Awards & Engraving

August '18

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A&E AUGUST 2018 • 19 it possible. Up close, or with a magnifying glass, the dots will be evident. The ornament is so shiny it's hard to see the engraving. Use darker, matte- finished ornaments instead of the mirrored kind for better contrast and viewing. Ornaments break during shipping. The only time I hear about an ornament breaking is when a client drops one. By taking a few precautions, there should be no problems with breaking during shipping. I normally wrap the ornament in tissue paper, put it in a storage box, insert that in a polyethylene foam pouch and then pack it in a sturdy shipping box with air bags to prevent it from moving in the box. No one is ordering the ornaments. Advertise with great photos. By their physical nature, glass ball ornaments reflect light, so use indirect lighting when taking photos. Use a dark photo cube if possible. Emphasize the personalization, which is the real "product" being offered. Don't just sell the ornament; provide a dedicated storage box and a hanger. And don't overdo the shipping. These are lightweight and ship well and quickly using first-class package rates. Perceived high shipping rates can be a deal breaker for many potential buyers. A GOOD BUSINESS DECISION Is it too late for the upcoming holiday season? Maybe, but it doesn't take long to learn the techniques and market your product. If not this year, there's always next year. Once the process for creating personal- ized glass ball ornaments has been mas- tered, this service can become a signifi- cant part of a business portfolio. Glass ball ornaments are items where the material is inexpensive and the engraving doesn't take too much time. Profits can be good. While the majority of the orders are one to three pieces, there occasionally are large- volume orders, particularly from the cor- porate world. There appears to be a lot of competi- tion from other ornament sellers, such as retail stores and crafters. Keep in mind, however, the basic principle of the person- alization business: It's not selling products but catering to vanity. The service is cus- tomization and personalization. It is not "Baby's First Christmas" but "Nova Mae's First Christmas"; not "Our First Christmas Together" but "Scott and Fiona's First Christmas Together." Marketing strategies should emphasize that principle. Laser Engraving A&E

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