Letter from Santa – Sealed by Santa

letter from santaNothing says “Christmas” like Santa Claus and Sarah Blain has her business, Sealed by Santa, a company that sends children a letter from Santa, in the Shark Tank for the 2016 Holiday Special. Blain takes an old concept – the traditional letter from Santa – and brings it into the 21st century, complete with video! Instead of a hastily scribbled note written by parents after midnight, Blain sends an elegant looking letter, personalized for your child, written in fancy fonts on aged parchment paper. The postmark is from the North Pole, too.

Parents choose from about a dozen letter themes – there's even one for teens – and can add items like an “evidence kit,” ornaments, Santa's secret key, even reindeer food. Letters are $10.95, all other items are under $30. To date, she has a lot of customers and the reviews are nearly unanimous: Sealed by Santa is a hit.

There are many other businesses that deliver a letter from Santa at Christmas time, one company began the practice in 1952. Pricing for other companies is in line with Blain's pricing; some are a bit higher, some are lower. With so much competition in the Santa letter business, Blain probably wants a Shark to inject some “Shark Tank Effect” (along with some Christmas spirit) into her business.

My Take on a Letter From Santa

I did the Santa thing for years. With a 12-year-old in the house, this is probably our last year for Santa, at least until grandchildren come along. Like many other parents, I wrote countless late night letters from Santa and left “evidence” like an empty glass of milk and cookie crumbs along with the all important note.

When we lived in the Boston area, there was a local woman in Framingham who took all the letters addressed to Santa from the local post office and answered each one. She used a combination of handwriting and a Xeroxed sheet with “stock” verbiage. While her letters weren't as fancy as Blain's, the effect was the same with the kids. They LOVED their letter from Santa.

Since I am a sentimental sucker at Christmas time and I know the magic a personalized letter can bring, I am IN with Sealed by Santa.

Do Sharks play Santa and Invest?

This pitch is a meatball over the plate to get a deal. This isn't a complicated business, but it's a business that has a huge pool of customers each year. The Sharks would be Grinchy if they give Blain a hard time. It may not have the potential for tens of millions in sales, but getting a Shark on board would boost sales for years to come.

The valuation is key. If Blain is smart, she'll come in with a sub-$100K ask for a reasonable equity split – something around 20%. While giving up a big slice to a Shark may cut her margins, she'll more than make up for it with increased exposure. Lori could take this to QVC and blow it up overnight. Any other Shark would add good marketing clout to this business, too. I predict Sealed by Santa rides out of the Tank with a sleigh full of cash!

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

Comments

  1. Maureen Shelton says:

    This post is regarding the company “Sealed By Santa” which was just featured on the t.v. show Shark Tank’

    Well here is a buyer beware story. I placed an order for the “Santa Pack” on November 9th, November mind you. This order was for my great nephew who is the age of wonder and amazement. He believes in Santa and was so excited when he was told that he was getting a letter and other goodies from Santa himself with the help of his elves. I placed the order and waited, and waited and waited. December 12th I called the company and was told that the order was in the system, they didn’t know why it wasn’t sent out and they would get right on it. Dec. 19th still nothing, I called and was rudely told that I would receive it by Christmas and I should just wait. Well, today is Dec. 22nd, no packet. So after I sat down and tried to explain to my 3 year old crying great nephew that I was so sorry that he hadn’t rec’d what I promised him was coming I sent an email. I sent an email because I couldn’t get thru on the phone and the recording said it this is urgent send us an email. This is the email I sent:
    ” I was so excited to order a Santa Pack for my Great Nephew which I did on Nov. 9th. By Dec. 12th nothing was rec’d, I called and was told it should have shipped and would ship. Today is Dec. 22nd and still nothing. My Great Nephew is the age where Christmas is magical and amazing and one of the things I was most excited about was him getting this Santa Pack. I called on the 19th and was told rather rudely that it was “just” shipped on the 14th and I needed to wait. I don’t know how much earlier than Nov. 9th I could have ordered it to assure it would be rec’d in “time” for Christmas.Order”
    This is their response:
    “season greetings

    All orders have been shipped and will make it there by Christmas. Please contact us after Christmas with any other with any other issues and we will be happy to resolve them for you. We hope you have a Merry Christmas!
    The elves”

    So basically too bad for me, too bad for my great nephew. Sealed by Santa has my money, I have nothing but a broken hearted great nephew.
    Thanks for nothing Sealed By Santa, Merry Christmas
    M. Shelton

