A great many people adore their dogs and other non-human family members, lavishing gifts on their beloved furry and feathered friends throughout the year… and especially at Christmas.
Not only that, but some of us love our non-human friends so much we buy thousands of different items depicting our favourite breeds or glorifying their presence in our lives.
To illustrate, I love Bulldogs, and that’s why I have thousands of vintage postcards depicting my second favourite breed. Boxers – my favourite breed – began to feature relatively late on picture postcards and very few vintage examples exist nowadays.
This all explains why a popular class of animal, or specific breed, or species can generate a full-time income on eBay – notably for perennially popular dog breeds like Dachshunds, Bulldogs, Greyhounds, Pugs and some others.
As proof, I once focused exclusively on selling items relating to Boxer dogs and Bulldogs, including on vintage postcards, modern day prints, cufflinks, pendants, books, stationery and much more besides. I ran that business very successfully for three years before passing it over to one of my daughters so I could focus on writing and selling mainstream collectibles on eBay.
I’ve told you that merely to prove how so very many subjects can form the basis of a full-time and very profitable business on eBay, not only at Christmas but all year round.
Extend your bestselling products to other top traffic websites like Amazon and Etsy and you really will enjoy profits limited only by the number of orders you can process and fulfil each day.
Not only that, but specialising in one subject, not just dogs and other domestic animals but also niches such as transportation, fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland, specific artists like Van Gogh and Cecil Aldin, can lead to regular customers and plentiful multiple product orders and countless back end sales.
And that is why today I want to tell you about a specific dog-related product that sells all year round, with a significant boost in sales from August to December.
We are talking about greetings cards from the dog… or cat, or budgie, or other non-human family member.
It’s a fact some people include all family members, human and otherwise, on the same greetings card, while others send cards separately from dogs, cats, budgerigars and so on.
Greetings cards from dogs and cats – for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and other events – are especially popular on eBay, and other marketplaces, with one relating to dogs typically selling in larger numbers at higher prices than the feline alternative.
So let me tell you specifically about cards from dogs and leave you to research those from cats and other types of animal for yourself.
These are the sort of items we are looking at…
On eBay, many such items are priced £3.99 or thereabouts. A lot are priced less than two pounds. So unit profits may seem small, until you consider the very low cost of sourcing similar items in bulk and how it takes very little time to maximise their buying appeal and minimise sourcing and marketing overheads.
The bestselling Christmas and celebration cards sent by dogs feature cartoon images featuring no obvious breed of dog and personalised aspects relating to the sender’s name. Depicting no apparent breed of dog can attract more buyers than breed-specific images and means sellers avoid stocking multiple different breed cards.
The most popular non-breed Christmas card shows a canine caricature sitting beside a Christmas tree with the message: ‘Merry Christmas from (Dog’s Name) the Dog’.
The card is priced £3.50 plus £1.50 postage and packaging. It sells between fifty and seventy-five units between August and December. I won’t show you the design to avoid diluting the current seller’s profits, but a search for ‘Christmas from the dog’ on eBay will reveal this item alongside numerous others.
But I will tell you a similar card would cost twenty pence at most to source and personalise and should sell for £3.50 plus postage and packaging, allowing a gross profit of £3 or more.
Deduct eBay and PayPal fees and you have more than two to three pounds left over. Not a fortune, but one card can be fulfilled in five minutes or less. Sell fifty or more each year and you’ve made £100 pure profit.
This is how to proceed…
Buy wholesale and job lots of Christmas and other celebration greetings cards, both on and outside of eBay. Many contain hundreds or even thousands of cards priced in the low pennies per unit.
Here are some examples currently listed on eBay:
– 300 Greeting/Birthday Cards priced £12.99 plus £8.95 postage. Note: take delivery costs into account when estimating unit cost of each card.
– 40 Greetings Birthday Cards with envelopes priced £4.99 plus £3.00 postage.
– 100 Large Christmas Greetings Cards priced £24.99 postage free.
– 50 New Christmas Greetings Cards £15.50 plus £4.50 postage.
