Thursday, November 8, 2007

Your Burning Questions

Hi all, no picture today, just answering a lot of questions that I have received.
If you want to see all my mass production posts, just click HERE. I hope this inspires you to make a little cash for yourself doing what you love! Many of you have e-mailed me asking more specifics on selling cards. Instead of answering e-mails one by one, I thought I'd do this post and try to cover most questions.

What size cards do you sell?
I typically stick to the standard 4.25 by 5.5. A couple of reasons. I can get two card bases out of one sheet of 8.5 by 11 sheets of cardstock. I can find envelopes reasonably and plastic protective sleeves for this size.

How much do you sell your cards for?
It varies, yes, that is my vague answer. It can be different shop to shop depending on my relationship with them, how many they carry, if they carry my cards exclusively. The best advice I can give is DON'T sell yourself short. You need to cover your expenses, and that is expensive! If you want to have some longevity with this selling venture, you need to make it worth your while! A rule of thumb, you should be taking home more of the selling pie than the shopkeeper. The ratio should be about 60-40. Now it is up to you to determine how much YOU want to make.

How did you get started?
Cold Turkey Baby! No, I didn't know the owners. I figured the worst they could say is "no thanks". You are giving them an opportunity to sell something great!

Do you do consignment?
Yes, I have personally found the most success with this system. There are a few things that benefit both parties. The perk for the business is that they don't need to put any money out front. They only have to pay me when they are paid with the sales of the cards. No duds for them! The perk for me is that I can choose which cards will go in their shop, sometimes we can be the best judge of trends and we will be able to monitor which cards sell best in certain shops. For example, sympathy cards sell like hot cakes in a flower shop, but not at all in a gift shop.

How exactly is consignment done?
I usually fill a shop with about 80 cards and then pop back in once a month. Count how many are left, then write an invoice for the amount sold. Get paid. Then fill them back up to about 80 again. I keep a spreadsheet with the totals so that I can keep track.

Do I write on the inside?
Generally not. I package the card up with the envelope in a clear sleeve so you can't see the inside. Usually handmade cards of this nature are blank anyway. This leaves a broader buying audience if I am not SO specific with the sentiments.

How are my cards displayed?
Again, this varies from shop to shop. The flower shop that is my busiest just has them in a large basket by the front till. I have sorted them with dividers by sentiment.....Birthday, Get Well, Sympathy etc.
Other shops have very nice stands that they display my cards on. Don't worry, if they sell, the shopkeeper will make room.

A word of advice......Make sure that when you are selling in numerous shops that the retail price of your cards in that area are consistent. You don't want to sell the same card at one store for $4 and $6 at another, customers are smart!

Alright, hope that answers some of your BURNING questions. This in no way is the only way to do it, just the way I do it. Works for me!

Happy Stamping and Happy Selling!


Well Said Cards said...

fantastic information! Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

Cindy said...

Thanks for the info! I have another burning question... just wondering if there is anywhere you can buy supplies wholesale/cheaper since you are in the business of selling cards? I'm hoping to get into selling cards once we move to Chilliwack and would love to save some money on supplies.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Sherrie for taking the time to answer all these questions. I really appreciate it :o)
Ruth A.

Niki said...

Love this info! Thanks so much for sharing!

Janet said...

Great information...well said and clear. Thanks for sharing all that for those of us who are looking to get into this. I love your mass produced style.

Anonymous said...

Such great info, was wondering where you find the clear sleeves to protect them!

Charmaine (CharmWarm on SCS) said...

Thanks for sharing, Sherrie! That would be a wonderful thing I'd love to do. . .maybe one day I'll look into it! Of course, after I learn tips from you on mass production! :) YOu are the master!

Diana said...

THANKS a lot for this great information!! You are a GREAT inspiration


mbrein23 said...

Thank you for this wonderful information! I really appreciate your sharing your knowledge and experience - Melinda

Gloria said...

Thanks so much...your blog is awesome...all about making cards. I love that about it. I just posted a question in forums at splitcoast about selling cards, and followed your link to your blog. I am excited at the prospect of selling cards. My husband owns a retail based store, so I will start there than venture out to the flower shops too I think. All your helpful suggestions is just wonderful. I am a little unsure as to pricing my cards (I'm in Ontario Canada), but will just do trial and error and see what sells. THANKS AGAIN!
Gloria (aka: GloriousGreetins at splitcoast)

Rose Ann said...

This is a lot of great information! Thanks Sherrie!

GabrielaD said...

Great info!!

I have another question for you. How long does it take you to make a card?
I am currently selling my cards in 2 flower shops, but it takes me about 20 minutes per card... sometimes even more. Everyone tells me to mass produce the cards but I just don't know how.

Thanks again for the info you have already provided.


Anonymous said...

When i make cards for my daughter (29 year old) I make them all the same size, and give her inserts for the inside (happy birthday etc) with double sided tape on them, so she just needs to peel the tape and put it in. thought that was a good idea, so did she.