Calling diabetics, peanut allergies, "No M&M" people!!

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,857
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
Dawn & I started putting peanut m&m's in each order just to give our customers a little more than they ordered and "leave a sweet taste in their mouth" when they think of ExoticBlanks!! It has proven VERY popular and it will continue in spite of several price increases in the peanut M&M's.

One shortcoming has been how to continue to differentiate ourselves from competitors (ten cent candies don't do much) and yet accommodate any health issues our customers may have. So we are looking for alternatives to introduce in 2020.

We are asking for your suggestions, then we will run a poll, based on what you suggest.

By way of background, we have done some research and we were thinking of coffee packets (single serving or pot packs), Almond packages (suggested for type 2 diabetics). Other nuts, again does this interfere with "peanut allergies"??

As you can see, we are not finding THE DEFINITIVE answer, so we are asking for your input!! (Price point has to be under $2.00 per package)

What can you suggest?

Thanks,
Ed & Dawn
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
9,395
Location
Medina, Ohio
My wife suggested: "A 4 flavor box of Godiva Truffles. Not enough room? Leave out the penturning stuff and just send the chocolates!" Since she always swipes your peanut M & M's (or my daughter), her vote is more important than mine.

Hmnnn... Mini Kringles... Cheese Curds... ;) Small 6 pack of oreos or other cookies. Sugarless gum, Beef jerkey sticks.

I sincerely believe ANY added snack is a wonderful gesture and is appreciated even if given to someone else due to dietary or personal preferences.
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,857
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
My wife suggested: "A 4 flavor box of Godiva Truffles. Not enough room? Leave out the penturning stuff and just send the chocolates!" Since she always swipes your peanut M & M's (or my daughter), her vote is more important than mine.

Hmnnn... Mini Kringles... Cheese Curds... ;) Small 6 pack of oreos or other cookies. Sugarless gum, Beef jerkey sticks.Can

I sincerely believe ANY added snack is a wonderful gesture and is appreciated even if given to someone else due to dietary or personal preferences.
Can most diabetics eat cookies? Part of my problem is lack of knowledge of the acceptable parameters?

We get a NUMBER of "no M&M" notes.
 

CREID

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
2,934
Location
Vancouver, wa
All diabetics are different, some can stand candy and some can't. Some can stand cookies and some can't. Me personally I can stand candy and cookies but the cookies will raise my blood sugar more than candy. Why, I asked this of my doctor and he said everybody's body is different.
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,857
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
Chocolate M&Ms, Peanut Butter M&Ms, Carmel M&Ms?

There's a theme here
We HAVE chocolate M&M's. As I understand it, they don't work for diabetics. But part of my problem is not knowing what type of diabetes our customer may have. So, I am looking for as close as possible to a "universal" solution--ok for peanut allergies and all types of diabetics--
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,857
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
All diabetics are different, some can stand candy and some can't. Some can stand cookies and some can't. Me personally I can stand candy and cookies but the cookies will raise my blood sugar more than candy. Why, I asked this of my doctor and he said everybody's body is different.
I thought most diabetics had to control sugar. So, I was hoping for a substitute that would work "universally". Since I am very lucky and very healthy, I need direction on this one!!
 

CREID

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
2,934
Location
Vancouver, wa
I thought most diabetics had to control sugar. So, I was hoping for a substitute that would work "universally". Since I am very lucky and very healthy, I need direction on this one!!
I am a type 2 and I do have to control sugar, I also take meds. It's not really about limiting sugar but carbohydrates. Controlling how much you take in and how often. Think about it, sugar is a carb, so is beans and fruit and pasta and some vegetables are high in carbs but may be also high in fibre and so many other things we eat. Type 1's are more strict usually but I have a friend that is a type 1 and he does well on some things and another friend has to fight it everyday constantly, it is just different for each individual.
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
11,672
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
This thread is only slightly more than an hour old ... and it has generated intense interest for a Saturday afternoon .

My preference was always for an extra "Freebee" blank or two .... or other pen-making necessity. . Those were the good ol' pre-M&M "treats" !!!

But I fully realize that is a more expensive (not to mention .... troublesome) option.

However, you did ask for opinions and that is mine.

I have never been much inclined towards sugary treats, even on Halloween as a kid !! . My wife has been getting the M&M's .....
.... but only if she doesn't pop the question, "What ??? . Another order from Exotic Blanks ???"

