Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome to AmuseBoite!


What is an AmuseBoite, you ask?  Good question (:

AmuseBoite is a play on the french term amuse bouche (amuse mouth).  An amuse bouche is usually an appetizer given to prime the palate by teasing and tantalizing your taste buds in anticipation of the meal.  An AmuseBoite operates similarly - as a box of trial-sized items that allows you to take products for a test drive.  An AmuseBoite helps you find the ones that really get your heart pumping without having to spend a small fortune on full-sized products to find them.

As a lover of Etsy and of trying new things, I have always been intrigued by Sampler Boxes.  The concept is relatively simple: sellers contribute samples of their items along with business cards, post cards, etc. and a third party packages up parcels of 10-20 different samples to send out to paying customers.  Customers benefit because they get to try a wide variety of different products for one low price (including shipping), and sellers benefit because they get trial-sized versions of their products out to a wide audience, thereby increasing their customer base when buyers return to purchase full-sized versions.  What has always confused me, however, is the pricing.  These Sampler companies charge a set price for their boxes, and earn themselves a nice profit, but sellers don't see a return unless they gain new customers from the exposure.  In effect, sellers are doing all of the work (producing the actual samples, at their own cost), and have to cross their fingers in the hopes of gaining it back down the road.

Doesn't that seem strange?

I thought so, so I came up with a way of doing the same thing, but with a slight modification: profit-sharing.

Essentially, AmuseBoite works the same way as the other Sampler companies: sellers send me samples of their products that they would like to promote, I make packages of 20 samples per box and ship them out to paying customers.  The difference is that for each box purchased, a percentage is returned to the contributors.  As a result, even if your items don't translate directly into sales, you've managed to recuperate some of your expenses.  It's advertising that profits in more ways than one - truly win-win (:

What does this mean for me, as a buyer?
As a buyer it means that you know you're getting the best of the best.  I am very selective about the items I include, and would never include a sample of something that I wouldn't use myself.  Furthermore, since sellers have a vested interest in making sure these boxes sell, they tend to include their best examples of what they do - not just odds and ends leftover from the last sale.

Unlike with other Sampler boxes, you also have a degree of control over what products you receive or don't receive.  If you don't like a particular kind of item, or are allergic to a certain ingredient, let me know in the "Notes to Seller" section and I will do my best to ensure that you only get the kinds of items that you want.  No other Sampler gives you the same kind of flexibility to make sure that the package you get features the items you want to try. 

What does this mean for me, as a seller?
As a seller it means that you get credit and recognition for your hard work.  As with other Sampler boxes, you get the opportunity to spread the word about your products and to get your items in the hands of the people that want to buy from you.  Unlike with other Sampler boxes, however, you also get a direct return on your investment, and a form of insurance for those samples that don't turn into sales.

It also means that your products are going to your targeted audience.  Unlike with other Samplers, I allow AmuseBoite customers to include special requests with their purchase.  If a buyer specifically requests your product, I want to make sure that they get a chance to try it.  Likewise, if a customer has no interest in a particular kind of item, I will do my best to reserve your product for someone who does.  I also keep track of packages' contents, and can provide detailed information of how many of your samples have gone out at any time to give you a better sense of the demand for your products.

Since AmuseBoite operates on a smaller-scale, and is very customer-oriented, I ultimately hope to have the flexibility to provide customers and sellers with an experience they couldn't get elsewhere.  With over 5 years of customer service experience, I am confident that you'll be proud of your relationship with AmuseBoite (:

What else could you ask for from a promotional company?
(If you can think of anything, please let me know!  I'm always looking for ways to improve)


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