Small orders for more Gearfix bit holders are trickling in. If this keeps up I might just hit break even this year.
When I eventually understood my earlier packaging failure I also grasped that my boxes needed to be packaged in large delivery boxes. I created virtual boxes in Google Sketchup to test the measurements. Today they fit so perfectly I get tears in my eye every time. It’s so beautiful!
I still wasn’t sure if Gearfix eventually had to be manufactured in Asia. So I chose to just claim the value of ”Swedish design”.
Saving by spending
I had an order for ”only” a few thousand units. But it was much more economic to buy the printed material in bulk. For a little more money, I ordered 20.000 extra paper labels with the print -”Swedish design”. This also turned out to be a good move when the drunk & brawling packaging service started to trash my stuff.
I figured that if my gadget had to be manufactured in Asia, the labels would still be usable. How ever, the boxes were made in a very limited edition and got the more prestigious print -”Made in Sweden”.
Product presentation was essential and I thought it was a nice idea to place the products in neat rows, divided by paper sheets as in the chocolate-candy boxes. The problem with this was, apart from the time it took to pack, the boxes only held 90 products.
What the hell?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, this made it rather tricky handling my first order for 5.000 units. I realized this in the last minute and eventually sent them 56 boxes (56 boxes x 90 units = 5.040 products). I didn’t dare to charge for the extra 40 units.
I certainly didn’t want to embarrass myself but I had to point out this mistake to the retailer. Otherwise their computer data would get messed up not having the correct amount of products in stock. It doesn’t feel good to be a hassle for your first and most important customer.
Later when I visited some of the stores the paper sheets, supposed to make everything look exclusively designed were anything but fancy. Crumbling paper were spread all over the place making the designed boxes look like trash bins.
It was an important learning experience to have gone through this ordeal. Now I knew what I needed, got rid of the dividing paper sheets and I even found plastic strings for half the price and re-designed my boxes to hold 100 Gearfix units each. But there were dark clouds summoning ahead.
I really needed a retail package box for my invention and was running out of options. It turned out not being as expensive as I thought.
I made a huge effort finding a box to suit my needs. After visiting several manufacturers I met one actually willing to shape and make 70 blank boxes for a very reasonable price. I used the previous chocolate-box as a reference.
Sticker solution To save money I got blank boxes and printed out stickers instead. It worked out nicely and was a lot cheaper than I could have imagined.
Sometimes the container of your innovation seems more important than the actual product. This really sucks when you don’t have any money.
A strange product Gearfix looks a little peculiar and its shape doesn’t really help you understand it’s a drill bit holder. A functional presentation was important. I thought the consumer should be able to feel the product to understand it was elastic and could wrap around his/her machine nicely.
In a perfect world… … you wouldn’t need to spend cash advertising stuff. Every one would intuitively understand their needs. But reality bites and I had no money. The package had to catch the customers attention, advertise and educate them instantly.
Thinking inside the box My Gearfix invention would have a small paper tag with the necessary information. And if I put a bunch of them in a nice box there would be plenty of eye catching box space to profile my gadget.
Sugar daddy got what you need For the first order I only needed about 60 retail packaging boxes. I looked around for quick and cheap solutions. Custom designing them would probably be super expensive and I found a special chocolate-candy box that was perfect. But the manufacturer wasn’t interested in helping me out. Sugar daddy was cruel and I had to think of another way to solve this.