I do like nuts, however !! ;)
 

gimpy

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2012
Messages
1,960
Location
Danville, Pa
I have Pierinitis (spelling) I can’t have seeds or nuts
But my grand daughter loves the peanut m&m’s
It’s the jester that counts
 

John Eldeen

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
414
Location
Sacramento, CA
Your concern speaks volumes about you and your business. With that being said there is no way you will be able to make everyone happy. If peanut M&Ms helped with your marketing and is still working then I would not change a thing.
Also my wife will not be pleased if the M&Ms go way. She is a big supporter of M&Ms.😁
 

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
2,021
Location
Washington, IN
I am diabetic. I eat the M&Ms. If you are worried about the sugar killing me, you could go all natural. Mammoth Cave twist chewing tobacco comes to mind. Though more in the medicinal line those little bottles of whisky would work, too.
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,857
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
This thread is only slightly more than an hour old ... and it has generated intense interest for a Saturday afternoon .

My preference was always for an extra "Freebee" blank or two .... or other pen-making necessity. . Those were the good ol' pre-M&M "treats" !!!

But I fully realize that is a more expensive (not to mention .... troublesome) option.

However, you did ask for opinions and that is mine.

I have never been much inclined towards sugary treats, even on Halloween as a kid !! . My wife has been getting the M&M's .....
.... but only if she doesn't pop the question, "What ??? . Another order from Exotic Blanks ???"

I do like nuts, however !! ;)

The last two years we did "freebees", there was not one "thank-you" nor did anyone post a pen using a blank and give us credit. It was EXPECTED and several were put on the market on IAP and other places. Are you real pleased when you find out a friend "re-gifts" your Christmas present to him??

With M&M's we get several thank-yous each week. More important, when we get comments about problems with the products we sell, nearly every one will start with "I just received my order, thank you for the M's--my wife loves them" (or words to that effect). Also, we have now tied in the "M&M" with our mix and match pricing. Again, it works as a trigger to remind customers of the GOOD things that differentiate ExoticBlanks from the other possible sources.

From a cost perspective, we could get lots of blanks that are cheaper than the size bags of m;'s we are using.
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,857
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
Your concern speaks volumes about you and your business. With that being said there is no way you will be able to make everyone happy. If peanut M&Ms helped with your marketing and is still working then I would not change a thing.
Also my wife will not be pleased if the M&Ms go way. She is a big supporter of M&Ms.😁

M&M's will NOT be going away. Possibly they will be smaller with the very small orders. But we do WANT to please all the people, even though we know that is impossible--it's a good goal.
 

PBorowick

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
232
Location
Portland, Oregon
Ok, my vote is for gummy bears!! No peanuts, no chocolate.....just sugar, gelatin, water and flavoring!
Don't get me wrong, I love peanut M&Ms but these might be a good alternative. Although I may be alone on this one.
The Haribo Gummy Bears come in little packages.
 

TonyL

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
7,334
Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Gummy somethings, mini Life saver roles, breath mints, sealed fortune cookies, hair to cover my bold spot in the back :)??

BTW, my son is a Type 1 diabetic (his blood sugar is under control). When he lived home and I received a box of kits and blanks from you, he would say, "Nice blanks, can I gave the M&Ms!?" LOL. I do understand the temptations and sensitivity to those treats though AND I rather him not eat them - buts he' an adult, so it is up to him.

I rather a merchant spare the costs and differentiate themselves with fair prices, a great variety, and excellent service. My experience is that Exotics does all three.

I don't eat much candy, my wife is allergic to nuts, and as I mentioned, my son (not living home any more) is a diabetic; your candy never went to waste :)

I don't know what some of your blanks, refills, etc, cost you , but judging from all of the aforementioned diet restrictions, maybe an inexpensive blank (wood or material identified) is a way to differentiate yourself and get someone to turn something he/she never turned before. Other than that, I really don't know. Your extras are not why I buy from you (or any other supplier). I look at it as something you didn't have to do, and I am appreciative for the thought as I am sure all are.

PS. May create too much work, but maybe a free raffle ticket, where you have a drawing once a month?, quarter?, year? for gift certificate. You call out the number via email and the winner sends you an images of the ticket. Even easier...simply randomly select a order number and that customer wins. Just throwing out some ideas.
 

Jim Nugent

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
61
Location
Keller, TX
Ed: I have been remiss in not sending a "Thanks" note to you and Dawn for your extraordinary products. I am new to this hobby, and have yet to post any pics of my work. That will probably change soon, as I get more confident in my pens. When I post a pen made from one of your blanks, I will credit your business as the source. In the meantime, please keep sending the Peanut M&M. My wife loves them, and it gives me some cover when she sees how much I am spending on this new obsession. Thanks, Jim Nugent
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,857
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
Ed: I have been remiss in not sending a "Thanks" note to you and Dawn for your extraordinary products. I am new to this hobby, and have yet to post any pics of my work. That will probably change soon, as I get more confident in my pens. When I post a pen made from one of your blanks, I will credit your business as the source. In the meantime, please keep sending the Peanut M&M. My wife loves them, and it gives me some cover when she sees how much I am spending on this new obsession. Thanks, Jim Nugent
Thanks Jim!! We thoroughly expected wives to enjoy the M's and to make it easier for guys to purchase because the wife knows she gets a little something too!!

