Birds, Charms and Boys Toys For Spring 2017

Hello,
I have been very busy designing and we have added more than 100 new designs for Spring 2017.

The new designs are across four new ranges, all with distinctive contemporary look. Fly is nature inspired, Charms is delicate and feminine, best-selling Bijoux has been expanded with over 50 new designs and last but not least, we now have a male range, Great Times. All typography is hand-lettered or trending brush-lettered.

The cards are across open birthdays, occasions and popular family relations. They are available to order now and most ranges can be ordered as a handmade or printed version. We proudly hand-illustrate, print and hand-finish our cards in England. Our FSC approved boards are from England and Italy and we pack with envelopes from Yorkshire.

A small selection of the new designs is available via our retail website or if you are a trade customer please ask us for a catalogue and a sample card and we will be happy to send one. 

You could also view the new designs when visiting our stand 3W18 at our forthcoming exhibition, Spring Fair, 05-09 Feb 2017.

Best wishes,

 

Do You Sell Your Product At The Right Price – Part 2

In my previous post I wrote about setting up the right wholesale price in the ‘bottom-up’ approach. If you have missed reading it you can catch up here.

In this blog post I will guide you through the ‘top-down’ approach, which in a way is a cross checking your calculations and probably makes you face the real retail world.

Let’s assume your cards would sell in the gift shops at the retail price of £2.99. In my last blog post we arrived at the calculation of £1.50 wholesale price of your cards, which you propose to the retailer, so he/she can sell them at £2.99. It now means that you will have to sell an awful a lot of cards to make a viable business.

Additionally, it also means that if you register for VAT you have to ‘lower’ your wholesale price to £1.25 in order to be competitive. If you ask why ‘lower’, it is because if you increase your original £1.50 wholesale price by 20% (at current VAT), it will become £1.80 (£1.50*1.20=£1.80) and the cards retail price is no longer £2.99 but is £4.32 (£1.80*2.4=£4.32), which the retailer will possibly round up to £4.49, in order to sell. This also means that now your cards are in a different price bracket and the competitors you are competing with are completely different. Additionally, as a rule of thumb, the higher the price (trade or retail), the slower the sales rate although your margins would be higher.

Despite the fact that you could never dictate the RRP to a retailer (generally, once they have paid for the goods it is their property and they can do whatever they like with them) it is advisable to know where your product sits in the market place. So, if you were generally happy with your £1.50 wholesale price, it means that those £0.25 have to be absorbed somewhere or you have to sell more product at the market place.

You can safely apply the usual mark up of 2.4 to check your prices but make sure you know it for your industry or the specific stores you are trying to sell to as it can vary a lot.  For example, at some expensive places like London or for some department stores it can be 3.2. The mark up can also go up to X5 for some trendy fashion labels, which are trend setters, so make sure you understand everything in advance.

Hope this post was useful to cross-check your trade prices.

In the next blog post I will look at some wonderful PR opportunities for card and gift shops.

Do You Sell Your Product At The Right Price? – Part 1

I often get asked how a product and service is priced, because of my professional background in fashion retail and buying. So, in this post I am going to cover some basics, which you can apply when you price goods to sell, whether wholesale or retail.

Please note, all figures used are for figurative purposes only and are not reflection of what is out on the market. This post serves the only purpose to be your basic guidance where you do not know where to start from.

In service-based businesses charges are based on delivered  result per hour. Let say, you are a greeting card design consultant and your area of expertise is to consult the trends of the season, colour ways, new product releases etc. You would normally charge £30.00 per hour as you know this is the norm. However, to bring more business you offer a package, where the consumer is charged for 10 hours delivery but you give them 1 hour extra.  You can offer a certain consultancy cost per hour and a more value-for-money option if the client subscribes or uses your service on a regular basis.  If you are in the creative industry, you can start with fairly good example of charges per hour at the Artists Association and People Per Hour  and continue to shop around the web.

However, getting the price right of a product is slightly different than a service and it is really important as it is where your profit lies. As my business is within the greeting card industry, my examples will be for cards, but I’ll throw some some fashion retail knowledge too.

When you price for wholesale you can do ‘bottom up’ or vice versa and in this post we will cover the 1st part and in part 2 we will cover ‘top down’ pricing.

Let’s assume you are a supplier and embellish handmade cards and you can make a batch of 10 per hour to sell to shops. We take the handmade cards as an example as by nature they are time consuming to make, although materials are relatively cheap.  Let say it will cost you £4.00 to make the cards, your hour is worth £10 and you put overheads (rent & rates, water, travel, electricity, insurance) of 10p per card, just to simplify things.  You wholesale price will be:

Materials + Time + Overheads = Wholesale Price

£4.00 + £10.00 + £1.00 = £15.00

To obtain the price per card you divide the total by 10 and your wholesale price is £1.50. You have to be able to sell the cards for more than £1.50 as you can see that we have not added any profit in the equation.

