An idea to add value for my clients and contacts leads to the launch of a new promotional item for REALTORS®!
I’m always on the lookout for new ideas that will add value for my clients.
Last year, I designed a new style of personalized bookmark – a type of magnetic bookmark – that is simply in a different class to regular bookmarks.
Now, bookmarks are one of those low-tech items that are still just incredibly useful around the home. But you know the problem, traditional bookmarks are often tatty looking things – they tear easily, wear out, and become dirty or stained. Their edges often “frill” or get “feathered.” And they’re easily lost.
So, I came up with a new design for a bookmark. It’s strong and robust, works really well, looks good and will probably last for years.
However, when I tried to source the manufacturing in China, expecting to find the lowest costs, I was surprised to be quoted prices that were definitely over the top – until I thought about it a little more. These are personalized bookmarks, which I will typically order in relatively small quantities (500 to 5000 at a time) and China simply isn’t into the idea of customized anything – let alone, customized bookmarks. They give great prices when you order hundreds of thousands of a standard item but without large volumes, their prices are awful.
Even worse, their lead times were terrible – 6 – 8 weeks and I was quietly warned that if a larger order came along, my small order would likely be pushed out regardless of what lead time I had been quoted.
In a different blog post I tell this story in a little more detail, but in one of those coincidences which come from a lifetime habit of networking, it turns out that a friend of a friend owns a plastics company in California.
This company customized their dies for me, built a few prototypes, and within a few weeks I had my customized bookmarks – a high-quality item, with a “cool!” factor, for a price that blew the Chinese quotes out of the water, and with a turnaround time for orders of just 10 days!
So last Christmas, for my traditional Christmas mailing, I sent a host of people one of these cool bookmarks and the response was terrific; people just loved them.
And now … my friend Steve Jackson, in a Joint Venture with the California manufacturer, is selling these personalized bookmarks to other REALTORS® and professionals in quantities as small as 500.
Strange how things work out, eh!