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Selling Homemade Greeting Cards

Category Business
Whether you are selling retail or wholesale, you need to determine how much it costs you to make your cards. This is a guide about selling homemade greeting cards.
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By 1 found this helpful
July 15, 2008

I am trying to sell the greeting cards I make. I have a pharmacy that will sell my items. Our deal is they get 5% of what they sell. Another shop wants to buy my cards outright and sell them for their own price. How do I price those items. Do I charge them what I would have sold them for or give them to them at 1/2 price? I am so new to this and afraid to be taken advantage of! My cards have sold pretty good just by word of mouth. Thanks!

Linda from Saratoga, AR

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July 15, 20088 found this helpful
Best Answer

I've been selling greeting cards, pottery & other art for 30 years so I will give you a few tips:

There is a basic pricing system (for most every thing) that goes something like this: RETAIL price, WHOLESALE price & Saturday MARKET or Street Fair price. Say for example your Retail price is $4 for a greeting card, then your Wholesale price should be $2 & your street fair price should be half way in between the RETAIL & THE WHOLESALE prices at $3... So I advise you to first come up with your retail selling price. Then work back from there. The reason you have to have these prices "set in stone" is because if someone goes to a Saturday Market & buys your cards for $3 then they go to a store (with higher overhead) & they have to pay $4 for them, then the customer should be able to understand why they cost more in a fine store with higher overhead, Vs a tent set up in the park with practically no overhead. Get my drift.

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But many people will always sell their stuff for the higher Retail price, because otherwise a store who has bought 50 or 100 cards from you doesn't want you underselling them at a fair or Saturday market (you can make some enemies this way, by under-selling your Wholesale customers). This is why at some Saturday markets you will see people selling only their "seconds" (cards not quite good enough to charge full price to stores for) & they'll sell their "seconds" at a lower price. If you are going to sell your cards at a fair for a lower price that market Retail, you might first want to make your plan clear to your wholesale customers. Because people that own the stores have to pay the high cost of overhead of running a store need to make the most money (& they might be stuck with your cards that don't sell) You should sell your cards to these guys at your wholesale rate (which is usually half the price of Retail). But the rule is that they usually have to buy a certain amount. For example 50 cards.

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Consignment works a bit differently. You start at your Retail Price then the store takes a percentage, & if they are only taking 5%, then that is an AWESOME deal, because most places will take 25-30% or even 40% sometimes. But with consignment your stuff could get stolen from the store, or messed up with fingerprints etc. & it's just sitting there in the store & sometimes not in the best display area. You should agree on a display area before you make the deal to leave your cards there. But, believe me when I tell you that 5% is a great deal, but your cards may or may not sell in that particular area & in that particular store, & unlike selling Wholesale, the money is NOT "in the bank" so to speak, but more in limbo (sitting in the store & not in your inventory). Make sure you agree on a time that the cards will come out of the store if they don't sell. Many artists hate consignment. But there are exceptions. Say for example you have a good area set up in this store & you keep restocking it weekly, & your cards keep selling (& don't get stolen)... Then I'd wonder why they are only selling them for 5% of the take?

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Maybe it's a friend who is doing you this special favor. If not they might soon raise their percentage.

You'll need to cover your cards with tight fitting plastic bags that the customer can still open & see into the center of the cards, OR you can just keep them in a clear bag that doesn't open up & have a small sticker on the outside of the sealed bag says "blank inside" these clear bags will keep fingerprints off, but of course they will add to your overhead, but I think they are well worth the cost.

HERE'S WHERE I BUY MY CLEAR BAGS:
www.clearbags.com/?overview%7Cbags

www.craftercity.com/CLEARBAGSUSA.htm

You'll have to figure out what each card costs you to make WITH the envelope & the bag that covers the card & also add in your supplies, like printer ink or stamps, ink, glitter & glue or whatever your supplies are & also things like, Are YOU going to supply the stand for the cards? & if so how much does the card stand cost? Then add up how long it averages you to make each card & multiply that times minimum wage in your state (you should at least ALWAYS get minimum wage!) or at least make $10 an hour, at the VERY LEAST! ... Here's an example for pricing ONE card:

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Cardstock: 50 cents, Insert sheet 25 cents, Envelope 25 cents, Plastic Bag: 25 cents, Printer ink 25 cents. This pretend card would cost me $1.50 to make, but of course you are buying your supplies in bulk so they would hopefully be MUCH, much cheaper. Then take however many cards you can make in an hour & divide that number up by minimum wage after subtracting how much the cards actually cost to make, then you can go on from there.

