Greeting Cards – The best way to communicate and remind your loved ones that you care for them, remember them on those special occasions and are always there. If you are creatively inclined, surely, then you can make your own greeting cards for family and friends with your signature touch and are appreciated for your talent each time. In fact each one of us is gifted with that special something which makes us unique from the others. Some of us are cut out to do business and some of us are artistically inclined. Only a few of us are gifted with both faculties of being creative and marketing our creative products and services ourselves. Capitalizing on our hobbies for making extra money is not every persons piece of cake.
However, reading this article will surely take you in the direction of making that extra money you always could do with, by selling the beautiful cards you make, to other people. Its time the world came to know of your talent. There are many websites and numerous articles on how you can make greeting cards and what a good business it would make if you sold them. However, few guidelines are given out on the right approach to sell greeting cards, the marketing strategies to be used and the right method of display, which will attract the eye of the customer.
Making greeting cards is solely dependent on your talent, discretion, and your endless ability to create from old, new, and unique materials to attract the eye of the consumer, all based on the occasion, of course. Many websites and endless books on crafts will also guide you on creating eye catching greeting cards. Once you have made these greeting cards, its time you bring them out in the market for sale. How you can do that, forms the basis of this article.
Selling greeting cards is what we are going to focus on, so that you do not miss out on the endless opportunities the market offers in the form of occasions. In fact occasion or no occasion, selling greeting cards can be done year round. You just need to get the sales pitch right and here is how:
Let us handle the approach to sell greeting cards step wise:
1. Identify the market you are based in: The greeting cards you make at home for your family and friends maybe theme based on the few occasions which you share commonly and therefore wish them on, regularly. However when you enter the market place to sell greeting cards, there is a big world out there. Take a look at the stores and you will get an idea. Apart from the regular occasions like birthdays and anniversaries which are a dime a dozen, people wish each other on fathers day, mothers day, they wish their sick associates with get well cards, independence day cards, hug day cards, winter cards, autumn cards, and so on. The point here is that the list is endless and the opportunities for you to create are mind boggling. So get going and check out the marketplace you are situated in and the cards available for sale there in most numbers.
2. Identify the type of customer you want to target: When we create, we are also aware of what we can make best and where our strength lies. So, you will have to identify your strong and weak areas of creativity before you venture to sell handmade greeting cards. For this, it will be best if you know the kind of client you would like to sell your card to. Starting off on a safe note while selling greeting cards will require that you focus on making greeting cards first for a few common occasions like birthdays, attracting all. This will ensure at least a minimum amount of sale. Moving forward, you can become customer specific and decide if you want to sell to the local crowd or be more appealing to a select few, based on the response to your initial sale of greeting cards. This will narrow down the type of clients who would be loyal to your signature greeting cards.
3. What type of greeting cards would you like to sell: As spelled out before, the occasions people wish each other on are endless. It is for you to decide what you would like to offer for sale in the market. Are you good at making the happy feel and look greeting cards, like promotion cards, get well cards, zodiac cards? Or are you adept at identifying with love, birthdays, anniversaries? Or Humour? Choose your own calling and get going. This is really up to you to decide on the type of greeting cards you would like to be identified with as your brand. One piece of advice though do not get stuck in a rut by copying other peoples themes or words or stereotyping your work, which will make all your cards end up looking similar birthday or grandfathers day!!. Your clients will get bored. Get your creative juices flowing here.
4. Identify who else is selling the same or similar cards to yours in the market: If you are not creative enough, you might discover that other people are already selling the same greeting card which you had hoped to sell. So, be thorough in checking out your entire target market and see that you and only you provide your unique greeting cards. The catch here is to sell greeting cards which are not available in the market anywhere else and hence will attract the most number of buyers.
5. Check the price range your greeting cards can be sold at: On completion of the above steps, you will have to work out the selling price of your handmade greeting cards. This can be done in 2 ways. You can either price your greeting cards based on the market average or you can set your selling price lower or higher than the market range, all depending on the cost you incurred in making the greeting card, the uniqueness of your cards and your target clients. Be sure to recover the cost of making the card, transporting them and of course, charge for your skill.
