If it seems to good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true…
Have you ever then filtered those results to find the lowest price inclusive of postage?
It’s brilliant when you get a bargain, finding a variation of what you’re looking for at half the price and they give you free postage too, what can be better?
So where am I going with this?
This lady seemed happy with the price and terms at the time and we left it that she would be back to order in around about a week.
When following up with the customer a week later to confirm that she still wanted to order I was met with the dreaded words… “Thank you, but I’ve found it cheaper somewhere else.”
That’s ok with me, I know that The Fallen Angel Gallery isn’t the cheapest personalised gift specialist, I like to be competitive, but I also know that I charge my worth, I refuse to work for free, because after all I’m a business woman, not a charity.
This by no means is a dig or an insult to the customer, in fact our conversation resonated with me, it made me think, but it didn’t make me question myself – that said I know that it is human instinct to shop around, look for the best bargain and it’s just good sense to not spend double the money on something that you can get somewhere else for a fraction of the price.
That said it’s equally as important to know what you’re paying for, why are you paying more? What can the other company offer you that this company doesn’t or indeed what can The Fallen Angel Gallery offer you that perhaps the other company doesn’t.
A hairdresser isn’t always a Barber…
Obviously big companies have the finances to employ a large number of staff members, you can have Johnny designing, Stan printing, an apprentice packaging your orders and you need never need to speak to anyone regarding your order.
But, what happens if you have a problem? What happens if you do need to speak to somebody, you get to call a 0300 number, press option 3, 1, 5, 6 and sit back and hope that you manage to get through to the right person, in the case that you don’t you can always be transferred to the right department… After 25 minutes of telling the wrong person your problem.
Also it’s equally important to remember that a lot of major printing companies either add the exact photo you upload to your order, they don’t tweak it, you’re not going to send away a blurry old photo and get something back that looks like a professional has taken it, they won’t magically turn a landscape photo into a portrait photo to fit your product.
Although I can’t promise to do the same, I can promise I’ll try, I can guarantee a human being is handling your photo, not just at the printing process, but at the design process too. The owner of the company is printing/quality controlling your products, meaning that you, as customers, as the most important thing.
Big companies can offer you heavily discounted items, they can most of the time offer free postage, but can they offer you the customer service to go with it? Maybe, maybe not.
A ‘Graphic Designer’ and a Graphic Designer…
A mug designed with no graphic design skills VS a mug designed using graphic design techniques
When you buy a mug you aren’t just paying for the mug, the postage, the paper and the ink, you need to break it down into small segments and find out exactly what you’re paying for and I’ll tell you why…
- Mug – What mugs do your suppliers use? Are they pure white? Are they cheaper because they’re not coated evenly or have blemishes? Are they dishwasher proof?
- Ink – What ink does your supplier use? The price of the ink usually is a good indicator as to whether your images/photos will come out bright, vibrant and most importantly if they will fade sooner rather than later.
- Paper – Many people don’t think to take this into consideration, are your printing company using cheap paper to print your images/photos on? Are they experienced enough to be printing on the right side of the paper? Believe me this happens… A lot!
- Design – Is the person or company experienced in graphic design? Will they enhance/change your photo to look the best it can be?
- Equipment – Are the company you are buying from using good, quality equipment? A lot of new printers will buy cheap equipment imported from China, these presses are notorious for uneven heat plates that will ruin any prints undertaken in them.
- Printing – Low quality equipment can cause faded prints, as well as other problems. Also an inexperienced printer may not have the right software and settings attached to their printer for sublimation printing, which will change the appearance of the whole photo and can even cause a complete colour shift in certain tones!
Equipment and experience costs more money…
When you pay more there’s always a reason for it, you’re paying for a product, a skill and of course postage. You’re paying for a company to make you an amazing photo gift using high quality equipment and consumables – you’re paying for a skill that not everyone possesses and your paying for the person who is making it’s time.
