$2 USB Drives…

…do not exist! Time after time, we continue to receive calls about unrealistically priced USB drives ($1, $2, $3, someone even asked for $0.25). Everyone, I understand you have budgetary constraints, and limited resources, and don’t want to spend a lot on “just giveaways,” but consider this: would you drive a $100 car or wear an $80 suit to an interview? The bottom line is, if these drives existed, you wouldn’t want them (see image at the top).

To set the record straight, here’s a breakdown of components that comprise a USB drive.

NAND Flash (memory chips only) – this is sort of like lobster which carries the “market price” tag on the menu. To see what the market price is, go to DRAMeXchange and view the table on the home page titled Flash Spot Price (see image below). The capacity is shown in gigabits so you have to divide it by 8 to get the actual size (64Gb is 8GB, 16Gb is 2GB, and so on).

Case, PC Board, LED, Controller, and other hardware components – all add on to the cost. Final price is based on quality.

Freight, duties, and other landing costs – cost for these depends on origin, size, weight, and quantity.

Labor, QC, and production costs– depending on what sort of failure rates you want when your drives arrive, these factors are just as important. It is hard to put a price tag on these, however the main factors in determining cost for such services are personnel training, salaries or wages of the employees doing the QC, complexity of production, and overall time spent.

Next, we have to add printing. If printing is done overseas, cost is minimal. If we are doing a rush order and have to print in US, there is a significant increase for printing.

Next, add markup – nobody works for free. If you like your vendor you must pay for their work or you’ll have no vendor to work with.

In conclusion, if you want to give out a quality product I suggest going with a reputable supplier, one who takes the time to confirm all the details and provide suggestions based on your project. If you don’t have the budget for this, consider an alternative – a less expensive product (but not a cheap one). Just don’t settle for crap.