Box toppers for other businesses

Does anyone distribute box toppers for local businesses? Do you charge for the service? Barter? We have a local business we are feeling good about working with, and are trying to figure out a reasonable pricing to establish for distribution. We don’t want to make a killing, but do want to get a reasonable sum for our efforts and use of our customer pool.

We will also be developing a price structure for design, B/W copying and cutting work since we have a digital duplicator in house. I don’t see it as a huge profit center, but more and more businesses might give it a go in our largely untapped market.

IMO, unless you guys are really “tight”…it may be more prudent to sell space via magnetic signs on your delivery driver’s cars (those flexible magnetic ones, not car toppers), instead of the advertising on your boxes being other people’s businesses/services.

Our customers love having coupons on their box tops, and I think that if you advertised someone else’s business on those box toppers, it could end up foul if someone has a big screw up with their business or has a bad reputation you may or may not know about.

Just my .02 for the tank.

We have four coupons on our box-topper. Over the years we have sold one of the four spots to another business for $$ or for trade when someone has asked. We have never had four of our own offers that all work equally well, so when we have done it (maybe 4 times in 9 years) we drop the one that produced the least last time. The $600 covers about 1/3 of our printing costs.

We print about 40,000 at a time and have charged $600 for the position which comes less than one cent apiece. The results have been mixed for the other businesses.

We print a lot of Post-its that people use in this way. I have one customer on the east coast that has their potential advertisers call us and order the Post-it notes themselves. I have another customer that sells the box space and the Post-its and marks up the cost of the notes by 15%. I don’t know what the going rate for box space is, but it seems to be a popular way to bring in some added revenue. It seems like most of the ads like this are for health/fitness/beauty. Like a local Karate class, a Spa with a discount off of facials…

Another idea - one guy in Washington needed some remodel work done, he printed notes for the remodel company and put them on his box in trades.

PM me if you want me to e-mail a scan of any of these ideas…

bodegahwy and NoteAds,
I love your concepts. I’ll file them away. Right now, we are a smaller fish than that and would probably be talking about adding a half-page copied page to our boxes along with (under) what we already have going out. We are not a coupon driven economy at our place, so not so much coupons going out every week.

This would be a low tech, low cost variety thing . … if we could demand the big bucks, we would!! this is a ‘help the local business person’ plus get a little back for our troubles sort of thing. She is a long-standing customer and probably not a high rate of return on her effort. It is an insurance sales person, and trying to reach out to more customers. “She won’t embarrass us, but she’s not our agent” sort of thing.

All of your input so far has been quite useful in figuring this out. I appreciate it very much. Anyone else keep the ideas coming, no matter how big or small. While we aren;t printing full color glossy flyers, bodegahwy’s idea did kick into gear some ideas to use.

Is it a business that could advertise for you at their [lace? If so just do a trade. I did that with a local quick lube company. I had a coupon made that they could hang off the mirror in the car they just serviced and they brought me coupons that we put on our boxes. This way you dont have to try to figure out what it is worth and you bothe win.

I would be worried about the insurance agent who is a regular and gets a pizza box with his competitors flyer on it. Leaves a bad taste in the mouth before they even touch the pizza.

I know you are big on community involvement so why not offer to box top “community” type events if they bring in flyers for free. As for being a coupon community…I think when we offer a box top with a good special…most of us have the intent of using it…do we? NO but when we go to order we are brought to mind the great coupon we were gonna use. Or cleaning out the junk drawer and a coupon being there…again brings your name into their mind. I don’t think we box top so muchh to get the coupon returned it is to leave and impression and make an impression.

I would stay away from businesses. Like the other poster said you are taking on the reputation of the one you are advertsing.

Here is another way to look at it…would you buy flour or pizza sauce advertising one of your competitors?

2 more cents…take it for what it is worth!


The coupons we have run were for a hot air balloon operator, rafting trips and for snowshoe rentals. Not much risk of another customer being bothered as there is really only one hot air ballon operator around here… But I would be hesitant to run a coupon for a business that competed with one of my business relationships (like my insurance agent) and I sure would not like to see Dominos delivering to their office!

Lately we’ve done quite a few for Tax preparers…

we always make room for small businesses and its really paid off in cross promotions!
we dont do tax preparers because we worked out a deal with liberty tax they bought ALL our pizza boxes for january and febuary and had them custom printed (wow did we save a bundle)