Another way to get feedback on your cards is to test market them in a store. Don’t dismiss the possibility of giving cards away for a limited amount of time in exchange for temporary shelf space. All you really want to do is to see if customers buy your cards and how much they are willing to pay.
If a store is hesitant to experiment with your cards because they don’t want to give up retail space to an untested product, agree to remove your cards after a month. There is no harm in asking. All they can do is say “no, thanks.”
If you feel shy about walking into a store and asking, “Hey, can I put my cards in your store as an experiment?” you do have some other options:
You might talk to your friends or relatives to see if they know anyone who runs a retail store. Tell them you are willing to give away cards in exchange for shelf space to test market your cards.
I found my first store this way. My friend’s mom ran a health food store and she offered to put my cards in a basket on the counter. She took an interest in my success and reported to me about her customers’ comments.
What makes this a great deal for the store is they get free cards, 100 percent profit, and they don’t have to keep track of invoices or set up an account with you.
I suggest offering at least fifty free cards. If that seems expensive to you, remember that when you grow a business, you will also need to give out free samples to sales reps, so giving away cards is reasonable thing to do.
Remember: Stores like artists. In my experience of approaching card buyers, I found them to be generous and helpful. They like giving feedback and usually prefer carrying local artist’s products, rather than mass-marketed items available in store chains.
This Article is an excerpt from the book: Get Your Greeting Cards into Stores: How to find and work with Greeting Card Sales Reps
If you already make your own greeting cards, this book explains how to get your cards into stores and sell them sell nationwide. Included are guidelines on: how to price your cards for a profit, how to get professional feedback, where to find a sales representative and and what industry standards you should follow. All the information is also applicable to gift items, such as magnets, journals, calendars, collectibles, etc.