Here are our most Frequently Asked Questions. If you need more information on any topic, please call Customer Service toll-free at (800) 604-0207.
Immediately after you place your order online, you will receive an automated confirmation email. Please keep in mind that sales tax and Shipping and Handling fees are estimated at this point in the process.
If you have artwork that you did not upload to the site during the ordering process, you may simply email firstname.lastname@example.org, attach your art, and send. (Our email system accepts messages up to 10 MB; if your email is larger, please contact Customer Service for an alternative delivery method such as Sharefile.)
Shortly after placing your order, a Customer Service Representative will review your order, dates and artwork, and contact you with any questions.
Our Customer Service team will then email a proof to you. Once we receive your approval of the proof via email or fax, as well as approval for your selected payment option, we will submit your order to production. No order will go into production without your approval, so rest assured you’ll be able to get any questions or concerns answered before then.
After your order ships, we will send you an invoice via email. This will show you the final order total, including the final sales tax and Shipping & Handling calculations. If you paid via credit card, we will charge your credit card at this time.
What artwork formats do you accept?
For most products with 1-2 color imprints, we will need vector art to avoid art preparation charges; we prefer an .eps file. For most full-color imprints, we will need hi-resolution artwork at 600 dpi or higher. However, in either case, we can work with whatever electronic format you provide. Clean, sharp camera ready art (black and white laser printed artwork of 1200 dpi or higher) is also accepted. If your artwork requires cleanup or additional preparation, our graphic design team can assist you with that– we can even provide full graphic design services if you need us to produce artwork from scratch.
What are my imprint color options?
Each product has a unique set of standard imprint colors. We may also be able to match a PMS (Pantone® Matching System) color. If the product detail page asks you for a PMS color, any extra change will be denoted on the page. If you don’t see an option for PMS color match on a given product, contact Customer Service to determine availability on your selected product and any associated charges.
Will my artwork be kept on file for future orders?
Yes. Vanguard will keep artwork from online orders for at least one year after ordering.
Orders and Pricing
What are the standard minimum order quantities?
Minimum order quantities vary by product. Please refer to the individual product detail pages. In some cases, we can produce less than the minimum quantity shown, typically at an additional expense; please contact Customer Service.
What is a set up charge?
A setup charge is assessed to make the plate from the artwork and set up the machine for imprinting. This is not an art preparation charge.
Is a set-up charge required for a repeat order?
In many cases, no, you will not be charged a setup charge for an exact repeat order. In some cases, there will be a small fee for the setup on a repeat order.
What is a screen charge?
A screen charge is charged to transfer the art image to a screen used in silk-screening.
What is digitizing?
Digitizing is the process of converting printed artwork to a format that can be used in an embroidery machine.
Can I imprint or embroider in more than one color?
Yes. You can typically imprint 1-4 (or more) colors per location but a 1-2 color screen print is most typical. You can typically embroider up to 9 colors per location. Full Color process imprinting is available on some products for photos and full color artwork. Vanguard will help you determine the best imprint method for your objective and budget. The product detail page shows the most popular imprinting options; contact Customer Service if you require more options than shown on the product detail page.
What is a Run Charge?
A run charge is the cost to run each piece under the sewing machine or silk-screening machine.
Can I add, cancel or delete items on my order?
You may add, change or delete items from an order prior to it being produced; call or email Customer Service for assistance. You will be responsible for any costs incurred after the order is placed. Once production has started, you will be responsible for the full purchase amount. Production will not begin until we’ve received your proof approval.
Can I get a sample of the product?
Yes; you can request a sample directly by visiting https://www.vanguardpromotions.com/request-sample or calling us at 800-604-0207. Please note that samples are intended for clients evaluating a product for a future purchase. They are not intended for personal use. Some samples will have a random imprint; others will be blank. Samples may not be available for all products. If you have questions about our free sample program, please contact Customer Service.
How can I see what my imprint will look like prior to ordering?
You will receive a virtual proof via email prior to the order being produced. We will require your approval via email or fax before putting your order into production.
Can I receive a pre-production sample for approval prior to my order placed into production?
We may be able to secure a pre-production sample printed with your artwork before you commit to a full order. Contact Customer Service for pre-production fees and timelines.
What if I receive more or less than I ordered?
Every effort is made to fill your order with the exact quantity ordered. However, due to standard industry imprinting processes, this is not always possible. We reserve the right to ship and bill up to 10% over or under the quantity ordered. Plastic bags are especially susceptible to overruns/underruns. If you have concerns about potential overruns or underruns on your order, contact Customer Service.
Payment, Credit & Sales Tax
What are the payment options available?
Credit card payments are the fastest way to get your order into production. Vanguard does extend in-house credit to some organizations. Contact Customer Service if you wish to pay by check or money order. All pricing reflects U.S. dollars, and all billing is processed in U.S. dollars.
Can I use a PO?
If you already have a house account with Vanguard, simply select PO as your payment option during checkout.
Can I request in-house credit for a new account?
