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By: Traci Armbrust
Over five years ago we asked retailers to give their best business tips and ideas on how they made money with the GrandeMARK machine and dies and we had a great response. I'd love to share those idea with you again. I'd also love for you to comment below on how you make money with your machine and dies or simply how you use your GrandeMARK machine. Has a lot changed in five years? Sure it has. Social media and sites like Etsy didn't play a major role in the crafter's life back then like it does today. Leave a comment by the end of the day Monday, the 23rd of September, and be entered in a drawing to win something fabulous. Read below to find out what.
I wanted to start off with my Smart Business Idea. How about using our new Business Set to use in your store to create eye catching gift certificates, business cards, postcards and so much more. When you are not using the dies as promotion materials you can use them to create custom invitations and fun holiday doorhangers. This set will pay for it's self trust me!
"I like to offer the die cutting free with the purchase of cardstock. It increases cardstock sales and gets people in that generally purchase other items to go with it!" -Jen Dera
"I offer a die cut kit with the purchase of another type of kit (I offer a new one once a month). The free kit is a design that I haven't used before and it is complete with photo and supplies to complete the project. Closer to holiday or major times of the year, I may offer several kits to choose from...." -Denise
"Birds are the hot thing this season. I would love to add this die to my collection of dies.It would be great for wedding and shower projects." -Donna
"Free gifts/samples are a great way to display other products ~ and it makes people feel like they got a little extra for their dollar." -Theresa
"Along with the standard dies, I have custom ones made - things customers have requested. I also have samples made using the dies in non-traditional ways." -Lisa
"I make up projects with the different dies showing how each can be used in a variety of ways and give classes on them. I also offer free die cuts with the purchase of paper or cardstock from my store. I don't upcharge to get the paper or cardstock cut. I also offer one piece pricing. Sometimes they want just one, just to try first and then they come back for more. It's one way to see them again, because I know once they try it...they will like it! AccuCut offers such a diversity of die-cuts that you just can't go wrong!" -Tina Reed
"The possibilities are endless with an AccuCut die cutting center! There could be 'make and take'sessions using a featured die with an instructor on hand to help give tips and suggestions. Or make and takes for holidays like Valentine's Day where you gather all dies relating to that particular theme. Everyone could then make matching cards and envelopes, even scrapbook pages! I would never leave!" -Tracy
"Cutting shapes from acrylic or chipboard and selling them individually. Also we cut tags from any scraps of papers left and just put them in a bowl and sell them for $0.25." -Amy Stewart
"AccuCut dies make the best stamps. They can cut through very heavy rubber and foam so they don't have to be stacked." -Sheryl Porter
"Store owners could set up a monthly kit club with a new die featured each month. Give discounts on the kits to those who sign up for a certain length of time (3, 6, 9 months, etc)." -Jeanne
"Make up card making kits, including a sample from each and sell them on the web. People love to show what they have done and by their buying a kit, they don't have to make a big investment. It still costs less than buying a card!" -Kay Oxford
"We package chipboard dies and sell them as 'Naked' Snowmen...'Naked' Flowers, etc! The dies are not available for customer use in our classroom until they have paid for themselves via packaged die cuts in the store to assure that we have covered our investment costs." -Cathy Smith
"I make up projects and show them to my craft friends who then order the cut outs from me. I never thought others would order/buy from me, as I am a card maker, not a store. I am so happy to help others!" -Jesse Crean
"Creative samples are the best sellers. Show people what they can do with the die and the sales follow from there." -Michelle
"I make my own acrylic albums with the 6x6, 4x4, and 6.5x8 album dies. I sell them cheaper than if I had to buy them wholesale. Also, I encourage customers to make their invitations from my die center. The fee is waived if they buy a bulk purchase of cardstock. In April I am going to have an invitation contest using the AccuCut Stationery Dies. This will give my store more samples than I have time to make." - Felicia Barker
"Samples! Samples! Samples!" -Jennifer
"Sponsor a class with the fees including all the supplies. During the class, let the students pick their own cardstock and have them cut their own die cuts to be used on the project." -Marga
"Cutting our own acrylic shapes has gone over HUGE!!" -Stacey
