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I must check my calendar

2004-05-19: If the usual type of wall or desk calendar doesn't suit your tastes, or you want to send a gift that will last the whole year long, Yearbox(TM) can supply personalised calendars with a customer's choice of photographs.

Customers can pick from a variety of styles in both desk and wall calendars on the company website, The standard calendars will take 15 photographs, containing 13 months and the front and back covers. For those who want to plan ahead that little bit more, there is also an eighteen month option available. An extra personal touch can be added by adding a caption to each photograph, and, for the wall calendar, any number of custom dates (such as birthdays and anniversaries) can be added. In addition, the customer can select the holidays to be shown.

By allowing the customer to start their 12 or 18 month calendar at any month of the year, Yearbox have cleverly circumvented the seasonal nature of ordinary calendar sales. You could send to far-off relations a calendar containing photos from a June birthday party, with July as the first of the 12 months.

The desk calendars come in two sizes - the smaller is about diskette size, and the larger is similar in size to a CD jewel case. Every calendar page laminated for durability.

Yearbox have certainly covered their bases when it comes to giving customers options on how to submit material. In addition to an online ordering facility where pictures can be uploaded, the company also gives customers the option of mailing their photographs on a disk. If the customer does not have a digital camera or scanner, Yearbox offer a scanning service for an additional fee.

When an order is received, the customer will be sent a proof by email within two working days of the photos being received. This helps to ensure that the calendar as designed fits the customers requirements.

The calendars vary in price according to the number ordered. At the time of writing, the smallest desk calendar costs $12.45 (minimum quantity for all calendars is five), while its big brother costs $14.45. Wall calendars work out more expensive, as there is a $25 flat fee, plus $26.95 per calendar. There is a sliding scale of deductions where larger quantities are ordered.

Yearbox have special pricing for businesses wanting to make promotional calendars and for nonprofit organizations wanting to sell calendars as a fundraiser. Details of the separate prices for such batches are on the company website.

Yearbox will also store your photos securely (not accessible from the web) for six months after the order is completed, in case you want to order additional copies.

These personalised calendars are an interesting concept, and Yearbox appear to have put significant thought into making their product accessible to as many people as possible. On balance, the desk calendars are probably the more attractive option from a customer point of view, since there is not the same fixed charge that applies to the wall version. Now, I need to mark my holidays....

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