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Freqently Asked Questions

Why Order from Benton Trophy & Awards? When you purchase any product from Benton Trophy you are assured that your product will be of the highest quality in the industry. We sell and manufacturer only products that fit our highest standards of quality in production, finish and engraving ability. You may find that some awards shops online or locally may offer the same items we do. However, our philosophy is that the quality of the product is only as good as the quality of service that comes with it. Outstanding Customer Service is the lifeblood of our company and will continue to be for generations to come.

How many years have you been in business? Benton Trophy & Awards, Inc. was founded in July 1973 in Sauk Rapids, MN.

Celebrating Great in 2008! - So what is the big deal? We are celebrating many great accomplishments this year. The first being our 35th Anniversary, 10 years as an online presence, 1st Anniversary of our new location, website version 3.0 which you are on right now, and the future launching of more product focused websites. Look for the Benton Trophy family of websites coming in the near future. We are focused on bringing our web presence to a new level. What are business principles? At Benton Trophy our goal is and always has been to provide the best customer service in the industry and to exceed all of our customers expectations with the highest quality products and engraving available in the awards & personalized gift industries.

Can I get a Printed Catalog ? That is always a fun question, as the answer is both Yes and No. We do not offer a complete printed catalog of all of our products lines as we offer a very huge selection and are constantly adding new processes or products on a regular basis. Is does not make sense to go though the large process of making a catalog that will be out of date in a very short time frame. Our website is our main catalog. We do however have catalogs from some of our suppliers and special catalogs of certain processes that we produce in-house as a PDF catalog, so y ou can either view or print it out. We can send these suppliers main catalogs catalogs upon requset. This is one way that we are able to keep costs down and save you money.


Engraving & Imprinting Information

What kind of engraving/imprinting technology do you use? Benton Trophy uses only computerized engraving or imprinting systems that can etch into many types of products. Combined with the highest quality multi-purpose CNC style engraving systems available in the industry we can even offer some of the most intricate industrial or specialty engraving on various materials, including even musical instruments. We also use fully computerized photo quality full color imprinting systems that have revolutionized the awards industry since their inception. We do not currently offer laser engraving or sand blasting at this time, Our main CNC style systems can match or exceed the engraving quality on most products.

What is the cost of engraving/imprinting? Engraving & Imprinting Prices

What can I have engraved or printed on my award? You can engrave or imprint just about anything you want! If you are not sure what you should have printed on your awards you can go to our awards planning page.

How much lettering will fit on my award? How much lettering will fit varies by the product you are ordering. On average trophies can have up to 3 lines, plaques can have up to 15 lines if not more depending upon size of plaque. The more amount of lines you have the smaller the lettering will need to be to fit the award.

What happens if I make a mistake on my engraving? We engrave the text that is given to us. We are not responsible for your typographical errors. Please be sure to check your order thoroughly prior to submitting your order via online, fax, mail or in person. We do not accept hand written or script text for engraving information. We are not responsible for any spelling errors that may occur via the telephone. If this should occur you will be billed accordingly.

Can I receive a proof of my engraving for approval? Once your order is processed, we can assign a proof on most items upon request. Some items cannot be assigned proofs. Proofs are available only upon request or if we feel there is a need for that particular job. We will not engrave the job until the proof cover sheet is signed, changes are made and or proof cover sheet is marked "production ok". We do not charge for the first 3 proofs. More than 3 proofs will require a $5.00 per proof charge.

What type of items can be engraved/imprinted? Many metal, plastic, acrylic, crystal, glass, aluminum, brass, pewter, sterling silver, stainless steel and even some wood items can be engraved.  

Can you engrave a calculator or camera for ID purposes? Yes, We generally suggest a plate or label for this purpose as most calculators or cameras tend to have very thin plastic cases. However sometimes we can. what we suggest is to bring the item in and we can look at it and see if we feel it can be engraved. For instance some CASIO Exilim cameras work great as they have an aluminum body.

