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Gingerbread Latte

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In my 'former life' I was in charge of promo items, however, I had a large budget and averaged $20 per customer in stuff.
What is your recommended amount to spend per room on shampoo/lotion/soap/note pads/ etc? I would like to have my name on EVERYTHING, with most of it going home with them.
~~g
 

Alibi Ike

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It might be easier to go in reverse- not how much should you spend, but what experience do you want to provide? What are your room prices going to be (and subsequently the 'type' of guest you may get)? How much do the items you want to provide generally cost on a per room basis?
You may have champagne tastes on a beer budget or the reverse! You need to know these things, too. Which you may already.
(And if you have a good source for pens, from your previous life, let me know!)
 

Aussie Innkeeper

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WOW! Wouldn't it be grand to have $20/room to spend on things like that! We have Greenwich Bay amenities with our logo, phone number and website address - small soaps, small bottles of shampoo and body wash, enveloped facial cloths and sanitary bags. ($3-$4 per room or so?) Of course, not everyone uses everything all the time. Don't have the pens or note pads, though having the pens would be great because the 'generic' ones that I leave in the room to sign the guest books tend to walk off all the time.
 

Gingerbread Latte

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I used 4imprint for my pens and tote bags. I marketed to teachers and refused to give out cheap pens. But, I bought them by the thousands, so I got great price cuts. I'm not sure how that is going to help me now. They are good about giving you samples, you can even ask for mis-printed ones just to try out.
I am in negotiations for an existing B&B. It has a good rep, but current owner is leaving town (for personal reasons) and has not marketed the business for a while. It's a great house, slightly neglected this past year, but all cosmetic. It's in a killer location, I don't foresee any problems once it's up to par.
My vision is small luxuries you won't do for yourself at home. I have a local soap maker working on prices for me. I would like individual soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. She also makes wonderful mug shaving soap for men, I'd like to cater to them too.
I could use some good ideas for manly luxuries too. Other than beer and a big-screen TV, but if that's all it takes, I can do that too!
~~g.
 

Joey Camb

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we do a shampoo, conditioner and bodywash but struggle to find anyone who will do them branded for us. Soap is a lot easier as you can organised lables yourself (there is a company that does nice ones like a sort of seal in the resourses section on here) I would also keep in a stock of glycerene soap for people with sensitive skin. We have headed paper (you can order it from vistaprint for a very good price once you get past a decent quantity) we put a few sheets and envelopes in each room as I figure if they write to someone else and send it on your paper they get your advertising, some people do free postcards as well for this reason (ie who ever it is sent to is advertised to) the postcards can also be used for a multitude of marketing purposes. We also have a box with Shoe shine kits, shower caps and sewing kits on an ask for basis. Some B&B's have them out for a help yourself if you need a fill in the blank ... We also keep in tooth paste and toothbrushes which we give out the most of but we just get the cheap ones from the supermarket. If you are in a rural location I would also suggest sanitary products. We get free pens when we order anything from Vista Print whenever we order so we give them away when we can. Though we did get 300 free from American express so I am working through these at the moment. I would if you are going to do note pads limit the number of pages ie 5 as it will save you a lot.
 

Gingerbread Latte

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Great ideas. I will definitely put personal products in the bathrooms. The last place I stayed had wrapped make-up remover pads. I always travel with my own (and NEVER use towels for it) but thought that was an good idea too.
I spent so many years branding my school that I would have put the logo on toilet paper if I could have figured out how.
As far as shampoo, etc. I am looking at sample size bottles, filling with purchased product, and using my logo ~ "Compliments of...." I'm not selling it or implying that I made it. It's just my gift to you.
~~g
 

Alibi Ike

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I used 4imprint for my pens and tote bags. I marketed to teachers and refused to give out cheap pens. But, I bought them by the thousands, so I got great price cuts. I'm not sure how that is going to help me now. They are good about giving you samples, you can even ask for mis-printed ones just to try out.
I am in negotiations for an existing B&B. It has a good rep, but current owner is leaving town (for personal reasons) and has not marketed the business for a while. It's a great house, slightly neglected this past year, but all cosmetic. It's in a killer location, I don't foresee any problems once it's up to par.
My vision is small luxuries you won't do for yourself at home. I have a local soap maker working on prices for me. I would like individual soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. She also makes wonderful mug shaving soap for men, I'd like to cater to them too.
I could use some good ideas for manly luxuries too. Other than beer and a big-screen TV, but if that's all it takes, I can do that too!
~~g..
Manly luxuries could just be that your soaps aren't too fruity! We also have a local soapmaker who imprints the labels with our logo. It's a nice touch. Because she is a one person op, she can make what I want in the size I want instead of having to buy big bars of soap that are wasted.
The Greenwich Bay folks have a nice line of products. There are lots of good companies out there but many will not put your logo on the products without an order in the 10's of thousands.
 

