I admit it, if someone wants to hand me a free pen, highlighter or other give-away with their name/company on it, I'll likely take it and use it. But it's surprising the frequency of really bad quality. Recently got a mug that had the company design fade off after 2 rounds in the dishwasher. Routinely get pens with bad ink quality or that don't last long.
Is that how the vendors/companies wanted to get my attention?
Today my local chamber dropped by with a bag full of "appreciation gifts" from local businesses (picture). I got an assortment pens (that were hopefully TESTED to be sure they write first), a pencil (does anyone use those anymore?), two brushes (I think for my computer screen?), eye glass cleaner (can't have enough of those), a ruler-shaped calendar with adhesive on the back (to put where, I don't know), a plastic keychain that only had a company name on it (not even a cool design - only a white oval), seeds for flowers ("green" option - will plant), and a jar opener from a funeral home (for some reason I thought that sort of creepy.)
These are other recent appreciation gifts:
1. Hotels frequently drop off fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies;
2. Ice cream truck pulled up with free ice cream (another hotel);
3. Tulips in a pot from a hotel where just had meeting (that I liked);
4. Fleece vest with name of a board I serve on (very high quality).
Sometimes tins of things (like popcorn and cookies) are really stale. Maybe purchased in bulk. Wonder if the giver thought to open one of them up and try it?
However, there's a saying "vendor gifts come with a price" when it comes to gifts of notable value ... It's generally a good idea to have a policy on whether or not officers or employees can accept anything of particular value (say more than $50-$100) from a vendor. It's one thing to get attention with poor-quality give-aways or high-quality (but low cost) give-aways ... another when trips or items of more than limited value are given to "get your attention".
Any unique appreciation gifts you've received?