I have been selling bits and pieces on eBay since September last year. So far, I have sold toys, second hand random items, and stickers. Most of my sales have been for stickers and I’m gradually phasing out my other stuff as soon I plan to only stock stickers.
One thing I have noticed though, while I am selling them (sell thru just above 50%), I do have to sell a lot to make any decent money. Even though I can easily put 400%+ on the wholesale price, this still equates to about $2 – $5 profit on most sales.
Take out fees and well you can see the picture. I haven’t got an eBay store as I am waiting for them to finish the changes they’re making to store subscriptions, so I will be opening my store this month.
I’m also about to change my eBay username to something more fitting to a sticker seller. My question is, are there any experienced sellers out there who could advise whether this is a good plan or not? Maybe someone tried and it worked well, or maybe didn’t? I feel that with a store and some marketing on my behalf I can make this work and get my sales volume to a point where I’m making good money.
Or am I dreaming?BTW, by “good money” I mean enough to supplement my income perhaps, an extra $40k – 50k annually or so.
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This means that marketing and sales personnel, and designers need to be involved in sticker production. If stickers are treated like simple freebies or office products ordered by a secretary or intern, the result will be a simple freebie that does not tie in with your other marketing efforts and/or misses valuable opportunities to sell.
Who do I want to communicate with (who is my market)? Where do I find them? How do I make contact? What are their interests (what do they want/need)? What is my unique offering, message and/or story (identity)? How do I communicate and broadcast my message/identity cleanly, simply, graphically and quickly to my market and prospects? 8.
Compliment and Enhance Other Marketing Efforts
Another reason stickers are such a great promotional item is that they actively involve the customer in creatively marketing your brand. Nathan Lough WesSpur Tree Equipment
Hi Ben, You can setup a storefront on Facebook by using an ecommerce solution like Payvment. However, there are some stores who find success simply by setting up a business page on Facebook where they post photos of their products.
What’s great about a business page is that people who are not in your friend’s list also get to see your products compared to a private profile page. You can use the latter though to promote your ‘business page’ to encourage likes from your own circle.
I hope this helps 🙂 Lace
Selling on FB is hit and miss, but I would think that with stickers it’s an easy thing to get people sharing, especially if you sell the sort of “message stickers” that people will post and repost. Come to think of it, having JPGs of some of your better stickers that could also double as the kind of crap people post on Facebook all the time anyway, from humourous to risquÃ© to inspirational to whatever else, might not be a bad idea.
Just post the picture, one per day on your page, and let those that go viral go viral. As far as the store concept itself goes, I have used Payvment.com to set up shop on FB and found it super simple to operate, and that it works well in almost any browser or platform (something which is absolutely a must for getting a Facebook or Twitter presence — stick to things which render/perform well on phones! So many people miss this point.
The sticker needs to attract your prospect. It needs to have a perceived value which keeps it out of the trash and increases the possibility of being applied to a visible location like a car, notebook, window, helmet, etc.
Secondly, once applied, the advertising decals need to attract and be visible to everyone else.
Promotional stickers, done right, can also become profitable products themselves. A brand name, slogan or image can become a sticky product. You don’t have to be Life Is Good or a popular band to create stickers that fans will pay for. If you’ve got retail options, a unique angle to a specific market, or fans and advocates, you can definitely create a sticker with enough perceived value to warrant people wanting to show it off, and willing to pay for the privilege. Just make sure the sticker fits the customer’s personal needs and preferences, not just your own marketing/branding needs.
Some great ideas there from Frank, but just to add to those, try increasing your customer base be using other selling platforms to list as well.
Stickers are no longer just “bumper stickers”. The days of big, white, rectangular stickers for car bumpers are disappearing and being replaced with promotional stickers of all shapes and sizes for application to windows, water bottles, laptops, equipment, signs, phones, people… anywhere.
You Know What to Do… Now Who’s Going to Create And Print This Promotional Sticker?
