Buying Bespoke or Own Brand Soft Toys during 2018 and 2019

Are you thinking of buying or re-buying bespoke toys during AW2019 and SS2020? Please read our top tips for planning in your merchandise.

Normally the process of buying or replenishing your bespoke soft toy or doll is relatively straight forward. It takes 3 months from signing off an order to delivery of the goods, one month to buy in raw materials and plan production, one month to manufacture the goods and then one month to ship them.

Obviously sometimes there are glitches which can add in a week or two delay (or sometimes its so streamlined that a couple of weeks gets knocked off the process!) but 3 months leadtime is a good rule of thumb to use when planning stock.

However things will be a little different in the next year as the UK plans to leave the EU. We do not have a crystal ball so we cannot predict what will happen  but it raises a few issues which do need to be considered if you need to buy or replenish your stock in the next 6 – 12 months.

  1. Price. We have no idea what is going to happen with the £/$ exchange rate so this is for guidance only. If we look like we are heading towards a “No Deal Brexit” then the £ will almost certainly fall in value, and this will make any bespoke toy more expensive. On the other hand if we agree a deal which the markets think is positive the £ may regain some of its value. If you place an order sooner rather than later you will have the certainty of a price, if you leave it then you could end up paying a lot more. So if you have enough margin to absorb some or all of a price increase then you have the luxury to gamble. If your price needs to stay the same it may be better to order before Xmas.
  2. Timescales. We don’t know what will happen to the docks when we leave the EU. Some people are predicting that Kent will be gridlocked and others are saying that nothing will change. As a business we are not looking to bring in stock during April and May 2019 while we assess any delays or issues with the new processes. If you think you may need stock before June 2019 we would strongly recommend bringing your purchase forward to ensure continuity.
  3. Additional costs. Again, no one can give us a definite answer as to whether there may be additional administrative costs after March 2019. Many ships come to the UK via Rotterdam which was always a seamless process (apart from once where they took our delivery off the boat and sent it the final journey by road but we don’t talk about that!) What we cannot predict is whether this process will be subject to disruption or additional costs.

 

Our key dates are as follows

Please order before 1st November if you require delivery before March 2020

We will stop taking orders after 20th December to ensure goods production does not fall during Chinese New Year.

 

 

This is all our opinion and reflects only how we will be running our own business through the next 12 months. We are very happy to talk through your particular needs so please call us on 01327 263504 and ask for Liz if you would like a chat.

Best Years Ltd, September 2018

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