Vanguard extends credit to some online customers upon a credit review. If you need to receive your order by a specific date, we suggest paying by credit card. The Vanguard Credit approval process may take up to five business days, and thus may delay production of your order. To apply for credit, your initial order must total at least $1,000, and you will need to submit a credit application. We will email you a link to the application after you submit your order.
Vanguard’s terms of sale are Net 10. A finance charge of 1.5% per month (which is an ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE of 18%) will be added to accounts over 30 days.
Credit is not extended to: any business in existence 18 months or less, individuals, independent agents (such as insurance and real estate agents), non-commercial customers (such as non-profit organizations, churches, reunions, political candidates) and International customers (billing address outside U.S.).
If you are requesting in-house credit for a first order, production will not begin until credit is approved. If you already have a credit account with Vanguard, you will be invoiced after the order ships.
When do you charge my credit card?
We will authorize your credit card while your order is being processed. Your credit card will not actually be charged until after your order has shipped.
What happens if I use a debit card?
If you use a debit card, your bank will hold funds from your checking account at the time of authorization, but not remit the funds to Vanguard until the order is invoiced by Vanguard. When the order invoices, any difference from the original authorized amount will be credited (or debited) to your checking account and then your bank will remit payment to Vanguard.
Is my credit card and account information secure?
Yes. We follow strict industry protocols for the protection of your personal data.
Do you charge sales tax?
We currently collect sales tax in the following states: NY, NJ, CT, PA, VA, MA, FL
My organization is exempt from sales taxes. How do I place a tax-exempt order?
During checkout you will have the opportunity to tell Vanguard your order is tax-exempt. However, Vanguard must have your current tax exempt certificate on file to begin production. If Vanguard does not have a current certificate on file, please fax or email your tax exempt certificate to Customer Service by 1) replying to the order confirmation email and attaching the file, or 2) faxing the document to Customer Service and referencing your order number.
Shipping and Delivery
What are standard production times?
Production varies per product ordered and are listed on the product detail page. Some products can be produced in 24 hours; 5 days is more typical. Few take more than 10 days to produce. Production times begin after Vanguard receives approval of your proof, not including the day approval is received. If proof approval is received after 3 PM EST, it will be considered as if received the following business day. Production days do not include shipping time.
What happens if a product is backordered?
Customer Service will notify you in the event of a backorder and provide an estimated stock date. We will help you select an alternate product if you have a deadline to meet.
How can I get my order faster?
You may request a rush service on an order. Rush service production times and charges vary per product ordered. Contact Customer Service for more information.
What are my shipping options? Can I ship on my own shipping account?
Our standard carrier is UPS. We offer Ground, Next Day Air Saver and 2nd Day Air. If you require additional options, contact Customer Service.
How much does Shipping & Handling cost?
During checkout, the site will provide you an estimate for Shipping and Handling charges. This estimate will be close to the final shipping charge. Final charges will be calculated by UPS based on the final weight and carton dimensions of your order. Note that for bulky or oversize items (such as sport water bottles), the final Shipping and Handling fee may be more than the estimate provided during checkout due to oversize shipping cartons. Products at risk of such underestimation will be denoted on the product detail page.
Can I ship to multiple addresses?
Yes. Drop shipments can be made to multiple locations. Contact Customer Service for more information.
Can I ship internationally?
Likely yes, depending on the product, which factory is decorating it and your ship to country. Contact Customer Service for details.
We do everything possible to prevent mistakes on orders. Before we begin production of your order, we request you sign off on a complete Order Confirmation and product art-proof. In the event of a large order or complicated design, we may request you sign off on a pre production physical sample.
We have over 40 years in the industry and take pride in our service and quality. Our clients satisfaction is of the utmost importance to us. We guarantee we will ship your order exactly as you approved and that it will arrive on time and error-free.
In addition, we are always more than happy to send you a product sample before you place your order so you can ensure it is what you are looking for.
Our Return and Refund policy is as follows:
- Customized Items: Except in the case of manufacturing defects, damaged items or customization that does not match your order approval, we are unable to accept returns on customized or personalized items.
- Responsibility for Shipping: We will arrange for pickup of any misprinted, damaged or defective items at no cost to you.
- Window of Returns: Please check your order for defects immediately upon arrival. You have 7 days from you order delivery date to notify us of a defect or problem with the order.
- Securing a Return Authorization: In the event that you receive misprinted or incorrect merchandise, please call us at 800-604-0207 or email email@example.com for assistance.
- Receiving your Refund: Method of refund depends on the method of initial payment. Credit card orders will be refunded to the same credit card of purchase.
Can Vanguard develop custom products or provide even lower prices for products sourced overseas?
Yes. We can offer lower costs, increased customization and flexible delivery options for large custom projects. Typical projects appropriate for international sourcing are for orders of $5,000 or more and 60-120 days lead time.
Does Vanguard publish a catalog?
Yes, Vanguard publishes multiple product and event catalogs. They can be downloaded or viewed online at vanguardpromotions.com.
Are your products safe?
Every order you place with Vanguard comes with product safety and social compliance protection. We work with the most trusted testing facilities. Product testing is available upon request at an additional cost.