Alibi Ike

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Great ideas. I will definitely put personal products in the bathrooms. The last place I stayed had wrapped make-up remover pads. I always travel with my own (and NEVER use towels for it) but thought that was an good idea too.
I spent so many years branding my school that I would have put the logo on toilet paper if I could have figured out how.
As far as shampoo, etc. I am looking at sample size bottles, filling with purchased product, and using my logo ~ "Compliments of...." I'm not selling it or implying that I made it. It's just my gift to you.
~~g.
Gingerbread Latte said:
I spent so many years branding my school that I would have put the logo on toilet paper if I could have figured out how.
~~g
Get an embosser! When you do your tp fold, emboss the folded end. Voila! Logo on tp.
 

Alibi Ike

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Great ideas. I will definitely put personal products in the bathrooms. The last place I stayed had wrapped make-up remover pads. I always travel with my own (and NEVER use towels for it) but thought that was an good idea too.
I spent so many years branding my school that I would have put the logo on toilet paper if I could have figured out how.
As far as shampoo, etc. I am looking at sample size bottles, filling with purchased product, and using my logo ~ "Compliments of...." I'm not selling it or implying that I made it. It's just my gift to you.
~~g.
Gingerbread Latte said:
As far as shampoo, etc. I am looking at sample size bottles, filling with purchased product, and using my logo ~ "Compliments of...." I'm not selling it or implying that I made it. It's just my gift to you.
~~g
In that case, you need a bottle supplier and small labels you can affix yourself. The labels you could run off on your printer or have them done at Office Max or the like.
 

JBloggs

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Certain orgs here require personalized indiv soaps, like AAA etc for certain star ratings. Or a green lodging where they require you do NOT have indiv personalized soaps. UGH. Can't be all things to all people. :)
Plenty of inns logo their tp. 1) put a small label and imprint with embosser, or 2) fold over and emboss tp itself with logo.
WE HAVE OUR WAYS, JUST ASK YOU WILL FIND OUT.
 

JBloggs

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Back to reality. All of this IS THE FUN STUFF, but when you are up to your armpits with work, all of this will seem like a royal pain. Then you will not be wanting to refill little bottles of stuff and all of that. I remember before we opened making our own soaps, I found a bag of them the other day in a massive winter clean-out of the pantry. They still smelled lovely, and I put some of them in a basket next to my own bath.
WHY? Guests wouldn't use them, they were too pretty. ! I expected them to be taken as well,nope, they were left behind, unused. So it is all a learning curve, what we think will happen needs to be adjusted as we go along. I think we can all attest to that. I savor your excitement and look forward to hearing your guest stories too!
 

seashanty

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it's nice to have the personalized soaps and things if you can afford them. i could not. i remember seeing a guest at a place i stayed at loading up on soaps and shampoos that were in a basket in the hallway. she said 'they are here for the taking' i say that was just plain greedy!
for lower budgets like mine ... i put a stamped logo on sheets from a ream of stationery paper i bought
vistaprint postcards (nice harbor pictures) with compliments of and the name and the address of my place. i put a few postcards in each guestroom ... (guests loved those)
one thing i did splurge on was chocolate covered (dried) blueberries in tiny bags i did up with my own cards saying compliments of, enjoy your stay ... in the rooms. guests LOVED them (even if they didn't love the berries, i think they liked the personal gifty thing). there is a wildly popular inn up near where i was that put a small tray of chocolate kisses in the rooms, so sometimes i did that. looked great, cost little and was well received.
carol of thurston house puts a big chocolate bar and a welcome card on the pillow of the guest rooms. i loved that, too!
i guess i'm not really answering your question about a budget amount for guest give-away's, am i? what my guests seemed to appreciate most (and what i as a guest appreciate) are the snack items in a guest room or a guest area ... info and little guides or maps with the inside scoop on best places to go, places not to miss, schedules and the weather ... free wifi ... little touches. knowing that if i forgot my toothbrush, i could get one from the innkeeper. as an innkeeper, i wasn't asked for these items often but when i could just say 'here you go' the guest walked away beaming and i felt pretty good.
just be sure, if you give away pens, to TEST them and make sure they are worth giving away. i mentioned a while back about boxes of pens that have dried up or pens that leak or break. not a good item to have your name on!
if you're giving it away to promote your place, make sure it's stuff worth having.
 

