous surge in the cost of plastic may further push up prices as the input accounts for 60 percent of total material spending.
Oil rates are also expected to increase due to precarious conditions in North Africa.
As for the yuan's value, suppliers anticipate a 6 percent rise for the rest of 2011.
Bettersupply Ind. Co. Ltd