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Christmas rush is now over…. I don’t know what to do with myself!

December 24, 2008

Christmas is over, now what?!

After our mad Christmas rush with our web business, I’m not quite sure what to do with myself! Normally, our wholesale business in beers, wines and spirits is booming even right now, in the past I’ve helped pick orders right up until 7.30pm on Christmas Eve…! Unfortunately, this year has been very different. The staff on the wholesale side have finished before 5pm for the last 3 days and I haven’t helped pick one order, which is extremely unusual for this time of year, which is usually our busiest time.  This is a sign of the time, me thinks. Nightclubs and pubs have really decreased their business with the credit crunch and recessionary pressures, meaning that turnover for all parties has decreased dramatically. Thankfully, we’ve had our personalised gift website this year, http://www.WineGifts4U.co.uk which has made up for the sad decline on the wholesale trade. We’ve loved the challenges this e-commerce based business has brought for us. It’s a completely new way of doing business for our company, even though the website has been in play for a couple of years. This is our first “big” Christmas and all hands have been on deck, new processes have been formed and new systems have been applied in order to get gifts through to customers in time for Christmas. I have to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed it… even the late nights and the early starts!

Google’s re-indexing and the issues it has caused

Even after Google re-indexed our site 3 months ago and we lost many of our high ranking phrases, luckily the engraved gifts, personalised wine gifts and champagne gifts pulled us through. We would be interested to know actually, if anyone out there has experienced significant search engine re-indexing that has caused most of their key search phrases in Google to be lost, but maintained in the other search engines…? We have made alternative arrangements to help us get back up there, but we’re not sure what we did (or did not do…) any help or insights would be greatly appreciated!  

Someone’s just reminded me, it’s Valentine’s Day soon. Perhaps I’ve found something to do!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2009!

This Christmas – What Will You Be Buying?

November 8, 2008

I heard on our local radio station yesterday, Hereward FM someone wondering when Christmas songs would start being played, it’s still the beginning of November!!! I think the phrase “Christmas has come early” really is true this year, but not in the usual sense of the phrase. The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/3333572/Christmas-shopping-starts-early-as-cost-conscious-consumers-plan-festive-spending.html) suggests that christmas consumers are beginning their Christmas shopping two weeks earlier than normal this year, due to the credit crunch and recessionary pressures.

For example, Christmas shopping sprees have already started, so far this morning I’ve seen a blog about two friends who have been to Birmingham this week for christmas gift buying and it’s only November. I’ve spoken to a couple of friends on the phone who have decided they’re going into town today to see what’s around so they can start budgeting and sales for Christmas gifts on our website have already started coming in… (the first one this year was recorded on 7th September!) It seems like although people are cutting down on buying extravagant things like cars and houses this year during the current economic climate, will they be also cutting down on expensive christmas gifts too?

This years predicted biggest selling christmas toys include; ‘The Baby Born with Magic Potty’ (£25 – £39), ‘Elmo Live’ (£52-59), ‘Star Wars Clone Trooper Voice Changer Helmet’ (£22-£35) and ‘Biscuit My Lovin Pup’ (£129-£159). The prices range from £22-£159, which in terms of budgets can work out as quite expensive. Obviously, advertising and other children will have a huge impact on the toys your children will “expect” this Christmas. Perhaps you can invest in other, thoughtful and lasting gifts for other members of your family and friendship groups in order to save costs on your christmas shopping this year?

I put in christmas gifts into Google and was confronted with 9,090,000 websites related to christmas gifts… that’s a lot. I’m sure many of them are offering the same gifts at different prices and others are offering fabulous, affordable gifts but won’t ever be found by consumers. I have made a list of good places to get wine and chocolates before, but the following links make really interesting thoughtful gifts that you may never have even though of…!

This website offers recycled gifts that you can give as christmas gifts : http://www.bynature.co.uk/erol.html#50517×0&&http%3A%252F%252Fwww.journalism.co.uk%252F66%252Farticles%252F532721.php

How about getting a concert or gig ticket? http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/ you’re sure to make memories and collect some great photos, you could make a day of it… take a picnic, go window shopping and then go to your concert, show or football match. It makes great gift ideas for him and for her.

http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk offers a selection of gifts for children and adults alike including engraved gifts which can be kept forever; money boxes, photo frames, ales and beer can all be engraved at affordable prices. We also offer a selection of fun drinking games to keep you busy over the festive christmas period with friends and family. As well as a range of experience gifts, wine and champagne christmas gift sets.