Gingerbread Latte

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Thank you all, my tp challenge has been solved. I will be getting stickers with my logo. (Actually, I don't even have a logo, but working on that too.) The shampoo project has been given to my daughter. (She's a poor college kid, I told her I'd pay her to do it.)
So, do I understand that some of you don't provide bath accessories? Should I just do bath and hand soap? My budget will be tight, but I want to invest in the right items to make my place special.
I'm just thinking out loud while I wait on the bank, can't really do anything concrete right now. The plan is to get my promo stuff organized, order in quantity and let it ride. The business class of our local high school prints note pads, so I can keep that local and help them out. ~~g
 

agoodman

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Do things that people NEED - Do most carry a pen? Yes. So do they NEED one? No. Is it NICE to have one? YES. Does it REALLY make a difference with or without your name? Um no
I am the same - I have the small (not the smallest but not the biggest) bars of Greenwich Bay soaps, wrapped with a pic of my Inn, they have the shampoo / soap bars but I am not crazy about them. My average stay is 1-2 nights so the size is perfect - if I have longer stays they get a big store bought bar. I have Greenwich Bay individually packaged logo'ed Make up remover and bath beads. I just ordered the same in sanitary bags. If business strengthens I am considering their lip balm and (not theirs) toothbrushes with Inn name on. I have large non-log bottles of Shampoo/Conditioner all-in-one, and non-logo soap pumps on the washbasins. I also have large non-logo pump bottles of body wash and every room gets 2 bottles of water.
When I first opened I did a lot more but its a lot of outlay and a lot of expense. I DO use good toilet paper!! But $20? If your room rates are $200? but otherwise Um no - more like $3-6 but it depends on the "type" of Inn (moderate? upscale? green?) as to what you give and do.
Honeymoon couples get a small gift but it's not something I mention on my website. I even stopped doing turndown chocs (yikes I used to hand make them .. then store bought .. now none ... well sometimes)
 

Morticia

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Do things that people NEED - Do most carry a pen? Yes. So do they NEED one? No. Is it NICE to have one? YES. Does it REALLY make a difference with or without your name? Um no
I am the same - I have the small (not the smallest but not the biggest) bars of Greenwich Bay soaps, wrapped with a pic of my Inn, they have the shampoo / soap bars but I am not crazy about them. My average stay is 1-2 nights so the size is perfect - if I have longer stays they get a big store bought bar. I have Greenwich Bay individually packaged logo'ed Make up remover and bath beads. I just ordered the same in sanitary bags. If business strengthens I am considering their lip balm and (not theirs) toothbrushes with Inn name on. I have large non-log bottles of Shampoo/Conditioner all-in-one, and non-logo soap pumps on the washbasins. I also have large non-logo pump bottles of body wash and every room gets 2 bottles of water.
When I first opened I did a lot more but its a lot of outlay and a lot of expense. I DO use good toilet paper!! But $20? If your room rates are $200? but otherwise Um no - more like $3-6 but it depends on the "type" of Inn (moderate? upscale? green?) as to what you give and do.
Honeymoon couples get a small gift but it's not something I mention on my website. I even stopped doing turndown chocs (yikes I used to hand make them .. then store bought .. now none ... well sometimes).
Greenwich Bay's lip balm is very good. I just found an unopened one from a couple of years ago and I've been using it now.
Gilchrist & Soames has a lot of really nice products but you need a whopping big order to get it logo'd. GB was about 100 or so (it was awhile ago) and they'd slap a log on for us.
 