MANY years ago (a decade or so) there were a lot of guys making blanks in their kitchens and selling on IAP. In those days, nearly every posted pen was credited to some vendor. It was in that context that I was disappointed when our blanks were sold, instead.

Mal will remember those days, which is why I mention it.
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
11,672
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
@ed4copies

**** The last two years we did "freebees", there was not one "thank-you" ..... ****
You are wrong, Ed, in making the statement above enclosed between the **** ..... **** . I was always diligent in thanking you, Ed.

I am including excerpts from an email that I sent to Exotics on Jun 25/15 expressing my sincere thanks to you and Dawn for the Freebee blanks which I received from you in an order just prior to that date. . That email says, in part, (and I quote) :
.....
BEGINNING OF QUOTE FROM MY EMAIL TO EXOTIC BLANKS ON JUN 25/15

"I have just opened the box .... all those freebees ... WOW ! Do I ever appreciate your generosity and thoughtfulness !!!!!!
.....
And the box got here in record time too ! Gee !! WOW !! THANK YOU SO VERY, VERY MUCH !!!
.....
I have made the M3 pen ....

I am having a pen show (not a sale) at the Public Library ....

I will send you pics of my display after it is set up. The M3 pen will be front and center ....

Thank you so much again !!!!

Mal"

END OF QUOTE FROM MY EMAIL TO EXOTIC BLANKS ON JUN 25/15
.....

I can forward the full text of the email if you wish.

I always sent you an email acknowledging receipt of an order, and I always thanked you for your great service and for freebees.

My only purpose in making this post is to give you a friendly reminder, Ed. . Started buying from you in 2011. . I've sold very few pens, none on IAP.
 
Last edited:

deeceedub

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
87
Location
Brownfield, TX
The M&Ms are great. Just got my most recent order in the mail today, and when our 5-year-old grandson made a move for the candy my husband grabbed them and said, “Nope! Those are for road trips!”

The candy is great, but is definitely secondary to the customer service, selection, and pricing that we enjoy from EB. If you change, or -heaven forbid- discontinue the M&Ms, you will still be my go-to for supplies.

Any chance we will see the return of the Mystery Boxes?
 

JonathanF1968

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
128
Location
Massachusetts
THC gummies!

Seriously, though, any gesture will be appreciated, and also, will garner some whining from somebody somewhere. You can't win 100%. I wouldn't lose any sleep at all about this.

My family's allergies include chocolate, nuts, and ginger. But the family rule is also that we can keep all these things in the house so that non-allergic people can enjoy them. We are just careful about labeling them and informing each other what is likely to kill them. When I received my first M&Ms from Exotic Blanks, I was on a strict diet and simply gave the M&Ms to a family member who would enjoy them. I have since commenced with snarfing them down myself.

My original pen supplier was Woodturningz, and was always delighted by the simple penny candy that they include. Then, I mostly switched to Exotic Blanks in large part because of your helpful advice on this very platform, plus certain specific products that you carry that they don't. The M&Ms always struck me as a grand gesture that I hope doesn't cut much into your bottom line. It is fun, but more than what I think is necessary. And I want you to stay in business forever.

I still sometimes order Woodturningz, which has a good selection of products and also has great customer service. They once made a mistake on an order and immediately sent me a free blank of their choosing to make it up to me. It was a nice gesture, but also a waste, as I have zero interest in the type of blank that they sent me. Free shipping on my next order would have been more meaningful.

Anyway, I care way more about your exceptional customer service and well-curated product selection, and especially your generosity with technical advice on this site, than I do the M&Ms.
 
Last edited:

JonathanF1968

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
128
Location
Massachusetts
P.S. To your specific questions, peanuts are not true nuts (i.e., tree nuts), and different people are allergic to each. My wife can't eat tree nuts but can eat peanuts. And as a coffee enthusiast, I am unlikely to consume the kind of coffee that you are likely to include in the order. I'm very particular about my coffee consumption.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
1,434
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
@ed4copies



You are wrong, Ed, in making the statement above enclosed between the **** ..... **** . I was always diligent in thanking you, Ed.

I am including excerpts from an email that I sent to Exotics on Jun 25/15 expressing my sincere thanks to you and Dawn for the Freebee blanks which I received from you in an order just prior to that date. . That email says, in part, (and I quote) :
.....
BEGINNING OF QUOTE FROM MY EMAIL TO EXOTIC BLANKS ON JUN 25/15

"I have just opened the box .... all those freebees ... WOW ! Do I ever appreciate your generosity and thoughtfulness !!!!!!
.....
And the box got here in record time too ! Gee !! WOW !! THANK YOU SO VERY, VERY MUCH !!!
.....
I have made the M3 pen ....

