There are a lot of companies willing to say anything
If you are looking to order custom patches, woven patches, or some other type of embroidered emblem it is a good idea to do a little internet research and find the company that offers the highest quality patches at the lowest available price.
The first thing to do is visit the website of the company you are considering. See if you can find out how long the company has been in the embroidery business. Be wary of companies that hide their phone number, you're going to need to be able to speak with a trained sales representative before placing an order. When you get the salesrep on the phone, ask if the special sales or deals advertised online or on the website are still being offered and if there are any strings (like order minimums) attached to the special. The company should also make their prices viewable on their website. Ask the salesrep if their company has any price guarantees, or if they honor competitor's quotes or coupons. Most reputable custom patch suppliers will match or beat a competing offer as long as you present it to them in writing.
If your patches need to be delivered by a certain date, let the salesperson know this upfront. Prices for 'rush' orders are often different than the advertised price. Also, be wary of companies that stress unusually quick turnaround time, example: 'Patches in four days!' as their main selling point. These lofty claims are rarely met and if they are the product is almost never high quality.
Another way to gauge the reputation of an embroidery company is to find out if any large groups or organizations, such as The Boy Scouts of America, have officially licensed them to make their patches and emblems. In the case of the Scouts, only a licensed company is allowed to display the official logo on their websites and advertising materials. Established Scouting organizations have high manufacturing and quality assurances that must be met by the companies they work with, so an endorsement from Scouting is a good sign.
Finally, visit the company's gallery to view the quality of the patches for yourself. If the company has small or poor quality pictures on their website, they are probably trying to hide the fact that they make poor quality patches.
Whether or not you are planning to submit your own artwork or use a company's free graphic design service, use a company that employs 'in-house' designers. This will make changes easier to make and increase turnaround and delivery time. If a company is too cheap to hire their own designers, you don't want them designing your custom patch.
The custom patch embroidery industry is a competitive one, with just about everybody offering free artwork, samples, and US shipping. Don't just give your patch design and business to the lowest bidder, take the time to do a little research and select an established company that has a history of good customer service and delivers a high quality product.