I think children will always want the “hot” toys of the times, which often tend to be expensive, this is mainly due to advertising and peers. However, I think people could perhaps begin purchasing more thoughtful, lasting gifts for their friends and other relatives, it’s just a case of thinking about what these gifts could be…, some of the links offered give the christmas shopper another perspective, so they have the option.

According to The Telegraph, ‘Experts, believe a sharp downturn in Christmas spending is unlikely as Britons seek festive cheer and family comfort after months of depressing economic news.’ I agree. What do you think?

Waiter’s Friend – How to use one without looking like a wally!

October 28, 2008

What is a waiter’s friend?

A waiter’s friend is merely a corkscrew, an intrument used for removing stopping corks from wine bottles. Generally, a waiter’s friend consists of a pointed metallic helix, referred to as the “worm”, which is attached to a handle. The user grips the handle and screws the metal point through the centre of the cork, entwining the cork and corkscrew so that moving one moves the other. A waiter’s friend can also be referred to as a sommelier knife as it is shaped in a folding body similar to a pocket knife. An arm extends to brace against the lip of the bottle for leverage when removing the cork, this is known as the fulcrum. Some waiter’s friends have two steps on the lever, and often also a bottle opener. A small hinged knife blade is housed in the handle end for removing the foil surrpounding the neck of many wine bottles.

How do I use it?

(If the wine bottle lacks a hood or foil covering its neck and cork, move on to the next paragraph.)

Firstly, remove the foil with the retractable knife. The safest way to do this is to open the blade and lay the handle on the palm-up hand across the base of the fingers, with the blade tip pointing in the same direction as and the blade edge pointing towards the outstretched thumb. Grip the handle firmly with the fingers, then turn the palm down and place the neck of the bottle between the thumb and the knife edge. The knife should be under the bottle’s drip ridge. Squeeze the bottle neck with enough pressure to cut the foil and use the other hand to rotate the bottle one full turn. Use the point of the blade to separate and discard the cap from the remainder of the foil, which stays on the bottle. Finally, remember to close the blade! Plastic hoods usually require more pressure than tin or aluminum hoods and some wine bottles will have a pull-strip to assist in the hood’s removal, although these don’t always work.

To remove the cork, open the “worm”. Although old wisdom says not to penetrate through the opposite end of the cork in order to avoid getting cork pieces in the wine, nevermind. Size does matter; so does sharpness. A long, sharp wire helix worm will neatly pierce even a dry cork without breaking off pieces and is guaranteed to grip and remove the cork whole.

Put the point of the worm in the centre of the cork. Do not worry too much about aligning the worm parallel to the bottle‘s neck. It is more important to get the worm centered on the cork. As the worm is turned into the cork in a clockwise direction, it will begin to right itself as it goes deeper. You need to stop when there is only one turn of the worm. Bend the handle-lever down to allow opening the fulcrum. Place the fulcrum’s notch on the edge of the bottle and, on the hand gripping the bottle, use the index finger to hold the fulcrum to the bottle, you can use the other hand to lift the handle-lever and raise the cork about one-half inch. Turn the screw that last turn and finish lifting and removing the cork.

That’s all there is to it… the next part’s much easier, pour and enjoy!

Waiter’s friends come in all different forms, you can purchase and find cheap waiter’s friend for a couple of pounds, but it is also possible to obtain more expensive looking, state of the art waiter’s friends, which are fantastic for gift giving. To make waiter’s friends even more special you can get them engraved with a personalised message or a personalised name, this is possible from our site; engraved gifts.

www.WineGifts4U.co.uk using technology to survive the downturn in the economy

October 28, 2008

Watching the news, listening to the radio and reading newspapers in recent times can make you feel quite depressed, especially with the constant reference to the downturn in economy, recession and the credit crunch. Vin De Terre Ltd was established eleven years ago and began trading as a wholesaler in beers, wines and spirits supplying pubs, nightclubs and restaurants within a fifty mile radius of Spalding, Lincolnshire. One of the products we supplied to our restaurant customers was personalised labelled wine. The restaurants could select particular wines from our range to add to their wine lists. We would then personalised the labels on these wines for the restaurant ourselves by adding the company’s logo, an image and a personalised message promoting their firm based on the restaurants requirements. Personalised labelled wine was a great way for restaurants to boost their business by establishing a corporate image, thus impressing their clientele. In order to produce these personalised wines for restaurants who were usually on a budget, we developed a manufacturing process where customers could order the amount of wines required at a competitive price as opposed to having to purchase the personalised wines in bulk, giving them an added benefit.

