Why Can’t I Purchase Just One Calendar?

September 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We offer great calendars for sale and we’re quite proud of that fact.   And we realize that many people throughout the country have grown accustomed to receiving a certain calendar style or theme as it may have been hanging on their wall for years.   We understand those traditions.   We appreciate that familiarity and passion for a particular themed calendar product.   That’s why it is not always easy to tell a caller you can’t purchase just one imprinted promotional advertising calendar from us.

Despite telling many customers we can’t just sell one calendar the pleas to make an exception to our policy often go on.   Unfortunately, the call always ends in disappointment and I’m sure with frustration.

So, why do we disappoint people who call wanting to purchase a single calendar unit?   We have several reasons, here’s why:

  • First and foremost, when we secure licensing rights to images appearing in the calendars we DO NOT purchase them for a retail sales basis.   In other words, calendars that are sold in single (or small number units) are not keeping the true spirit of selling for promotional advertising purposes.   Instead, what the caller is suggesting for us to do is sell calendars that do not fulfill a promotional purpose, but rather complete a gift calendar transaction.   This constitutes a retail sale and violating this clause in our licensing could subject us to fines and other penalties with the owners of the images.
  • Another aspect that many callers looking for a single calendar do not understand is we DO NOT assemble the calendars in the factory until an imprinted advertising calendar order is received.   That being said, it is not possible or practical to simply go find a single calendar of a particular style and ship it.   There’s an order process and part of that process involves several steps in completing the calendar product assembly.   Prior to that the calendar is often just printed laying on pallets in the individual component pieces.
  • No, we cannot pull a sample calendar from one of our production runs.   To ship out a calendar featuring the promotional message from one of our customers would be a violation of our customer’s privacy.   Our customers are the only people authorized to distribute calendars bearing their advertising imprint.
  • On a similar note, we DO NOT disclose who purchases our calendar products so that a caller can go to their business and request a desired calendar from them.   Again, we protect our customer’s right to privacy and do not share their buying history or details with anyone.
  • Finally, often times what happens is a caller states their bank, hardware store, etc. has chosen not to give that calendar out this year.   We remind the caller they are speaking to the wrong person about this request.   The folks who need to hear you appreciated that calendar is the company who discontinued using it for advertising.   Perhaps they wrongly assumed nobody appreciated receiving the calendar and need to hear those assumptions are mistaken.   Unfortunately, from time to time some businesses don’t always get the positive feedback from customers and prospects they need to hear from to justify continuing to market or promote a business using calendar products.

In closing, we’re not in the business of disappointing customers when they call for our calendar products.   Likewise, it’s important to note that we are selling a specialty promotional advertising calendar product that is imprinted with a customer’s unique message for marketing.   Single calendars are sold in bookstores and on magazine racks during the holidays.   Our calendars are sold typically in larger quantities with a specific purpose in mind.

Honestly, if a customer who has been accustomed to getting a particular calendar from a vendor suddenly can’t get that calendar, we feel your pain.   However, we also feel that for us to be in a position to provide that single calendar to the caller is also doing a disservice to the business who used to give that calendar out.   They had a special investment in those calendars and they should expect that the folks who sold them the calendars will not also sell to their end-users.   It’s a special relationship that we cherish and the policies we’ve stated are intended to protect.   Thanks for your thoughtful understanding on this matter.

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Here’s Why Stick-on Promotional Advertising Calendars Are Popular

September 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the most versatile and functional calendars used for promotional advertising is known by several different names.   They’ve been referred to as Hang-ups, Stick-ups, Peel-N-Stick®, Press-N-Stick™ its all about the same small vinyl calendar with the adhesive backing and the tear-off pad.

What makes this calendar so popular?   That’s easy.   You can put it where you need it and it’s convenient.   It’s also small enough to mail out with correspondence from the office such as invoices, purchase orders, you name it.   That makes it handy for your customers and also handy to distribute.

