Papemelroti Reseller Tips

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Articles
Customer Service

What Products are Best for Men?

What Should I Sell to Mature Women?

What Should I Sell to Young Women Professionals?

What Should I Sell to Teenagers?

What Should I Sell to Students?

A Cup of Tea

Be Wary of Online Buyers

Knowing Your Customer

Making a Good Impression: Customer Service (Part 4)

Visual Merchandising

Prepping for Christmas on a Budget

Christmas Decoration Tips

Colors of Success

Making a Good Impression: Your Display (Part 1)

Making a Good Impression: Feeling Light (Part 2)

Making a Good Impression: The Use of Space (Part 3)

Seasonal Displays

Business Tips

  Franchising

The Great Business Leap

Keeping the Peace

Shoplift-Proof Your Shop

Door to Door Reselling

E-Mail Marketing

Have You Got What it Takes?

Now is the Time!

Time Savers

Passing It On

Selling for Success

Shipping Do's and Don'ts

Resources

Be an Eco-Friendly Shop!

Eco-Friendly Retail

New Botanical Banner Design

Online Resources

Social Media Tools

 

 

Online Resources
October 7, 2014

The web has a wealth of information about starting a gift shop business!  Have you taken a look at some of them?  Here are some sites that you may find helpful.

Gift Shop Magazine - Keep up with the latest trends, display ideas, retailer stories,  and even get inspiration on where to open your next branch!

Entrepreneur Philippines - Gives you insider tips on maximizing your business goals in the local scene.

Small Business Trends - Should you be cutting down on your product mix?  This and other articles are pretty mind broadening!

Selling to Gift Shops - Joining a bazaar or Christmas booth?  Here are some tips from CraftmakerPro's Gary Capps.  On a similar thread, check out Cindy Glass' article if you plan to join a Trade Fair.

Business Coach - Get your very own business coach!  You may want to attend seminars, not just to learn new things but to network with other business owners.


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Passing It On
September 2, 2014

Here's a useful tip for all of you wonderful resellers!  Papemelroti's close to 22,000 Facebook followers have the access to all the newest product offerings.  Do you?

By reposting the updates on your personal social media accounts, you will 1) get to use what we have and build on it and 2) you'll reach a whole different audience.

You can get test the market and receive orders for products you don't yet have!  Because Papemelroti produces 90% of its product offerings, everything can be ordered!  So all you need is the foresight to get what your customers are interested in!

Go to Papemelroti Facebook Page

Do you have suggestions or concerns as resellers?  If you do then, drop us a line at to address your needs!

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Be Wary of Online Buyers
August 1, 2014

Getting into business online may seem the easiest way to start reaching your market.  In many ways it is but you need to be wary of the pitfalls.

Are you familiar with Paypal?  It's the leading global online payment company.  It allows you to setup your online business in a very swift and user-friendly way.

One can have an operational shopping cart in a matter of minutes with minimal technological knowledge.  But to be fair, one must be aware of how Paypal protects your customers. 

Let's say your customer pays you today and then you ship your items after you get their Paypal payment.  Then after a month, the customer withdraws their payment (yes they can do that).  A charge back!  What do you do from there?

You provide Paypal with proof of your shipment.  What if Paypal refuses it?  It could be the case that your buyer is using someone else's Paypal account.

As the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" so it's best to protect yourself before you get into Paypal.

Two ways you can do this is 1) make sure your customer indicates the same address you ship to and their address on Paypal and 2) document all your shipping procedures and put these on the "Details" section of each transaction.

These are only some of the ways so you can win the Charge Back battle.  It's still a rare occurrence but it's better safe than sorry.
 

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A Cup of Tea
July 3, 2014

"Strangers are just friends waiting to happen." ~Rod McKuen

Life is all about connections, relationships and friendships.  Business is no different. 

In a little shop corner in 1967 a lady was waiting for strangers to drop in.  The selling space was almost bare.  The family lived upstairs.  She had an assistant for the times she was busy taking care of the children but when she was at the shop, she was making friends.