"Thanks for the opportunity to share my business tip with you. This one has turned into a proven $$$ winner. During the year I offer contests at the store using items cut with related dies for the season. This past Christmas season the store hosted our annual Christmas Ornament contest using the NC534 Notecard Ornament. Customers picked up the die cut ornament, decorated it at home and returned it to the store to be displayed on a holiday tree. Each ornament was numbered and a corresponding jar was placed on a table near the tree. Votes were a penny each. All monetary proceeds were donated to the local women's shelter. The tree & ornaments were also donated to the shelter for their common room. We raised over $1,000 (the local girl scout troop rolled the pennies) and I saw a 18% increase in sales for related products. I also garnered new customers with friends and family of the contestants coming into the store to vote for their favorite ornament. For Easter/Spring the contest is using Rabbit #6 R1042 in a creative way (cards,door hangers, clothing, candy bar wrappers,etc.). Voting is again by pennies. To encourage participation I give each entry a package of die cuts made from the paper scraps of other projects. An easy way to recycle those paper odds & ends. The winner received a gift basket filled with items donated from local vendors. I am looking forward to the Summer/Travel contest using the Suitcase Box BX408." -Terri Yerger
"I like to offer fabric quilt kits. Included is the pattern. Many people don't like to worry about picking colors and finding fabric to coorinate and this way everything is ready for them to sit down and start sewing. Also could be used as a kit for class. The AccuCut dies make it fast and easy for the teacher." -Mary Kuhn
"I like to take the acrylic AccuCut sheets and use the different die cut shapes (hearts, purse book, B.E. dies, circles, scalloped circles) to make acrylic books. We're doing a class in April using the AccuCut custom acrylic pages. The other thing I like to do is suggest using dies when people are in shopping. The best is when I get moms with kids in (ages 5-10 work best). I'll ask if the kids want to make something really cool and I'll let them roll their own die cut. I use scrap paper, the kids are thrilled, and Mom figures if her little baby can do it, it's got to be easy. Of course, I'm right there with the kids for safety but I let them turn the handle and they think it's absolute MAGIC! Never underestimate the wow factor!!!" -Christina Pitts
"I am not sure this is one of your business tips for using the dies, but if it isn't it should be. I think the most important tip for using the dies, is to have fun! The more fun you have with them, the more they sell themselves, and your ideas. I was charging to teach a class using the Bride and Groom boxes, but then stopped and do it for free now and am having way more fun with them. Using the dies was too simple to really be charging for the class. So now all they have to do is buy the paper and the embellishments, and I help them with ideas for free! It is fun for everyone. I also get way more out of it than when I 'charged' for a class.The fan die I have also, and everyone is loving that one, and the creativity choices are endless. In fact I just show people a blank die cut of the fan and we all come up with totally different ideas each time we look at it. I stamped and embossed the last one, and painted it with nail polish for a metallic look, and we had fun with people trying to figure out what I used to color it, and then the fun look on their faces as they were introduced to another of the endless mediums you can use to embellish it with, that was literally at their finger tips! Have FUN!" -Cheryl
"We have had a increase in interest since we cut a sample of every die we have to offer and put them in a flip album. We also do free use during Creative cafe hours." -Marlene
"To get sales - a store needs to have - in your face - displays using their die cuts with the new product which is popular -at that particular point in time - bling, patterned paper etc - it needs to be located where customers see it - you can create excitement for all dies by showing them used in a new inventive way with popular products. I can see the card die cut with the circle opening - put a beautiful flower on the inside but it shows in the circle opening." -Barb
"Along with the idea for the holiday contests I posted above another smart business tip I use came from the wishes of a local kindergarten teacher. One saturday a month I invite a different public school in my area and allow the teachers to use the die cut machine and dies FREE for 30 minutes. The teachers call ahead and reserve their 30 minutes.(I allow 5 minutes between each reservation for clean up)The teachers bring their own paper (many purchase more) and I give them free access to the paper scraps I save from other projects. I usually see a $10 average purchase from each teacher. added benefit - they become return customers. This is a great way to participate in the community and promote your business. Again, thanks for letting me share this tip." -Terri Yerger
"I cut shapes out of old, vintage fabrics, quilts,lace, etc. These make wonderful Christmas ornaments, quilt embellishments, etc. My top seller is the angel. I also hold contests with 'naked' chipboard. For instance, I had no idea what to do with the victorian glove die that I had. I ended up with about 100 GREAT ideas from customers who bought the glove --- just so they could win a card kit. Contests, freebies, samples --- all great to boost sales!" Cora Eelman
"I love using the die cuts for wedding invitations, you're able to create original work using the die cuts that make the overall project easier!" -Melissa Hudak
"Make various embellished minibooks using a variety of dies, then package the bare chipboard or acrylic pages for sale. Customers purchase the papers and embellishments to make the books." -Christine D.