I am having a pen show (not a sale) at the Public Library ....

I will send you pics of my display after it is set up. The M3 pen will be front and center ....

Thank you so much again !!!!

Mal"

END OF QUOTE FROM MY EMAIL TO EXOTIC BLANKS ON JUN 25/15
.....

I can forward the full text of the email if you wish.

I always sent you an email acknowledging receipt of an order, and I always thanked you for your great service and for freebees.

My only purpose in making this post is to give you a friendly reminder, Ed. . Started buying from you in 2011. . I've sold very few pens, none on IAP.
Gotta agree with Mal on this one. After my first order I sent an email to you thanking you for the M&M's when I had requested a product piece be replaced that was not plated correctly. I think that was late 2017 or early 2018. As to what to put in the package, I'm Type 2 and I know Jack Daniels, or Dickels or any distilled spirit, has no Carbs, sugar or really no nutritional value what so ever. Just saying.
 

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
539
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
Ed, the word that comes to mind is "lagniappe." The Cajuns - I'm married to one these past 45 years - appropriated this term for adding a little extra which is unexpected. I appreciate your M&Ms, Chads Mott Fruit Gummys, and Ernie's turning blank. There is no lagniappe tied to CSUSA orders, but they do have a customer accumulated points program - so that could be lagniappe.

As stated earlier, there is no way your - and others' - gift of appreciation will be embraced by all. I'm a type II diabetic and do, from time to time, indulge in candy treats. But your M&Ms are immediately appropriated by my wife, with no discussion, no "ifs", no "ands", no "or's" or no "buts".

So my point is this: it is your (or Chad's or Ernie's, or Greenacres2's or TonyL's or others') act of kindness and good will, and I doubt if anyone throws them away. Perhaps not all appreciate the act of lagniappe, given my cynical view of where our society has generally devolved, but that, I suspect, is greatly outweighed by those who do appreciate such acts, spoken or unspoken, acknowledged or unacknowledged. And by asking for customers' input, I feel you are turning your lagniappe into an expected freebie to automatically be added to the order. So, just surprise us, a token of your choice, no token, either way, we will continue to order so long as we get customer service, products, and prices that meet or expectations.

Don
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
11,672
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
@ed4copies

Ed, the fact of the matter is this: you are already the vendor of choice for so many people that you don't need to do anything at all.

You already have the allegiance of so many that you don't need to make any changes whatsoever.

It's perfectly obvious that people love getting M&Ms from you, so just carry on with them if that's what you want to do.

And, oh, by the way .... what about your giving us the BEST prices, the BEST selection, FANTASTIC service, TERRIFIC advice, dozens (hundreds?) of helpful tutorials, etc., etc., etc. .

And, also, another big thing you do .... your participation on IAP means a lot to so many of us. . I mean that in all sincerity, Ed !!!!! . You're one of us.

Your mix-n-match pricing right across your outstanding selection of pen kits is a huge attraction that no other vendor has ..... you're the winner !!!!!

You could even cut out the M&Ms and that would make no difference to your client base, but I know you said you aren't going to do that.

Finally, you have evidence that we all highly recommend Exotic Blanks to newbies and all other pen-makers.

You don't have to work to win our loyalty .... you already have that !!!!

We greatly appreciate your conscientiousness in wanting to please us even more, but, man alive, you do so much it is ABSOLUTELY GREAT !

I've spent many tens of thousands of dollars buying from Exotic Blanks .... the reasons are listed above !!!! . You know your're GREAT, Ed !!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING !!!

Rest assured that we are grateful and our support of Exotic Blanks will continue for as long as we are physically capable of making pens.

I am 76 and I know my days are numbered; I have a large backlog of your pen kits to make; but I am still with you all the way !!!!!
 
Last edited:

Woodchipper

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
3,292
Location
Cleveland, TN
Keep giving out the M&Ms. All M&Ms are made here in Cleveland, TN and are a great boost to the local economy! My second vote would be for a pint of ice cream but keeping it frozen would be a logistical nightmare.
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

southernclay

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
2,120
Location
Dawsonville, GA
Hard to win on this one Ed. I’m gluten free so if there was a Twix, Kit Kat or cookie I wouldn’t be able to eat it. Wouldn’t complain about it either. Getting something for free beyond isn’t why I’ve ever ordered from you but the M’s are my favorite so they don’t hurt haha. There are so many allergies, sensitivities etc these days it’s tough. Beyond a check box for candy, blank or mini bottle of spirits I think keep it as you’ve got it.
 
Top Bottom