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BMI's FAQ's

1. Why do a brick fundraising program?

Engraved bricks have proven to raise substantial revenue for organizations. Engraved bricks make a permanent connection between the donors and the fund raising organization.

2. Who can use our products?

Everyone! We provide our products to:
· Organizations looking for a profitable fund raising idea
· Organizations looking to create a lasting memorial
· Organizations looking for promotional gifts
· Organizations looking for employee or donor recognition
· Architects and developers looking for continuous designs (arrays) for creating borders to driveways, entrance designs, centerpiece design, etc.
· Individuals for various reasons: new home, wedding, gift, memorial, pet grave marker, etc.

3. How do I get started?

It's easy! Just call 1-800-634-8948, email us at info@brickmarkers.com or visit our website at www.brickmarkers.com and submit an inquiry on our Contact page. A customer service/sales representative will then contact you and they will send you our brochure within 48 hours. We will help you determine:

- Donation levels that will allow you to maximize your revenue potential
- How many bricks or tiles can be placed within your designated area
- Which brick or tile is best for your project
- What level of service is appropriate for your program

4. How much money does it take to start a project?

We are unable to determine your specific cost, due to various factors that pertain only to your program; however, we can provide you with ideas that will assist in keeping your expenses down. For example: you will need to create a flyer or brochure for your brick campaign. A local printer may be willing to discount their services if you offer a free brick acknowledging their contribution. This provides you with a discount on printing services and guarantees the local printer a visual source of advertisement.

5. Why choose BMI?

Since 1997 we have been providing the ultimate fund raising products. We offer profitable fund raising and marketing strategies tailored to fit your unique needs. We are focused on your needs and will work closely with you to define and meet your fundraising goals. Our patented processes are the ultimate "Green" technology and we guarantee our engraving will not fade, chip, oxidize, peel or separate from the brick, paver or tile for the life of the surface of the engraved brick, paver or tile. Since the inception of our company, none of our engraved products have ever been replaced. In the end you want your brick campaign to be successful and maintenance free, so you can feel confident that your donors have the assurance of knowing that their donor bricks will last a lifetime. It is important that 100% of the revenue raised is allocated for the initial fundraising cause and not into replacing any bricks that do not meet the standards of your committee/board and your donors. Additionally, the overall longevity and appearance of your brick/tile area will have a direct impact on how successful your campaign will

6. How long does the surface of a brick remain durable?

The answer is - indefinitely. How many brick surfaces have you seen that are worn down? Not many! Although bricks that have been installed in the ground for hundreds of years do show signs of wear. For example, in the city of Philadelphia, brick streets, buildings, walls, etc. have been constructed and have lasted for hundreds of years. Horses and buggies traveled across these bricks time and time again, causing wear. Our ancestors produced bricks with the skills of their time. With today's technology, computer-controlled high temperature kilns produce a far superior brick.

7. Why is the engraving not very deep?

It is simply not necessary with our patented Vitralase® and Vitrix® laser engraving processes. In fact, depth is a disadvantage. To explain: Depth has been defined as durability, not so. The very element that creates breakdown is depth. Deep engraving contributes towards weakening and can void the brick of its strength. Over a period of time or simply at the time of installation, the small projected pieces of the characters are subject to chipping or breaking away. This causes the letters to be illegible. Environmental debris (sand, food, etc.) falls within the deep engraving, in turn, causing a maintenance problem.

8. What types of bricks/tiles can be used?

Clay based products that meet all of the ASTM standards in the industry. Please see the manufacturers section of our website.

9. What is the brick filled with?

We do not "fill" the brick/tile with any type of filler material. Our Vitralase® and Vitrix® patented processes are created with the technology of lasers. By directing a continuous flow of intense laser energy, the image is vitrified into the brick or tile. The vitrification process actually converts the engraved portion of the clay product into a hardened glass. The indelible engraving is actually harder than the brick itself. Clay brick and glass are two substances that stand the test of time!

10. What is the advantage of the hardened glass-fill method over paint, grout or epoxy fill?

The hardened glass-fill method eliminates fading, oxidizing, maintenance cost, etc. Glass is inorganic, an inert substance and is not subject to chemicals, acid rain or infrared and ultraviolet rays i.e., sunlight. The hardened glass is impossible to fade, oxidize, or peel and is virtually maintenance free. For example, have you ever walked along the seashore and come across a piece of "sea glass"? It was once a part of a glass bottle; the glass is still brown or green. However, it has a frosted appearance from the abrasion caused by sand when the seashore tides move in and out. It is constantly in the ultraviolet rays, but it is still brown or green. Other fill methods, such as, paints, epoxies and grouts are organic substances and are subject to infrared and ultraviolet rays. Over a period of time, these substances will fade and break down due to sunlight, acid rain, chemicals and the environment. Cost and inconvenience becomes a factor in refilling each brick, or if left unattended, a cosmetically unappealing brick. In most cases, breakdown would result in replacement of the brick.

