Creative Printing for . . . Father’s Day

Creative Printing for . . . Father’s Day

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Two-thirds of Americans order flowers for Mother’s Day, but what do they buy for dad? Clothing? Barbeque tools? Father’s Day is a wide open market for potential photo gift sales, particularly when it’s women who buy most Father’s Day gifts and women who appreciate the value of memory products.

By offering your customers new ways to make dad feel special—both in-store and online—you can turn Father’s Day into a profitable venture in 2013.

Personalized jewelry is a great gift that appeals to both sexes. For Father’s Day, promote products he’ll appreciate, like money clips, tie tacs and dog tags. Do-it-yourself kits that allow customers to assemble their own photo keepsakes make excellent impulse sales items, especially if they’re reasonably priced. Photo Jewelry Supply offers hundreds of DYI photo products, from belt buckles and watches to cufflinks and key rings of all shapes and sizes. Many of their products are packaged in complete kits with photo sizing software, waterproof paper and a clear coating to seal the image. Other offerings, like their snap-together photo dog tags and key rings are sold in large quantities, making them an inexpensive counter sales item. For information on wholesale pricing, see photojewelrymaking.com/wholesale.aspx.

You can attract more discerning jewelry buyers with high-quality laser-engraved products. Established in 1998, PhotoScribe was the first company to provide this unique service, and it still produces the highest quality results—permanently engraving images into stainless steel and precious metals with its own patented process. Laser images have a black-and-white “antique” look, while color images are applied to the jewelry with baked enamel. All framed images, whether laser or enamel, are protected by a mineral watch crystal on the front and back to make them water and scratch resistant. Sterling silver tie tacs, SS dog tags and key rings start at $80. Silver signet rings start at $210, and  gold engraved jewelry starts at $430. Retailers interested in selling PhotoScribe products should contact Carol Dounn at 212-819-1177 or Cdounn@photoscribe.com for a starter kit. Do not place orders through the website.
3D Laser Gifts specializes in creating custom, laser-etched crystal keepsakes from customers’ favorite images. A two-dimensional photo is modeled into a three-dimensional image using sophisticated computer software. The 3D image is then etched with a high-quality green laser—focusing concentrated beams of light below the surface of the crystal. The optically clear solid crystals come in multiple shapes, including rectangular (3D and flat), diamond, heart and Prestige—a gem-like shape available in two sizes. In addition to 3D artwork, customers can add names, dates or personal messages to celebrate the occasion.

Prices start at $25 for etched glass ornaments; desktop gifts start at $69 to $209, depending on size and shape. Retailers who wish to offer this service can sign up for a dealership or commission-based affiliate program, which includes exclusive coupons, custom banners, creative artwork and co-branded landing pages upon request. For information, call 512-861-2292 or e-mail the company at affiliates@3dlasergifts.com.

Photo gift suppliers are always finding new ways to share precious family photos. Founded in 1990 by CEO Cary Green, Laser Reproductions (LRi) offers a wide range of decorative home and office products through its consumer website, Photogifttown.com. Many of the products are designed around sublimated ceramic tile—including coatracks, accent tables and a cedar-lined humidor that’s perfect for dads who like fine cigars. The company also specializes in heat-wrapped products, from coffee mugs to stainless steel flasks, and it sells a patented UltraWrap coating with product blanks to businesses that want to fill their own orders. Contact Carol Gibson at 877-795-1500 or Carol@laserreproductions.com for information on selling LRi personalized products. LRi maintains a separate website, yourprintables.com, for its wholesale customers to showcase its products.

Personal Creations
specializes in all kinds of personalized photo gifts, from inscribed frames and albums to pop-on cell phone covers with metallic photo inserts. What caught my attention was a traditional Father’s Day tie printed with the customer’s single repeating color or black-and-white image. Starting at $19.99, the 57-inch polyester ties received overwhelmingly positive responses from online customers who ordered the product. One of several brands owned by Provide Commerce of San Diego, Personal Creations offers an affiliate program with in-house support and link updates for new online promotions. For information, contact affiliatesupport@personalcreations.com.

Dads who enjoy puzzles will love the unique quality and presentation of PuzzleYou. Owned by a Bavarian company, Puzzle & Play Group, PuzzleYou is an expansion of the company’s original classic puzzle printing business founded in 2009.

“Our personalized puzzles are produced in the same way as standard puzzles,” says Barbara Goesswein, sales and marketing, Puzzle & Play. “Except we use digital printing machines instead of offset machines. The production of a puzzle takes four to six days, shipping normally two to three days.” The pieces are made of thick (1.9mm) puzzle cardboard and come in a variety of cuts, from 0–4 tabs each.

PuzzleYou customers range from individual artists and photographers to gift shops, printing companies and advertising agencies. What makes their product unique is that customers receive their puzzles in a box, with the image, title and message printed on the outside just like a popular off-the-shelf package. They can choose from a variety of existing layouts and themes, or create their own box design—making it an ideal product for resellers.

Businesses can order branded packaging and have the finished product shipped to the end customer with the reseller’s address printed on the package. Puzzles range in price from $33 to $40 and come in 200-, 500-, 600- (heart shaped) and 1,000-piece designs. Retailers interested in offering this product should contact Barbara Goesswein at barbara.goesswein@puzzleyou.com.

Familiar photo websites are also offering new products this year. For example, Shutterfly is marketing a more sophisticated photo book creation system that allows customers to design memory books that look just like digital scrapbooks. The “Custom Path” option lets users choose from hundreds of layout options, plus a variety of stickers, word art and font designs. Using Shutterfly’s Storyboard tool, they can organize up to 25 pictures per page, add text boxes anywhere they want and resize, move and layer pictures, text boxes and embellishments. The books are available in five sizes from 5×7 to 12×12 inches, and start at $12.99. For information on Shutterfly’s affiliate program, visit shutterfly.com/affiliate/welcome.jsp.

While gallery wrap canvas photo prints are not new, Snapfish has improved its printing and wrapping processes—generating increased demand and repeat sales according to several lab managers. Customers can have a family photo or one of dad’s favorite scenic images printed on conservation-grade canvas and wrapped around a 1.5-inch wood frame. The print is finished with black museum-wrapped or gallery-wrapped photo edges, and HP’s eco-solvent pigment ink is rated to last 70–100 years or more. Prices start at $32.99 for an 8×8-inch print.

As a new service, Snapfish is offering the Art Gallery Collection—more than 2,000 posters and paintings by popular artists that customers can have printed and mounted for display at home. View information on the Snapfish affiliate program at snapfish.com/snapfish/affiliate.

Remember, as always, you want to peak you customers’ desire to create the best possible photo gifts for dad, so be sure to set up eye-catching themed displays of Father’s Day photo gifts they can order from you—and you’ll be an instant gift solution hero!

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