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Large Giveaways More Than "One Size Fits All"

It's a classic dilemma: A client wants to buy a large number of shirts, where end-users can come in all shapes and sizes. In this situation, what's the right way to handle sizing?

"The answer to this question really depends on the audience," says Cristine Nigro. "If the apparel is ordered internally by a company, there are many techniques you can use to get exact sizes, from samples to size charts. But if the event is a giveaway for a public audience, you won't be able to get sizes as easily."

In that case Nigro recommends asking the right questions. "Ask your client about the age and gender demographics, find out if there will be children or young adults and ask about the event the promotion will be used for." Once you know the audience, it's important to make sure you know the product.

You can start to learn the product by requesting sizing charts. "Make sure to get appropriate size charts for each brand," says Jim Dunne, director of major accounts at Broder Bros. Co. (asi/42090). "Most suppliers will provide you with any type of information you need concerning sizing and specs."

Here are three tips to get the right fit:

  1. Know your client's audience. If an order is for internal employees, then it's vital to get sizing right. If a T-shirt is being given away to a mass audience, then an even split between medium, large and extra-large will probably suffice.
  2. Ask questions. Find out the age and gender of your client's recipients. And make sure to understand exactly what the purpose of the promotion is and how the items will be given away.
  3. Get samples. Brands of apparel differ greatly when it comes to sizing, so you have to get samples of every size that you're considering ordering. One company's large can be the same as another company's extra-large, so you have to be diligent with this step and be sure to send the samples to your client to make sure they're OK with the sizing of the brand you're considering.
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