Epoxies (plastics) are susceptible to breakdown; they begin to shrink and fade. Shrinking allows moisture to build in between the epoxy and the brick. This may allow algae to grow, causing a maintenance problem and a cosmetically unappealing brick. Expansion and contraction is also a problem. The rate of expansion and contraction of epoxy vs. the brick itself are at different rates. This may allow the epoxy to separate from the brick. Paints and grouts are just as susceptible to breakdown, similar to epoxy. However, they are more susceptible to chipping, especially if pressure cleaning for maintenance is required. Just as you pressure clean a building to remove the old oxidized paint to prepare for repainting; this same effect would occur with the bricks, causing a maintenance problem and a cosmetically unappealing brick.

11. What is the difference between BMI's laser engraving and laser etching or laser cutting?

Our patented processes are the ultimate "Green" technology and we guarantee our engraving will not fade, chip, oxidize, peel or separate from the brick, paver or tile for the life of the surface of the engraved brick, paver or tile. Our patented Vitralase® and Vitrix® processes are created with the technology of lasers. By directing a continuous flow of intense laser energy, the image is vitrified into the brick or tile. The vitrification process actually converts the engraved portion of the clay product into a hardened glass. Glass is inorganic, an inert substance and is not subject to chemicals, acid rain or infrared and ultraviolet rays i.e., sunlight. The hardened glass is impossible to fade, oxidize, or peel and is virtually maintenance free.

Laser etching and laser cutting are often incorrectly referred to as laser engraving. These processes etch or cut into the brick and then are filled with paint or epoxy for contrast. Paint, epoxies and grouts are organic substances and are subject to infrared and ultraviolet rays. Over a period of time, these substances will fade and break down due to sunlight, acid rain, chemicals and the environment. Paint is susceptible to chipping, especially if pressure cleaning for maintenance is required.

Don't mistake laser etching and laser cutting, as laser engraving. Our process is truly laser engraving and we can provide your organization with a high quality product with our engraving method. Brick Markers® patented laser engraving offers a level of quality and detail not attainable through traditional techniques such as laser etching and laser cutting. In the end you want your brick campaign to be successful and maintenance free. It is important that 100% of the revenue raised is allocated for the initial fundraising cause and not into replacing any bricks that do not meet the standards of your committee/board and your donors. The overall longevity and appearance of your brick/tile area will have a direct impact on how successful your campaign will be.

12. How long will the brick engraving last?

We guarantee a lifetime of durability. Our patented Vitralase® and Vitrix® processes will last as long as the durability of the brick's surface.

13. What type of warranty guarantee is provided?

We offer a lifetime warranty on our engraved mark, as long as the brick surface is not compromised. The replacement guarantee depends on the replacement conditions. There may be other conditions that are unforeseen and in this instance we would need to determine the best solution for both for our client and ourselves.

Limited Lifetime Warranty
BMI warrants, through its Limited Lifetime Warranty, that its patented Vitralase®/Vitrix® vitrification processes will be of good quality and workmanship and will not fade, chip, oxidize, peel or separate from the brick, paver or tile for the life of the surface of the engraved brick, paver or tile. BMI requires that the brick, paver or tile manufacturer meet all ASTM (American Standards of Testing Materials) standards for quality, durability and longevity.

This warranty is limited to the repair or replacement of any Vitralase®/Vitrix® vitrification processes engraved onto a brick, paver or tile meeting ASTM standards. Any Vitralase®/Vitrix® vitrification process engraving that prove(s) defective will be repaired or replaced by BMI provided that such defect is due to faulty material or workmanship on the part of BMI and not the result of tampering, vandalism, misuse, abuse, improper installation or maintenance misapplication, natural disaster or acts of God, excluding normal environmental conditions such as rain, sleet, snow and freeze/thaw conditions.

14. Who pays for shipping?

Brick Markers® price structure includes shipping to your location within the 48 contiguous U.S. Statistically, we have found that organizations working on a brick/tile fundraising campaign need to know up front what their bottom line cost is. Therefore, shipping is inclusive of our pricing structure so that there is no undetermined cost that can affect our clients' profit margins.

15. Should we sell both 4x8 and 8x8 bricks or tiles?

Yes, because the goal of any fundraising campaign is to raise money for your cause and by offering multiple products (levels of giving), you can maximize your gross revenue. We also recommend selling custom corporate logos/arrays to generate an even greater profit margin.