About two years ago, we took our wine labelling process and developed a website, www.WineGifts4U.co.uk to offer personalised labelled wine gifts to individuals throughout the UK looking for original gift ideas online for christmas presents and birthday gifts. The unique thing about our site is that customers can see exactly what their personalised wine gift will look like before they place their order. The customer can use the design your own wine label tool to add a message, an image or picture to a wine label and then select single or multiple wines to attach their personalised labels onto, alternatively customers can select one of our wine label designs created for every special occasion, including birthdays, wedding anniversaries and christmas and then add a message to this chosen label. Since launching the personalised wine gift website, we have added a multitude of other personalisable products, for example, design your own t shirts, design your own mugs, engraved gifts and personalised champagne, just to mention a few gift ideas, which make fabulous birthday gifts and christmas presents. Our growth has been aided by grants and support from Business Link and the constant development we make to the site has equally contributed to the website’s success. In the past year, the wholesale business has suffered incredibly with turnover down by 25% on last year thanks to decreasing disposible wages and the smoking ban. However, fortunately the website business has compensated for the loss in turnover and profits from the wholesale side of the business.

Vin De Terre Ltd has invested in web and information technology and continues to grow by finding new products and new routes to market through http://www.WineGifts4U.co.uk . The work the company has done recently was recognised by winning the Lincolnshire Free Press Business “Best Use of Technology” Award earlier this month for the second year running. Our business is flourishing daily with orders coming in from the length and breadth of the UK, as well as from as far away as Fiji and New Zealand. Our success and continued development in new markets shows that small businesses out there can also succeed despite the current negative economic climate.Visit the website to find affordable christmas gifts over Christmas 2008-09.

Christmas Gifts and Shopping For All The Family

September 24, 2008

Christmas 2008 is coming fast, get your gifts in one place for all your family and friends.

For Christmas Gifts and Christmas presents this christmas, visit: http://www.WineGifts4U.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=97

For Christmas Gifts for Him Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=92

For Christmas Gifts For Her Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=96

For Christmas Gifts For Mum Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=99

For Christmas Gifts For Dad Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=101

For Christmas Gifts For Children Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=246

For Christmas Gifts For Grandma Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=245

For Christmas Gifts For Granddad Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=103

For Stocking Fillers Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=267

The Easy Way To Fold A T Shirt – Explained

September 23, 2008

The easy way to fold a t shirt – explained. The video below is an explanation to our previously posted the easy way to fold a t shirt’. Hopefully, if the other video was too quick, this one will explain what’s happening, so you can fold a t shirt quickly every time!

The Easy Way To Fold a T-Shirt Video

September 23, 2008

Are you one of us whose washing piles up and the folding and ironing seems never ending? Well, we’ve come up with a video to show you how to fold a t shirt within seconds to reduce the time you need to spend slaving over your washed and dried clothes.

We hope you find our easy way “how to fold a t shirt in seconds” video useful, but if it was a bit too quick for you and you need a bit of an explanation please take a look at our “easy way to fold a t shirt  – explained” video!

http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/design_your_own_tshirt.php?catid=179

http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/design_your_own_tshirt_detail.php?catid=179#initial

How to wrap a bottle of wine as a christmas gift

September 23, 2008

We at www.WineGifts4U.co.uk are constantly looking at innovative gift ideas to add to our portfolio, but we’d also like to give something back to those buying gifts from us in a fun and interesting way. Our gifts are affordable, but in these difficult economic times making a gift look good can get expensive. We have therefore created a video to show you how to wrap a bottle of personalised wine with wrapping paper, a bow and some foil allowing you to create a beautiful gift on the outside as well as on the inside without breaking the bank.

