Are Prices Increasing On Bespoke Toys?

Sterling is continuing its grim slide down against the dollar, and manufacturing prices are therefore going up at the same rate so what should you do about your bespoke toy?

It all depends on whether you sell your toy as an extension of your service or whether you give it away as a loyalty and/or marketing exercise

If you sell your toy the first thing to do is consider whether you can put your RRP up?

Most toy manufacturers have simply passed on the 10% price increase to their retailers with an apologetic email. The recession made so many inroads in to profit margins that there was simply no slack to absorb the additional product costs.

The retailers are in a similar position and so they then have to increase their retail prices.

Given that so many toys are going up in price there is a very fair chance that your own toy could be increased in price without any adverse reaction, especially if you haven't increased your prices since you first had your own toys made!

If you really don't want to do this then either you have to swallow the additional cost until sterling recovers enough to bring prices back down or find a way of taking cost out of your product.

1. Change your product specification. We don't mean de-spec your design, when your toy is a representation of your brand the last thing you want to do is make it cheap. However you could make a small rattle rather than a toy, or you could go the other way and increase the size of your toy as the price of large toys are not proportionately more expensive. By offering new products you avoid a direct price comparison, and if you order both at the same time you may be able to get better price/minimum order.

2. Change your material. Again this is not about de-specifying your toy and all to do with creating a similar product with new materials. We have started to work with natural rubber which is a great material to use for kid's toys. Its safe, natural and ethical so perhaps you could have your toy made up in rubber instead as a soft toy? Or if your design is simple we could make it in organic knit or cotton. Character integrity would not be so accurate but you would have a unique and very ethical toy. We are in the process of moving some of our successful toys from crochet to knitted. We have enough sales history not to be scared of the minimums and we are able to cut rather then increase the trade prices. They are definitely not the same toy, they will look and feel different, but they have the same design and the same appeal.

3. Change your order quantities. No one is going to be surprised when I say that if you order larger quantities you will get a better price, but if you can't increase your order size why not go the other way and decrease it? You can do this either by changing from plush to crochet (with crochet the unit price will go up but you get a distinctive, handmade product and minimum order quantities go as low as 700 pieces), or you could order 2 sizes of the same toy at the same time. Overall you could end up with more toys but you will have 2 toys to sell for about the same investment as buying just one.

4. Just ask us! We know that things are difficult and we cannot see that sterling is going to recover any time soon but if you are worried about the cost of your product please ring us and we would be very happy to talk through the options.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel 01327 263504.

If you use your toy for loyalty or marketing then there are even more ways for us to help you reduce costs. All of the solutions we have detailed above are applicable but we could also look at how you use your toy and recommend different solutions and design tweaks.

It could be that your design could be simplified but we use the sew in labels and hang tags to increase the visibility of your brand.
We could even take it a step further and use some of our own existing designs or a traditional teddy bear but put your logo on it via a jumper/embroidered foot etc, or present the toy in packaging with your brand on it. Buying an existing design rather than manufacturing a one off product is definitely a cheaper option but one that could still present your brand effectively.

Hopefully we have give you some ideas but again, we are here to help, so if you would like a chat about your toy please call us on 01327 263504.

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