Following on from my poll and discussion on a potential Shop Handmade UK Sample Box, I wanted to post some findings and thoughts on the sample box idea and propose a new style of Sample Box.
Most sample boxes are US based and whilst a few of them do appear to work very well, with buyers and donators happy there are some issues that have been raised:
- Boxes are priced too low devaluing the products and workmanship
- The content is inconsistent in terms of value and duplicate products
- Designers / makers who donate do not receive any monetary compensation so this equates to a costly form of promotion
- Items donated are usually in the lower price point which is understandable
Based on the above I'm proposing an entirely new approach to the Sample Box concept with the following aims:
- Designers will be reimbursed the 'cost' value of the items they donate once they are sold. By 'cost' I mean the cost of materials and time taken to produce the item donated. No other sample box offers reimbursement to designers. This will allow designers to donate higher priced items knowing their costs will be covered.
- Designers would pre-agree a price they want for each item to cover costs and this would be agreed before you send any items in. This will help me design boxes based on costs, product and style or theme of each box.
- Boxes will be sold on an individual basis, possibly themed depending on the mix of goods donated. All items contained in each box will be listed & pictured so buyers can see what they will receive before purchasing.
- Boxes will be offered with a range of prices as opposed one set price according to the contents. Whilst the retail price will be higher than other sample boxes, they will represent a very big saving to the buyer and better value.
This is where I need your help. I'd like to plan a few boxes on paper so I can ensure the finished product is both appealing, offers real savings for buyers and offers designers reimbursement for their goods. For those interested in assisting with the trial can you please email the following information about the products you would like to donate, to: info [@] shophandmade.co.uk:
- Image of your product
- Quantity you can donate
- The cost you would need to be reimbursed to cover materials & time
- The RRP of the product
Once I have the information I will create images of 1 or more potential boxes with the required purchase prices and distribute this information back to the designers who have donated for their initial feedback. If that is positive then we can move forward to producing and selling.
In the previous poll it was evenly split between those who wanted the sample box sold to UK buyers and those who wanted them sold Worldwide. I think the best way to cater to everyone is to offer an equal split on Etsy and the other half on a UK site to be decided.
If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to post below, the more input the better.