Please do let us know how you got on using the video to wrap your bottles of personalised wines for your friends and family this christmas.

http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=97

Gift giving – Why do we give gifts?

September 20, 2008
It seems like gift giving is an expected ritual, the act of going out and purchasing a gift has therefore become second nature to the majority of individuals. For example, you know it is so and so’s birthday on this date and therefore you need to ensure you have purchased (whether that be spending time browsing online stores or physically walking around shops) and wrapped a gift to give them. There are so many special occasions, the list is endless; birthdays, wedding anniversarys, anniversaries, valentine’s day, christmas, new year, weddings, christenings, graduations, passing a driving test, passing exams, having a baby, beginning university, house warmings and you probably realised that all these occasions usually require a gift to be given. My special occasions list, which is by no means exhaustive we can see that any event, big or small may require a gift to be purchase, wrapped and then given. 
 
Gifts are given as a way of showing the recipient that they deserve something in acknowledgement for the day or event that is causing some celebration. Gifts are given as a way of making the recipient feel special, loved, happy and in some ways also valued. Giving a gift symbolises that the gift giver knows and understands the recipient, as hopefully the gift will be relevent and of value to the person it is given to. Traditionally, flowers, chocolates, money and wines are given as gifts, but in today’s society where technnologies and ideas are constantly developing, it is possible to use your imagination and find gifts that are bound to make the recipient truly happy and grateful for the time and effort you have spent on finding the perfect gift for them.
 
Giving gifts should be a choice to see the happiness they bring to a loved one’s face in acknowledgement of a special occasion or event, gift giving should not be seen as an obligation, even though tradition and society may have made it so.

Personalised Mugs and Design Your Own Mugs – How To Get The Most From Your Designing Your Own Mugs

August 7, 2008
Obviously, we want you to be happy with your final personalised mug designs, you create on the website, www.WineGifts4U.co.uk, so we have put together a few tips and ideas to help you along the way…(hopefully!)
We believe the three key areas you need to look at before submitting your personalised mugs are photo quality, image size and positioning of personalised message.
 
Photo Quality:
 
Uploading a photo or an image onto your personalised mugs is a fairly simple task, using our interactive ‘design your own’ mug tool, which will take you through all the steps of designing your own mug. The main thing to consider though, in order to get the best out of your personalised mug (and be totally impressed) with the final product is to upload the best quality and sized photo or image.
 
To get the best image on your personalised mugs, may we suggest that you upload a digital photograph or an image from a modern digital camera, which was set on the high quality or fine setting?
 
You can upload a scanned image or photo onto your personalised mugs. The quality of this may be slightly reduced, but we are able to do some minor magic, to help you get the best from your image. If you would prefer us NOT to retouch your image or photo at all, please let us know. We won’t mind!
 
Using a photo uploaded from a camera phone may also not bring you the best quality, but if this is the only image you’ve got, give it a try and we’ll see what we can do.
If we think the image or photo you have provided for your personalised mugs just won’t work, we’ll let you know!
 
Image Size
 
You can upload images and personalised messages onto one, the other or both sides of the mugs. Portrait and landscape images are both great, but how great they look on the mug are dependent on whether you would like the same image on both sides or a different image on each side. Portrait and portrait images work really well, but portrait and landscape images don’t look so great (but are still possible to do).
 
We use the whole image on the personalised mugs, so please ensure you want all of the image on the mugs before uploading it. If you need to edit the image before placing it on your personalised mugs, we suggest using Picasa, a free image editing software from google, http://picasa.google.com .
 
Personalised Message
 
The message often looks best just above, or just below an image ( this is if you wish to have both an image and text on one or both sides of the personalised mug). If you place the text over the image, it usually doen’t work, as it is very hard to read the text. If you are just using text, centering the text on each mug side looks brilliant as does using the largest font size you can to fit the space. Please make sure you can see all of your personalised message before submitting your final personalised mug, because if you can’t see the text on the mug on your design, you might not be able to see it on the final product (although again, here we can use a bit of imagination and minor magic!)
 
We have put together these few tips to help you get the best out of your design your own mug experience. If you have any further questions or queries, please do get in touch, we would be more than happy to help!