That lady was Papemelroti's foundress Socorro Alejandro.  Decades later, the friendships she formed were still intact.  One time, her friend, one of her first customers gave back Socorro's own handmade stuffed toy.  It became a precious family keepsake.

Customers that walk in our door are potential friends for life.  The stronger the bond we form with them, the more potential for blessing in our lives.
 

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E-mail Marketing
June 4, 2014

If there is anything business owners need to know is what their customers want.  They need to be flexible to their buyers' needs and regularly innovating products and services to maintain growth.

A company that rests on its laurels are in danger of having the competition grab that next big opportunity so try to remember to keep moving forward.

If you're in business, you need to be familiar with e-mail marketing (or electronic marketing) and it's do's and don'ts.

Early on, you should have a customer database with e-mail addresses.  This is so you can politely send a message asking if they would like to subscribe to your regular updates via e-mail.

You shouldn't feel bad if they don't respond.  That is an indication as well that they won't be interested at that time.

Yes sending a message to hundreds, even thousands of your customers seems to be an effective strategy BUT it can have a negative impact on them.

Every day your customers receive tons of e-mail and the least you can do is to send them unsolicited e-mails, otherwise known as spam.

If you have an e-mail where customers are supposedly going to use for feedback or questions they have AND you don't answer them, this is also a no no.  Don't give out an e-mail address if no one is going to respond.  This puts your business in a bad light and we don't want that.

Be sure to put an "unsubscribe" function in every e-mail that advertises your business.

Online, content is king so if you just send out e-mails with nothing interesting, just expect for everyone to unsubscribe the next day!

There are several free mailing list services you can try.  Mailchimp is one of the most popular.  Happy e-mailing!

Feel free to comment and tell us what you think!

 

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Social Media Tools
May 2, 2014

As everyone knows by now, the rise of Internet technology has been phenomenal. 

The number of people using social media is close to 2 billion, that's 22% of everyone on planet earth.  Half of which are on Facebook.  That's a ridiculously high percentage.

Webdam who measures marketing statistics found that 52% of marketers get customers via Facebook.

Businesses today who don't have an online presence are at risk of being left behind.  More and more businesses have been deciding to opt out of phone book listings because hardly anyone uses it anymore.  Most everyone goes online to look for someone.

But what if your budget is limited at this time?  Then go free.  There are several sites can give you a company website in minutes and without the additional charges.

Papemelroti officially started the e-commerce website http://www.papemelroti.com 2000.  Since then our online business has grown steadily.  We have a lot of plans to improve the site for the convenience of our shoppers. 

Along with the website, you can already develop your Facebook fanpage and Twitter.  You can just link all your posts on Facebook and these will automatically post on Twitter if the two accounts are linked.

Redundancy is not a crime online - in fact it comes out as an advantage so keep posting in multiple social media sites to get the most exposure!  Be sure to have interesting and original content to keep your audience connected!

 


 

  Selling for Success
April 1, 2014

We might say we are not fit for sales and it's not in our personality but the truth is that selling is a skill that can be learned and developed.  Sure there are people who seem to be just naturals but if you've got the will, there's also a way.

Not Just Child's Play
After World War II, newlyweds Ruth and Elliot Handler set up a picture framing business in their garage.  With the wooden scraps, Elliot resourcefully made dollhouse furniture.  Soon enough they learned their toys were selling better than the frames so they focused their energies there. 

Can you believe that this was the start of Fortune 500 company Mattel, maker of Barbie dolls!

Another story...

Furniture Wasn't Sure
Back in the 60's, a young couple put up a furniture business in the premises of their own home.  With no space and a business partner who put up the seed money, they made chairs that were well made but had to be delivered to each and every client. 

Not long after, the business fizzled out and the wife stayed home to take care of the children while the husband concentrated on working as an employee for a company. 

