According to CEB Global's "Gift Cards State of the Union 2013," Americans will spend approximately $135 billion on gift cards in 2015—a cool 18 percent of total holiday spending. Factor out the $8 billion projected to be issued on e-gift cards, and you're still left with $127 billion. Assuming the average gift card value is $25, that equates to 5.08 billion cards sold next year—and that's before you count the ones used for memberships, badges, hotel room keys and everything else.
That's a lot of plastic cards. And who's going to sell them? You are! With a massive market and the holidays fast approaching, now's the time to get into the plastic card sales game—or, if you're already selling cards, time to brush up on your skills for the end-of-year sales push. Either way, we've got you covered. Check out the guide below for tips on materials, features, markets and more.
You don't necessarily need a Ph.D. in polymer engineering to sell plastic cards, but knowing a bit about materials can be helpful. As Diane Morsch, director of sales and marketing for Bristol ID Technologies, Lima, N.Y., explained, not all plastic is created equal—what works for a gift card might not work for a trade show badge or gym loyalty card. "There are a variety of materials used for plastic cards, including PVC, styrene, polyester and Teslin," said Morsch. "Material choice can impact the overall durability of the card. However, it's typically the end-user application—how the card will be used—that drives the material choice. For example, PVC is the recommended material for a hotel key card, whereas Teslin would not work well in that application. On the flip side, Teslin is a great choice for custom shapes," she continued. "It's really the overall scope of the project that needs to be considered when deciding on the card material."