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306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


A view of the industry through the eyes of a chain buyer.

Printer Version

Scanning for More Business!

A simple, profitable service to offer customers.

by Kim Guymon, ScrapBiz (August 4, 2008)

(Note: Kim Guymon of ScrapBiz.com is an author, entrepreneur, and scrapbook industry expert. She is a member of the Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization and has written for several industry publications. Reprinted with permission from the Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization (PSRO) a PMA Member Association. Visit www.psro.org.)

Next time you're with a group of people over the age of 40, ask, "Who has slides?"

Immediately, the moaning will start about slides in carousels, boxes or envelopes, and how people wish they could do something with them. The topic will dominate the conversation as everyone commiserates.

Slides were the "in thing" as Baby Boomers grew up. Now, many of us are stuck with boxes of slides we haven't looked at in years. Our childhood, our children's childhood, our wedding, family vacations, and more, are all locked up in little white frames we can't use.

But, the biggest issue is those slides are fading to white or dissolving to black. Anyone interested in personal memory preservation is panicked about that. It seems each time I pull out my slides, I see less detail. I need to get them scanned into a stable format before I lose my personal history.

As long as those slides are locked in boxes, I can't enjoy them -- and neither can my children. I am a scrapbooker. I want to see and enjoy images of my life.

My parents get Reminisce, essentially a scrapbook magazine for the 60-plus set. People send in vintage photos and stories about the "good old days." One monthly feature is where people scan slides and send photos along with a story. Slides were the only way many people could afford color images. Color film processing was pricey, and many photos were black-and-white until the 1970s. The three adorable red-heads in pink dresses looked much better on a full-color slide than a black-and-white photo. So, our dads took slides. But now we are paying the price.

Enter the photo industry. I have a slide scanning attachment and a very good scanner in my office; but I have to load the slides -- four at a time -- into the attachment. With around 3,000 slides to be scanned, I can't spend the time.

So, I have looked for companies that can do large-scale scanning. I find lots of them on the Internet; however, I'm not willing to send slides through the mail. Some companies turn around and ship them overseas. That idea makes my eyes roll. As my family's memory keeper, it would be devastating to lose even one carousel of slides. I want them done locally.

Now, enter the local scrapbook store. Some lower-end commercial scanners are no more expensive than a color copier or electronic cutter or large die-cut machine and collection of dies. Retailers may have added those to offer better services and more ways to bring in sales. Why not add slide scanning?

Customers can bring boxes of slides and have them scanned for a price. Retailers can offer the service at crops scan slides while customers crop. Then think beyond the profits to be made from scanning slides.

Retailers may think slide scanning isn't really a "fit" with a scrapbook store, but that's a mistake. It's a fabulous fit. If customers run out of photos they want to scrap, they will stop coming to the store. If I bring my slides for scanning, I now have 3,000 more photos to use for scrapping. These aren't just any photos; these are the photos of my life I have been itching to see. They might need a little TLC. Can the retailer who scans them offer a service to fix those photos if the scanning software hasn't done so? Is there a kiosk on which they can be printed? Can the retailer offer vintage and retro scrapbook products to match the era of the photos? Will the retailer point all that out when I return to the store to pick up my slides and scans?

Tapping into the hidden photos in the lives of Baby Boomers is like tapping into a gold mine! Our generation is more likely to continue scrapping in a more traditional manner than Generation X or Generation Y, so help Baby Boomers find more photos to scrap. To increase the bottom line and create a new revenue stream, help Baby Boomers unlock their hidden treasures.

(Note: Any retailers benefiting from offering a slide-scanning service? Tell CLN about it. Email your thoughts to mike@clnonline.com.)



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