And come to think of it, the “reverse upsell” could be a good way to generate leads on eBay for such a high-profit item. eg. put the Mega Stupid Koala Value Pack on eBay for $0.01 with no reserve and free shipping.
People will go stupid over it, ideally enough that you’ll at least break even on it, and those bidders who are outbid can be sent second chance and similar offers on which you will profit if they convert.
What Are Promotional Stickers and What Can They Do For You?
By linking these two functions you can instantly see the cost advantages and effectiveness of promo stickers. You have information that you want to put and keep in prospects and customers hands. If you want to build your database, perhaps, print a survey, entry form, or subscription card. If you want to mail announcements, news, and advertising, the back of your sticker is a format that won’t be ignored and costs as little to mail. By using well designed marketing stickers you can easily accomplish these goals and more.
To sum up, marketing is about relationships; communicating what makes you unique and of value to the people who will benefit and are willing to support you. Stickers can be used in a number of ways to strengthen that bond and encourage that the word is spread. That is sticker marketing – utilizing one of the lowest-cost, highest exposure marketing tools available to make and strengthen connections. But, remember, like any form of marketing or advertising, sticker marketing requires proper planning, design and execution to maximize its effectiveness.
A Promotion Sticker Can Function in Two Important Capacities:As a fun, promotional product – A giveaway that is attractive to your clients/prospects, resulting in the marketing stickers being applied to a visible location such as their car.
The “volunteer sales force” this creates then proceeds to drive around promoting your company or product to the world.Promo stickers are also a vehicle or medium that are used to deliver information to prospects and customers.
There are two sides to every sticker and not utilizing the back side is like paying for advertising space and then leaving it blank or only using half of what’s available. Would you print a six panel brochure and leave three of those panels blank?
You don’t need to place multiple sticker orders – just pay a low copy change charge of around $45. (for each copy change) and your stickers can market you in various capacities.
Promotional stickers are physical, off-line forms of social media and broadcasting. People were ‘liking’, posting, pinning, tagging and starting conversations with stickers long before the Internet. Designed and distributed properly they continually generate low-cost exposure, impressions and word of mouth marketing.
Tip: The important answer here is that YOU DON’T need to choose. You have flexibility when it comes to backcopy which helps achieve multiple objectives. Copy changes on initial print runs are very inexpensive. Or leave some blank – print backcopy at a later time at a local print shop (if square cut).
For example, a company selling bicycles could let a bicycle magazine put subscription information on the back of their sticker. This could be paid for outright, traded for ad space in the publication, or perhaps the sticker could be cooperatively distributed to each other’s customers. Both parties benefit.
For over 65 years, stickers have been helping politicians get elected, building companies, establishing brands, advertising, starting conversations and increasing exposure. Yet despite being long-lasting and having a low cost per impression, not enough attention has been paid by marketers and businesses to the power of this sticky marketing tool. Here are nine reasons astute businesses shouldn’t ignore this powerful, low-cost marketing medium.
Step Three: When obtaining information and pricing on promotional stickers be sure to ask about:
The material to be printed on and printing process. Make sure the material is suitable for outdoor use and that inks will not fade.Stock sizes. Perhaps there is a size or shape close to what you need that can save you substantial money if you slightly alter design.
Quantity price breaks. Get prices for several different quantities. Many times, getting thousands more stickers won’t cost you more or may even cost less due to factory price breaks.Production time schedule and options.
Usually, the faster you need your stickers the more it will cost. Make sure you are very clear about your time frame. Normal production times can vary from one week to five weeks depending on a number of variables.
Other charges. What is included in quote? Copy changes… die charges… shipping… color matches? Make sure all possible options and costs appear clearly on written quote.
How you can best utilize low-cost promotional stickers and decals to advertise, build identity, support promotions, influence prospects and increase sales!
I can not think of one business that couldn’t in some way benefit from the use of promotional stickers.
