In this era of online purchases, there’s practically nothing you can’t order with a couple of mouse clicks. But the ease with which we buy has made selling much simpler too. And that means that for many consumer and industrial products, a raft of low-cost, low-quality competitors have popped up to take advantage.
And while it may seem like a sensible cost saving to order cheaper safety flags, you may “pay” for that in other ways.
A worn or deteriorated safety flag may only be an annoyance financially, but it can be a much more serious problem on-site if it fails to keep a vehicle visible.
However, how do you know if the safety flags you’re ordering will be up to scratch?
Short of actually seeing the product, it’s difficult to tell. However, there are some tell-tale signs you can look for to see whether the supplier is simply selling the cheapest flags they can find or if they offer something that will do the job for you.
So, before you choose a supplier for your safety flags, ask yourself these three questions…
Question 1: Are the flags Australian Made?
Being Australian, we may be a little biased!
The country of manufacture isn’t always a sure-fire sign of high or low quality, but it’s often a good guide. Suppliers sourcing product from Asian or African countries at dirt-cheap prices probably don’t have quality as their top priority.
Plus, you may not get the same level of customer service from a supplier who’s internationally-based, which may cause problems with returns or refunds.
Question 2: Can I customise the flags?
One important aspect that many sites and mining companies we supply look for is customisability.
A one-size-fits-all flag assembly doesn’t give them the flexibility they need. This is important, as they often have different vehicles they’re installing the flags on, and those vehicles operate in different environments.
Some of the customisation that more advanced suppliers can provide include
- Flag colour
- Length of flag pole
- LED pole colour
- Base type
With cheap flag kits, you rarely get a choice in any of these features. If you do, the customisation process can drag out as they may not be suited for a quick set up or retool to deliver your order quickly.
Question 3: How quickly will I get the flags?
In a way, this links back to Question 1 and whether the supplier you’re looking at manufactures the flags in Australia, or is Australian-based themselves.
If they aren’t, then you’re likely facing a lengthy 1-to-2-week lead time before you get your flags… if you’re lucky.
Of course, there’s another factor to the “how quickly” question: the freight carrier that the supplier uses.
(There’s also the matter of the carrier’s reliability around not losing shipments, but that’s an issue for another time!)
For example, we do same day / next day dispatch and use TNT for all our deliveries.
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Sometimes that online bargain you stumble across is too good to be true.
Before you place your order for safety flags, spend 5 minutes to ask these three questions… they could save you a lot of money and drama!