Gingerbread Latte

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I can definitely do large bottles of pump shampoo in the bathroom. I certainly wouldn't mind using that after someone else. As far as the pens go, I would put the URL on them and they would be for taking home.
I have read so many stories about people loving the B&B, but not being able to remember the name. We go to Destin for a couple of weeks every year (guess that will be coming to an end now) and I seriously couldn't tell you which condo we were at last summer.
Now that I'm going from user to provider, all of sudden that's important. Haha
~~g
 

gillumhouse

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Thank you all, my tp challenge has been solved. I will be getting stickers with my logo. (Actually, I don't even have a logo, but working on that too.) The shampoo project has been given to my daughter. (She's a poor college kid, I told her I'd pay her to do it.)
So, do I understand that some of you don't provide bath accessories? Should I just do bath and hand soap? My budget will be tight, but I want to invest in the right items to make my place special.
I'm just thinking out loud while I wait on the bank, can't really do anything concrete right now. The plan is to get my promo stuff organized, order in quantity and let it ride. The business class of our local high school prints note pads, so I can keep that local and help them out. ~~g
.
Broke is my natural state - and not the "cry poor" broke either. I discovered years later when the eco fever hit that I was eco but did it because of the "bottom line". I have dispensers with soap, shampoo, and conditioner mounted on the walls of my showers. I just bought a gallon of unscented soap from Greenwich Bay at the PAII Conference - $17.00 + shipping. I get a gallon of shampoo and a gallon of conditioner at the local Sally's Beauty Supply. This costs a LOT less than the nice little soaps. BUT it depends on the type of B & B you will have whether this will work. I also have pump dispensers of soap at the sinks.
My best ever promo item was labor intensive in that I had to make the labels and cut them apart using a paper cutter I got at A C Moore for $15 several (now almost many) years ago. I get mini bamboo back scratchers - I think they are up to $5.95 for 24 - and affix a catchy phrase label to the one side of the handle and on the inside affix a label with my inn name and toll-free number. People are STILL telling me they still have theirs or else are asking if I still have them because they need another. I don't do pens because the only time I look at the name on it is when it stops working - just before I throw it away.
 

Morticia

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Thank you all, my tp challenge has been solved. I will be getting stickers with my logo. (Actually, I don't even have a logo, but working on that too.) The shampoo project has been given to my daughter. (She's a poor college kid, I told her I'd pay her to do it.)
So, do I understand that some of you don't provide bath accessories? Should I just do bath and hand soap? My budget will be tight, but I want to invest in the right items to make my place special.
I'm just thinking out loud while I wait on the bank, can't really do anything concrete right now. The plan is to get my promo stuff organized, order in quantity and let it ride. The business class of our local high school prints note pads, so I can keep that local and help them out. ~~g
.
I think most offer at least basic bath amenities. Some go the whole gamut. I won't do little plastic bottles here, even tho I LOVE getting them when I go places. If I were to get them, I would have to toss them if they were used and left behind. Too much waste. (I'm still looking for a way to keep cream cold in the morning so I can do away with MiniMoos.)
I do have small soaps and we throw away a lot of those. There is a place you can box them up and mail them to Haiti thru but I don't know what it is off the top of my head. Shampoo in a dispenser. Other amenities are available if the guest asks (toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, combs, razors, what Gomez calls 'girl stuff', mouthwash, sewing kits, shower caps, shoe cleaners). Most of them were free samples from Gilchrist & Soames. Or, I dragged them home from my own vacation. (Only take one of each on the last day, never clean anyone out!)
 

JBloggs

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Proves the point of how important the NAME of a B&B is doesn't it. Besides efficient marketing.
Something to remember in all of this is, do what YOU enjoy. When you go to a B&B, what are the little things that you really appreciate?
 

Morticia

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I can definitely do large bottles of pump shampoo in the bathroom. I certainly wouldn't mind using that after someone else. As far as the pens go, I would put the URL on them and they would be for taking home.
I have read so many stories about people loving the B&B, but not being able to remember the name. We go to Destin for a couple of weeks every year (guess that will be coming to an end now) and I seriously couldn't tell you which condo we were at last summer.
Now that I'm going from user to provider, all of sudden that's important. Haha
~~g.
I get calls all the time, 'I think we stayed there 15 years ago but we don't remember the name.' Are you renaming the place you're buying? If so, get the name of the town in there somehow. At least if you had stayed at the 'Destin Condos by the Shore' you'd have come close to finding it again. And, really, if you searched, you search for 'Destin Condo' wouldn't you?
You should look at snagging the domain name even if you don't change the name of the inn. You could do a redirect.
 
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