Ask what else the company sells and how much they will be able to assist in making your sticker a strong marketing medium and not just a printed product. Can company help (if needed) with design, copy writing, and/or suggest improvements or cost saving tips when appropriate?Ask for samples of stickers similar in style and purpose to what you are considering.
Ask about guarantees on service and quality.Ask their opinion on number of colors, size, and quantities that will accomplish your desired goals.
Besides branding and efforts to increase exposure, stickers can be leveraged in other ways to enhance and strengthen marketing programs. Free stickers can be traded for addresses. Opinions and conversations can be encouraged on-line in social media to engage fans and customers. Valuable information or promotions can be delivered on the back of a sticker. Stickers improve the open rates of direct mail. Stickers can strengthen communities and awareness of a particular message. Cooperative campaigns with others can reduce costs and increase distribution and impressions. Successful or interesting sticker campaigns can generate excellent PR. And, much more…
Advertising/marketing has shifted to more permission and connection based models. Advertising that interrupts or is lost in a sea of other pitches is (usually) no longer cost-effective, especially for small businesses. The power of stickers lies in the fact that when displayed they are not perceived as advertising at all. They are personal endorsements, recommendations and badges of support for a message, product or organization.
The main point to remember is that the back of a sticker should be used in some capacity to reap the greatest marketing benefits and the best value.
Another factor that often limits a sticker’s marketing power is simply executing the design, writing, and purchase of the stickers. There are a lot of “sticker” out there, but not many effectively designed, identity building, promotional stickers. Stickers deserve the same attention to detail, design, copy, and integration in the marketing mix as other print mediums.
To Be Effective, Promotion Stickers Should:Be used as both a sticker product and a medium for delivering information.Strike a chord with your target market. Give your prospect/client something of value, something they will not throw away, something that they will want to display because it’s “cool”, useful, looks great, or because they want people to know about their association with your company or certain viewpoint.
By establishing this bond with your prospect/customer with the sticker (on the front) you are also creating a powerful medium for distributing information (printed on the back of sticker) that will not be ignored.
To achieve these objectives your marketing stickers must be well designed.To be an effective ad medium, advertising stickers require the same attention to strong design – copy, headlines, slogans, color, size, shape, etc.
as any other print advertising.
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Do you attend trade shows? Do you sponsor events? Do you use direct mail? Do you have sales reps? If you are in business to make money you should not ignore the power and incredible value of this often overlooked and under-utilized promotional marketing product. “Stickers” aren’t just for kids anymore – promo stickers are powerful sales tools that need to be a part of your marketing program.
Our sticker program insures that customers can always find our number when they need us. Josh Ward Applewood Plumbing & Heating
Promotional stickers are not always a give-away item, of course. They are also an inexpensive way to brand products, packaging, signage and serviced equipment. You can’t always rely on others becoming advocates that spread your message and brand, but you certainly can do it yourself, whenever possible, in tasteful and effective ways.
The answers to these questions are essential in determining the most effective choices for color, copy, size, shape, and graphics. It is also important to remember that the backcopy can be changed to fit any number of purposes. It is important to examine these purposes when designing the front of the sticker so as not to eliminate possible uses. For example, if you produce a large bumper sticker you no longer have the option of using it as a postcard, hang tag, business card, etc.
Tip: Perhaps you don’t have anything to say, sell, or data to gather by using backcopy (this is hard to believe). You have another valuable option available, to sell or trade the back space to another company looking to reach your target market. This can lower the cost of your stickers (even have them paid for in some cases) or obtain other cooperative benefits.
There are two separate design objectives your advertising decals and marketing stickers need to address. Both involve grabbing the attention of your prospects:
“Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don’t get back up.” –J.J. Luna
Tip: If your marketing stickers are being designed in-house or by an agency there should be close contact with the company you have chosen to handle the sticker production. This will not only ensure all production requirements are properly followed but that design is evolving effectively in the sticker format.
