Duke Gifts is all about printed personalised gifts, there’s now a lot of people doing a similar thing, but when Simon started it was all about his graphic design being the best of the best! All of the products on the site are made by Simon himself, and then printed onto physical items such as mugs, teddy bears, bottles, money boxes… Just a whole host of items. You won’t find these items anywhere else in the world, they are totally unique. The company now sells over 200 items a day starting in February 2014, so the company has really set off “Snowball” start.
Some thoughts from the interview
“It started from selling one mug on eBay and finding that people buy this stuff. Current day we pretty much are doing around 200 items a day.”
“We stared in January/February 2014 and it has snowballed.”
“All of our item titles are very unique and we use number codes for the products.”
“Literally online from the time being. It has all stemmed from a single sale.”
“Whether or not we will extend into a shop who knows that is the exciting thing about upstarts.”
“If you are to search personalised mug, or near enough personalised anything, the market looked a bit bush league. You can tell people are just buying in blank mugs and firing up Microsoft word and designing Dad’s mug for example. I saw it as no one is really doing nice really polished designs. Being a former free-lance graphic designer I thought there is a bit of entrance way here.”
“we have hundreds upon hundreds of designs now.”
“We found our place and we are hammering away daily and enjoying the fruits of our long hours.”
“All of the graphic design is handled by me and I enjoy every aspect from a small 500-pixel wide banner to a giant range of new mugs.”
“We’ve had someone that has been copying some of our products that were designed by us but as products you design they are covered by very basic copyright law but if you report it to amazon or eBay they want to know when it was officially registered and what is your copy right number. Most people don’t even have that. As an upstart business we can’t afford to cash out for every design.”
“People can find inspiration from our stuff or anyone’s stop and there is nothing stopping you especially on the marketplaces but cream rises to the top and people recognise it I think.”
“But every now and then someone will say oh look the handle has broken off the mug and we issue a replacement of the mug because you can’t say maybe you broke it or sorry the postman must be playing football with your parcel in the depot. To maintain our feedback and our customer service you just have to or else you will be up the creek without a paddle. We view it as an expense just as you would a lost item. Especially on eBay because if you don’t receive an item on eBay someone an open up a case and really they have got you by the neck when they do that. If you item wasn’t sent out on a tracked service, you have to send out a replacement or they will receive a refund instantly.”
“All of the barcodes are directly correlated too our new and unique products so if someone enters ASIN it will be ours and no one in the world will be able to list that because they won’t be duke gifts.”
“We print on demand. We buy in blanks, like blank mugs and teddy bears with blank t-shirts on. If something sells we print it up as soon as it sells. In terms of actually stock level at our premises I would like to say that we would have about 2500 mugs. The same can be said for our teddy bears, make up bags and pencils cases. We order in a lot because the more you order the cheaper it is and the ore you save on delivery charges. We invest the money made into buying larger stock for ourselves and just so it is ticking over because you don’t won’t a situation where people are buying stuff and you realise you don’t have any stock.”
“You have to fill these little gaps with stuff you are passionate about, or if you think it is going to sell and get it up there.”
“Know what you are interested in because if you are going to be dealing with it daily no matter how unique you have to be prepared to be to just deal with the cost of things, the whole selling and packing of it, the whole design around your business. If you are selling something you don’t care, like gloves for example, if you are not interested in it why are selling it.”
“Have a little sit down, get a notepad and write down what you like and try and find a niche within that.”
“At first I didn’t like it because it feels like you are tweeting or blogging to nothing but it is all about building your followers and establishing a rapport with people who are following you.”
“Our Twitter strategy is to do half and half where we will post photos of our mugs that we print for example like a little stack of mugs in a pyramid, oh look here is our eBay customer mugs and here is where we can get them. A bit of upselling and bit of something that if someone is browsing their twitter newsfeed they will go oh look at them they are quite cool. You are not selling buy this mug now you are just making people aware of what you are doing. It is pretty soft way of doing it and it seems to be working.”
“Don’t expect it to grow straight away, it has to grow slowly… really slowly, when you get to it, it will be worth it”
“Facebook it is harder to penetrate.”
“I was scared by the possibility of the whole job thing, being pigeonholed into a job scared me.”
“You have to be like a dog with a bone with what you want in life.”
Best advice: “Don’t let anyone say that you can’t do anything.”
What do they offer?
Duke Gifts offers Business deals, Kids gifts, metal signs, personalised gifts, wedding gifts and they love to provide top of the range customer service and totally unique products!DJM Direct supply a great selection of home DIY tools, gardening equipment and furniture, tools, workwear.. you name it they sell it!
How to contact Duke Gifts!
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