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Certificates

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Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:09 pm

I cleaned for a Hospital Administrator just before Christmas that has been a good cheerleader for me since then around the hospital. Now, I was asked to be part of a silent auction for a hospital fund-raiser.

Out of the 8 competitors in this area, they only want one represented which I have the first option to accept / refuse. The auction will be in Feb., so it will be a good exposure opportunity towards my Spring, so I accepted.

The problem now is that they are asking me to drop off the certificate for the auction. I have never done that sort of thing and really don't know how to go about it nor the format. I plan on going with a "whole house" certificate with probably a $450 amount. I just don't know what the norm would be in regards to how fancy, etc. this would need to be?

I will likely have to take it to the printers, but I might as well have several produced then for future usages of varying amounts. Outside of the amounts and an expiration date, how should these look?
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Re: Certificates

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:48 pm

Someing simple printed off the computer.

"This certificate is good for $150 in carpet or upholstery cleaning".
Good for 1 visit
No cash back
Customer is responsible for any charges over the certificates
 amount.
Please call to schedule 3 days in advance
Blah, blah....
Castle defenders
876-5309

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Re: Certificates

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:49 pm

Make the print big enough for the vision impaired

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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:15 pm

Good tips, I hadn't thought about some of them.

Do you really think a print shop deal on the home computer is adequate? That is what worries me, I don't want to make the wrong impression.

Being a silent auction, all the people present will see the certificate as they make their bids, so I am thinking that it needs to be on-par with door hanger quality.

I don't really want to deal with printers for this, but I don't want to give off a negative impression either.
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Re: Certificates

Post by Freemind1 on Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:32 pm

I did one a couple years back. Bought the certificate stock (paper) from Wal-mart or Staples. Looked nice enough.

I did print and second page on white paper laying out the terms. If you are not computer savvy enough, I would think a local printer could do the certificate for 20 bucks or so. I think a 25 sheet pack of the paper certificates were only like 10 bucks.

Matt is spot on though. You want to make sure you lay your terms out clearly.

Edit to add:
This should be tax deductible for you if you want to write it off. Make sure you find out what you need to do to claim it, if you don't already know.

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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:07 pm

Being tax deductible is a good point...hadn't thought about that. I spoke to the fund raising committee this morning and they told me that they receive a lot of home print shop certificates at these auctions, so I guess it would be okay.

Then again, I haven't seen how professional they looked either so I don't have much to go by as an example. I think I will look at prices and see what my options are going forward.
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Re: Certificates

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:29 pm

I have 2 stay at home moms that do my layout and send to one of the big online printers. $35 + print cost.
Find someone that can do the layout, then send to officemax, office depot or something close to you. Maybe do a general cert, with fill in the blank amount. Add what spefic the cert is good for; $100, 1 room, car detail....

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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:33 pm

Thanks Matt, that is good idea. I might as well produce some of various amounts for future usage.

Something to do....
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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:28 pm

I have chosen to donate services up to a $1000 total on this event. I think that is a fair amount that might get the ball rolling, plus I seem to have more time on my hands than needed.

The only question is to how I want to break it up? I am thinking of offering (4) certs worth $250 each, which is about the average for basic services around here.

I could break it up in any fashion, but I think it would be best not to spread it out too far.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Certificates

Post by Freemind1 on Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:50 pm

My thoughts?
You are giving too much. Or at least, I wouldn't give away that much. One house cleaning for me would be plenty.

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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:04 am

I was far more conservative originally, but I still need to draw some attention in 2018. This auction brings in about 300 people, so I want to grab some attention...might even attend.

It is tax deductible and is cheaper than a lot of advertising. Might bite me in the butt, but then I have made plenty of mistakes before.
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Re: Certificates

Post by Freemind1 on Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:54 am

I understand why you are doing what you are. I'm just saying that in all likelihood they will be redeeming those cleans when you are busy, not in slow season. So if two of them want service the same week, and each one ends up eating a half day each, you gave away a day you could have been making money.

When I did that, they were at the far reaches of my service area, and the job sucked. They had storm windows on the home, and if I had been charging for it, it would have cost more than the certificate I gave. But I wanted to be nice because it was for charity after all, and I did not want to paint any negative light on me or the charity.

Oddly enough, it didn't even earn me any business. I called them twice, and they weren't interested in return service. I'm sure that the certificate sold for less than face value, so in reality, it was a "coupon" type of buyer.

Of the charity events I have attended, all the stuff sold always sells for less than the actual value of the item for sale. You should attend this event and see it for yourself. Maybe it's the opposite for you, but attending will tell you the story so you can asses how good this is for you.

I would donate one cleaning again if asked by a charity. But for me, it's never about good marketing, as it is about doing something for charity. In my experience, the marketing just isn't great with it.

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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:32 am

And that is why I asked, you offered some very valuable insight. I may have over-shot the mark, it will provide a lesson if I did. I am planning on attending now, the mingling might be worth more business than the certificates in the end.

I had way too much downtime last season, so I thought filling the gap this way would at least keep the trucks active and visible.

It might end up a flop, but one has to learn the hard way at times.
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Re: Certificates

Post by Freemind1 on Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:06 pm

I'm interested in hearing how the event turns out and what you experience.

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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:12 am

It isn't until around Feb 12, but I will report back on it.
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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:56 pm

I discovered yesterday that most donations were around $175 from local businesses. I guess I really over-shot the mark then by quite a bit. Oh well, I guess that makes me the Belle of the Ball then on auction day.

Maybe I should wear a tux and arrive in a limo? Peace
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Re: Certificates

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:15 am

I'll be looking for the new Castle Defender's wing of the hospital. Laughing

Hope this pans out for you. You deserve some good momentum.

One place to look to do something like this again, would be an association for ladies. There is one in the bigger city south of me call the red hats or something like that. It's an all ladies association of some sorts. Maybe even sponsoring something for the PTA if you can.

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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:19 pm

I like that idea Freemind, thanks for the tip.

Maybe they will go easy on me the next time I end up in the hospital....probably not.
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Re: Certificates

Post by dp1 on Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:08 am

I don't know if this is too late of a response ? Why don't you do 10 - $ 100 worth of service ? This way you might make a little more $$ from anything over $ 100, we all know that $ 100 is not much but that's the point, even if the additional will only buy you gas, that's something you wouldn't get if you were to offer $ 250.
Plus you will be getting more possibility of one of two loyal future customers rather than if you only give to 4 people.
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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:58 am

Well, I did consider going with 4 certs at $250 each for similar reasons as the one's you stated, but I figured that it was beneficial to the auction if I kept it with the higher value and less quantity....more of a splash that way as well. The average 3 bedroom home in this area runs around $220 and the larger ones closer to $400. So, I am expecting the certs to be won by somone with a larger home and that might lead to referrals that are bigger tickets.

I guess I will find out soon.
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Re: Certificates

Post by Freemind1 on Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:58 pm

Never got an update here Rob. What happened?

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Re: Certificates

Post by milspec6 on Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:27 pm

No idea....never heard from anyone. I assume they are just waiting until warmer weather, but I sure expected to have heard from somebody if for no other reason than to get clarifications. Just another mystery right now.
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Re: Certificates

Post by Freemind1 on Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:34 pm

So I take it you never went to the event then?

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Re: Certificates

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