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Secret Santa from Wholesale Clearance? Now there's a novelty

Secret Santa from Wholesale Clearance? Now there’s a novelty

With the festive season virtually upon us (what do you mean you hadn’t noticed?) even the most reluctant of retailers will be turning their attention to Christmas stock and I guess the 1st October is as good a date as any to start thinking about what you’re selling and how best to market and display your goods.

I was just having a quick think about the inventory here at Wholesale Clearance and I reckon there is good profit to be made from novelty items in the run up to Christmas. How so? Well, consider the number of businesses that incorporate some sort of Secret Santa for example.

If you’ve never heard of Secret Santa here’s how it works.

• Gather a list of people who would like to participate

• Write their names on a square of paper and drop those into a ‘hat’

• Decide on a budget

• Everyone participating pulls a name out of the hat and has to buy a present for their named person within the budget.

• Presents are given completely anonymously at a party or lunch or on a set date

Pimp Dog Chew

Pimp Dog Chew

This is a great way of sharing the love at Christmas without breaking the bank. It means everyone gets a present regardless of whether they’re new, introverted or not particularly well-liked (hey, it happens!). It also means the boss can take part without being sucked up to.

With many work places still struggling to come out of economic hard times and many workers in both the public and private sector yet to see a pay rise, times are still difficult for people financially and this is why Secret Santa’s with a limited budget are so popular.

The novelty items we have is stock at Wholesale Clearance are perfect for novelty Secret Santa’s!

According to the bastion of knowledge that is Wikipedia, “A novelty item is an object which is specifically designed to serve no practical purpose, and is sold for its uniqueness, humour, or simply as something new (hence “novelty”, or newness). The term also applies to practical items with fanciful or non-functional additions, such as novelty slippers”.

Novelty key ring - fill it up with your favourite tipple (house keys only maybe ...)

Novelty key ring – fill it up with your favourite tipple (house keys only maybe …)

Anything that seems to be a ‘toy for an adult’ fits the novelty category. One of the earliest novelty items on record was a camera obscura in the form of a goblet that was described by the French mathematician and astronomer Pierre Hérigone (b. 1580- d.1643). It was made in such a way that the person holding it could spy on others while taking a drink. It had a mirror set at 45 degrees and a stylized opening for the lens with a magnifying lens on the lid. Oh the hours of fun he must have had! 😉

Anyway, Christmas is all about toys and games and family and having fun so what better than to give a novelty gift?

My top tip for those of you thinking, “Hey Karl, Secret Santa’s – that’s a great idea,” is consider the marketing aspects and the presentation to customers. If you just buy some job lots and whack them in crates, or you add them to eBay or whatever – then be careful because they do run the risk of just looking like junk. If you actually create a display on your market stall, or in your shop, or if you have listings that outline that these are Secret Santa Gifts, then you will be putting the idea in people’s heads and they’ll look at your products in a different light.

Honestly, I do find that unless you’re selling at a really high end, there’s not a great point in being subtle. So TELL people these are Secret Santa novelty gift ideas! Do as Billy Joel demanded, “Tell them about it!”

Wordy rapping hood

Wordy rapping hood

So what are you going to go for? My personal favourite are these magnetic letters but that’s just because I like to spend lots of up close and personal time with my fridge. Beer, ice cream, ‘nuff said.

A great favourite in the office is this Pimp dog chew which you have to admit is just hilarious and is perfect for anyone with a dog. See photo above.

Ideal bathroom break novelty Secret Santa gift!

Ideal bathroom break novelty Secret Santa gift!

Or how about this novelty loo role? This is just fabulous for anyone at work who spends longer than average camped out in the loos, rather than at their desk beavering away like the rest of us.

Another thing to consider is price points. I once worked somewhere where the budget for a Secret Santa was £3. At this level, items are only going to be coming from Pound shops and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to compete. I have to say that I felt this £3 limit was absurdly stingy but then this was an absurdly stingy kind of place. It’s more usual for the budget to be £5, £10 or £20 so you could aim to have gifts that fit into all of those categories. If you’re selling online you’ll need to take into consideration the cost of postage as well, as if the budget is £10 and the customer has to pay postage they’ll be looking for items of £7 or less.

Now obviously not everyone wants to go with novelty gift ideas at Christmas, but they have the benefit of giving everyone a laugh and cheering people up, and in the case of the stock we have, they’re not going to cost a packet to you as the retailer or to your customer because you can pass the savings on. We’re happy, you’re happy and your customers are happy.

Cute little Christmas soap bell!

Cute little Christmas soap bell!

There’s also plenty of stock on the Wholesale Clearance website that would pass muster as Secret Santa without being a ‘novelty’ item. How about this Bronnley Christmas soap for example?

Package up your own Secret Santa gifts bags and sell for a profit

Package up your own Secret Santa gifts bags and sell for a profit

Alternatively why not offer Christmas Gift packages. Put them together yourself. So for example you could buy a number of job lots of home and body items, perhaps these candles and then package them together in a little gift bag and there you have an ideal ready packaged Secret Santa gift idea to sell.

Anyhow, strike while the iron is hot and be prepared. Christmas comes but once a year and you need to be making profit from it now!

Over to you

What’s the worst of the best Secret Santa you have ever received? What would be your ideal Secret Santa gift? Keep it clean and let us know below, or join us on Facebook for some laughs.

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