2013 is coming to a close and as part of my normal end of the year review of business, I took a look at what the hottest sellers for Coastal Business Supplies were in the last 12 months. About 6 months into the year I sat down with purchasing and some of the other folks here at Coastal and we decided to make a big commitment to these products and to the industry to bring these into stock. You the customers have responded and these items have proven to be the biggest movers of the year. The reason I wanted to write this blog post for you is to let you know what items you need to make sure you have in stock if you are not already buying these items. Don’t have time to read the blog? Check out my video HERE!
TOP 10 Products of 2013
1) White Ceramic Mugs – These items are the staple of the Holiday Season. Our customers make and sell thousands of the basic ceramic mugs and we actually have containers full of only mugs showing up at our door. These are easy to make with a mug press or wrap and look around in your everyday life and you will be amazed at how many mugs are sitting there that you never notices that you could be making and selling. Our mugs have an extremely high grade coating on them and are AAA grade ceramic mugs with a nice sized handle and sturdy construction. The mugs are microwave and dishwasher safe and come in 11oz and 15oz. We also have a nice variety of color variations on some other mugs too.
2) Red Grid and Coastal Inkjet Opaque Inkjet Transfer Paper – Our house brand transfer papers are still a staple in most of our customer’s shops. This paper for light and dark garments is easy to print with an inexpensive off the shelf inkjet printer. Yes, the less than $100 inkjet printer from your local Office Max or Staples. This is not the stuff that you get from Walmart that lasts for one wash; this is professional grade paper that can withstand 10 to 15 washes or more, no problem. The colors are bright and vibrant and these papers can be hand trimmed or even run through a vinyl cutter with an optical eye to give you that great image with no background. This paper is by far my favorite product and it is perfect for those short run quick walk in t-shirt customers. 50/50, 100 % Cotton or polyester, even canvas or leather. Heck I have even seen people transfer the Red Grid onto wood. Make sure you have this product in your shop.
3) Mug Master Pro – The Mug Master Pro is a wonderful piece of equipment that is actually 4 presses in one. You can press standard sizes mug, but you can also press water bottle and other items that are narrower than a standard mug. Then you can switch out and press latte style mugs or switch again and press larger latte mugs or even pint glasses. Also, I’m not trying to sound like a total infomercial guy, but you can add a 5th element to this press for only $45 and you can press shot glasses. It doesn’t slice and dice or cut Julian fries, but it can press just about any bit of drink ware you can think of. All 4 elements and the press are less than $500 so make sure you have a mug press in your shop to add to the bottom line of your business.
4) TexPrint Tacky – Beaver’s TexPrint Tacky paper is a roll paper that is great for larger printers, like the Mutoh RJ-900X. This paper is idea for soft goods like shirts, blanket and towels as it has a heat sensitive adhesive on it that keeps the garments from having ghosting when being removed from the heat press. Unfortunately this paper is only available in rolls and will not feed through a sheet feed small format printer. If you are doing any volume at all with garment or soft good, please give us a call to talk about our professional solutions. You will be doing yourself, your business and your bottom line a huge favor. You have to stop paying over $2,500 a liter for inks on the small format machines when you could be paying $125 to $115 per liter and the initial investment is not that bad, especially with some of the great leasing options we can help you with. Plus you can then run this great tacky paper and stop dealing with that messy spray tack adhesive.
5) IPhone 4 Plastic and Rubber Cases – If any of you have ever talked to me about mobile devices, you will know my love for these products and how they can make decorators a ton of money. I joke and say that it is hard to even talk about these without making money. The mobile device cases and specifically our cases for the iPhone 4 in rubber and plastic are amazing money makers. Yes I know the iPhone 4 is old technology now, but think about how apple typically works the versions. When a newer version comes out the previous version gets sold for $99 and the version before that gets sold for $.99. So lets see, we are currently at the iPhone 5s, so that means iPhone 5s cost $99 and iPhone 4s phones cost $.99. People are still buying the iPhone 4s in droves this holiday season. Apple has sold over 250 million iPhones since June 2007, so think about how many potential customers you have out there. On top of that lets say you have at worst $5 in cost to produce one of these. You misprinted 4 pieces of metal and printed one sheet per metal, etc. OK, so $5 in cost, and these typically sell for $20 or more. So basically you are printing $15 dollar bills and you can make one of these at worst ever 2 minutes. I bet you are all doing the math right now… Yes that is $450 an hour in profit!
