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Friday, March 8, 2013

Lumens are the New Watts

Using lumens as the measure of a light bulb’s brightness will simplify shopping for light bulbs…

Back in the old days, when there was only one basic type of light bulb consumers could buy, (the incandescent bulb descended from Edison’s original) we could rely on the term “watts” to help us choose the right bulb for our lamps and outdoor lights. Although “watts” refers to how much energy a bulb will use when lit, we understood the relative brightness levels between 60-watt, 100-watt or 150-watt light bulbs.
Then along came the energy-saving CFL bulbs A 15-watt CFL bulb, according to the package, produced the equivalent light of a 60-watt incandescent. A 25-watt CFL was comparable to a 100-watt incandescent in light output. And so forth. Shoppers were expected to understand the wattage conversions of these strange looking new CFL light bulbs.

LED bulbs, more efficient than CFLs, use even less wattage to achieve desired brightness levels
As we gradually got used to the idea of the CFL bulbs and began to understand how to choose the right CFL for our lighting needs, the new LED bulbs came into the mix. Originally used for small task lights such as flashlights and instrument lights, LED technology has evolved rapidly with new 

LED bulbs available for most applications in the home. LED bulbs, more efficient than CFLs, use even less wattage to achieve desired brightness levels. A 6-watt LED is equivalent to a 15-watt CFL which is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

It’s getting confusing isn’t it?

And besides three different wattage equivalents for the three basic types of light bulbs on store shelves, there are new halogen incandescent bulbs, new LED tube lights, and terms like Coloring Rendering Index (CRI) and Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) which further describe characteristics of light quality from a bulb.

The FTC has mandated packaging changes for all light bulbs, effective in 2012, which simplify and standardize the differences in light bulb output.

To help shoppers make sense of the many choices in lighting today, the FTC has mandated packaging changes for all light bulbs, effective in 2012, which simplify and standardize the differences in light bulb output. Wattage is no longer a reliable way to gauge a light bulb’s brightness. Lumens, the measure of a bulb’s actual brightness, are the new standard for comparing light bulbs of all types.

Lumens, the measure of a bulb’s actual brightness, is the new standard for comparing light bulbs of all types.

Lumens measure brightness. A standard 60-watt incandescent bulb, for example, produces about 800 lumens of light. By comparison, a CFL bulb produces that same 800 lumens using less than 15 watts. But you don’t need to understand yet another conversion. It’s simple. The more lumens the brighter the bulb is going to be.

You can use lumens to compare the brightness of any bulb, regardless of the technology behind it, and regardless of whether it’s a halogen incandescent, CFL or LED. Using lumens helps you compare “apples to apples” when you shop for light bulbs. Once you know how bright a bulb you want, you can compare other factors, like the yearly energy cost.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Getting Started Online

Did you want to make your current print advertising into an Email Blast too? 

I would recommend doing an Email Reminder that will feature 2 products at a great price and we can also place a link to your full Dealer’s Choice Ad.  You will notice in your BW packets for the Dealer’s Choice there is an option to add on an Email Reminder. Simply fill out the edit sheet on what you would like to do and we will proof your Email Reminder via email.  To add an Email Reminder to your Dealer’s Choice sale is $30.00 each.

Click the link below to check out a sample

The second option would be to do a custom email blast with a list of sku numbers that you send to me.  You will be able to pick up to  around 15 products and I will make a custom design based off of the products you select.  To do a custom design is $40.00 each.

 Click the links below to check out a couple samples
 August Sale: 

Vendor Specific: 

Winter Sale: 

All of the options above will be able to be emailed out to your customers, shared on your Facebook, Twitter or other social networks, along with being able to add to your website if applicable.  We also have an option of adding a tab to your Facebook page to have your sales up on your Facebook page 24/7.  

Questions?  Just ask Allison and she will be happy to answer them!

Have a great day Dealers! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Setting Up SKUs For Your Greenhouse

As you prepare your greenhouse for its opening weekend, it’s important to make sure your POS system is ready too. To track the performance of your live goods with accuracy, you need to be sure you are recording the true gross profit on the items you’re selling.