You’re paying for their premises rent, you’re paying for their electricity, you’re paying for the blank product, ink, paper, packaging and postage costs,
This is all fair and should always be expected with small companies that cannot afford to buy in large quantities of stock. If you are buying from a small business and the prices are cheap then the chances are, they are unregistered companies, using very cheap stock, skimping on quality ink/paper/equipment/skills and maybe not even insured!
No insurance can be a very big problem if there was a defect on a product, imagine your sitting on your sofa, cuddling your little one while taking a sip of your boiling hot coffee and that mug breaks in half spilling that coffee all over your child and scolding them.
Ok, it’s not likely to happen, but it’s not impossible and if you need to hold a company liable you at least want them to be insured.
A close up of a low quality image added to a photo rock slate 1 without correction and with.
Above is an example of poor graphic design, poor printing and most importantly use of the wrong printing press.
The first image has been added to the slate without alignment, it has also been printed at the wrong temperature and time in a flat press. There is no image adjustments with this low quality image, it is printed as it was sent.
How can i tell it’s been printed with a flat press? If you look at the uneven edges around the slate, they are still white, this is the sublimation coating showing through, because a flat press cannot reach in the grooves to transfer the ink.
In the second photo you cannot see any white parts in the grooves around the edge of the slate, this is because it’s been printed in a 3d heat press, using a vacuum suction to pull the image into as many crevices as possible, meaning that you will not get a half printed slate. The photo has also been aligned as centrally as possible, to get as much of the child in the focal point as possible, the contrast and brightness has been adjusted and the image in general has been sharpened because it is old and has a slight blur.
I charge around about £7 more to print these photo slates than a lot of my competitors, that £7 pays towards the cost of a 3d heat press, the cost of running it and for my time when making adjustments to low quality photos – is it still worth going elsewhere because it’s cheaper?
Don’t just take my word for it, listen to the customers, the people who pay me, the people who unwrap their orders, the people that are still using their mugs, admiring their slates and buying from The Fallen Angel Gallery over a year later.
When asked why my regular customers buy from me, this was their response…
You always get items out as quickly as you can. You’re always honest if you think a certain design won’t work where as other people don’t.Amanda Liddell
The Best Personalised Christmas Gifts 2018
In true Fallen Angel Gallery style, your thoughts and opinions count. If you would love to suggest a new design or product, then I want to here it. Leave a comment below, you’ll always get a reply.
Everybody loves a personalised mug, but adding photos to these high quality, chunky white mugs really take them to a while new level!
They’re also the perfect gift for when you want to treat someone, but don’t know what to get them – whether it be for tea, coffee or hot chocolate we all use mugs for something.
Nothing is more beautiful than having pictures of the people that you love, past and present, hanging from your tree.
These personalised Christmas decorations are so hard wearing that you can use them time and time again, year after year – they’ll never fade, just as your memories won’t.
Photo Slates are a unique and stunning way to display your most favourite memories, they’re high in quality, print exceptionally well and make your photos look a million dollars!
Used to remember celebrations such as weddings, christenings and births, they also make beautiful, classy memorial gifts to be treasured forever.
The Fallen Angel Gallery doesn’t just put photos on things to make them look pretty, sometimes a name and a unique design is all you need!
The personalised tablet case is sturdy and hard wearing, with a printable faux leather area.
They are also available in a range of sizes.
Both adults and children alike are massive fans of the photo messenger bag and what better subject to have on your bag than a picture of your beloved pet!
That’s just one example of what you can put on your bag, you really can have anything you like!
The Fallen Angel Gallery recommend these large messenger bags for all ages, but especially for teenagers.
The Fallen Angel Gallery don’t believe that puzzles are just to be played with, although they are pretty good fun to play with too!
Many customers buy these jigsaws are a novelty keepsake to display in their homes, thinking outside of the box some customers even add special messages, ask questions and even make announcements on them!
Everybody has at least one special photo that means the world to them, whether it’s a family photo, a photo of your children or your favourite pet.
Photo frames all over the wall are so 90s, these mini photo slates are the perfect alternative and they also come with two hard plastic stands to enable you to showcase your masterpiece.
This is just one in a series of polar bear Christmas decorations, from first Christmas as a married couple to your baby’s first Christmas or even just to add a name to, these beautiful ceramic decorations are so versatile!