What many people don’t realize about these calendars is we have many different options when putting together a promotional advertising calendar such as this.   Consider these unique ways to use the stick-on style of calendar:

  • Create a die-cut unique vinyl shape.   While we offer a wide variety of stock shapes and designs, it certainly is possible to have a shape cut that is unique to a company’s image.   There is some additional expense to producing the die, but once we have it we will store that die for future orders for future years and only use it for you.
  • Split season date pad.   Assume you have a mid-summer tradeshow and you would like to give a calendar away.   No problem.   We can assemble for you a stick-on calendar that begins and ends with any month (for up to 24 consecutive months).   Therefore, if you want to give a calendar away starting in the month of July and ending 18 months later…you can do it.
  • Magnetic backing instead of adhesive.   We give options.   If you would prefer to give out this style of calendar that contains a magnet rather than adhesive backing, several of the same shapes are available.   Discuss this with one of our sales representatives.
  • Over-sized vinyl.   Sometimes you have just too much information to say on a standard sized calendar…that’s why we offer the possibility of super-sized stick-up options.
  • Full color is also a possibility.   Full-color printing on vinyl has come a long way over the past several years.   Yes, we can print your stick-on calendars in full color.   Call one of our customer service representatives today for additional details on this option.
  • Business card sleeve.   Have multiple folks in the office who each want to use a promotional advertising calendar?   May we suggest our business card sleeve stick-up?   Here a customer simply slips in their business card and starts handing them out.   Quick.   Simple.   Easy.

All of the suggestions you see above are special order items where we suggest talking to one of our sales personnel about your specific needs.   That’s why you won’t find any of these items (mentioned above) priced on the website.

Indeed, the stick-on style of calendars can be found almost anywhere in homes, autos, offices and factory locations.   You’ll find them stuck inside of portfolios, briefcases,  in autos behind visors, on dashboards, near hard-wired telephones, on filing cabinets, computer monitors, near cash registers, the list goes on and on.

The stick-on calendar with its low price point also happens to be one of the most popular imprinted promotional advertising calendar styles for first-time calendar buyers.   The investment is rather minimal, but the payback in getting a company’s name billboarded for prospects to see can pay huge dividends to the advertiser.

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The High Cost Of Using Cheap Promotional Calendars

September 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s one of the questions I hate to field most from a caller.   It goes something like this.   “I’ve been on ___________ ‘s website and they offer calendars for $ _________ (some ridiculously low price–you fill in the blank).   We’re wondering if you will match those prices.”

Usually my first response is…”Well, if you like their pricing why don’t you just purchase from them?”   I know that sounds sort of crass and borderline unprofessional, but I make that statement with a purpose in mind.   Typically their response goes something like (pick one or more excuses):

  • Dealing with their inexperienced people with an attitude sucks; or
  • I hate getting constantly hounded by them to reorder products; or
  • Their products are flimsy; or
  • Their images are not very appealing; or
  • The quality of their printing is not very good; or
  • My customers don’t care to use those calendars; or
  • I ordered last year and it took 3 months to get them; or
  • They messed up my order and never corrected it last year; or
  • They don’t have as wide a calendar selection (themes) as you do.

Well, the list could go on, but I think you get the picture.   The point is when we hear this sort of prospect query the customer knows in their hearts how an inexpensive calendar does not automatically mean they are getting value from the product or the company they are purchasing it from.

Look at it this way.   I tell our customers and prospects how if they buy a $0.69 calendar, hand it out, to only eventually get tossed into the trash what have they gained in promotional advertising.   First, the gift you gave them was so worthless they didn’t care to even use it.   Second, they now realize how you will place your company’s branded message on anything no matter what the quality.

Honestly, first impressions in life are everything.   When you meet a person for the first time you know whether or not your personalities will “click” within the first minute of talking to one another.   Same holds true for first impressions of a calendar.   When a customer or prospect picks up your calendar they are subconsciously and immediately processing several things:

  1. Does this calendar meet my minimum quality standards for use?
  2. Am I getting a gift of any real value?
  3. Could this company have offered something better (higher value)?
  4. Was this calendar offered only to special customers like me or indiscriminately provided to everyone?
  5. Will someone else back at the home or the office be excited about what I was given (envy factor)?
Pinching pennies has its place in life, but the practice can cost your business when purchasing promotional calendars.

Pinching pennies has its place in life, but the practice can cost your business when purchasing promotional calendars.

Let’s face it…handing out inexpensive promotional advertising calendars to your customers can end up costing you in many different ways.   Perhaps the biggest cost isn’t in the money you thought you were saving, but rather in the opportunity cost you were provided to give out a nicer, customer cherished calendar that gets used year after year.