With Time and Prayers
A decade later, opportunity came knocking again.  They were able to get an 2-storey apartment with a shop window on the first floor.  The wife started making homemade stuffed toys and her husband would show his wife's products to his officemates. They would buy and the couple would save their hard-earned money to grow their business.

This was the birth of Papemelroti. It was not a one shot deal not a bed of roses for Benny and Corit Alejandro. It took hard work and determination for the business to grow.  It also entailed learning from their past experiences.

Let us draw some lessons from these stories.

1. Start small and work your way up.  You don't need to have all the equipment and technology the other guys have (if you don't have the resources to pay for them).  You just need to identify your priorities and aim to attain the most needed investments.

2. Be open to new possibilities.  Be on track with your customers' needs.  Do you need to shift to another product line? to hire another person? or go to another business altogether?  You can find the answers in the things people say like "I will pay you to do this!". 

3. Keep evolving.  Even when you are as big as you want to be, you need to keep striving and changing along with your clients and to keep current.

 


 

 

 

Making a Good Impression: Your Display Part 1
December 2, 2013

The old saying still holds true "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." (John Maxwell)

Right off the bat, people will know if your business is just aiming to make a buck or make a difference.  Let's make an analogy with business and a relationship because it's very much the same. 

Everyone has a first impression when they meet someone for the first time.  What impression do you make on your customers?  When they pass by your shop, do they see not just attractive but more importantly, readable signage?  Does your name inspire confidence in your buyer and what does it say about you?

Companies often conduct focus group discussions just to get these exact answers from their consumers.

Making a good impression involves not just external factors such as your signage and storefront display.  It involves exuding a feel for your products in such a way that the right type of customer gets to notice it. 

Don't try to be all things to all people as you might confuse your market.  Instead, convey a sense of your products with the way you display them so that the passersby can make up their mind quickly if you're their "type" or not.
 

Making a Good Impression: Feeling Light? Part 2
January 7, 201
4

Attracting your target market is one thing but holding their interest and encouraging them to take the next step (that is, towards you and not away from you), is another matter altogether. 

You must hold their attention enough to pique their interest.  Is your shop well lighted?  Dim lights convey a sense of mystery but also a sense of suspicion (what are they trying to hide?). Stark white lights are quite clinical (like in a hospital).  Your choice of lighting (or lack thereof) will convey much, even before your client steps inside your shop.

If ever you have visited a Papemelroti shop, you probably won't be looking up at the lights but we choose a mix of warm lights to convey a cozy, warm feeling (like in a home) to our customers to make them feel at ease.  We desire to give them good lighting so as to be able to choose products and scrutinize our products more closely.  But we don't want them to feel like they're in the office or at work with too bright, almost harsh, lighting.

 

Making a Good Impression: The Use of Space  Part 3
January 22, 201
4

So you got the customer to step into your shop!  Congratulations!  But hold on, you gotta hold their attention to hold them in!

Have you got the space?  Customers are always in a hurry.  They usually have a lot of bags too.  If you don't have a baggage counter (and normally small shops don't), clients with more than 1 bag will think twice before staying. 

Picture this scenario.  A customer is engrossed in the merchandise and his bag, hanging from his shoulder, snags onto an expensive item and it falls to the ground making a huge jarring sound!

This is surely something a retailer would never want to happen!  The last thing we want is for people to have to deal with some trauma from being in the shop!

Sufficient space is crucial for giving a sense of comfort to our buyers.  They must feel like they are free to roam around without having to tiptoe through the merchandise.

Ideally the least space in passageways should allow 2 people to pass without touching each other.  The larger the space, the more luxurious the feeling.

One has to be practical though since a larger walking area makes for a smaller space for showcasing the products.  We don't want to keep that to a minimum but rather, make the most efficient use of space to get the most out of our location.
 