6. Survey the market and identify the kind of outlets the greeting cards are sold in: This is one of the most challenging aspects of your venture. Once you have decided on your market, target clients and fixed your price points, you will need to know the type of outlets which stock up on greeting cards. Greeting cards may be sold at the florist, shopping malls, supermarkets, gas stations, stationers, airports, bus stands, bookstores or any other place where the public density is high. You will need to keep a watch on all the places greeting cards are sold at, so that you have the opportunity of selling your greeting cards, not from one, but many places. You have those many options available for selling your handmade greeting cards.
7. Check if the retail/wholesale shop of your choice is willing to stock up on your cards: All surveys said and done, its now time for you to convince your select outlets to stock up on your cards. You will be surprised to know how hungry stores are for new niche greeting cards, to differentiate themselves from the crowd and increase their sales. So be prepared to approach the outlets of your choice with adequate samples of your creativity. You could also prepare a brochure of your greeting card designs or a power point presentation outlining your range of greeting cards showcasing your uniqueness. This will create a lasting impression in the mind of the retailer/wholesaler and he will surely give your handmade greeting cards the much needed display space.
8. Check out the sales strategy of the persons/shops willing to stock up on your cards: You will need to observe how the target outlet which is willing to sell your handmade greeting cards already sells to its existing clients. This will give you a fair idea and the much needed confidence if the sales tactic adopted by the store of your choice matches your perception of presenting your cards in the market. If not, you can select other stores which are on a similar wavelength as yours to promote the sales of your greetings. You need to ensure that your cards are fairly promoted and not short shifted by other brands offering more profits to the store owner.
9. Most importantly check on how the greetings are displayed for sale: The ambience of the store/outlet which is willing to sell your greeting cards is as important an aspect as the others stated above. Is your target outlet a large or small one? Are the greeting cards displayed prominently to attract the eye of each person entering, passing or leaving the outlet? For example, displaying your greeting cards in a dark dingy corner is not going to get you the sales you had hoped for. The display needs to be just right, attracting the serious greeting card buyer or encouraging that wavering mind to go in for the impulse purchase. The outlet should also ideally be in a place where there is a high movement of foot traffic, to ensure walk in sales.
10. Check for the type, quality, and attractiveness of display stands being used to sell greeting cards: Just displaying your handmade greeting cards and waiting for them to sell will not be enough. The secret to successfully selling greeting cards also lies in the quality of display stands and racks used to place the cards on. If the display stands are attractive and are of the right size to place your cards on, then the battle is half won. You will also have to ensure that the display stands or racks being used are at the customers eye level, so as not to cause discomfort while browsing. Each greeting card should prominently be displayed on the stands and not be bunched up, half falling or crookedly displayed. It will lessen the attractiveness of your greeting cards and a bad display rack will ensure low sales. A good display stand can be compared to a well dressed person who you would like to approach and a bad display stand to that of a shabbily turned out person who you would like to avoid at any cost. So quality and attractiveness of the display stands is an important pre-requisite to get those greeting cards flying off the beautiful shelves!
11. Check for new eye catching methods of displaying your greeting cards: The market is constantly evolving and if your store does not have the latest display racks and stands, you know of the consequences your greeting cards will suffer. For a little investment, offer to supply your target outlet with the display stands of your choice – stands on which your greeting cards look the most attractive. You can select either multicoloured display stands or racks or opt for the traditional ones to suit the ambience and location of the outlet. Remember, if you scrounge on the display stands, you will not be able to sell as many greeting cards as with an attractive display stand. The packaging of the product is as important as the product itself.
12. Last but not the least, constantly innovate and be on the lookout for newer ways to attract buyers: To stay put in the market and not just be a one season wonder, you will have to be on your toes to keep turning out those beautiful greeting cards you had started off with. You will have to keep up with the demands of your clients, the profits to yourself and the outlets you supply to, the new occasions which enter the market and the evolving nature of your business to keep going steady – all without losing out on that special touch of yours.
This will complete the entire cycle of success for you and will always ensure that you are ahead and the best in the greeting cards market. All the best.