The best litmus test we tell our customers to know if their calendars are used and appreciated is what happens next year.   Do you really think a customer will come back asking specifically for a replacement calendar you cut corners on and paid less for than a cup of coffee?   Or, do you think a customer is worth at least spending $3.00+ for an extremely nice product with a perceived value much higher?

Our experience has shown a calendar user likes to replace a calendar they appreciate and are familiar with in subsequent years with a similar calendar.   If that customer is not excited enough to come back for a new calendar it should be no surprise to anyone why that is the case.   In so doing, the business giving away cheap calendars just lost out on a marketing opportunity to draw that customer back next year.   That lost opportunity can be expensive.

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Printing Overrun / Underrun Policy Allowance Explained

September 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Folks unfamiliar with the printing industry often get confused about the process of overruns / underruns when it comes time to billing.   Essentially, an overrun is the additional calendars that are printed above and beyond what quantity the customer has ordered.   Conversely, an underrun is the number of calendars printed short of what was ordered.   Occasionally, this process is also referred to as “shortages” or “overages.”

So, why does this situation exist?   Printing is different than simply pulling widgets from a bin and boxing them to complete an order.   Printing involves creating something unique to the customer so it requires machinery to produce the goods.

Certainly, depending on the printing equipment being used, it is not always possible or practical to produce a fixed number of goods.   In fact, stopping the press is a process that will sometimes produce more or sometimes less just by virtue of how the equipment works.   Another way to think of it as like a car doing a hard brake.   If the car is driving faster or on a wet cement surface it might stop longer than it would if it was driving slower and stopping on dry blacktop.   “Stopping on a dime,” is virtually impossible in reality.

That is why the printing industry has long adopted a policy that allows for a + or – 10% factor when it comes to printing.   It is up to the consumer to find out how this matter is handled for billing.   Here at CalendarsNow.com, our policy has always been a + or – 5% overrage / underrage allowance and we bill accordingly to the product that is produced and shipped.   Every effort is made to only produce the quantity of goods that has been ordered to the best of our abilities.

Why bill for the extras when they were not ordered?   Simple.   We want to keep customer costs down and furthermore we want our customers to get what they pay for.   For instance, if a customer orders 300 calendars and our production actually produces 310…do you think most customers would rather we recycle those 10 “extra” calendars and simply build that product cost into the price of the order?   Or, do you think the customer would prefer, within certain allowances, to get everything they had paid for?   Fact is, those printers who don’t have an overrage / underrage policy are simply building this aspect of the printing job into the cost of the printing job one way or another.   We like to treat our customers fair giving them everything that they pay for.

Yet here’s another situation.   When a customer orders 500 calendars they don’t like to receive only 485 units, and we understand that, too.   It is for that reason most often during production there are overrages instead of underrages, but still underrages do sometimes occur.

At CalendarsNow.com our policy is to charge for what gets produced.   That means if you only receive 485 calendars (out of the 500 ordered) that is what you pay for.   Of course, all of this is done within the + or – 5% allowance which is spelled out in our Terms and Conditions of Sale, on our downloaded order form, and it is reaffirmed once a calendar order has been entered into our system (via an order confirmation sent to customer).   We try to be very clear and upfront about this policy.

We do accept orders from customers who state “Absolutely No Overruns.”   When this request is made, we then must tell customers that they will be accepting of an underrun of up to 10%, which is still within industry standards.

Honestly, this entire matter of production overruns / underruns can be a great source for customer confusion.   No matter how it is explained the concept is not always easy to grasp unless you can be at the factory and see how the equipment functions for each individual order.

As things continue to advance in the printing world with digital printing and other more computerized processes, these longstanding printing policies will eventually change as they become outdated.   However, some of the finest printing still to be done today is derived from equipment from an era 30-50 years ago when a human, not a computer must manually stop the press.

As always, if this blog post does not clear up your understanding of overrages / underrages as they apply to our printed calendar products, we ask you to kindly give our customer sales representatives a call to further discuss the matter.   We want you to completely understand how billing with this policy means keeping costs down and for the customer to fully get (from each order) what they are paying for.

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Coupon Calendars Make Good Sense For Your Business

September 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We all pretty much understand the process of how couponing works.   If you’re a store owner…let’s say a grocery store, pizza restaurant or really any kind of a retail trade store, coupons as an inducement to shop has long been effective.

