do you sell gift certificates?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by msf, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Ive seen a few groupon threads being discussed, and if done right, it can make you some money. Done wrong and your bankrupt. But I dont like the fact they get 50% of the sales for doing no real work, other than letting you reach an audience you couldnt reach before.

    So I was wondering if anyone here uses other methods to sell gift certificates to bring in new business, bring in more business, or just hope that a % of the sales dont come in before the deadline.

    If you do sell gift certificates, how do you get them out there, other than services like groupon.com

    This could be an interesting thread. [​IMG]
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've used gift certificate as gifts, giveaways or donations...only a few times, nothing much really.

    I was at a seminar where the speaker was talking about how to use gift cards. They are very popular these days, most stores around here have a whole rack of them near the tills. My local pro lab has started making/ordering them, although they aren't cheap.

    One thing that they allow you to do, is attach a high value to your service. Most of us know that if you charge $20 for a sitting fee, people won't think much of your service. But if they have a gift card that says $250 value (sitting fee), then they start to think of you as a valuable service.
    The example he gave was a $250 gift card, which was the value of the sitting fee...but it had to be applied to the print order. This was to avoid people using the card for a sitting fee but only ordering a small amount of prints.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well... I offer gift certificates but have sold very few. It's usually right before the holidays, when folks stop in to find out about family portraits too late for Christmas delivery, that I can sell one.

    But really... I bet I've sold maybe five in 28 years.

    One way of thinking about a service like Groupon is those purchasing the discount are pre-qualified. In other words: They want photography and intend to schedule and prepare for it. Perhaps they been waiting for something really special before investing in your services and now find it obtainable.

    One of my daughters works at an upscale restaurant in Chicago that used Groupon. She said they did quite well with it... so much so that she doubled her wine inventory for the duration.

    So if the people in your market area have been "saving you for good," something like this might be all it takes to nudge them in the door.

    -Pete
     
  4. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Well theres no groupon city near me, theres two that are 3 hours apart *different directions* but I think groupon requires you to be located in the city that you offer the coupon for.

    Im doing a county fair next month, perhaps I should get some nice business cards made up that are actually gift certificates and try to push them there. that way people walking around with money can purchase something at a discount to use later. :)

    It could even be a fundraiser for some group. But I dont want to offer my services to low that its a special offer for the buyer, but still give a good amount of the actual sales to the group doing the fundraiser.
     
  5. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

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    I don't use them yet, but it's something I plan to offer in the near future. It may only result in a few sales, but it's still another revenue stream.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     
  6. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Well I made up a card design, that combines the gift card with a loyalty program, and sent it off to overnightprints.com, 1000 cards for $25.something shipped. Hopefully theres no mistakes. :)

    On the back is a spot for opening card balance and a loyalty/gift card number. I dont think I needed 1000 of these, but it was only $1 more to upgrade from 250 to 500, and $3 more from 500 to 1000. Shipping was standard regardless of how many cards.

    Now to make a website, and add a gift card balance link. I dont know hwo to do the web database stuff, so I may just have a list of all the gift cards, sorted by number, with the balance and loyalty balance next to it. Theres no names so it'll be anonymous. I hope people wont mind this info being up there.
     
  7. eyesonlyp

    eyesonlyp TPF Noob!

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    Would you recommend them? Business Cards, Postcards, Flyers, Brochures, Letterhead , Greeting Cards & Envelopes Overnight ~ by OvernightPrints.com are they good quality?



     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yes, I can recommend OvernightPrints.com.
     
  9. GloriousMemory

    GloriousMemory Official Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Many of our clients give out gift certificates with value of a small portion of their sessions. For example, if they charge $250 per sitting, they give out certificates of $50._, or even more. People receive certificates of great value and they check their business out. I haven't heard much positive results of selling gift certificates. However, passing them out for free has been effective.

    And, here is bit of shameless promotion, we do carry many uniquely designed gift certificate templates in our store.

    Here are just a few:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope all goes well with you.

    Warmly,

    Helen
     

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