Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Business & entrepreneur  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01.09.2011, 17:51
nic80's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 802
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 1,292 Times in 422 Posts
nic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond repute
Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

Okay, so here goes.

I'm in the process of starting a small letterpress business in Vaud. I'll be making a selection of gift cards and Christmas cards that can be customised as well as doing bespoke work. FYI, I have all of my ducks in a row, gorgeous paper supplier (the paper is gorgeous... as is the supplier ), a press, a polymer platemaker, an accountant (aka husband), a studio in our spare bedroom with a fabulous view and tons of light, a small business who will cut my gorgeous paper to size etc etc. I've a website going up in the next couple of weeks, an online presence, I'm about to print business cards and I've crunched the numbers. I'm not going into this halfheartedly.

I've been doing some market research locally asking people I meet how much they'd be willing to pay and I've canvassed most of the businesses that sell greeting cards in the area to see how much they charge.

But I'd like to get some more information...

So I have a couple of questions:

1. Is giving something exquisite and handmade important to you? Do you pay extra for the little touches? Or are you happy with what Hallmark provide?

2. Where do you currently buy your cards? Roughly how much do you pay for them? Do you feel you get good value?


Thanks in advance for your input

Last edited by nic80; 01.09.2011 at 17:55. Reason: Adding information
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank nic80 for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 01.09.2011, 17:55
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 14,430
Groaned at 281 Times in 187 Posts
Thanked 18,156 Times in 7,618 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

i'm a guy, so i don't buy cards or even remember things like birthdays.

but i think you might start by charging for around the same as a Hallmark. then you can see if the quality/handmade aspect is enough to compete against the convenience and distribution of 'normal' cards.

difficulty will be in getting people to know about and buy your product.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 01.09.2011, 17:56
nic80's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 802
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 1,292 Times in 422 Posts
nic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

Quote:
View Post
i'm a guy, so i don't buy cards or even remember things like birthdays.

but i think you might start by charging for around the same as a Hallmark. then you can see if the quality/handmade aspect is enough to compete against the convenience and distribution of 'normal' cards.

difficulty will be in getting people to know about and buy your product.
Good point
This is why I'm hitting the web and getting an online presence. I'll also be advertising in expat newsletters
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:05
grumpygrapefruit's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NL, UK & sometimes ZH
Posts: 6,366
Groaned at 38 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 17,361 Times in 4,463 Posts
grumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

Like Phil, I'm a chap who hasn't bought a card in yonks. I would seriously suggest targeting corporate customers as well as individuals - I am sure there would be a market for custom made quality card incorporating a companies logo or message, but you need to start taking orders for Christmas now.

Think about booking a stall at some local Christmas markets (they're not generally cheap though) and maybe at one of the Expat Expos.... Geneva is October 2nd.....

As for price... I find the locals will pay for something special and hand made, 10.00 SFr wouldn't be over the top, packs of 10 simpler ones could be cheaper of course.

Good luck, I'm sure you must be feeling pretty excited at this time, just remember there will be many dark days with no orders coming in where you will ask yourself why you ever started doing this.... but believe in your product and yourself and you will get there, and have a lot of fun at the same time!

(and be sure to post a link to your site when it's running.... and consider starting a Facebook page, it works very well for me)
__________________
Mike

Monger of fine British Cheeses
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank grumpygrapefruit for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:06
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 10,732
Groaned at 346 Times in 282 Posts
Thanked 15,638 Times in 8,014 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

Quote:
View Post
So I have a couple of questions:

1. Is giving something exquisite and handmade important to you? Do you pay extra for the little touches? Or are you happy with what Hallmark provide?

2. Where do you currently buy your cards? Roughly how much do you pay for them? Do you feel you get good value?


Thanks in advance for your input
1. yes, to me is important. I believe sometimes the only thing one sends to a friend, relative etc. is a greeting card. And that must be beautiful. No cheap and kitschy things. But that's me.
2. libraries, even Migros etc. between 7-15 chf.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank greenmount for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:07
gata's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Geneva
Posts: 3,864
Groaned at 67 Times in 48 Posts
Thanked 3,596 Times in 1,690 Posts
gata has a reputation beyond reputegata has a reputation beyond reputegata has a reputation beyond reputegata has a reputation beyond reputegata has a reputation beyond reputegata has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

I would pay extra. Its a card that is worth to keep not throw in the trash
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank gata for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:08
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: near Schaffhausen
Posts: 477
Groaned at 8 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 169 Times in 69 Posts
SwissAstrid has an excellent reputationSwissAstrid has an excellent reputationSwissAstrid has an excellent reputationSwissAstrid has an excellent reputation
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

For the kids Birthday announcements I wanted handcraft, original stuff....Now for the regular Birthday cards I go online (dutch website called www.greetz.com) which also sends the card for you worldwide. I don't send Christmas cards anymore.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank SwissAstrid for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:10
Ittigen
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

If it was a kit, which you could make up with your own individualism, I would pay CHF 10,--

Hallmark rubbish is too expensive, & I cannot find French language cards in Bern.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:12
nic80's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 802
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 1,292 Times in 422 Posts
nic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

Quote:
View Post
Like Phil, I'm a chap who hasn't bought a card in yonks. I would seriously suggest targeting corporate customers as well as individuals - I am sure there would be a market for custom made quality card incorporating a companies logo or message, but you need to start taking orders for Christmas now.