    Nov 09 2016 9:26 AM (CST) Order #82886 Confirmation #CBHKL7THP0GGO

  2. I just want to comment that prior to 2015 I had great success with this service. High level of customer service. Last year one of my letters never arrived and I had to dispute the charge to get a refund. I thought it was a fluke. So I ordered again this year, actually I placed my order on November 2, 2016 for two letters, one for my daughter and one for my son. 2nd week of December, no letters. 3rd week, no letters. In the mean time I have been emailing asking about my order #’s. The first one in 2nd week said, things get lost in the mail so they would be sent right out. But, since I already said 3rd week and no letters, it did not come. I sent another inquiry, should be here any day. Finally on Dec. 19, 2016 I sent another note inquiring and I got this reply ‘Unfortunately you should of received this order by now. i am unprocessing your order to go back out’. Today, 12/23/2016 I received one letter, and I’m worried that the other one will not arrive tomorrow. I have sent another inquiry asking about the other order # (each letter has its own order #). I thought by ordered extra early this stress would have been averted. Now, its just a mess.

    • To follow up. My son’s letter arrived in the mail on 12/24/2016. Thank goodness!! Do you know what havoc it caused last year when only 1 arrived and the other had to be convinced that he wasn’t on the naughty list?? This is why I requested a refund–I didn’t get the letter in 2015. Again, I though it was a fluke and ordered again this year.

      So, in the end, I think that ‘Sarah’ has a great business concept, my kids LOVE getting the letter, the reindeer food and this year we got the Santa Key since we don’t have a fireplace. However, as a parent who is paying for the service, I don’t think the stress is worth it when the company can’t deliver. Again, I placed my order on November 2, 2016 and I had to pull teeth to get it by 12-24-2016—way too long. I get presents shipped to me faster than that and this is just a letter! Also, last year when one of my letters never arrived, I still wanted it for a keepsake and was told they don’t print them after Christmas—that is another reason why I demanded a refund. You make the error and the customer offers a solution that they would be happy with that costs you nothing, and you still can’t deliver? You need some consulting work done on your business—somethings not working right.

  3. I have been burnt by them too. I ordered on the 13th of december and didnt start them question where it was until the 22nd. I called them and got a full voice mail message. I emailed them and didn’t hear back. I left facebook comments and had them deleted and they blocked me from writing to them. I am at a loss on what to do next. I luckily didn’t tell my 4 year old son about it and made my own santa letter for him with a present. But this was going to be his first piece of mail as well as a letter from santa. This company has put a damper on Christmas for me. I would be less upset if they would just contact me or allow me contact them.

  4. Joanna Joyner says:

    We too have had awful service this year. We ordered on Nov 7 and did not receive anything. We emailed and got no response. We called and were unable to leave a message because the mailbox was full. I began posting comments on their Facebook page asking for help. They finally replied via Facebook message on December 23 that all orders were processed and if I needed anything else to email them after Christmas. Nothing arrived today, December 24, but even if it had, arriving today would not add excitement and anticipation for my 6 year old, Christmas is tomorrow! I would not recommend this company to anyone and have every intention of leaving this negative reviews of them everywhere I can.

  5. Stacie Bell says:

    Horrible company. I also never received my sons letter. I called and emailed and they just said all letters were sent out- What – how is that an answer – no customer service and they don’t care at all how many kids they disappoint!!! They only care about how much money they make. When I contacted them they had plenty of time to redo my order but no – and now my 7year old who worked so hard on his letter to Santa got no response. Total disappointment- Don’t waste your money!!!

  6. Jacqueline Graves says:

    I ordered a letter from Santa for my daughter on December 11, 2016. It is now Christmas Eve at 11:40pm EST and she did not receive the letter. Tried to contact Sealed by Santa yesterday by phone and email, but have not received a reply. Also, posted a comment on Sealed by Santa’s Facebook page and now it has been deleted and the settings have been changed to where no comments can be left. Do not order from this company.

  7. This Sealed by Santa is a Scam!!!! Ordered Nov 7th – they told me it was shipped it never came – they said they would “resend” and it NEVER came. I demanded a refund and they promised to “resend ” it again for the 3rd time!!!! I am so angry! I want my money back and they wont!!! spent 58.00 on2 deluxe sets and I have NOTHING!!!!

  8. Curtis Jordan says:

    This is off topic for this blog but is it possible for shark tank to call an inventor to come on the show. Or is the only way to audition?

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