Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Boxed sets of cards

For about a year, I have had customers tell me that I should sell boxed sets of my cards. My customers have always led me in the right direction. But I knew this fact long before anybody was nudging me to do it. What I didn't explain to them was that I was having a hard time figuring out how to do it. I have so many card lines — more than 30 different ones — and boxes that fit either 6 cards or 10 cards in each box. That's a lot of different combinations of cards, and each unique combo would need a unique insert giving an overview of what was inside. I didn't want to commit the cost and time of designing so many different inserts, printing them and then not having the product sell. So I never did dig in and make boxed sets, much to everyone's disappointment.

One day before Thanksgiving, I was talking to Mike, the guy who prints my cards at a professional printing press, when he mentioned that I should make boxed sets of my cards (ha! never heard that before!) and that he could produce a sticky piece of paper with all the designs and info about the cards that I could simply peel off of a backing and stick onto the back of the package. He didn't know it but he actually solved my problem in a bigger way than he imagined. His idea still presented the same problem: a lot of cost for many different combinations of cards, especially when I want to have even more combinations during different seasons or holidays. But a synapse went off in my brain when he talked about a sticker...

About that same time, I had purchased some price stickers for a craft show I was doing. These are the kind of stickers that come with a code inside the box that you can use to go online and design your own template that can be downloaded and printed onto the stickers. In a bit of procrastination, I had been fooling around with the templates and making all kinds of stickers and price tags and other silly things. But in playing with the templates, I realized I could upload images onto the stickers. I had a lot of fun doing something that seemed like it would never serve a purpose. Then Mike mentioned sticker paper.

I started uploading my designs to the templates and — ta da! — made sheets of tiny stickers that I could use to individualize each box of cards.

I must have spent about 3 hours uploading every design, tweaking the placement of the image, saving each design and printing out sheets of stickers for each of my designs. Now I could easily put together a bunch of whatever cards I chose for a package, grab a sticker for each one and slap it on the box. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. And if a particular combination doesn't sell, the stickers are removable so I can easily peel them off, add new ones and reuse the box.

I managed to get it all done a couple of weeks before Christmas and sold an impressive amount of packs for gift-giving. As they say, the customer is always right.

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