Think about booking a stall at some local Christmas markets (they're not generally cheap though) and maybe at one of the Expat Expos.... Geneva is October 2nd.....

As for price... I find the locals will pay for something special and hand made, 10.00 SFr wouldn't be over the top, packs of 10 simpler ones could be cheaper of course.

Good luck, I'm sure you must be feeling pretty excited at this time, just remember there will be many dark days with no orders coming in where you will ask yourself why you ever started doing this.... but believe in your product and yourself and you will get there, and have a lot of fun at the same time!

(and be sure to post a link to your site when it's running.... and consider starting a Facebook page, it works very well for me)
Thank you for your fabulous input. I am feeling very excited
I'm frantically trying to get a Christmas collection online and ready for sale by the end of the month and already have a few small businesses interested in stocking them. Another business wants me to make some of their gift certificates and I'm expecting this sort of work to end up being my bread and butter.
I was told that Christmas markets need to be booked the year before in order to get in and so wasn't looking into that seriously until January when I hoped to book for next year, or have I been misinformed?
I'll definitely link here when I'm up and running Thanks again
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank nic80 for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:16
grumpygrapefruit's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NL, UK & sometimes ZH
Posts: 6,366
Groaned at 38 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 17,361 Times in 4,463 Posts
grumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

Get your name down now for local Christmas markets for this year, there will always be cancellations and you might even get a discount for taking over a stall at short notice. And when I said corporate customers, I wasn't just meaning resellers, but companies who want custom made cards to give to their customers.....

Also, please don't rely too much on the expat community, it's the locals who will spend top money for quality, and there's a lot more of them!
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank grumpygrapefruit for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:19
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 14,430
Groaned at 281 Times in 187 Posts
Thanked 18,156 Times in 7,618 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

Quote:
View Post
Thank you for your fabulous input. I am feeling very excited
I'm frantically trying to get a Christmas collection online and ready for sale by the end of the month and already have a few small businesses interested in stocking them. Another business wants me to make some of their gift certificates and I'm expecting this sort of work to end up being my bread and butter.
I was told that Christmas markets need to be booked the year before in order to get in and so wasn't looking into that seriously until January when I hoped to book for next year, or have I been misinformed?
I'll definitely link here when I'm up and running Thanks again
i think this is a good direction. get the big hitters like xmas and gift certificates. maybe also wedding invitations and the like. maybe you can make a portfolio of stuff that you can demo when meeting customers and also show on the website.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:21
KeinFranzösisch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,198
Groaned at 63 Times in 38 Posts
Thanked 2,549 Times in 1,115 Posts
KeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

I know some people LUV LUV LUV to give cards. LUV it. In fact my boss told me to go out and find a card for a new employee and for another employee who was leaving. I was surprised to find how difficult it was to find cards anywhere. The cards that I did find weren't very suitable for giving at work, either. I don't remember, what I paid, but I do remember they were expensive to my standard.

I don't think a card should be more than 5CHF. But I'm also a cheap skate. You could probably get away with 7.50 or 8CHF. Maybe even that is too low in Switzerland. I don't know. I personally don't buy them often enough to have a better idea.
__________________
I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies. - Pietro Aretino
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank KeinFranzösisch for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:27
Textoch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas, USA (formerly Vaud, CH)
Posts: 1,201
Groaned at 25 Times in 23 Posts
Thanked 3,058 Times in 937 Posts
Textoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

I love beautiful cards and the look of handmade ones. I especially like the ones that are decorated with beads, ribbons, folded paper, or the like. I am willing to pay more for cards of that sort, and I prefer them to be blank, or to have only a very simple sentiment in them (no gushy poems, etc.) in order that I can write my own message.

Here's my hangup, though: as much as I love the look of a hand-decorated card, I am always worried that such a card may have an added measure of depth that could cause it to get hung up in the posting machinery.

In terms of holiday cards, all the rage in the US (from where I only recently arrived) was high-quality photo Christmas cards. I would certainly expect to pay quite a bit for cards of this type, compared to a box of Hallmarks.

I've no input on card prices here since I have not yet bought any.

