Tuesday, 21 October 2008

A Fly On The Wall look at Personalised Gift Ideas 21/10/08

Hello Wilderness. I've decided to change the focus of this blog into a "Fly on the Wall" account to the running of my business. So to the occasional tumbleweed floating past my way ... here is an update.

Today Tuesday 21st October is the day Celtic Fc face Manchester United in the champions league and if I'm being honest then I fear the worst for Celtic - If we somehow win then I'll amend this blog.

On the business side of things, I worked quite late last night on engraving software to design a 4" x 2" Brass Plaque for a frame maker which incorporated some fancy text and a logo with nice borders - Looked a treat even if I do say so myself. This has got me thinking that I could add a category to my Trade Website for designing large scale A4 Brass Plaques for businesses, after all our Engraving machines are top of the range. Here is a category from the Trade Website (click homepage to see a fancy plaque being engraved). Baby and Christening Gifts

In terms of Personalised Gift Ideas updates, I have finally added a description to another of my Presentation Gift Products (The Cocktail Shaker) Personalised Boxed Drinks Presentation Gift Sets

Another late night product update was adding the Personalised Newspaper Football Books to our Personalised Birthday Category. I really really like this product as the stories go back over 100 years in most cases and have reports from reporters of the day - not some tampered with "wise after the event" account. Here is the product ... The Essential Personalised History of your Favourite Football Team in Print

Today we will be working on our main website www.personalisedgiftideas.co.uk we will be going into the E Commerce software and looking at the Browser and Meta Description Tags, no small job with dozens of categories and around 1000 products.

For those who are interested, the Browser and Meta Descriptions on a websites are the descriptions a website owner supplies to the search engines about page content. If these are not completed then google will have to try and work it out for you .. usually with drastic results. Remember this if you ever build a website - you have to do a lot of things well to get rankings they don't just happen.

Todays author has been Robert (The Boss) It's like throwing a "message in a bottle" and waiting to see if it's found. (yes we do sell Personalised Messages in bottles as I recall!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Personalised Gift Ideas: Engraving Tips.

Anyone familiar with our Online Personalised Gift Ideas website will be aware that we have a large variety of Engraved Gifts so our first Blog post is an attempt to give some advice about what you should accept as standard from an engraver and when you should look for something better.

Let's start with set up costs:

Even the best engraving machine will require adjustments before your gift item can be engraved. This is why most High Street engravers will quote you a "Set Up" fee as part of the overall price - after all they are engraving on an item to item basis.
Online Engravers, such as ourselves, also need to adjust our engraving machines but unlike many High Street Engravers we not only have state of the art machines but we also have the benefit of being able to set our machines up for engraving a run of the same gifts - the end result to the customer is that we waive all set up charges.

Cost per letter charges:

In this day of modern computerised engraving machines "cost per letter engraving" should be avoided at all costs. Only outdated engraving machines require manual engraving. You should be able to agree a price based on the complexity of the engraving job alone. A longer engraved message will obviously tie up an engraving machine for a longer time but that doesn't justify a "cost per letter" charge.

Buy your Gift with Engraving included:

If possible avoid purchasing a gift from one supplier and then taking it into an engraver to be engraved. It will almost always be more cost effective to have the gift engraved at source. Another factor to consider is whether it will be engraved on location - many jewellers for example will send your item elsewhere to be engraved and we can all guess who pays for that! More and more Online Gift Sites are offering engraving with a set amount of text included as part of the service.

Don't pay more for laser engraving:

The biggest myth at the moment is that laser engraving is better than rotary engraving. Sure a rotary engraving machine can't engrave a cocktail stick but then the majority of laser engravers can't engrave pewter!

I have been looking for a good reason to buy a laser engraving machine for some time but the simple fact of the matter is that my rotary engraving machines are top of the range and cost as much as a laser engraver and do most of the jobs better!

The cost of the machines should effectively mean you pay less for your engraving rather than more. If I engrave a business card holder then I can use a laser guidance system to measure the borders to ensure top quality engraving - this also saves me time on setting up the machine so why should I charge more? The same applies to laser engraving machines - Don't pay more for laser engraving because you mistakenly believe the end result will be so much better because it wont be any better than a top of the range rotary machine.

I hope this short insight has been helpful in some way.

See some of our Christening Gifts Online for some Engraving Ideas.

Robert O'Rourke