A Card For Mum, A Card For Easter

We know is really early and Christmas hasn’t really passed but us, suppliers work in a parallel universe and now is the time when we generally release our Spring Season cards for 2016.

We have now expanded our Spring season range Bloom and added 24 new designs across Valentine’s, Mother’s day, Easter and Father’s day.

The first ones we are sharing are our handmade greeting cards for Mum and Easter.

Mum Bloom Bike Handmade Greeting Card SABIVO Design

For Mum, we have abundance of gorgeous flowers, quirky birds, delightful tea, cakes and bunting, all in lovely fresh pastel colours.

We are delighted that our range had lovely mentions in two of the trade magazines: in September issue of Greetings Today (read here) and in October’s issue of Progressive Greetings (read here).

For Easter, we have more pretty flowers, birds and chocolate eggs, but also the typical symbols like Easter cross, covered in spring blooms and a church.


BE09 Sheep Easter SABIVO Design

Our contemporary cards are designed and printed on hammered board, here in England. We have combined hand-lettering with delightful illustrations and pops of neon pink colour.

All cards are hand-finished with polka dot cotton bows and cup flower jewels, which we are sure will be true delight for the recipient. The cards are 145 mm square and wrapped in complementary envelopes.

Hope there is something in the shop for you this Mother’s Day and Easter.

In the next post we will share our trendy Dad and Valentine’s greeting cards.

Best wishes,

SSK Signature


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