Consider, once again, the many possible opportunities stickers present beyond arming the public with an identity building mini-billboard:
I was always of the mind set that you need to get your consumers not only as your advocates but also your marketing and advertising department. My goal was always to leverage my consumer following and stickers are my #1 way of doing that.
Jason Levinthal J Skis
Websticker assumes complete responsibility for production schedules, product quality, and optimized pricing on every job. If production mistakes are made we will make it right immediately by reprinting the job or finding the best solution for the client – 100% guaranteed.
We have found the strongest advertising stickers are usually less than 16 square inches, are printed on white vinyl, and are often die cut.
Let’s say, for example, you want to print stickers with coupons on the back which you will be inserting in a publication. You also want to hand out stickers at special events with product information or a limited offer on the back. And you want to leave a portion blank on the back to perhaps be printed later for another event or mailing (or used as a retail item). You can easily accomplish these goals with several simple copy changes on your initial printing while still leaving many options open for adding appropriate information or advertising in the future.
Are you looking for a promotional marketing medium that breaks through the clutter of today’s competitive market place, is hard to ignore or throw away, is viewed by the public as a “product” not an advertisement, and costs just pennies? It may sound too good to be true, but the fact is promotion stickers are working in this capacity for an increasing number of companies looking for creative, cost-effective ways to reach customers and prospects.
We have already discussed the importance of utilizing the back of your sticker. This area is where many companies’ advertising stickers fail to meet their full potential. Unfortunately this oversight is often due to some misconceptions about backcopy such as:
They increase company visibility and build identity.They can be used to effectively communicate information to prospects and customers.They advertise, support promotions, and strengthen other marketing efforts.
They help you stand out from the crowd and from the clutter of traditional advertising mediums.They are an exceptional marketing value.
Websticker is committed to helping businesses and organizations brand and market more effectively with stickers and labels. The promotional goal: strengthening identity, exposure, word-of-mouth and sales.
Our personal goal: the peace of mind and success of our clients.
What this means to you is that you need to find out who you are working with and make sure they have your marketing interests in mind. Many catalogs and promotional product suppliers are just that, suppliers, and ordering houses. They may not have an interest or enough background to help you create the strongest possible marketing piece for the best possible price.
Because of the succinct nature of a promotional sticker, the process of development and design can help clarify and focus other marketing efforts (logo, website, advertisements, business cards, headlines, press releases, etc.). The same core questions need to be asked and analyzed:
Optimum Sticker Design • Pre Design • A Stronger Sticker • Backcopy for Promotion • Create and Print • Finished Stickers, What Now?
Once You Have Your Finished StickerDon’t be shy with marketing stickers distribution (the per piece price is quite low). Hand them out at every opportunity, include them in mailings, have employees put them on their cars and give them to friends… Just as with a business card, “the more the merrier.
” The difference with this “business card” is that it will stick around for a long time with residual exposure and results.Continue to think creatively about further beneficial uses and ways to increase distribution.
Consider how another sticker could also contribute to your marketing efforts Last Words
Thanks Frank and Marc, some great ideas that I’ll definitely use. (I saved this page to my computer so I never lose it) I saw just a couple of days ago facebook now has stores, does anyone know what its like selling on there?
You need to disregard any preconceived notions of “stickers” and begin to consider them as a potentially powerful advertising medium and a distribution vehicle for information.
Utilizing a strong design, in a versatile size, and an eye-catching shape adds to the perceived value of the sticker. This increases the percentages of stickers applied in visible locations, which in turn means more impressions for your company.
Think off-line marketing is passé or not as effective as social media for word-of-mouth? Think again. Recent studies show that 90% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know (Nielsen). And, 90% of word-of-mouth about brands is taking place off-line (Keller Fay Group). Yet tools, like stickers, used to encourage and amplify off-line (as well as on-line) word of mouth are often overlooked by many businesses. This is an obvious mistake.