Making a Good Impression: Customer Service Part 4
March 5, 201
4

Customers aren't all made from one mold.  Some want to spend time in the shop without a nosy saleslady asking a lot of questions.  Others come in wanting to be noticed and wanting a lot of advice on which product is the best for them.

Some customers need to buy right away and others are just storing everything they see in their mind for the future. 

You can make sure that whatever type of person comes in, they will feel they are valued by the quality of your customer service.

This is probably why robots have not yet taken over the jobs of sales clerks.  Robots aren't warm though they may be helpful.  The human touch is still superior in this area.

When a customer comes in, try to sense if they are in a rush or have a lot of time to browse.  If they are in a rush, make sure that you are ready to attend to them in a second's notice. 

If they are there to browse leisurely, then you can give them the time they need to get a feel of the items.

Making a good impression means conveying a sense of warmth to your customer.  It can be through a smile or an attentive look.  It can also be a keen understanding of their concerns or helpful suggestions that match their need.

We hope that with all of these elements, your business will  make a good first impression on your customers! 

 

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The Importance of Seasonal Displays
November 2013

A customer once told us that she appreciated our displays because it reminded her about when an event was coming up.  Seasonal displays are truly essential in any retail business. 

Whether you are a little convenience store in the street corner or a chain of department stores, the look of your shop window tells the buyer who you are and gives them a peek of what to expect, without even putting one step inside your door.

Integral to the success of your display is your timeliness and location.  Sometimes if you put up your decor too early, people will find you to be too "pushy" in reminding them to purchase early.  If you put it up too late, the effort will be too much for such a short time frame.

Location is always important since no one will see your beautiful decor if you're tucked away in a place without a lot of foot traffic.

The same principle applies when you sell products online.  You will need to ask yourself this question, "How will my online shop get noticed?"  You can advertise on sites like Facebook or Google search engines for instance.  You can also get by without an advertising budget so long as you have a plan.

If you sell via person to person, seasonal displays are in the form of e-mail reminders for regular customers or flyers for prospective buyers.

Whatever you plan to do, evaluate it's progress and learn from your successes as well as your failures. Lastly, have fun doing it!

Next Month: Making a Good Impression

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Now is the Time!
October 4, 2013

If there is any time to be energized in your reseller business, it's now!  Now is definitely the time to stock up on Christmas gift items for your store, online shop, or for the person to person approach.

We are just building up our stocks for the shops too!  In fact we are already selling 2014 planners and wall calendars and do take note, these are one of our hottest selling items during this time of the year!

If you plan on buying a lot of small, affordable items, take note that customers like buying these in bulk for office parties and reunions so you must have plenty of stock of these items.  If you are looking for larger items to resell, we suggest you get the items that are functional as these are the most popular as gifts.

Please take note that this is the busiest season for us and we simply process orders a bit slower than usual due to the volume so remember that to order earlier is always better!

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New Botanical Banner Design
August 29, 2013

We've got something lovely for our resellers! 

Many of the Papemelroti clientele wish to see products firsthand when purchasing.  They don't want to order online.  Since Papemelroti isn't available everywhere, this is where our distributors come in.  You can fill that gap!  Putting the Reseller Banner instantly connects you to Papemelroti patrons all over the globe!

We realize that shops have varied styles and we want to make sure that we can offer a reseller sign that conveys nostalgia, elegance and romance!  If you wish to put this design on a wooden sign instead of tarpauline material, ask us for options.

Our old design is still available.

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Spotlight: Bloomington Greetings
June 25, 2013

This month, the spotlight is on Papemelroti Reseller Bloomington Greetings, Singapore!

This past summer season, Papemelroti visited long time distributor Bloomington Greetings.  They are located in Anchorpoint Mall, the first mall to introduce a cluster of premium brand name boutique outlet stores in Singapore.  The shop is full of humor and wit.  We had fun chatting with store owner William Tan on how long it's been since he started introducing Papemelroti products into the market.

Incidentally, Bloomington also supports He Cares Foundation, a local charity that aims to transform the lives of Filipino street children and their families. 

