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Back to School Product Tips and FREE Laser Engraving Pencil JIG

School is ending, which means soon summer will fly by and back to school season will be upon us in the blink of an eye!

We anticipate back-to-school shopping and school spirit to be a huge trend this year! With COVID19, impacting most students in-person learning, kids and parents alike are going to be super eager to get back on campus and show their school pride off.

If you want to hop on this trend, don't wait!

Right now is a perfect time to start planning and testing products for the back-to-school rush. Back-to-school shopping tends to start in July and go through early August.

 

But I've never sold to this market?

Growing your market base is key. The great thing about back to school is it covers a variety of ages and you are probably already selling to parents without realizing it. Parents and teachers are highly diverse. Maybe you don't cater to the typical suburban household, but if you sell something quirky there is certainly a quirky kid, parent or teacher (Ms. Frizzle anyone?).

This is also a great time to expand your market reach before the holiday shopping season. Ideally, new customers you work with on back-to-school products, will be so happy with your work that they come to you for their holiday needs in the fall and winter! By coming up with a back-to-school offering you could very easily get exposure to long-time customers that would have never seen you otherwise.

So what do I add to my back-to-school product catalog?

Last year we had a TON of success selling custom engraved pencils to parents!  We priced it as following on our ETSY shop:

  • 2 Pencils - $7.25
  • 4 Pencils $10.25
  • 6 Pencils - $14.25

We learned from last year it was good to set ourselves apart from other personalized pencils. To do this we offered an assortment of colored pencils! These colorful neon pencils really popped on our ETSY page and were highly requested by parents, students, and teachers alike.

personalized laser engraved back to school pencils

If you want to go this route, we recommend you plan ahead and start picking these up as soon as you see them on-line or in-store. With so much demand last year, we had our friends and family scouring local Wal-marts to make sure we could keep offering the same brand and colors we started out with. 

It may come as a surprise, but we only had our laser for a few weeks when we started offering the pencils last year. We could have capitalized further on our success if we had offered a back-to-school bundle such as a pencil bag, ruler, pencils, and more.  

If you are looking at reaching into the school market here are Houston Acrylic's TOP 10 TIPS:

  1. Plan, test, and sample your products now!
  2. Create a bundle for students in various age groups and teachers
  3. Look at local school colors that could be incorporated and pushed heavily on Facebook marketplace
  4. Be ready to start pushing orders in July
  5. Identify any needed supplies and order in bulk ahead of time
  6. Stick to quick, scalable, designs and optimize your assembly before orders start coming in
  7. Personalization should be an easy name, phrase, or color - avoid highly personalized pieces due to demand and design time bottleneck
  8. Have a plan to nurture customers - these customers could be brand new, think of a thank you card, follow-up email, coupon for next order, etc. that could encourage them to remember your business for future gifts
  9. Back-to-school is for all ages - don't forget high school, college, and teachers
  10. Think long-term - a lot of back-to-school items, like pencils, could be repackaged for other types of markets like stocking stuffers, party favors, or graduation gifts


If you are interested in offering engraved pencils a jig is an absolute must. We have a blog post on how to make and use jigs to save yourself time, wasted products, and headaches!

Download our   FREE PENCIL JIG Here

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