Many people ask me WHAT I do. This year, that’s been a hard question to answer. It’s easier to tell them WHY I do what I do, than to tell them what. However, one of the initiatives that I have been helping with this year, is a website that I founded several years ago, GetPapered.com.
The Back Story
In 2007, I read Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail. It’s a book written by a tech guru, about how tech was going to change the landscape of our shopping experiences–namely, the brick and mortar shopping experience. Since my primary target market at the time was traditional brick and mortar stationery retailers, the book provided a lot of insight as to what we were about to face in the stationery industry.
To summarize the book for you: the internet will always be able to provide more options (unlimited options, actually) than the confines of a traditional retailer. This would open up the internet marketplace for niche opportunities, while presenting a challenge to traditional retailers at the same time.
What this meant for my business: more and more stationery designers were going to be entering the marketplace and selling direct to consumer, via Etsy, Ebay, BigCartel, and other easy to use “social shopping” networks (e-commerce platforms that double as a social network). This was going to affect both my business and traditional brick and mortar stationery stores business. It was also going to challenge sites that had substantial e-commerce presence at the time, like FineStationery.com. Facing these inevitable challenges, I decided that it would help retailers and designers alike if a site could be created that would engage both sides in providing finished products to the end consumer.
The Birth of GetPapered.com
We started development on GetPapered.com. Fast forward to 2011: out of resources, time and money, I realized that while we had developed a stable platform, we lacked the operational experience and capital to move forward. I approached a veteran fulfillment company about taking over the GetPapered.com vision, and they agreed. An even more stable platform was rolled out the week before the 2012 National Stationery Show.
Today, the GetPapered.com platform is a robust wholesale resource for brick and mortar stationers, and hopefully, in the future, more designers as well. It functions in one of two ways, depending on the retailer’s preference: it allows the retailer to place their orders online for personalized stationery products (this is called the Wholesale Program), or it allows the retailer’s customer to shop online 24/7 at a branded e-commerce site (this is called the Partner Program). Commissions are then paid out to the retailer, much like an affiliate program, but at a much higher rate.
For any stationery business, using GetPapered.com to help get you up and running, or to help you fill in with non-in-person sales, has some signification advantages:
- Access to multiple name-brand stationery lines. Even if you’re a designer, you may find yourself stumped when designing something custom for a client. GetPapered.com can fill that void!
- GetPapered.com provides you with a “PURL”, which is a fancy way of saying “your unique web address that gets assigned to you when you sign up”. This PURL, or web address, can act as an e-commerce store front for your business. You can hand it out directly to your customers, or you can link up to it from within a current blog or website.
- It’s low maintenance! After you sign up, you don’t have to do anything but promote your site! No images to add, products to continually update, descriptions to write, SEO to manage, etc.
- You get a branded website! Your logo at the top of the page!
- The GetPapered.com team handles all customer service. When your customers need something, the GP team can walk them through helping them get their order placed.
- The GetPapered.com platform gives you 24 hour access to all your website and customer order information.
- An amazing commission rate on all orders placed at your site.
- No monthly maintenance fees! One annual subscription grants you access to all that GetPapered.com has to offer!
Getting paid with GetPapered.com Partner Program is as easy as 1-2-3:
- Send customers to your Get Papered website to shop for fabulous paper goods.
- Let them shop online, placing their orders with the help of the fabulous GetPapered.com support staff.
- Receive your monthly commission check!
If you’re a stationer and are interested in learning more about what GetPapered.com can do for you, I encourage you to check out one of the sample sites, contact 888.705.0250 to speak with one of the GetPapered.com team members for more information, or just sign up by visiting the new dealers page. It really is that easy! (Oh, and fair warning, if you visit that new dealers page, you’ll get to see a snazzy video of little ol’ me. I only re-shot it 18 times, so be gentle.)
It really is an amazing tool for traditional retailers, and it has an amazing team of caring people behind it. Give it a look, if you’re in the market for a little revenue expansion!