"I make cards and embellish the dies with everything from sequins to feathers." -Amy Boccardo
"I had read in magazines and such that many scrapbook stores have die cut machines they'll let you use, but I had never seen one. I go to a few different scrapbook stores on a pretty regular basis -- once a month or every other month. I don't take classes, but I buy a lot of product. Last time I was in, I finally asked, and sure enough, they had one. I think to get the attention of customers who don't take classes, scrapbook stores should make prominent examples of projects using dies and make note of the dies used and where to find the die cut center. They do it to sell paper and embellishments, but I've never seen it done to showcase die cut use." -Liza Ward
"I love my AcccuCut GrandMARK. As a crafter it is so easy to cut everything and sometimes a lot of everything. I have been to several scrapbooking stores looking for matchbox dies to use. You can make necklaces, secret boxes, and even doll furniture, dressers, with this die. There are so many things that can be done with matchbox dies. No one has them. So I will probably end up buying one for my growing collection." -Suzanne
"When I go to a scrapbook store, I would like to be able to purchase die cuts already packaged by season/theme and have chipboard cut to the same shape in another package so the customer can purchase either or both. I am willing to pay for the time it saves me! As a home business, sell the die cuts already made up on Etsy for others who don't live near a store or who can't afford to purchase the dies and machine. After reading all the great ideas, I can't believe my LSS doesn't get in on this great opportunity to make money for the store!" -Vickie K.
"I may be repeating here as there so many posts but I love all the newer dies that are coming out as we can use them with the thin acylic and make books and shapes to boot. Thus teaching the hotest classes plus giving customers more reason to buy there own sheets of plastic get the free cut and give them as gifts... thus making more money then just class fees and paper fees." -Michelle Luther
"Create sample cards and/or scrapbook pages. Display them along with the dies and materials used for the project. Everyone is always looking for a new idea!" -Kitty
"Make and takes are a great way to get the customers to use the products and you can demo different ways to use them!" -Julia Miller
"My smart business tip is to use the AccuCut center to sell die cuts in a variety of materials at lower prices than the big box stores. By cutting out the distributor, you can purchase the raw materials and die cut/pack them right in the store. This also gives store staff work to do during down-times. Leave your staff a list of what needs to be made and they can die cut and replenish the store when things are quiet." -Heidi
"I like to make book kits made with chipboard covers, cardstock and transparent pages, and an assortment of various embellishments. The classes to make up these books are very popular and always sell out." -Lynnette
"We try to see other shapes that can be in a die besides their intended use. For example in a recent Mother's Day card design we turned the snowman die #1 into a vase by only using the bottom half and an unusual paper." -JK Designs
"I too believe having pre-made kits available to include an instruction sheet and a beautiful sample to view is a great money maker. I also like to throw in little extra die cut goodies as well. Everyone seems to be in a hurry these days and not everyone has the time to sit and create a nicely made project from scratch." -Clarissa
"My business tip concerns cupcakes. I want to make the cupcake box using the new die out for this box and leave the windowed cutout area open. Then, with the frosted cupcake inside, stick a dowel into it and let a dolled-up bird die with ribbons peek out above it all. On the bottom of the box glue four balls for legs and decorate the sides as well. This would be a great commemoraton piece for those special events." -Jeanne MacDonald
"I participate in several of the above ideas. One thing I haven't seen posted yet, that I do, is use them to make 'coupons' and 'gift certificates' available for purchase or as a gift from me to my clients or vendors when they have won a contest or have done something especially nice. I laminate them so I can use them over and over... and it makes it less likely to be lost by the person receiving it. For those worrying about someone duplicating them and using them, I keep a log for who is purchasing one and who the receiver is. I then mark it off when it has been used. If one doesn't like going through that effort, you can always punch a hole and tie on a ribbon that you can purchase which has your name imprinted on it...or you could sign the back of it (before laminating)... I also use mine to stick (I run the paper through the Xerox sticker maker before cutting) to plain, inexpensive bags, that I give clients to put their purchases in. Sunday School teachers are also wonderful contacts and so one could offer to bring the die sets to the church or have the teachers come to you as an open house to use the dies for an hour or two - depending on how large one's store is. Above folks talked about doing similar