Best of luck on your new venture!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Textoch for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:30
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

I'd pay around 10F for something special. Sometimes that's the price of very ordinary cards in bookshops, so I'm sure you'll do better. Also, I don't find anything "inspiring"; maybe I go to the wrong shops, but they are usually sooo boring. Globus has some nice ones, can't remember the price.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:37
stephen_NE's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Luzern
Posts: 1,453
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 1,527 Times in 727 Posts
stephen_NE has a reputation beyond reputestephen_NE has a reputation beyond reputestephen_NE has a reputation beyond reputestephen_NE has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

I make my own Christmas cards and calendars using my paintings/photos, but if I was buying I would definitely go for cards made by a craftsman/woman rather than the Hallmark or charity ones.

It may also depend on how many cards people are sending. In the UK, people seem to send dozens of Christmas cards to family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, the bloke they stand next to at the football and so on. I suppose if you are sending upwards of 50 cards each Christmas, you may not be able to afford the extra cost of going to an artisan.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank stephen_NE for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 01.09.2011, 19:20
Bartholemew's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: back in Zurich (but pining for Brussels periodically)
Posts: 894
Groaned at 5 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 622 Times in 320 Posts
Bartholemew has a reputation beyond reputeBartholemew has a reputation beyond reputeBartholemew has a reputation beyond reputeBartholemew has a reputation beyond reputeBartholemew has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

I buy and send a lot of cards, mostly Hallmark/Shoebox, UK-made ones, Unicef or local charity ones for Christmas and some hand-crafted ones. Always have trouble finding nice ones--my regular place to buy them here is Globus--so cards is something I usually pick up whenever I go on a trip. As a result, I have a stockpile at home.

Gwen Frostic paper and cards are big where I am from in the US, but there are lots of similar presses. Some of the nicest cards I had were hand-printed ones I picked up on trips to various places. This is one thing I haven't been able to find very often here which I miss, and I would definitely well pay over department store price for it, provided it was a quality product.
__________________
like water? like sports? like after-game libations? check out this...
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Bartholemew for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 01.09.2011, 19:34
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,977
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

Hallmark? wha wha.... Um, no! :P (I mean I never buy them. I like the hand made stuff & buy mostly on Etsy).

My suggestion is to make little prints that can be framed & hang on the wall and invitations rather than cards, with cards as the sideline. I'm not sure people really send cards anymore, except as was mentioned about Xmas / New Year cards. You know Etsy already I'm sure.

Anyway, just my 2 pennies worth.

All the best!!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank miniMia for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 01.09.2011, 19:45
hannah'sauntie's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Baden
Posts: 4,741
Groaned at 24 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 6,648 Times in 3,007 Posts
hannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond reputehannah'sauntie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

Personally, I prefer simple cards with simple messages which bring a lump to the throat and maybe a tear to the eye.
I have found there are not enough children's birthday cards or personalised cards eg mum, dad, husband, sister, the one I love etc.
Generally I spend 5 to 6 CHF's.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01.09.2011, 20:09
Village Idiot's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 3,659
Groaned at 34 Times in 31 Posts
Thanked 6,895 Times in 2,225 Posts
Village Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

As an added note, the one group of cards where I always spend extra for something classy and understated is a condolence card. I don't want lots of fancy decoration, maybe just something simple that says 'With Sympathy' or 'Condolences' on the front, then room for me to write a personal tribute.

But in general, I find Swiss cards very expensive. Since a plain old card costs CHF4-, I'd very happily pay CHF6-7 for something nicer. At least it would look like I'd spent a mint, instead of spending a mint for something that looks really cheap. The Swiss have an eye (and a taste) for quality, so I suspect you won't have trouble shifting them if the quality is good enough.

Good luck with your new venture (and adventure!)
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Village Idiot for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 01.09.2011, 20:28
Nickers's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 3,696
Groaned at 41 Times in 35 Posts
Thanked 4,899 Times in 1,697 Posts
Nickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond reputeNickers has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Opening a can of worms. In Switzerland, how much would you pay for...?

I ADORE letter press

If you branch into A3 prints I'd be very interested - of course the skill is in the creativity - there are some beaitiful letter press artworks around these days and screen prints

Friends of a friend have become VERY successful in the uk doing screen printing - I see Letter press prints being as popular

(sorry not had time to read all the thread if this has already been mentioned)
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Nickers for this useful post:
Reply

Tags
marketing, questions, selling, small business, stationery




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much can you save in Switzerland? Roam Employment 29 06.09.2011 20:36
How much less would you pay for a RHD car? 70sKitch Transportation/driving 4 10.10.2010 14:59
Poll: How much would you pay for an EF Summer Ball ticket eyebeebe Daily life 26 14.09.2010 21:39
Sewing alterations, how much would you pay? Panther Business & entrepreneur 13 10.08.2010 22:01
How much would you pay for a bottle of Harlan? Confloozed Food and drink 5 02.04.2010 03:16


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:04.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0