I can't see the engraving on the surface of the metal, why? Engraving is the process in which the metal is either plowed to each side of the surface by a diamond drag engraving tool or a rotating carbide cutter to cut into the materials surface. No color is used to fill in the letters to give contrast. Some people will expect engraving to be like printing (very visible). Engraving is more of a subtle appearance as light rays reflect off of the materials surface and the engraving itself. Silver item's are among the hardest to read. This is because of the highly reflective nature of silver or sterling silver. Gold surfaces will tend to show a little bit better then silver, however if you like we can darken the letters to a dark charcoal kind of color with a darkening oxidizer on some materials. We do not recommend this oxidizing option on items that are brought into us to engrave on, mainly because we do not know the full nature of the material used in that item. Also a thing to note is that the harder a material is the less depth the engraving may have (exp. stainless steel), also making less contrast to the engraving.

Can you engrave on rings? Unfortunately, we usually have to turn this kind of job down. Our machines just are not made to engrave into rings. The main problem is that people usually want something engraved on the inside of rings, usually because there is no other area to engrave on. Our machines cannot bend or move in that manner. We normally suggest going to a jewelry shop of some sort for this process. If you are in the Central Minnesota area one place we suggest is Helzberg Diamonds. We can however engrave on some rings that have a flat surface on top. If you have a ring of this nature, stop in our showroom or contact us via phone, fax or e-mail and we will try to suggest something.

Can you engrave cylindrical objects such as glassware, cups or tankards? Yes, many engraving operations can only be engraved on flat surfaces. You will also not find many shops who do engrave on cylindrical items yet. To our knowledge we were one of the first places in Minnesota to have this technology, especially in the Central Minnesota Area. It is still a fairly new technology. We have specialized engraving equipment to handle cylindrical objects up to 10" in diameter. We also offer many styles of glassware to choose from in our showroom or in our products showroom. 

Can you engrave on a flashlight? Yes, we have tried to engrave on Mag Light Flashlights and are usually successful. You are sometimes limited to what you can put on, due to size available to engrave on. If you have any further questions on this process please contact us.

Can photo's be engraved or imprinted? In the past the answer was no. We have made several upgrades in this process in past few years. We have recently upgraded our Photo Quality Full Color Sublimation System. This is a process where a dye is used and heat transferred onto a print-receptive material. This has proven to be the best method for this process in the industry. We can also Photo Engrave as well. Our Photo Engraving is a recent award winning process that we have continually been improving to offer our customers a truly unique photo process.

Can you engrave letters at an arc? Yes, we can arc letters on any type of engraving that we do. 

Can you engrave on the back of charms or coins? Yes, we can engrave on charms or coins. The more polished the metal is, the better it is to see the engraving. If the material is a grainy, satin look it will more than likely be hard to read. 

How small or large can you engrave? We get asked this one all the time. The answer is that we go by basic measurements, not by point sizes. We can literally make the lettering so small that you can not read it with the naked eye. The larger you make the lettering, the more gap you see between the lines that make up the letters. Some engraving surfaces may be too rough to allow engraving to be that small. Our overall engraving diameter is 10" with an object maximum length of 13 1/2". Our largest engravable area size is 15" x 20"

Can picture frames be engraved? Yes, most metal frames can be engraved such as BURNES, CARR, etc. We cannot engrave onto most wood frames with our equipment. We can however engrave a brass plate to mount on the frame.  You can view our picture frames line here in our products showroom.

Can we use a specific windows font for engraving? Yes, we used to have to charge a fee for this as we needed to convert the font over to be engraved, but due to a process that just became available in early Winter '07, we have a way of engraving directly from most windows programs as well as using our proprietary engraving software itself. We worked with the maufacturer of the software to tweak a few settings and it now works with 2 of our engraving systems, We charge per minute using this new process. For instance if it takes 10 minutes to engrave, than we charge $10.00. This process does take a bit longer than engraving a reular font that we have available, as it fills in the lettering to make it very readable, the nice thing is that now can offer yet another way to engrave your award or item.

Can we use a specific windows font for imprinting? Yes, in our imprinting process we use a windows based graphics programs called CorelDraw so if you have a certain windows based font that you would like to use let us know. We have thousands of fonts that we have on our computers, however we usually suggest that you attach via email the fonts as well just in case we do not have that specific font.

Why can't you feel engraving on most acrylic, glass or crystal? Acrylic is usually reverse engraved from the back to give a 3D Look. This is really a stunning effect to enhance the appearance of an acrylic award. Reach around to the back of the award and you will usually feel the engraving. 