You can also make a much more complex calculation and this time you assume you make 1000 cards per month, all different designs but taking roughly the same time to produce. Again, please, note, the numbers are just for visualisation purposes and they do not intend to reflect a precise calculation. You can further change them to reflect your situation, i.e. charge more per hour, have more or less profit, add VAT @20% etc. but the principle will be just as outlined below:

What makes your product Monthly Expenses
Production per month 1,000
Labour: 100 hours @ £6 £600
National Insurance + Public Liability Insurance £10.00
Materials: envelopes, cello bags, embellishment etc. £300
Sundries: stationery, postage etc. £20.00
Travel Expenses £20.00
Overheads: electricity, heating, phone etc. £50
Marketing: rent at fairs, brochures, business cards etc. £100
Total Wholesale Cost £1,100
Profit @20% £1,320
Wholesale Price Per Card  £1.32

So, if you go to a craft fair and sell your cards at the retail price of £2.99 you are making a good profit. On the other hand if you sell the same cards at £1.50 to a retailer, so they can sell them at £2.99 you will have to sell an awful a lot of cards to make a viable business.

Hope these examples were useful. If there is something not clear, just let me know, happy to answer any queries.

In the next blog post I will cover the approach of working out your wholesale cost when you know the retail price and also how retailers achieve their retail price. You might be a bit surprised what you will find out.

Best wishes,

SSK Signature

 

 

Trade Show Season Is Open – Where Will You Go?

 

SABIVO Design Top Drawer 2014

Trade show season is now pen and with so many tightly squeezed in two months there is so much to think about, whether you are an artist or a retailer. So, I decided to do a little round up of the most important ones in the UK and some abroad.

Everybody from the supplier side of retail knows that Christmas is the golden time for retailers (sometimes accounting up to 20% of their business) and January and February is the Christmas time for suppliers. In the greeting card and gift industry the Spring Season is when everybody shows up their sleeves their most exciting everyday designs, i.e. the products they are going to sell throughout the year. In order the suppliers to meet the retailers, ‘trade only’ shows come into place. They would normally be attended by buyers from department stores, multiples, mail-order, online, tourist attractions and independent retail outlets.

First up is Giving and Living, down in Exeter where 500 companies display their products to around 7000 trade buyers.  The show has strong coastal and tourist feel and this year it runs 11-14 January 2015.

Next one is Top Drawer, which sees over 800 leaders in UK and international design, who are all pre-selected for only the best suppliers, the ones combining great design with commercial acumen. As it is located in London, it attracts strong following of trendy, design-led retailers and upmarket galleries and luxury multiples. This year it runs 11-13 January 2015. You have now guessed right that as an exhibitor or visitor, unless you have several employees, you can’t possibly exhibit at both shows mentioned above.

We launched our publishing business at Top Drawer in 2013 and it is said that you never forget the first of everything. It is certainly true, we had an absolutely amazing show!  This was our stand when we just finished setting it up.

SABIVO Design Top Drawer 2013

Wales is also running its own Welsh Trade Gift Fair (Llandudno) from 18-21 January 2015 but at time of writing there are ~40 exhibitors, so my best guess is that it is suitable for the welsh market only and not a massive one.

The Scottish Gift Trade Fair is in Glasgow and this year it runs 18-20 January 2015 and is heavily influenced by all things Scottish, as you can imagine. Over 500 companies exhibit thousands of products  across 3 areas, so if you love to design and make puffins, tartans, shortbread etc. around 5000 trade buyers will hopefully see them.

Undoubtedly the biggest trade show in the UK is Spring Fair, at the NEC in Birmingham and it’ll be in a couple of days running 01-05 February 2015 (the image at the top of the post is our first exhibition at Spring Fair in 2014). It is massive as 3000 exhibitors would be there and the show normally attracts 70,000 retailers (from the UK and abroad), so if you have missed the other shows, this one is definitely not to be missed. The show is famous for having anybody and everybody as there is no pre-selection criteria, which makes it very easy to enter the exhibition arena. We will be returning again and if you are reading this post and planning a visit, we would love you to pencil stand 4J05.  Until then, this is our show profile and we hope you like what you see.

If you would like to venture across the pond good ones are NYNow in New York, Mason & Objet in Paris and Paperworld  in Frankfurt.

Hope this post was helpful for your planning and in the next one I will round up the new ranges we are showing at Spring Fair.

Best wishes,

SSK Signature