Once you have a strong, simple, attractive sticker produced you can consider ways this medium can deliver additional information to your prospects and customers.
Step Two: Ask questions to help find a company that can create and sell you your promotional stickers
Other options that may help create a stronger marketing piece for you include:Face slitting – This allows you to have more than one square cut sticker on a sheet or to have information printed on an edge of the sticker that will later be detached.
Thermal die cutting – This allows you to have multiple stickers in various shapes on one sheet. This also allows you the option of placing a die-cut logo on a square postcard or creating larger sheets with removable, different shaped images.
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What do you currently hand out or mail out to customers and prospects? Which of these could be strengthened by being coupled with a fun, eye-catching product?
Seconded. You can set it up on your personal accoount, but why would you? What if you sell the business next year? That consideration, plus the public visibility aspect, all but dictate that a business page is the way to go. Frank
It is important to note that in many cases when buying stickers you will not be working directly with the manufacturer. This is a good thing – The best and biggest sticker printers concentrate on printing a quality product and leave the designing and selling to other professionals. If you are working directly with the manufacturer, keep in mind they may have limited production options and their focus is mainly on selling a commodity product, not on what may be best for your identity and marketing.
A white background offers the strongest base for creating bold printed colors.Optimum sizes are always changing, but in general larger bumper stickers will not end up in visible locations (as they may have in the past).
A smaller size is more versatile.Die-cutting never goes out of style. Often the visual impact of a sticker increases when graphics are complemented by a shape other than square. The cost of a die is a minimal one-time fee but the long term benefits are invaluable.
Cheers again Frank! Another question, can I set up a store on my private facebook page or do I need to set up a different business account?
Right Marc, but to be clear, that’s just what I’m saying when I say he should have a site and make it social. For all intents and purposes, eBay has become less and less a sales platform for me than it is a lead generation source.
I make crap money off of my eBay sales, but good money off of the repeat and related sales to the customers I find on eBay. Frank
“How can you choose the right backcopy for all stickers when the sticker will be used/distributed in a number of capacities?”
Although any sticker with your name or logo on it is “promotional” to a degree, the focus of this report is to step beyond stickers which are used simply for labeling and signage. The proven uses we will be discussing are as powerful handouts at trade shows and special events, mailing pieces, gifts or incentives, etc.
The design of your sticker must work in both of these capacities. The sticker design must be eye-catching from two feet away while still on it’s backing paper as well as eye-catching (and legible) from a longer distance.
50% sell-through? 400% markup? What I think you should do, is just sell me your business and quit before the stress kills you. But seriously, the problem with the approach is that there is indeed money in very small purchases, but the only way to make it like that is with volume.
Plan B is to maximise your profit per customer. You can do this in all kinds of ways, but just off the top of my head, some ideas which you might consider testing:1) If your averaging say $1 per sale actual in-pocket profit, start offering every customer who buys a set of koala stickers your Mega Stupid Koala Value Pack which has either a truly ridiculous number of stickers, or some combination of stickers, stamps, posters etc.
which is priced with a substantially lower margin, but a nominal profit of $5. Not everyone will take you up on it, but you have an excellent qualified buyer there; it’s silly to not at least try to upsell them.
Don’t mention it in your eBay listings — offer it privately when confirming the sale. If you get bites at $5 try a $10 package. If that does well try a $15 package, etc. Somewhere in there you’ll find a price point where people just love to load up on product, and if you’re making $1 per order and upsell even one out of five of those orders at $5 profit on the upsell, you just doubled your profit.
2) Inserts. If you can source something that is tangentially related, even say art supplies or stuffed animals (not sure what kind of stickers you’re selling, so I’m just throwing out rough examples of course) then spend a little money on some nice glossy tri-folds and enclose one in each shipment.
I would not expect a huge response, but it is something where you can “price up.” And if people are buying the stickers for their kids, you know the kids are going to want to take that glossy and start harassing Mom for an early birthday present.
