I went through the Sunday sales ads that come with our Friday paper here in northern VA. (I've also lived in MD and NC and the Sunday ads come in Sunday's paper.) Anyway, there was no Michael's ad this week, but there is an ACMoore 50% coupon good for Tuesday. I'll take that coupon to Michael's on Tuesday to get my new DCWV card box (box #5, I believe). Yep, you guessed it! I used up the orange cards from the box making 2 cards like this.
Well, I actually had enough scraps to make 3 cards like this one (dps and ribbon are SU!; bling flower and bling brad are Bazzill; I used TLC rub-ons for the sentiments). But the 3rd card is just a card front until I purchase my new DCWV box :)
I started selling cards nearly 18 months ago (February 7, 2007, in Leesburg, VA), and added a second store almost 12 months ago (August 12, 2007, in McLean, VA). My friend, Amy Sheffer (Pickled Paper Designs), started helping me in October 2007. Our friend, Tracy (Suzy Scrapbooker) joined us in February 2008. Both stores are Greenberry's Coffee & Tea. Before G'berry's opened I was a Caribou Coffee girl. Before Caribou, I went to Starbucks. DH & I love mocha latte, and Caribou's tastes better than Starbucks, and G'berry's tastes better than Caribou. And G'berry's has awesome cinnamon scones (much better than Starbucks) and the best chocolate tea cakes. Okay, I am digressing...
I did some homework: I went back to Caribou and asked how well their cards sold. (They sell Papyrus cards. I LOVE Papyrus cards! They look hand made, and come in acrylic envelopes. I also checked the prices...$4.95 for A2). The barrista said they really didn't sell.
When I spoke with the district manager of G'berry's, part of our agreement was that my little basket of cards (holds 30 without being too full) had to be right beside the register.
What I have learned: To increase my profit margin, I try to always buy the DCWV card box or the Value Pack cards & envelopes from Michael's or ACMoore at 50% off, so the card and envelope only cost me 10 cents. I purchase the acrylic envelopes in bulk from clearbags.com, and they cost me about 5 cents each. These are worth it! I have never had a damaged card due to dirty fingers or spilled coffee. People LOVE to send handmade cards and I now have a sort of "following".
I started with stash cards in my closet that I felt were no longer good enough to send to friends and family (as I improve, I become more card snobbish. LOL!) Then in my spare time, I made cards to keep in my at home stash box to sell in the future. In an average month, I sold 32-39 cards. For perspective, the last 24 of that original old stash were still out at the Leesburg store in July 2007. July is an abysmal month sales-wise for coffee shops. I sold only 12 of those 24 cards. 12 cards the entire month! But I was actually okay with that. I got something for cards I no longer liked or wanted. The next month when I started selling at the McLean store, I moved those 12 cards there, and they all sold :) In July 2008, G'berry's sales are very slow again(for them, but not for me, Amy & Tracy!) For July 2008 we sold 38 cards at the Leesburg store and 44 at McLean.
The best sellers are "birthday" and "thinking of you". Baby cards, Anniversary, and Sympathy sell a little slower, but do sell. "Hello" and "Friend" cards are even slower. "Cherish" does not sell well. Everything sells eventually. If a card sits at one store for two months, I move it to the other store. For perspective, 4 of the "oldest" cards out for sale I made at the end on June. I try not to make more than 6 identical/similar(3 to each store) of any particular card. My customers like that their cards are (relatively) unique. But you know it all depends on the scraps. Sometimes my cards are one of a kind. This has created more sales. The customers have learned that if they like a particular card, they should buy it right then because they might not see one like it again if they don't buy it now. Kind of like shopping at a scrapbook store, huh?