16. Are other products available?

Yes; we have many "program enhancers" to further increase your revenue and they can be viewed on our website under "products".

17. Should I offer replicas as part of our program?

Yes, replica programs add no additional effort and provide your organization with another great opportunity to increase revenue. This also allows your donors to have a replica to display at their home or office and strengthens the relationship between your organization and its donors. Additionally, when people see the replicas displayed, it will assist in marketing your campaign.

18. How many letters or characters can I put on a brick?

Our standard is 20 characters per line (including spaces and punctuation). However, if you have a special requirement, we would be glad to review your request and determine the additional cost (if any) and the possibilities.

19. What font (type style) is used?

Our standard font is the Optic font however we can engrave any requested true type font.

20. Do you engrave Greek and Spanish characters?

Yes; we engrave Greek and Spanish letters for no additional charge.

21. Can you engrave foreign languages?

Yes, we are happy to announce that we can engrave foreign languages as long as the true type font is provided.

22. What types of logos are available?

Just about anything! We offer our free clipart library (provided in our brochure and online). This allows you to charge an additional fee to your donors if you so choose. We do not charge an additional cost for this service. We can also program your own logo, a donor's corporate logo, signature, etc. for a one-time programming fee. BMI does require that logos are provided in the following IBM compatible black and white formats, 300 dpi or higher, with the following extensions - .PLT, .CDR, .EPS, .JPG, .PCX and .BMP.

23. What is the cost for programming a logo?

This cost varies depending on the complexity of your logo. However, our standard charge for a logo is a minimum of $75.00 and our standard charge for a signature or children's art is $30.00.

Do you have a minimum order requirement?

There is no minimum order required. However to take advantage of our discounted pricing structure, ordering a minimum of 100 bricks is best! Your minimum 100 brick order can be a combination of 4x8's and 8x8's. You may be offering 4x8's and 8x8's to your donors. For example, your 100 brick order can consist of (86) 4x8's and (14) 8x8's. We do receive and engrave orders less than 100 bricks as well. Please contact your customer service/sales representative to discuss further details and ask about our one time credit policy.

25. How do we send our order to you?

Brick Markers® provides our proprietary ordering system that will allow you to compile the donor text information. These documents are sent via e-mail as attachments along with instructions to assist you with the text compiling process.

26. How long does it take to receive the order?

Brick Markers® schedules your order for processing as soon as all criteria are met. Your assigned customer service/sales representative will inform you of your scheduled processing date and estimated shipping and arrival date based on your required timeframe.

27. When do I need to place my order to make sure I receive my bricks on time?

We need you to inform us of your deadline as soon as possible. This information will allow us to determine the timeframe in which we need to receive your order and the criteria that will allow us to meet your deadline. Our standard processing timeframe varies, as our existing clients continuously order. We are proud to say that we have met our clients' deadlines when all criteria is provided and met. Please contact your customer service/sales representative to discuss further.

28. Can we place additional orders in the future?

Yes! Most of our clientele continue their brick campaigns year after year. The purpose of any brick campaign is to raise funds and maximize your revenue; don't limit your campaign. Although most of our clientele do want their brick location to look “complete” we offer blank bricks along with your engraved bricks to provide the completed appearance. Simply place additional orders, when your engraved bricks arrive, remove the blank filler bricks and install your new order of engraved bricks.  Hint: Keep your brick orders to at least a minimum of 100 bricks. This not only saves you money per order, it also saves you money with your brick installer.

29. Can Brick Markers® provide blank filler bricks?

Yes, we do. In fact, most clients do not want the hassle of locating a distributor and coordinating the delivery.   This can be arranged with your sales representative.

30. Does Brick Markers® install the bricks?

We do not provide installation, as our shipments are sent throughout the U.S. and abroad. We do recommend that you hire a professional masonry/contractor in your area to install your bricks and tiles.

31. How should the bricks/tiles be installed?

Bricks:
Most of our clientele install their bricks in a sand base. This allows for your campaign to continue on by removing the blank bricks and installing your engraved bricks. This form of installation is permanent, 95% of our clientele install in a sand base. The bricks cannot be removed with ease, specific equipment is required to lift out the first brick, allowing you to continue removing the blank bricks and replacing them with your engraved bricks. Your brick area always has a “finished” look as you continue with your fundraising campaign. For installation information please reference The Brick Industry Association website at www.bia.org.
Tiles:
Most of our clientele install their tiles by applying thin set to the back of each tile. However, we recommend that you hire a local professional masonry/contractor to install your tiles.