Now, think of the calendar as being the perfect vehicle to deliver those coupons to your customers and prospects.   Here’s a tool that folks will keep for a year…turn the page in time with the changing of the months…and voilà!   A year’s worth of coupons can be easily at hand.

Our custom coupon calendar (CN-CUS5) is a great place to start your coupon calendar searching.

Our custom coupon calendar (CN-CUS5) is a great place to start your coupon calendar searching.

But enough about the mechanics of how a coupon calendar can work.   Our customer service folks are skilled to develop your custom coupon calendar to appear in any shape or form you need it.

Today, however, we’re going to look at tracking how you should use a coupon calendar.   After all, how do you know if this type of advertising works if you don’t set up a system to measure results?

Now, there’s several ways you can do this.   The most obvious way is to simply collect the coupons and count how many offers were actually taken advantage of by the coupon transaction.   But, I contend there is a much better way to track real results.

We suggest that folks who use our coupon calendars ask their cashiers to do one little step when collecting a coupon transaction.   On the backside of the coupon where it’s blank, we encourage store owners to train their employees to write the dollar amount of the total sale on the coupon–not just the dollar amount for the coupon product purchased–but the total dollars the customer spent in the store.

In essence, a much better way to track coupon calendar effectiveness is to measure how much money was spent by the customer using the coupon.   We all know the coupon was being used as a tool to entice the customer into the store or restaurant that day.   Why not find out just how much money they actually spent once they got there?

Chances are the total dollars generated by that transaction is quite significant.   These are dollars business owners have to attribute to coupon sales.    It’s the most accurate way to measure if your coupon calendar program is working to increase your cash flow in a significant manner.

I think you’ll be surprised to learn how not only do coupon calendars, when used effectively, makes good business sense reminding your customers where to do their shopping, but they also can add important dollars to the store’s bottom line.

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Why The Promotional Wall Calendar Will Never Go Out Of Style

September 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s a refrain I hear more and more often these days…the Smartphone has replaced the printed calendar.   And while I would be a fool to deny that is indeed happening to some extent, the truth is technology, no matter what form it presents itself in, will never completely replace a printed wall calendar.   Here’s why:

  • Everyone has wall space.   Let’s face it, if you have a wall calendar hanging now in your office or at home and you take it down…what are you most likely to replace it with?   Hmmm….   Perhaps another calendar?   That’s what usually happens.

    Convenient, but not always as practical as a printed calendar.

  • Calendars make a statement.   A nice calendar displaying a specific theme (such as wildlife, food, etc.) helps portray the calendar user’s personal tastes.   In many cases the theme of the calendar may reinforce a specific image the user has about their life passion.
  • Calendar are easily so retro.   Let’s face it, we all know fads come and go.   What may be in style today will be out of vogue soon thereafter.   Yet, calendars have this everlasting quality as a potential advertising mechanism that has stood the test of time for hundreds of years.   Why would things change now?
  • Calendars offer ease of use.   Talk about any date in the future–let’s say September 23rd, for instance.   In less than two seconds I could swing around in my chair and tell you that is on a Monday and my schedule is fairly wide open at this point.   On a smart phone, I would first have to determine where I laid it.   Next, I would have to activate it to life.   Then go into the calendar program.   A process which usually takes me 8-10 seconds (or longer) to complete.
  • Calendars don’t take batteries or ever need recharging.
  • Calendars share information effectively with others.   Nothing beats a master family calendar hanging on the kitchen wall to organize a busy family life.   Or the office calendar displaying why you are absent the cubicle because you’re attending a conference.  Fact is Smartphones can be synced up with other phones to accomplish the same tasks…but that may not always be possible or desirable.
  • Calendars never need a backup to prevent accidental data loss.

While it may seem logical to conclude the printed wall calendar is on its way to a similar fate as the dinosaur, the truth is such thinking is greatly flawed.

The printed promotional advertising calendar will always have a place in our society.   Sure, sales numbers may fluctuate slightly to reflect the normal ebb and flow of calendar users…but I’m willing to bet next month’s paycheck we will never observe a time in our lifetimes when printed calendars lose any great significance to the average person’s lifestyle.

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What Information Goes On The Perfect Promotional Calendar Ad?

September 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

So, you’ve decided to purchase promotional advertising calendars to market your business.   Now comes the next big decision.   What information should that advertising panel include?