Visit Bloomington at:

Bloomington Greeting
370 Alexandra Rd., #B1-34 Anchorpoint,  SINGAPORE 159953
Tel. No. : 65 6472 2114     Fax No. : 65 6285 2936
Cell No. : 65 9674 1342
E-mail: bloomington@mail.com

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Colors of Success
May 30, 2013

Papemelroti has been in business for more than 40 years now.  That's quite a lot of time to learn what works and what doesn't in terms of displaying products.

You'll find that if we simplify things, you'll see two types of products.  Products that are predominantly brightly colored and other products that have muted color tones.

In many cases, retailers simply put the products on the shelf, expecting these to "sell themselves" but in reality, these products, just like people, have to make a good first impression first to warrant a longer glance (or a second one).

We've found that grouping products with a similar color scheme gets better results.  These are more restful for the eyes to see and they give the buyer more options on which products match well.  Matching brights with brights attracts the younger set and the muted tones make the vintage lovers more interested.

Try it out and see what happens! 

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Door to Door Reselling
May 2, 2013

"If you see my walking by the street and I start to cry each time we meet.  Walk on by.  Walk on by."

If this song doesn't sound familiar, we hope that your clients won't be singing it to you.  That's the reaction you'll get if your door to door selling skills leave much to be desired.    Here are some tips to help your customers sing a different tune.

Be a product expert
Know the ins and outs of the product you are selling.  What's it made of?  Is it made of recycled materials?  Can it be personalized?  What occasion is it for?  The best way to serve your customers is to be able to answer their questions about the items.  Ask us about the items we are selling so you can also transmit the information to your clients.

Be your customer's best friend
We don't mean this in an insincere way.  We want you to know your customer well.  What are his likes and dislikes?  What products does she need?  The reason for this is so you don't offer items they have no use for.  They will thank you for your product offerings when your suggestions meet their demand.

Work on your network
The best place to sell products are with your own circle of influence.  Work on widening that circle by joining clubs, volunteering, knowing your neighbors, and generally being friendly and open to new people.  You can also join virtual communities on Facebook and Google+ but be careful not to punctuate your posts with ads.  Just let people know what you do and be visible.  When they have a need, they will come to you.

When push comes to shove
Be sensitive to others who respond negatively to hard selling.  Don't be pushy.  Rather be helpful with what products they are looking for.  Learn by doing. 

Be brave
Lastly don't be afraid to go out there and try.  Everyone gets better with practice.

Tools
Create your own catalog of Papemelroti products you are selling.  You may lift product images off from our website and also use our wordings to show to your clients.  Just click on these and then right click to save.  Then you can use Microsoft Word, Publisher and other programs to layout your catalog.

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Eco-friendly Retail
March 1, 2013

Being environment-conscious is not a fad, it's a necessity in today's rapidly changing world.  It's not only a smart business practice to inculcate the values of "Reduce, Re-use and Recycle" but it's also something consumers look out for in the businesses they choose to patronize.

Papemelroti started selling recycled paper in the late 70's way before it was chic simply because it had a very nice homey down-to-earth look.  Now the shop is known primarily for its paper products and many of the Papemelroti customers come primarily because they are now aware of the urgent environment issues such as climate change. 

Since April 2012, the Quezon City government made ordinances to address the city's overwhelming volume of garbage equaling 45 10-wheeler truckloads daily.  Plastic bags are no longer being offered at consumer establishments and you need to pay P2.00 per plastic bag if you forgot to bring your eco-bag with you.

Eco-friendly retailing must go into every aspect of the business. From the materials you use for your products, to the packaging to the processes that go into making the products.

If you notice, Papemelroti also shies away from using window display materials that are ecologically harmful such as styrofoam.  Tarpauline material used as banners receive a new life as pouches and purses that are priced very reasonably.

Food for Thought: What business practices can I employ to promote environment conservation? 

