You may recall the Sample box poll I posted a few weeks back. Quite a few of you who voted requested more information on sample boxes so as promised I will explain a bit more about how they work.
The main aim of a sample box is to allow handmakers to get their product sample or discount card in the hands of as many buyers as possible, buyers who want to try new products and are looking to purchase. You can donate either a discount card or a product, the product can be sample size or full size that is up to you and of course the products you sell. You can donate as many samples as you like or are financially able to. The amount of boxes offered to buyers is determined after samples are received by the organiser (Shop Handamde UK) and split to ensure each box is well stocked and buyers receive value for money. This is usually 12-15 products per box.
The benefits of a sampler box is that it's co-ordinated, marketed and organised on your behalf and you benefit from being alongside other handmakers offering quality products and services. Buyers have just the one place to purchase multiple samples from rather than asking many makers for a sample.
There would be a dedicated page on Shop Handmade UK for the sample box, each handmaker who has donated to the box would have an advert on this page with link to their store. The boxes would be sold through either Etsy, Folksy, Misi or Coriandr or a mix, this again depends on what the majority wants.
This is very much at the idea stage, I'm looking for more votes and input by way of comments so if anyone has any questions or suggestions please speak up. Previously it was suggested to have samples for trade buyers. I think this is a great idea, I'm very much for promoting wholesale markets having just created our new Wholesale Page so this is something I will look at in future. For now I'm concentrating more on retail buyers.
I've attached the poll below again so please vote if you haven't already.