There are actually many schools of thought when it comes to ad design layout.   Here’s how they break down:

  • Keep it simple.   Remember, less information gives more billboard advertising effect.   When your calendar is viewed from 10 feet away do you think a prospect will be able to see six lines of copy and a busy layout?   Or, will a company name and catchy web address make a better quick impression?
  • Give them all the contact information they need.   This thinking is a company wants the phone numbers, web address, everything about how to contact the company within eyesight of the prospect or customer so when they are ready to order the process is convenient.
  • Reinforce the brand image.   For some customers the single most important element of the ad layout is their logo.   Their logo speaks volumes and they want it prominent and correctly colored for customer awareness.
  • Make a statement with creative design.   Other customers use fascinating type fonts and eye-pleasing graphics to captivate the viewer and leave a bold impression.
  • Tell the calendar user about all the products/services they need to know.   This customer feels it’s important to describe all the services and/or product lines they offer for sale.   In this calendar ad layout it serves to educate and to remind the customer they are dealing with a multifaceted business chock full of capabilities.
  • Dazzle them with color.   While most of our standard calendars come with a black imprinted message, in most cases multiple or even full color can be an option.   The thinking here is color captures attention and for an ad to work it needs to be seen


These are just a few examples of the thinking that goes into how to create the best ad for your next imprinted promotional calendar purchase.   Like many facets of advertising, to use calendars as a functional marketing tool it begins with knowing what message needs to be said and to whom.

Click HERE for a page of examples and additional suggestions we offer when you print out a calendar order form (found in menu bar at top of page).   Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to be limited by just the standard ad panel on many of our standard wall calendar styles.   In fact, we can customize the entire inside and outside back cover to inform your customers and prospects about all the information they need to know.

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Choosing The Best Promotional Advertising Calendar For Effectiveness

September 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Choosing the most effective calendar for a promotional advertising campaign shouldn’t be that difficult, or should it?   Well, apparently some of our past customers have had their issues…let me explain.

I talked one day to a scratch golfer whose single passion in life happened to be golf.   Unfortunately, his career was in banking so he often melded the two activities whenever he could.   So, when it came time to order calendars to give away to the banking customers the choice was rather obvious.   That’s right…he ordered up several boxes of golf-themed calendars.

He was so excited.   Inside the calendar featured an image of one of Augusta National’s famous holes known as “Amen Corner.”   The customers will be so excited.   Trouble is…the calendars didn’t strike a chord with the largely blue collar clients who entered the bank’s lobby.   Of course, it was the calendar’s fault so they were never ordered again.

CN-1706 Beautiful America

Same holds true for the auto body shop owner who ordered all hotrod calendars.   There were gorgeous images inside featuring Pontiac GTO’s, lowboy Deuce coupés, various roadsters…the sort of cars that make many grease monkeys drool.   Contrary to the banker’s experience, these calendars flew off the shelf and were in high demand.

That is, until the year he decided to change things up and order wildlife calendars.   His customers revolted.   They had grown accustomed to receiving and using car-themed calendars.   Pictures of deer and quail just didn’t cut it, at least for most customers.

The point is the best promotional calendar for a particular customer is NOT what the buyer of the calendar likes, it is what the likes are of the customers and prospects who are intended to use the calendars.

Careful calendar purchasing begins with understanding the calendar user.   You might be a dentist with a passion for airplanes, but handing those calendars out to your patients would be a total waste of time and money.

Keep in mind that calendar users have to connect with the calendar in some manner or they won’t be likely to use it.   Remember, for most wall calendars a customer must view a picture for 30 or more days.   If the subject isn’t something they like to look at…well, it likely will not get used.

Smart calendar advertisers purchase with an eye toward their customers.   The goal is to get the calendar hung on the wall so it creates that year-long “billboard” advertising affect.   Sometimes it means purchasing calendars that a buyer doesn’t personally find appealing, yet customers will use.

As a tip, we offer this advice.   Our number one selling calendar is CN-1706 Beautiful America for a good reason.   It has broad appeal to the widest range of calendar users.   After all, who doesn’t like to look at pretty scenic pictures all year?   So, when in doubt stick with a proven winner like a scenic calendar.   However, if you are certain your customer or prospect base is better entertained by a theme specific calendar…go with that.

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