One of the competitive edges I have is that I’m able to do any type of labeling. Whether its wine labels, jam labels, labels for bags of cookies or boxes, I have set up the ability to do customization and personalization fast. In our shop, we have three Lexmark printers that I bought off eBay three years ago for 1 cent each (and $5 shipping). They’re lined up each with their own label stock size and when its time to print a quick bag label, photo paper or wine label -we’re ready to go. We have extra color cartridges in stock to alleviate any type of stall in production and each printer is on our network and labeled with the type of label stock the printer is holding. It is that level of detail that helps us create personalization within minutes. No delays of shipping the gift basket – its printed, applied, put into the basket and ready to go.
From a product standpoint, we are able to offer picture frames to add personal photos. This is especially popular during Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Putting a picture of the kids in a frame and including it in the basket is extra special. I’ve even had the opportunity to have a child draw a picture and Dad emailed to me – that was put in a frame and including in a gorgeous spa gift basket for Mother’s Day. We also have bags of hard candies, cookies, trail mixes that we can put a custom label on. “Julie’s Personal Training Mix” or “Sweet Tarts for a Sweet Kate” are examples of the types of labels we’ll create for our customers. Does this require some creativity? Absolutely! But you’re a gift basket designer, you’re already creative, right?
There are a variety of programs you can use to create labels. Microsoft Word has templates and you can choose your label size. I typically will use PowerPoint or Adobe Photoshop if its something complicated or in need of special fonts and color schemes. Whatever program you’re comfortable with is what I recommend. You need to be fast with this type of work so you’re not in a spot to hold up the shipping or delivery of your gift basket. From an artwork standpoint, I use http://www.istockphoto.com to grab the little pictures I need to make the labels extra special. You do, however, have to pay for the photos so you might want to consider a free source such as Microsoft Office Online.
Lastly, I use http://www.onlinelabels.com for label stock. They have every size you can possible imagine and they come in white matte, gloss and colors are available. They are flexible with the number of sheets you have to buy and above all, the pricing is great. We selected 5 different sizes and have them in stock at all times.
One last consideration – be careful on volume. If you get an order that requires 25 or more of a given label, it might be worth checking with your local printer. I use Hillview Printing for bulk orders and they show up right on time and are perfectly priced. Sometimes the cost of the ink for your Inkjet will be more than using a professional print house.
Above all, have fun with labeling. It absolutely adds value to your gift baskets and will separate you from your competition.