Sell the Power of Plastic
Plastic products can be a lucrative niche for those who know how to approach it.
It's almost always more durable than paper, is usually nicer to look at and has a higher perceived value. The profit margins are generally higher and there are fewer of your competitors selling it than you may realize.
The material is plastic—and while it's not always an easy sell, it can be well worth the time invested for distributors willing to learn the ropes.
One of the keys to profiting from this material is knowing how the product will be used. Russ Herman, general manager, Allegheny Printed Plastics, Cranberry Township, Pa., noted that an item destined to be given away can often command a better price than one that will be resold or used internally.
"If a company plans to consume or resell an item, it might be looked at as a raw material—and the company will try to maximize its profit margin," explained Herman. "But if it is an item with a company logo on it that will be given away, the emphasis will be on quality. The buyer will be more particular about how it looks—and more willing to pay for it."
Jim Mendicino, Bestforms, Camarillo, Calif., added that customers who buy plastics are looking for more than just a product that will perform a function. They want something that will get noticed—and price becomes less important than visibility.
"A plastic card application tends to be less competitive because the customer is looking at what the card will do for him rather than the unit cost for the card," said Mendicino.
Mike Hallahan, president of PSI Plastic Graphics, Ellisville, Mo., stressed that plastic products are proven to be high impact, and a company that hands out plastic rather than paper business or membership cards is delivering more than one message. "They say to a customer that this is a top-notch company," Hallahan noted. "It's not just another card. It's unique." Even crafting something as simple as a Rolodex card from plastic makes sense when the extra attention it will receive is brought to the buyer's attention.