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Knowing Your Customer
January 25, 2013

Having your own business means making your own decisions and taking risks.  You don't necessarily have the luxury of consultants at your beck and call.  The direction of the company lies solely on your shoulders.  How do you know what the customer wants and needs?  What products should you invest in? 

This is where knowing your customer plays a big part.  Developing an open line with your customers allows you to build a strong relationship with them and they are likely to be more loyal to you if they see you respond to their suggestions and requests. 

Here are some ways to get customers' feedback regularly without much effort.

  1. Have a suggestion box at your shop.  If possible, ensure that the box is locked so people have the assurance that their feedback will be read by management alone and not just anyone.  In so doing, customers will be more open in their comments.  You can either have a short form with a scale rating they can just answer or have a blank piece of paper they can fill up with anything they can think of.  If you don't have a shop yet, it's even better since you deal with the customer directly.  Establish rapport and ask them if they have any feedback on the product.  Be sure to follow through in case there was something they didn't like about it.  Make sure to contact Papemelroti if the items have in any way some shortcomings.

  2. Have a Facebook account for your business.  Whether you are a student selling Papemelroti products part time, or a chain of shops selling an assortment of products, it would do you well to have a Facebook page for your business. Customers can find you even if you don't have a website yet.  They can post directly on your page about products and services so you can respond quickly.

  3. Customer surveys can be done as well.  You don't have to setup a focus group discussion to get to the answers but if you have the resources, that would be great too!

  4. Customers are really our friends.  We need to be sincere in attending to their needs.  Do they want something we don't have in stock?  One customer saying one thing will mean that there were 50 more like that person who didn't say anything.  We obviously need to listen, and listen well.  This will make the difference between having a good business and an excellent one in the long run.

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Have You Got What it Takes?
January 3, 2013

Alvin never needed an allowance from his parents.  At the time when most of us were thinking only about toys and playing games, Alfred was already into buy and sell at his school.  He would even display his wares at the front doorstep of his home.  The lessons he learned while he was growing up allowed him to form his own consultant business in his early 20s giving seminars to people twice his age. 

Unlike Alvin, one housewife had a dream to have her own little business despite the lack of time and resources.  She prayed for a suitable place to sell some of her crafts.  When the family moved into a 2-storey apartment with a glass window on the first floor, it was the answer to her prayers!  Out of scrap cloth, she made one stuffed toy.  When that was sold, she used the earnings to make two!  After 40 years, with her whole family working alongside her, that business- Papemelroti is still growing!

What do entrepreneurs have in common?  Both of our previous examples had no business degree or sufficient capital to start.

We once had a chat with Papemelroti's founder Mrs. Socorro Alejandro and asked her what trait she finds very important for entrepreneurs.  What she said was surprising.  It wasn't decisiveness, flexibility, problem-solving adeptness , self-confidence or intuition, despite these very important qualities.  It's "stick-to-it"-iveness. 

She said that the sad thing about some people is that when they make a mistake and fail, that's when they quit when in fact, that is the best time to learn and move forward.  It's something to think about for every line of business. 

We wish you and your business well this 2013!  God bless!

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Time Savers
November 28, 2012

Time is of the essence during the Christmas season.  Buyers don't have much time to go through everything in your product mix.  Here are some basic things to look out for to save some time for them.

It would go a long way if you are able to give them suitable options and present adequate information along with the product choices so they can make decide more effectively.

Knowing what your product is made of, its purpose, durability, features and target market will surely go a long way in assisting our clientele.

Signage in a standard format will allow for customers to find out on their own about the item.  Make sure the sign is attractive, readable and clear.  You may enlarge the points that are most important.

Regular customers are usually familiar with your product lines.  Make sure your newest items are placed in the front of your selling space so they are easily seen from outside.

Display products so they need not be handled.  Make sure the designs are easily viewable. This will also prevent them from being shopworn easily.

Food for Thought: What can I do to make my customers' shopping time less?

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