High quality, bright and vibrant, these decorations have such a great customer fan base, that they couldn’t not be added to The Fallen Angel Gallery’s best personalised Christmas gifts list!
The Fallen Angel Gallery mermaid cushions are by far the child customer’s favourite item!
Bright, fun and vibrant, they keep children amused for hours and the best bit about it is they can have their name added, nobody loves personalised gifts more than children, they love to see their name/photo on things and with 100% child satisfaction, I think that speaks for itself.
For those of us that prefer the more traditional cushion, then The Fallen Angel Gallery cushion collection should be number one on your list!
Customers all over the world adore these personalised cushions, not only for their design, but for their style too!
They’re super soft to feel, a large 40cm square in size and best of all hard wearing!
With the option of Christmas payment plans, I like to think that your Christmas can be covered in as little as a few simple emails.
Everywhere you look these days there are personalised gifts companies competing for your attention and your business.
With companies such as Tesco and Asda jumping on the bandwagon, it could be enough to make us small businesses give up and shut our doors, but that will not happen here at The Fallen Angel Gallery and here is why…
As the owner of The Fallen Angel Gallery I accept that my opinion is only that, mine, that doesn’t mean that I can’t share it in the hope that it may show you a new perspective on not only business in general, but my business, how I work and why I bring something new to the personalised gift business.
Let’s start with the products!
There are many suppliers of sublimation blanks not only in the UK but overseas, a lot of these blanks are standard blanks.
Sublimation printers only have the option to print on polyester material, the products available to us printers can be limited, low quality and low cost – that is not to say that there isn’t higher quality products available to us, they are more costly, sometimes having to be bought in bulk quantities, those products are worth it, very worth it.
Polyester fabric can be made to replicate a number of different fabrics, cotton, soft cotton, velvet, suede, silk and much more.
I cannot profess to know products every other company uses, but I have seen a few examples and I promised myself that The Fallen Angel Gallery would be different, that I would concentrate a large amount of time and effort into the products that I buy and supply.
Making sure that I can provide the highest quality products at an affordable cost, I’ve said it many times that The Fallen Angel Gallery will never sell cheap photo gifts, but the personalised gifts that are offered will be affordable and the best quality that they can be.
Even The Fallen Angel Gallery photo mugs are AAA grade, meaning that they are the highest quality, purest white that are available.
Having a great relationship with my suppliers means that I can offer you the newest products as soon as they are put up for sale, if it’s high quality and can make your photos look beautiful you will always find it here first.
The Fallen Angel Gallery does not have as much choice as other personalised gifts companies and there is a reason for that and the reason is simple…
If The Fallen Angel Gallery can’t provide you with photo gifts of the highest standards then I won’t print them, let alone advertise them.
Customer satisfaction is the most important thing to me and I would never send something to a customer that I wouldn’t want to receive myself.
I have bought a number of personalised gifts in the past and have paid high prices for them, only to look back now and realise that I was so wrapped up in seeing my own photos on things that I didn’t even notice the quality of the products that the photos were on.
Would you believe…
That the Fallen Angel Gallery is cheaper than some of the major companies selling photo gifts?
Places like Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and many others charge a lot more than The Fallen Angel Gallery and they don’t even offer a personal customer to designer/printer service.
There’s no personal emails, no proofs to check over first, nothing!
And after all of that you also have to add and organise your photos yourself, which sometimes can be an enjoyable experience, but also time consuming and frustrating if you’re not a designer.
It will never make sense to me why people would pay a lot more for a personalised gift and have to do a majority of the printer’s job for them – that is not something that The Fallen Angel Gallery would ever expect a customer to do, it means a lot that you get a pleasurable, straight forward shopping experience.
The Fallen Angel Gallery will be giving you the chance to sign up to receive newsletters, so that you can see the newest products added to the website as well as money off codes and special offers.
These newsletters will be sent once on a month and twice over the Christmas period, it would be lovely to have your support and I promise that your inbox won’t be filled with spammy emails and useless information.