A Review of Queensboro Logoed Apparel

Posted: June 10, 2011 by David Lamont in Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

Logoed polo shirts are the de facto uniform at most IT events so it’s useful to have a convenient source that allows you to outfit the sales and marketing team at a reasonable price. A typical trade show requires 10 or so new shirts of different sizes for those on booth duty so it’s not always practical to order in bulk.

Queensboro is based in Wilmington, NC and supplies logoed apparel such as shirts, hats, etc. There are plenty of similar suppliers but I decided to try Queensboro in April 2011 because Marketingsage manages trade show logistics for clients so we source booth uniforms and giveaways.

Queensboro offered a good selection, low minimum volumes, reasonable prices and a convenient internet-based service. Additionally, they had a $2.95 trial offer for a polo shirt that included the logo, setup and shipping. That represented an almost free sample.

Samples are important because a Chinese definition of XL may not be the same as my US definition. Additionally, each logo is unique and you don’t know how the embroidery will turn out until you see it.

Ordering the polo shirt on the Queensboro web site was relatively easy. I choose a navy colored polo and uploaded the Marketingsage logo. I was immediately concerned about color contrast because the logo uses a navy blue. I noted that concern in a comments box although I noted that Queensboro allowed you to select thread colors as part of the review process.

A few days later I was able to review a “sample” logo on their web site. It was a simulation of what the logo should look like when embroidered. Frankly, it did not look very good, but a note reassured me that the embroidery usually looks better in real life. I requested a smaller logo and changed the thread colors to white (or at least I thought I did).

The shirt arrived about a week after I approved the design. I was disappointed. The threads were not all white. The “marketing” portion was a navy on navy (the picture below is brighter than real life.) I also did not like the “resolution” of the embroidery, but I could accept some blame for that if it was the result of my request for a smaller logo. The quality of the shirt itself appeared good and the XL size was generous.

Marketingsage logo

I could never use the shirt at a trade show, but that’s the whole point of getting a sample. You want to know about any problems in advance so you can fix them. Here’s where Queensboro fails.

I used the Queensboro system to ask about the thread color on my order. It’s possible I did not save the selection on the web page (although part of logo was white, as requested). I would have accepted some push back if that was the case. I never got a response. The satisfaction survey form arrived and again I noted the issue. No response.

For $2.95 I don’t care. Obviously, Queensboro doesn’t care either. At that price, they are already underwater on the offer. However, we are both back where we started. I could use a convenient supplier but I can’t trust Queensboro to get it right. At the time of writing Queensboro continues to offer one-time deals to attract new customers – http://www.queensboro.com/ref/SQRENCNOQMS

Queensboro’s customer support operation (if any) let them down by not responding at all… even to tell me that the issue was my fault or to point me to a new order form.

A side note: Queensboro’s automated email starts once you place your order. I think I got a promotional offer every day or so. I did expect email, but that’s way too many for me. I stopped opening them. I didn’t immediately unsubscribe because my order was pending. When I eventually unsubscribed I noticed an option to slow down the email, but at that point we were done.

If you decide to try Queensboro I’d suggest uploading a logo that uses the colors you want for each order. Editing artwork mitigates the convenience factor, but you can’t assume the thread color selection process will work for you. I’d also suggest using the logo size they suggest (or larger). As always, remember that embroidery does not work well for small logo elements such a serifs, thin lines, and overlapping colors.

About the Author

David X. Lamont is an accomplished marketer of IT products and a partner at Marketingsage, a PR and lead generation firm that specializes marketing data storage, data management and enterprise software products. He can be reached by email at blog [at] marketingsage.net. Fellow marketers and IT professionals are invited to join his network on LinkedIn and to subscribe to this blog (see sidebar).

  1. David Lamont says:

    Update: About 2 months later Queensboro followed up on the order and found out about my dissatisfaction. To their credit they sent this email:

    “Thank you for your feedback in regards to your recent order. I’m sorry to hear that you were unhappy with the sample shirt you received. We really appreciate the feedback as it helps us to pinpoint some areas in need of improvement. I apologize that you did not receive a response to your survey comments, but know that we are just a phone call or email away and are always willing to help. Many customers email us directly via the Contact Us link listed on our homepage.

    We would be happy to help you tweak your logo so that it might better suit your needs and expectations. Our logo team is always on hand to help answer any questions you might have in regards to your logo appearance. The photos you’ve posted are very helpful when helping us to determine issues with embroidery files and thread colors.

    As per our 100% guarantee, I’ve issued a replacement order …”

    The replacement shirt was processed, shipped and looks great.

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