things with elementary schools. I also advertise classes to scouting groups, 4H, etc. to use the supplies and space for their groups to come and make projects. I'm sure that nursery school/day care center teachers would also be another source for offering similar programs. I let the teachers either do their own thing, or I offer them the choice of taking a class (like ornaments, scrapbooking, quilting, etc) and I always give discounts to teachers and people that take my classes. I also use diecuts to advertise classes, sales, etc. instead of using just square paper. Naturally, the die matches the motif or subject matter of the sale or class. I can't remember if anyone mentioned making gift tags and selling those separately, as well as posting them on Etsy or eBay, or craft fairs, along with many of your other projects you've made using them. RE: quilt stores and quilting teachers - other than doing kits for them, I also use die cuts for selling as applique options. These are also great for my own classes in quilting. Sometimes scrapbookers also enjoy using material instead of paper, so they also purchase them. Often, I make quite elaborate items for scrapbookers out of the dies. The purse makers also enjoy using them when they make purses. I even use the box dies to make boxes that store various embellishments and things in for classes and displays. The more items that you can make to use and display in your store, the more clients will see their uses - even as practical, money saving, possibilities. It's a fortune to purchase pre-made, pretty boxes for storage. The folks that make jewelry can also use the smaller box dies for displaying their wares. These can be premade for them and sold (be it in your store or Etsy, eBay, fairs etc.), as well as them being able to make them in your store. I hope everyone finds these tips helpful." -Sandy
"As a customer, I would like to easily see what dies the store has along with ideas with some of the newer dies. I would like to see them stored in a way that when I see what I would like to cut, I can find it easily. I would like to to see the services be free if I purchase the product to cut from the store." -G.M.
"I gave several ideas for the die cuts in general, but thought I'd also give you my idea for the cute bird dies. I would promote these particular dies by showing them (in paper and material) lined up on a wire, with a few tiny clothes pins, and a clever saying (as if the birds were talking to one another) at the bottom - for card making or wallhangings. I would also use them for cards and wallhangings in this way: Birdhouses of various sizes with these cute birds poking out, flying around, etc. I'd probably put a verse or saying on that as well." -Sandy
Well that was a lot of great information. Oh by the way did I mention that if YOU leave a comment now in addition to these great ideas, you will be entered into a drawing for a free package of our ever so popular Heavyweight Chipboard! Start sharing!
Posted at 03:11 PM | Permalink
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I created a "build your own album" bar for the local scrapbook store that had more than 4 dozen different Accucut album pages cut from both karft colored and black Grafix Chipboard as well as borders, frames (for the convertibles album covers) that could be purchased by the page and mixed and matched to create the customer's own unique chipboard album. It was a big, big hit with customers.
September 17, 2013 at 04:23 PM
I like to mix and match chipboard for assorted mini albums or SMASH style albums, I like to sell them "naked" and promote that you can have your paper cut to fit as I have the dies in store. I like to die cut smaller shapes from the waste from bigger die cuts and sell them in themed sets or indivually. I Like creating sample from the dies as they were intended to be used or in creative ways to show their versatility. I like using black chipboard for albums, because you can decorate them without having to fully cover with cardstock or designer paper. I like to create my own Faux pinnovation dies with standard dies to give me more options.
Ns Snow Angel |
September 17, 2013 at 06:11 PM
When I'm getting down to the end of a paper line, I like to make a card supply kit: a bunch of similarly themed 6x6 papers and a bunch of die cuts plus any embellishments you want to throw in (ribbon, buttons, etc). For example, I recently made a Christmas kit with 10 Christmas papers and then a set of both red and white poinsettia die cuts and a set of gingerbread men die cuts. It's a great way to move inventory before it gets too stale.
Lisa Topps |
September 17, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Making personal favors and decorations is how I see making money with the dies. Suppling the zip lock bags with the pre made flower headers. Putting photos on the bags and boxes. Giving the hand made feel and touches that people don't have time for. And that I love to do.
September 19, 2013 at 04:27 PM
I have done a few parties for little girls where we do a few cards and mini-albums. They are a great hit with the kids and moms. This of course has led to additional sales for crafting kits from the parents.
September 23, 2013 at 05:16 PM
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