First, identify the SKUs you will be using to sell live goods. Use whatever number of SKUs will work best, and make sure you clearly communicate to your employees which SKUs are to be used for which products. Also, make sure these SKUs track quantities on hand. Don’t use non-diminishing or non-stock SKUs. Next, make sure that you receive the live items into your system by a) entering the correct quantity for each SKU and b) using the actual cost of the goods. As with any other purchase, the dollar value going into your POS inventory should match the total on each invoice. Be sure to continue this practice throughout the season as additional deliveries come in.

There’s no question that you will encounter damage and spoilage when you’re selling live goods. In addition, there will likely be items that are rung through incorrectly during the season. These factors are ultimately part of your Cost of Goods Sold. When the plants are gone and you close your greenhouse down, take a look at the inventory count for each SKU. If you still show a positive count, ring up that quantity, selling those items to yourself for $.01 each. For items that show a negative quantity on hand, you can either ring up a credit (return) transaction at $.01 each, or enter a purchasing transaction that buys those items at a cost of $.01 each, bringing all of the quantities on hand for your live goods to zero.

You may be thinking “Why can’t I just adjust the stock counts?” By simply adjusting the quantities on hand back to zero, you won’t get an accurate picture of your true gross margin on live goods. When you sell or buy back the incorrect quantities, the total amount you paid for plants is accounted for in your overall Cost of Goods Sold. If you simply make stock adjustments, your reporting doesn’t capture the cost of plants that were lost or discarded. It is for this same reason that you shouldn’t use non-diminishing or non-stock SKUs.

By taking these few steps to maintain accuracy, you’ll be able to accurately see the success of your plant sales and the profit they contribute to your business. You can use this same strategy for selling pumpkins in the fall and Christmas trees during the holidays. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at ext. 599 or email

Friday, February 10, 2012

Looking for How-to Projects and ways to Save?

Have you checked out our new WordPress blog Doityourselftoday?

Lots of consumers now a days are looking for more resources online and doing more projects on their own to save money. Are you sharing How-to projects on your website and social networks? Spread the word by talking about your online resources in your store as well.

We have created a variety of blog posts for you to use. Feel free to copy and paste and use however you would like. Did you have a project in mind? Please let me know and I will do my best to execute.

You can also check out Hardware Hank's Facebook page to share blog posts with one click.

Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to assist you.

Happy Friday Dealers! I hope you all have a great weekend.

- Allison

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Collecting Email Addresses

Collecting email addresses is an important step in developing your online marketing. It is important to try to give your customers an incentive to join your mailing list. We want to add value to your email marketing by offering your customers "Exclusive Online Offers Only". When the customer knows that they will only get these offers electronically, that will give them incentive to want to join your email list. It is important that you only offer these incentives online, otherwise your online marketing loses value.

As Darwin taught us, it is not the strongest that survives, it is the one that adapts. These email addresses will help in many different ways in your marketing plan in the future. United Hardware will have many new options for you starting in 2012.

The first step when collecting email addresses is to ask your customers at the register or when they are walking in to your store. You can have cards at your register for the customer to fill out. United Hardware also has a signage package to get you started. Just ask!

Here are a couple other ways for you to collect email addresses in your store:

Have a contest - You can collect email addresses when your customer signs up for a promotion, contest or give away.

Join RepeatRewards - Having a loyalty program is a great way to make your customers feel like they are getting something in return.

Have a newsletter - Send out a monthly newsletter with current events in your community along with other exciting news you would like to share.

Facebook Fan Page - United Hardware can get you started on adding a tab on your Facebook fan page to collect email addresses straight from one location. This is a great tool for those of you who have already started a fan page on Facebook.

There are many other creative ways you can collect email addresses. The most important fact to remember is to make sure your customers know that they are "opting-in" to Exclusive Online Offers.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I will be happy to assist you.

Have a great day Dealers!
- Allison