3) Fundraisers. If you’re getting any volume at all of customers who are buying stickers in quantity for a school, church, social group etc. put together a price list of just-over-cost stuff and send it to them along with a letter about what a great fundraising tool your products can be.
4) Personalisation. Get some stock photography and vector art, grab your kid or your sister’s kid or any kid whose parent is ok with it, and make some photos of the kid with cartoon characters on the moon, or under the sea, or whatever, and once again hit those established customers with the idea of how much better their lives will be if they order some custom stickers of their kids, pets, etc.
I am not 100% on this but I think Zazzle has stickers available that can be customised like this. A pricery option, but again the object is not to cash on a single sale, but to provide many opportunities to add to your bottom line on an existing profitable customer.
Hope this makes sense. The most important thing that you bear in mind right now is that, based on your raw sales data, you have found a winner! Now you should be focusing on expanding the availability and choices, increasing your profit per customer, and — also crucial — making it super easy for your customers to tell their friends about you.
If you don’t have a website, slap yourself hard and then set one up, even if it’s one relevant image and a link to your eBay profile. Get a super easy to remember and spell domain name — if your stickers are mainly kid-oriented, you have another advantage here since your domain name can be any stupid crap you want, as long as it’s pronounceable.
I would always choose budgeting more money to give away free stickers over paying for advertising any day. Leigh Hurst Feel Your Boobies
Regardless of whether promotional stickers are displayed in public they can still be very cost effective. Whether handed out or mailed, quality stickers have a higher perceived value than other promotional mediums (business cards, brochures, flyers, etc.). They are viewed more as a gift than “advertising”. And, like promotional products they are harder to throw away immediately and can engage the recipient… “Where could I stick this?” “Who could I give this to?” “I haven’t donated in a while.” “I need to stop in there.” “I love these guys.”
This report was written to help you maximize the effectiveness of your promotion stickers. These are important considerations and tips when working on the design, printing, and distribution of any promotional sticker.
Important Pre-Design Considerations:What is your desired outcome? Will the sticker promote your name/logo, promote a certain product, promote a slogan?How will the advertising decals be distributed? Handed out at trade shows and special events… mailed as a postcard… sold… packaged with product… included with a mailing… all of above?What are the ideal locations for final application? Do you want the stickers to end up on cars… helmets… equipment… lunchboxes?How will the marketing stickers and advertising decals tie-in with your other marketing materials?
Effective marketing stickers and advertising decals must be very simple in design. It needs to convey an impression quickly, clearly, and often from a distance. Advertising and further information belongs on the back of the sticker and in other mediums.
Jeff Nicholson is the founder and Creative Director at Freely Creative, Inc. and Websticker.com, a marketing company specializing in the design and production of promotional stickers, decals, and labels. He is the author of Stick This! Using Promotional Stickers To Build Identity, Create Word Of Mouth and Grow Sales.
Step One: of the design process is to decide whether to work in-house, with an outside ad agency or designer, with the company from which you will be purchasing the stickers, or a combination of the above. It is best to work with someone who has designed stickers before and can take your suggestions and ideas and effectively work them into a strong, customized marketing product (sticker).
You can distribute coupons which encourage future sales.You can inform prospects about other products and services.You can arm the public with important phone numbers and information.You can build your data base with registration cards, contests, free offers, etc.
You can create an eye-catching postcard which delivers timely information at a great price.The creative uses go on and on.
Jeff Nicholson is the founder and Creative Director at Freely Creative, Inc. and Websticker a marketing company specializing in the design and production of promotional stickers, decals and labels. Since the writing of this report he has done extensive research and writing culminating in the publishing of the #1 marketing book about promotional stickers; Stick This! Using Promotional Stickers To Build Identity, Create Word Of Mouth and Grow Sales. A free copy of the book is available to non-profit organizations, designers and marketing professionals.