The High Cost of Cheap Awards


Rarely a week goes by without a potential client asking us if we can match another company’s ridiculously low price quote. Now, in our early years we used to chase inquiries like this to the ends of the earth, cutting our margins to virtually nothing to secure an order, just because someone asked us to. But eventually we realized this was damaging both ourselves and our clients by devaluing the service and quality we deliver so consistently.  

Today, we don’t compete on low prices because there’s simply no point. If you’re looking for cheap awards and trophies, there are still a few companies offering rock bottom prices. Over the past 25 years we’ve seen a lot of these trophy shops come and go. They appear, offer extremely low pricing in an attempt to attract clients, then disappear after a couple of years because they’re simply unsustainable. It’s sad to see for many reasons, and it also creates an unrealistic expectation of value and what is possible.

1.  Can your awards supplier provide you with great service and support

Trophy shops with razor-thin margins can barely afford to complete and ship your order as promised, much less answer the phone or respond to your requests. And what happens if there are errors, delays, or damage in transit? Likely they won’t have the resources to offer any support or follow up service, which could leave you high and dry. We hear about clients getting “ghosted” by their suppliers all the time. 

2.  How much have you saved if your awards arrive late?

Some organizations spend thousands of dollars and countless hours organizing their awards ceremony. But if the awards arrive broken or late, have you really saved any money? It’s possible you may incur even higher costs trying to secure last-minute replacements, or worse yet, you may have to hold your awards gala without any awards to present!

3.  Consider the quality and craftsmanship of your awards and trophies.

Many trophy shops hire seasonal and inexperienced staff to keep costs down. Will they have the skills and knowledge needed to artfully mark your awards and produce quality pieces that amplify your message of appreciation? Will they have the experience to advise you on your recognition needs? At Eclipse, we are a Living Wage Employer and our team members have an average of 7 years of service, which means they have both the skills and experience to serve you at a high level. 

4.  Cheap awards may have not have the effect you intend

We often hear of companies that present awards, but are then surprised when they don’t receive the reaction they expected. Usually it turns out that the awards were poorly made, or made of plastic (or sometimes both). Recognition isn’t something to simply check off on a list - to do it well does require some thought and intention. Recognition awards done poorly can have the opposite effect as intended, especially if the recipients perceive them to be cheap or low quality. Imagine taking your best friend for a birthday you take them to the cheapest place you can find? Or do you treat them to a special place that reflects how much you appreciate them? Awards and trophies are the same, quality matters. 

5.  The pursuit of the lowest price is a race to the bottom.

The relentless pursuit of the lowest price is one of the biggest problems we face today. It places constant and tremendous pressure on companies to take shortcuts, to cut quality, to pay less, and to do less. At Eclipse we contribute to our community through donations, sponsorships and volunteering, we pay our staff Living Wages, we maintain street gardens and green roofs, we are solar powered, we plant trees, and we’re carbon neutral! These things require resources, and they also contribute to a better world. As consumers, if we want to see more of these things in the world, we can support them by considering more than low prices.

People say that when choosing suppliers, you should consider Quality, Speed and Price... but you can only pick two. We believe that we deliver on all three, but in the end the choice is yours.

What are the main things you consider when choosing your awards and trophies supplier?

Toby Signature

Recognize. Empower. Repeat. 

Toby Barazzuol