6) JetPro SofStretch – This product is very similar to the Red Grid product we discussed in #2, but this is a Neenah brand product that has a huge following worldwide. This is a great paper and is as easy to use as the Red Grid. The biggest claim to fame on this paper is how soft it feels on the shirt. You can hardly tell there is a transfer on the shirt and people love the feel of this paper. It might not be as bright and vibrant as the Red Grid, it washes equally well and you can cut it with a vinyl cutter as well. Also it comes in 13 x 19 size and is idea for those large graphics on light cotton shirts.
7) USA Made iPhone 5 Plastic and Rubber Cases – Alright so in #5 we talked about the boom that the iPhones are for our industry and your wallet. We also talked about the progression of sales on these items. Right now the iPhone 5 is selling for $99 and people are buying. On top of that people want the latest and greatest even if it is more money so they are also buying the iPhone 5s are a huge rate. The figure I saw was over 35 million in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2013 in the US alone. So as a company Coastal made a commitment to you our customers and invested in having cases made right here in the USA. These cases are of the highest quality and like all of the mobile device cases we sell except for the Unisub items, these come with the high grade Unisub metal. No hidden costs in having to buy your metal separately, it is included. These USA cases come in a range of colors and we are adding colors all the time. But right now you can get Black, White, Clear (Plastic) and Blue. Purple and Red are coming soon. The entire case from the plastic to the metal to the adhesive to apply the metal is all made in the USA. Since the quality of these cases is so high, you would think they would be more expensive, but they are not. They are less expensive than their imported counter parts.
8) Siser EasyWeed Vinyl – So we have talked a lot of sublimation and transfer paper, but let’s talk about some vinyl. We carry a full line of the Siser (Yes, Ceasar, not Siser) Easyweed product. This product is hands down the best heat transfer vinyl on the market PERIOD. You cannot convince me otherwise. It is super easy to cut, has a clear backing for easy application and like the name it is easy to weed. All you have to do is give it a little bit of heat and then just weed away the excess. Also unlike other products out there, the carrier has a sticky backing so if you accidentally weed out something you should not have, you can stick it back down and still transfer the vinyl. Other products, you make a weeding mistake, it is time to go re-cut and weed it all over again. The material allows you to cut really detailed and small images with a quality cutter like a Graphtec or Roland. Again not trying to sound like an infomercial, but there is more. The product is super easy to layer. You just tack down each layer for 3 seconds to get it ti stick and then after your final layer, press it for the full 15 seconds, and you have a completely durable product. This reduces production time immensely.
9) CE6000 Graphtec Cutting Plotter – OK, so you bought some of the EasyWeed product we just talked about and now you need to cut it. Well our hottest selling cutters are the Graphtec CE6000 units. They are available in 15”, 24” and 48” widths and these cutters are built to cut. They have a ton of down force, are super-fast and don’t need a ton of blade changing to cut thicker items due to the down force. All of these come with an optical eye and the Graphtec ARMs system which gives you extremely accurate print and cut capabilities. We are a certified Graphtec repair facility and much like the Maytag Repairman, we do a lot of waiting for cutters to come in for repair. Yes we have repaired a few Graphtecs, but most of those are 10 to 15 year old machines that have been run and run. We replaced the cutting strip cleaned them up and they were good to go. Don’t go into the cutter repair business and expect to make money on Graphtecs.
10) ImageRight Sublimation Paper – OK, last but not least on our top 10 list is our ImageRight sublimation paper. This paper is ideal for all of the small format and desktop sublimation products, as well as perfect in roll form for the high end photo reproduction. The paper is nice and smooth with an excellent clay coating for proper ink release upon transfer. We have it specially formulated for the Ricoh gel based ink as well as a version for your standard waterbased inks. It comes in a huge range of sizes from rolls to sheets to paper specifically for making mugs. Some of the large personalization houses in the Midwest hear use this product by the truck load and it should be your only sublimation paper if you are using a small format sublimation or if you are creating high end photography reproductions.
So there it is. Which of these products are you missing from your business and in turn which of these profit centers are you missing out on? We strive to bring you the best customer service in the industry along with the best available products, so please let us know how we can help you and be a partner in your business success.