Why do some silver baby cups plating flake off when engraved? A lot of inexpensive silver plated baby gifts come from the pacific rim countries. Many of these products do not have a good quality control in the silver plating process. If any oils or impurities are not properly cleaned before the plating is done, the silver will not properly bond to the base metal. To look at the cup, it is virtually impossible for you or the engraver to spot this kind of defect. The responsible party is the store you bought it from and their supplier or manufacturer. As many cups are not designed or rated to be engraved by the suppier, we suggest that you llok for one that states that it is engraveable or better yet take a look at our selection of baby cups in our products showroom.


Order Placement Information

What kind of order processing technology do you use? Benton Trophy uses database systems that fully integrate our order processing, job scheduling & inventory. We do not currently offer a secure shopping cart on our site due to the nature of our business. Our type of business is a custom oriented business, meaning we custom build and engrave items to customer requests, making it impossible to use a shopping cart like your average website. Other awards sites have chosen to use shopping carts but since we are more geared towards custom orders, we chose not to use a shopping cart system. We utilize online order forms, however we call you back for the payment option after we receive the online order.

Do I have to pay sales tax on my order? We charge sales tax to MN residents or for any order originating in the State of Minnesota. We also charge a half cent sales tax for local orders if you come in to either order or pickup the order as we have a regional half-cent sales tax that effects many cities in our local area. If you have a tax exempt certificate and live in MN, we require you to provide us with a copy along with your order. We do not need the original certificate, a photocopy or fax will work. All out of state orders are not charged sales tax. All Minnesota public schools or colleges are tax exempt automatically unless otherwise stated by the state of Minnesota. However there are a few excetpions to this rule, for instance if you are ordering for a educational fraternity or club than you are considered taxable.

What is your usual production/turnaround time? For stock items in reasonable quantities, our usual production time is 5 to 10 working days. Larger quantities and some products may require 10 to 20 working days depending on lead time. All items have an estimated production time next to the product picture. We will make every effort to meet your deadline within this time frame.

What is the best way to place an order? Online at, by Fax at (320) 253-3478 or by Phone at (320) 252-4321 or (800) 568-7495

What if I don't find what I am looking for, can I special order? Yes abosolutely, We deal with many suppliers and manufacturers. Just simply call or email us with a description of the product you are looking for and we will see what we can do for you. Better yet if you find something on another site that you like, simply email us a photo and we will be glad top see if we have access to it. Very rarely has it been that we have been asked and were not able to find the exact product. If we do not generally order from a certain company, does not mean we don't have access to it. Some of our vendors we consider potential vendors, meaning we have catalogs and know what they offer, but not necessarily stock products from them. Also with our ever expanding dedication to our promotional products/ad specialty line, we have even more access to those hard to find items.

Can I change my order after order placement? Once your order is processed, we cannot make changes to your order except for engraving information until it is engraved. If you need to make an engraving change please make it as soon as possible to avoid delay of the product or engraving. Please confirm the order quantity and engraving information before placing the your order.

Can I cancel my order after order placement? Due to the customization of our products, once an order has been processed, all cancelled orders will be subject to a 15% cancellation fee. Please confirm order quantities before placing your orders. All engraved items, engraving and possibly shipping will be charged on all orders canceled after work has been started or completed. For instance if we are engraving the order as you contact us to cancel the order, you will be billed the engraving that has been completed.

Do you offer quantity breaks or price breaks for non-profit associations? Due to the customization of our products, we offer quantity price breaks according to the price breaks we receive from our suppliers. We do not set a price break if you are a non-profit organization or school. After years of struggle with this question, we have setup a new pricing structure to make it fair for Joe down the street to a major multi-million dollar organization (and everyone in between). It's simple, the more products you order the better the price break you will receive. Engraving does not qualify for price reductions unless noted or agreed upon via a sales associate.

Can I select any trophy figurine top or emblem with any trophy? Yes. All our figurines and emblems are interchangeable. That means that every trophy or plaque can be built with the figurine or emblem you specify. You can view all trophy figures and emblems online.

What forms of payment do you accept? All first ime orders must be paid via credit card. Major Credit Cards we Accept: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We also accept checks and money orders denominated in U.S. dollars and drawn on a U.S. bank account. Checks must also have a valid nine digit bank routing number (ABA code), located at the bottom of the check. All checks must clear before the order will be shipped. We do offer open accounts if that is required, however not for initial orders.