This is a warning ---> Do NOT rip yourself off. Take a look at what Hallmark greeting cards are selling for & keep your prices close to what theirs are! Make sure you make REAL money when you sell your cards. Don't say "But I REALLY enjoy it, so I don't care if I make money or not" This isn't fair to you or other artists out there that can't compete with someone only selling their "hobby". Make sure that you make a decent profit. & that you at least make minimum wage! (& hopefully a WHOLE LOT MORE!) And don't forget to add in the price of gas & wear & tear on your car when you make a delivery or when you drive around purchasing supplies.

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I hope I've helped you... I know I've made this whole thing sound more complicated that it really is... Sometimes I have a hard time putting my ideas on paper... So if you have any other questions, please drop me a line here on ThriftyFun.

*** The main thing to remember: Do NOT rip yourself off... Get what you're worth! & If someone wants the 50% wholesale price, they'll need to buy a minimum number of cards! ... But many people will NEVER EVER sell their stuff at 50% off or the so called "wholesale" price (I don't, it isn't worth it to me because my stuff takes to long to make!) ... But some people's wholesale price will instead be 25 or 30% less than Retail instead of the full 50% of retail... So it's all up to you!

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July 19, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

An easy (and inexpensive) way to sell online is through Etsy.com. You pay a small listing fee (.20) and then a small percentage of the sale price after an item sells. You can accept credit cards through paypal (which charges, I believe, .30 per transaction plus 2.9% of the total). So, even if an item doesn't sell, you are only out .20 for each listing. I sell through two shops (www.GoodKittyJewelry.Etsy.com and www.SquaredAway.Etsy.com) and I love it!

Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 1, 2018

I'm setting up shop in a studio downtown. I want to make an inventory sheet for my greeting cards that I will be selling there. I don't really know how to go about creating this. I don't have any business/office apps on my computer. Do you have any suggestions on how I can come up with this or create this? Or do you feel its necessary? The last time I did anything like this it was hard to keep track because I wan't really keeping track. And I want to make sure I'm getting paid the right amount for each card sold. Can you please help.
Thanks.

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April 2, 20180 found this helpful
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I'm with Judy: set up a spreadsheet. You can use your choice of headings (suppliers, for example, themes, costs and so on), can add more as you go along and even include payment details (by date and / or invoice). Once you become familiar with the program you can sort and organize any number of different ways and find information in seconds. Good luck!

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April 2, 20180 found this helpful
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Unless you are really adept at setting up spreadsheets you may have trouble trying to create your own inventory/sales sheets/records.

  • Will you also be needing this information for your IRS/state income reporting records? IRS Form C for personal income reporting & Social Security & Medicare taxes?
  • I'm just mentioning these because if your answer is yes (or ?) - then you probably need a bookkeeper/accountant to set this up and get you started.
  • If you have a junior college or university within driving distance you may be able to get free help (or almost free) by utilizing some students enrolled in accounting or bookkeeping.
  • This type of help is requested quite often at our universities and the students usually receive extra credits so someone is almost always willing.
  • It is not a complicated process, just pay a visit to the college office and tell them what you are trying to do and see if they will help.
  • Occasionally, a teacher will set something like this up as lesson plan and that works well also (you get lots of ideas/plans to choose from).
  • They may send you to several departments but keep going because when you receive their help, I think you will be amazed at sharp these students can be.
  • Take a look at some of the inventory spreadsheets and then don't be shy - go ask for help because I really believe you will need it
  • Of course, you can always pay a bookkeeper or accountant several hundred dollars but it may not be as good as the students'.
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