– 100 Top Christmas Cards £30.00 postage free.
– Brand New in Box 12 Traditional Winter Scene Christmas Cards £1.99 plus 99p postage.
Now try this…
(i) Choose wholesale and job lot cards with dog images – specific or non-specific breeds – and attach a label printed something like ‘Merry Christmas from the Dog’. Price between £2.50 and £3.50 per card.
Personalise the label with the dog’s name and up your price by one pound or more.
(ii) Buy cards with non-canine imagery and add labels as just described.
Create a new full size front cover image and greeting, personalised or not, and glue it above the image on a readymade card. Use thick paper or thin card to camouflage the image below.
Make your cards from scratch. Two main ways to do so:
(i) Buy blank greetings card templates on eBay. Find them under ‘Crafts’. Open a Word document and set layout and margins to match your blank card. An A6 card fits one half of a portrait layout A4 page.
Obtain your image – scanned from Victorian postcard or other image from the public domain, draw it yourself or have someone else draw it for you.
Insert your image to your Word document at the place it will occupy on the finished card. Add lettering for the basic greeting with a personalised message.
When orders arrive you personalise your basic Word document and print cards to order.
(ii) Buy blank card templates as just described. Create a Word document with a generic or personalised message and leave space empty where the image will go.
Personalise the item and print message only cards to order. Overlay with physical images and other embellishments like beads and charms.
Top pro tips!
– Some breed specific cards will attract high sales and others very few, depending on how popular the breed is and how many potential buyers there are on the seller’s chosen eBay country site. On eBay UK, for instance, the top favourite breeds include the Dachshund, Greyhound, Bulldog, Pug and a few others.
– Some cards will sell well in bundles of six or twelve cards or more. This allows sellers to source cards in bulk at good discounts. Some single and bundled cards featuring popular breeds attract more orders and higher prices on Amazon than on eBay, making it a good idea to list better selling items on numerous different sites.
– Attach a small gift to your cards, such as a keyring or pendant featuring an appropriate dog image. Even a very cheap gift will make your listing more attractive than most other card only offerings and can add several pounds to your price. Try adding a coaster, fridge magnet, pen, bookmark or letter opener. Then either personalise the card and add a generic gift, or personalise the gift and not the card. Two or more items personalised looks a bit tacky.
– Be careful buying wholesale and job lot cards you intend to sell with labels or with new front page attached. Make sure the message suits the intended purpose. Use cards without a maker’s reference to avoid breaking trademark and other copyright laws.
– Most cards on eBay, also Amazon and Etsy, are for a solitary dog, or cat, or other non-human sender. Very few are for two senders of the same or different type. So there’s a gap in the market for you to fill today.
– Expand to marketing gifts from the dog with or without personalisation. Typically they attract higher profit margins than cards alone. Expect many buyers to purchase gift and card together. Here’s an example already selling in high numbers on eBay:
I LOVE YOU Fridge Magnet FROM THE DOG 72 sales at £3.29 each plus £1 postage.
To be honest, I think the product is ugly and looks incredibly cheap but it is a bestselling item. I found no similar items for Christmas giving and I feel certain this is a very profitable gap in the market.
I have created and sold countless fridge magnets myself, using plastic templates containing small images and sometimes personalised.
My images are from the public domain, usually from vintage postcards which are scanned and inserted into a Word document and scaled to match the internal compartment of a plastic fridge magnet.
Once the image is scanned and a message included – generic or personalised to order – each magnet takes about five minutes to create.
Other bestselling gifts from the dog – or cat or other non-human family member – include cufflinks, coasters, pendants, clocks, and more.
I’ll reveal more about these very profitable products in a future eletter and in my Christmas Cash Project, due out a few weeks from now.
Now even I accept this is one of strangest sounding eletters I have ever written and the product is not one I would sell myself, but purely because I don’t believe in humanising animals.
But this product harms no one and makes a lot of people happy, as well as being likely to sell in high numbers all year round, and especially for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas.
So I suggest you go for it today and begin making great profits a few weeks from now and for many years to come.
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