If you have kids under 12, chances are you are, or soon will be, collecting Woolworths collectors cards yet again.
So what is the new series? This time Woolworths are focusing on something a lot more related to what they do. Fruit and vegies, with a recipe book album. They produced stickers instead of actual cards, so it will be interesting to see how that goes down. I know with my kids we will lose some swaps due to extra stickers being used in other ways (like stuck to their drawers or my pool table), but maybe that's part of the point to ensure we all buy more and swap less.
Woolworths have made some shrewd moves like making the fruit and vegies into pretty cool super heroes and engaging the kids more in the activites available in the recipe book. Health consious parents can also get behind this with full confidence, as it is all about healthy choices for kids reminding them to 'eat the rainbow'.
It remains to be seen if this series will take off like the others, it doesn't seem to have the same hipe yet, but it is early days.That being said my wife and I are already getting pressure from the kids to do all our shopping at Woolies so we "don't miss out on the free stickers". "Free?" Ah the innocence of children.
Below I have compiled some hints and tips that I have gained through four collecting campaigns for the original Aussie Animals, the Christmas animals, the Dreamworks collection and the current Jamies Garden.
Tip 1) Start Early If you get sucked into this every time then don't mess about with a vague idea of getting into it later. When the promotion starts, get that album and get cracking.
Tip 2) Get connected Find out who else is collecting and form a network. Family and friends are obvious but what about workmates (I work for a large organisation and have been swapping on the internal forums). Neighbours are also great, as well as parents at your kids schools and kindies.
Don't forget to ask people you know with no kids. Chances are they are saying no thanks when they are offered stickers, when they could be collecting them for you.
If you are in a smaller community pick a checkout person and let them know you are collecting. Some will give you extras (sometimes a lot) and I have heard of some that keep them aside from customers who don't want them and pass them on to anyone who is collecting. Don't be afraid to ask for extras too, they will probably say no but it costs nothing to ask. Of course the swap days that Woolies hold are also great but are a bit of a bun rush.
Tip 3) Be organised Write out a list of stickers you need and carry it with you along with spares. You never know when someone will want an impromptu swap.
Tip 4) Try not to get sucked in
There are a lot of other periphery merchandise that goes along with these collections. Personally I would try and avoid all the extras, although I don't always win these debates and we ended up with some extras yet again.
Tip 5) Remember who this is for and have fun
Keep in mind that this is for your kids, so keep them engaged. It is surprisingly easy to get carried away and make it your personal mission and leave the kids behind. Make sure they open the stickers and do the first check to see if they have any new ones they need, and let them trade at school (if your school allows this). Hunting up a hard to get sticker is just as exciting for them as it is for us adults (or maybe it's just me).
Finally, be generous.
If you have the full set, give your spares to someone who can use them. That was how my family completed several of our sets and helped others to complete theirs.
Spot on Andrew, especially your final comment about being generous. After my daughter finished her Dreamworks collection (and I just kept on shopping) she would often take bags of cards to school. The kids would pounce, but she was so happy just to give them away. She is really loving the interactivity of the Jamie's Garden stickers.