A quick look at the trending topics this morning revealed that the word “Valentines” featured heavily in online searches.
Here’s a screenshot:
(The figures reveal that lingerie only has slightly more sex appeal than 0% credit cards).
It shows, once again, that there’s a HUGE profit opportunity here catering for the last minute Valentine’s Day shopper. And it’s not just last minute shoppers, there’s a lot of commotion in the build up to the big day with the non stop reminders on TV and radio.
For the past 3 to 4 days I’ve seen enormous queues forming at card shops. ‘Scribbler’ in Liverpool Street station had a queue about 30 deep – these people weren’t trying to pay, they were simply trying to get into the shop!
Close by a green grocer had completely transformed his shop front into an explosion of heart shaped cushions and red roses. It looked slightly disturbing – all these hearts, roses and cuddly bears nestled amongst bananas, grapes and cucumbers… but you know what? He’s did a roaring business and fair play to him.
If you can anticipate the rush there are huge profits to be made in the build up to seasonal events like Valentine’s Day
Here are 4 ways you could profit from this:
1. Create a Valentines Day Pop Up shop – These temporary shops were the big thing in 2011 and are set to be even bigger in 2012 and 2013. You could band together with a few friends and set up a card and gift shop for the 2 weeks prior to big day. Pop Up shops have proved wildly successful because they focus on a niche and often introduce people to unique items. A local high street chain is likely to sell the same cheesy Valentine’s Day cards across its branches… whereas a pop up shop can be original. Given the option a lot of people would choose, and be prepared to pay more for a unique card or gift that their other half hasn’t already seen in one of the major stores.
2. Try to catch people on the move – If you’re setting up offline try to tap in to the work rush – most people aren’t going to be buying cards or gifts with their partners present. If possible try to set up next to busy transport links so that you can catch passing traffic. Scout around and see which bus stops, train stations tube stations get the most footfall – particularly during lunch time and the end of the day when people are ‘off the clock’.
3. Get creative… or find someone who is! Hit the right tone and you can charge a premium. It’s a point worth repeating. The big high street chains tend to offer the same old stuff because they buy in bulk. You’ve got an opportunity to offer more unique items – handmade cards and one off gift sets. Not a creative type? Take a look on eBay, or better still Folsky and Etsy – the homes of online craft. Here’s what came up when I typed in “valentines” – 408,502 items and an array of one off items:
NB – if you do use Etsy bear in mind that most of their sellers are based in the US, so allow a good amount of time for delivery.
4. Start offering next day special deliver in the run up to Valentines day – If you’re an online trader on eBay or Amazon and you could be selling right up to Valentine’s eve – if you can call it such a thing – and tap into growing market of online gift shoppers.
If you’ve got a bit of spare garage or loft space for storage, now is the perfect time to start preparing. Shops and online retailers are keen to clear out their excess Valentines day stock from the 15th of February onwards, so start stocking up on those clearance bargains tomorrow so that you can flip them online for profit next year.