Do you have a minimum ordert? On most of our products no. For engraving we do charge a mimimum $5.00 engraving charge and in our Sublimation / Imprinting process has a $10.00 mimimum order charge. There are however some products mainly in our promotional products line that do require mimimum/per piece orders. The good new is however that some companies will waive that minimum order for an additonal charge (usually in the $80.00 range), so if you really need less than the minimum it can more than likely be done.

Can you make a replica of the Oscar, Cleo, Grammy Award, Heisman Trophy, Etc.? No we cannot sell you a replica of these awards as they are held under very strict copyrights and trademark laws. We do have some awards that look somewhat similar but are not exact, the most requested from us is usually Oscar. The awards that we offer that are similar cannot be stated as for instance an Oscar or Oscar (look-a-like). We as well as the manufacturer of the awards frown upon that. The nice thing is however that the major manufacturer for these awards is a supplier of ours so most of the items are of the same or close to the same quality as the big name awards.

Can you give me quote even if I do not have all the engraving information.? No, we cannot supply a firm commited quote unless we have all the information we need to do that. We can give you a rough estimate, but we will not sommit to a quote until all the information we need for the awards order is recieved by either either via email, or fax. Also please keep in ind that quotes are just that. Sometimes there are unforseen dificulties that may arise especially with custom orders that may require a price adjustment. We make every effort to make sure this does not happen but when you are dealing with something that is 100% custom, sometimes there are additonal charges that may arise.

Order Shipment Information

How long does it take to ship my awards to my location? Please refer to our Shipping Information page to view charts of Ground UPS shipping. Please keep in mind that Ground UPS shipping is not guaranteed & may sometimes take an additional day or two to reach some destinations. We also offer expedited shipping services.

Which shipping carriers do you use? We use UPS for all ground or expedited services. We also use The US Postal Service (USPS) for small packages or priority mail. We can also send to APO addresses.

What is the cost of mailing or shipping to my location? The cost of shipping varies depending on the weight of the box, where you are located, what you are ordering, & the method of mailing or shipping that you choose. Please refer to our Shipping Information page for further pricing information.

Your shipping is more than I expected, why ? This is a very good question. We ship very fragile awards on a daily basis, so we have to make sure they are shipped in a secure manner. We are shipping glass, crystal, resin sculptures, acrylics and much more that require top notch package safety. We have costs that must be covered to package each item to guard against damage with normal handling by UPS. We do not like to ship items via US Mail as we cannot track the packages as well as other carriers. The majority of the charge in our shipping rates are that of the UPS shipping rates themsevles, but that is not the only cost. We do have to cover the cost of boxes, packing materials, and labor to package your order. The handling is something that most people don't think about, however the question we ask is, would you rather get an award from someone who does not charge to package it up?. If the answer is yes, than chances are more likely that something be come damaged. Some places hide the cost of handling into the shipping so you don't know that they charge it. We prefer to be up-front and honest about our pricing policies and offer you a fair priced product and a fair priced shipping rate. With the ever raising rate of shipping due to the fuel surcharges and such, we strive to give you the best price all of the time. If we can save you money on shipping to your location, we try to. One way we do this is to try to reuse as many boxes and packaging material as possible that we can, to ship to you our client. Which in turn means we don't have to charge as much for handling, plus we are making a effort to help save the environment as well. Our current handling is $3.00. We have seen others that charge $5.00 or more.

Do I have to be home when the order is delivered? US postal service or UPS generally does not require a signature for home delivery. However, it is up to the driver as to whether to leave the package if the weather or delivery area isn't considered to be safe. UPS will usually leave a note if they tried to deliver a package & there wasn't anyone there to accept the package. We can mail or ship items via delivery confirmation upon request for an additional cost.

Are signatures required to receive packages at my office/headquarters? UPS will require that someone must sign their tracking board before they leave the premises. Generally this is done by the receiving department or front desk associate.

What if I receive my order damaged or broken? We use UPS for all ground or expedited services. We insure all items with UPS when the order is shipped. We do not insure other carriers at this time unless upon request. If this should happen please see our Shipping Information page for more information.


* All Prices Subjest to Change without Notice

© 1998-2008 Benton Trophy & Awards, Inc.       Corporate Headquarters: 800 Industrial Dr. S. Suite 205, Sauk Rapids, MN 56379