Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sample Box Update & Trial

Hi All,

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
New Proposal

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.
Your Input

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
(All pricing information will be kept confidential and used only for the purpose of ensuring each designer is not out of pocket but reimbursed their actual costs. This is needed as some products cost more to produce than others. The aim is that each designer is not out of pocket.)

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.

Thanks
Belinda
www.shophandmade.co.uk

34 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting project - I'd be happy to take part

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  2. I think that you have come up with a great solution and I'd love to take part (if you think my greetings cards would work). I will email you :)

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  3. Yes, yes, yes... please count me in for this! It sounds like a brilliant idea and I'll email you... x

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  4. Hi Alice & DTE,

    Yes I think greetings cards would work, I think any product works. If either of you would like to take part please email me details of the product you would consider donating with the details listed above.

    Firstly I'm looking to make this idea work on paper so before we commit to moving forward I can show each designer a mock box, the contents, RRP and the amount they would receive back. Hope to hear from you both soon.

    Thanks
    Belinda

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  5. Thanks FunkyJunkJewellery, look forward to your email.

    Thanks
    Belinda

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  6. fab idea! within the sample box what types of objects will people be donating...will it be small tasters of the types of things we make or actual pieces? so something like a little pair of lower cost earrings vs. a standard design we might sell in our shops?

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  7. Hi GUGAW,

    Thanks for your questions. Other sample boxes generally have smaller priced items because the designer donates the goods and receives nothing back. I'm hoping my concept will see designers parting with high priced items. Whilst there may be no profit made (although I hope there will be some), the main point is all costs will be covered.

    Whilst I'm keen for higher priced items to be added I don't want those who make goods at lower price points to think your goods are not welcome, I want a nice mix of style & price.

    Short answer is anything you think will promote you and your work best and item that you have good margins on will work best.

    Hope that helps, feel free to ask more q's.

    Thanks
    Belinda

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  8. great, thanks for the reply belinda!

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  9. That DOES sound like a good idea! :)

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  10. Belinda - this sounds fantastic. I'm involved in the FibreholicsUK sample box (http://fibreholics.blogspot.com) which is just yarn and fibre for spinners and knitters. Like you, we thought it was doing makers no favours at all that contributors weren't getting reimbursed.

    I'll be having a think and sending you an email!

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  11. Hi Belinda,

    I really like the sound of this. I'll have a think and see which items I could send.

    Vic

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  12. I am very new to the selling business, but I'd love to take part in your sample box :-) Sending you an email now!

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  13. I'm also very new and dying to get my little business to grow so I'm most definitely keen to participate, sounds great :-) E.mail winging its way to you this evening when I get home.

    Gemma

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  14. Very interesting stuff! Check us out at http://www.handmade-crafts.co.uk/ - possibly we could help you to promote sample box, etc?

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  15. I like the sound of this. I've had concerns in the past that when sending freebie promos, you can't do that in a worthwhile quantity with a product that really represents the quality of your work. I'll look at sending you something.

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  16. sounds like a plan. i know we've discussed it on folksy before and there was lots of interest. I'm interested in taking part, have just sent my first get eurofied samples off this month so will see if i get a sudden rush of sales!

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  17. What a fabulous idea! I only wish I was UK based, so I could take part!

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  18. This sounds like a far more viable option- I would be interested in sending full sized shea and avocado butter soap bars or slices- I shall sort out the details and email you

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. Thanks for the comments everyone. Had such a good response so far with many product submissions, keep them coming though as I'd like to see a good range of different products so the more the better.

    I'll be collating these in the next 2-3 weeks. Once I have that I will start with the mock trial and feedback to those designers who submitted goods.

    Brandi - so sorry, we need much more promotion here in the UK, maybe you could start something similar?

    Thanks
    Belinda

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  21. Belinda,

    This is a really well thought out solution to that feeling that, as a seller, you're sending items out into the unknown at great cost.

    I think the finished boxes will make great gifts and am interested in your project as a contributor and future buyer.

    Best wishes and good luck with it,

    Katy

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  22. Great idea Belinda, have emailed you, I would love to take part.

    Kim

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  23. This is a great idea Belinda, I'd really like to take part, will email you :)

    Catherine

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  24. Sounds like a great idea and one that should work well.

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  25. I'm really interested in taking part, try to think about this later :)

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  26. Thanks Everyone,

    I've had quite a lot of interest which is great. I'm going to be accepting submissions of goods with pricing details til Friday 7th August. That's not a cut off deadline, you can still post your expression of interest after that date and participate should we go live with the boxes. It's just the point where I will start full calcs and make a decision on if this concept is viable for everyone.

    Any questions just post or email me.

    Thanks
    Belinda

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