Adam Topping, co-owner of Ser Top, knows three reasons why his customers appreciate ordering customized sweatbands, silicone wristbands and patches from his company. The first being that with the popularity of both silicone wristbands, as well as headbands, armbands and sweatbands, companies can now order from one place. "There is a huge barrier between silicone wristbands and sweatbands. Most of our competition focuses on one or the other, but we get a lot of customers who like putting them together. They can get both from us," said Topping.
Secondly, SerTop provides customers with a digitized image of what their logo will look like before the customer places the final order. "We are the only company that does that," Topping explains. This allows them to look at the digitized image, see the layout, the colors, and any text, and then decide if they want to order. "I have seen some crazy logos. One customer took a picture of his arm with the tattoo on it and sent us that," laughed Topping.
The third reason is the promptness with which Topping and co-owner, Paul Serra, respond. "We handle multiple customers, and we are quite adept at replying lightening-fast," said Topping. "We have the emails sent to our phones so we are notified instantly. We usually reply within about 15 minutes. This is one of the things our customers seem to like the most about us." SerTop also has a live chat option, which is available and handled in-house. They make a point of being easy to reach. "In addition to live chat, customers can call us or fill out the form, upload their logo, and in the box at the bottom of the order form, ask us to call them. There is also the contact link at the top of the home page."
SerTop began in 2007, when Topping and Serra put their heads together to come up with an idea that filled a niche. "Starting up for us was killer. Every month we tried to get a little better than before, and a little more creative with our ideas," reveals Topping. "Now there is pretty much no logo out there that we cannot find a way to do." The design work is done in Las Vegas, but the actual product is created overseas. Topping said they want to keep as much in-house as possible. "We do not want a big chain operation, because the more links there are, the more little details change. We went through a lot of manufacturers before we found one that is a top company, uses quality material, and does a great job in assembling the product."
Quality is one point on which SerTop does not cut corners. According to Topping, "Certain times if an order is not pleasing to us, we will pay the cost to remake the order. We are serious about making sure the product is perfect every time." Their website shows a partial portfolio of clear, attractive products. In addition to offering services their competitors do not, and maintaining a strict quality policy, SerTop's strategic use of social media has contributed significantly to their rapid growth. This includes Serra on Twitter, a MySpace page, several blogs, a Facebook fan page and multiple YouTube videos. One video shows a car being towed several feet with a SerTop sweatband, to show how strong the material is. In addition to other unique videos, there are also several conventional ones, such as the video that shows detailed instructions on how to order.
"The multiple social media methods make it easy for different market segments to know when we have specials," said Topping. SerTop's special for the end of 2009 was $199 for 500 silicone wristbands. "We did them only as a printed order because it was such a good price. We put the special on the home page, too." The minimum order is easily met. For a custom logo, it is only 100 pieces of the same design. "We create a stitch file for every new embroidered design. If they want a printed band, we have to create the silk screen printing for it. If they want to buy 50 headbands and 50 armbands, it would not be a problem because that is just a matter of cutting material."
For plain sweatbands, the minimum is 25, although most customers order design work. Topping said it depends on what the customer wants. "If they are looking for solid, plain, one color, we do that. If they are looking for three different colors with a logo or something double sided, we will do that as well." He claims there are limitless options for customization, and although the bands come in standard sizes, Sertop can also do size adjustments. Quantity price breaks are available at multiple levels. For instance, sweatbands begin at $2.89 each for 100, but are as low as .89 each for an order of 10,000 pieces.
Ordering through the website is as easy as meeting the minimums. Click on the category button for the desired product: sweatbands, silicone wristbands, or patches. From there, buyers can select the subcategory, fill in a form and upload a picture of their design. Comments boxes on each form provide for notes on deadlines, combinations of products, colors or styles, and other individualized order needs. Topping explained that in addition to companies ordering products for promotional purposes, many retail stores order products for resale. "We have competitive pricing, and the consumer thinks of a creative design they think will sell well, or they will put their own logo on the band and sell those."
Since the majority of their customers order for promotional reasons, SerTop is used to meeting deadlines for events both small and huge. A partial list of customers ranges from individuals wanting items for weddings or bachelor parties, to promotional giveaways for Pearl Jam, Google, American Red Cross, TGI Friday's, Jagermeister and liquor companies.
SerTop anticipates adding more products in 2010, perhaps beginning with key chains. They see themselves as a promotional products company that began with sweatbands, rather than just a custom sweatband provider.
Minimum Order: Plain - 25. With design - 100. Sweatbands are available as wristbands, armbands and headbands, and are made of cotton or acrylic. Logos can be embroidered or screen printed. Silicone wristbands can be printed, debossed (indented printing), or embossed (raised printing). Color options are solid, segmented, swirl and glow in the dark. Quanitity price breaks available at multiple levels.
For more information:
PO Box 93924
Las Vegas, NV 89193-3924
Entire contents ©2016, Sumner Communications, Inc. (203)
748-2050. All rights reserved. No part of this service may be
any form without the express written permission of Sumner Communications,
Inc. except that an individual may download and/or forward articles
to a reasonable number of recipients for personal,