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So am in the process of placing my first order for the soft toys.  I have carried out some basic research by

1)  Checking out similar products and what they retail for to understand what my USP (Unique Selling Point) is as well as how to price my products.  This has meant a lot of trawling round kids’ shops both on-line and physically (not so easy with 2  crafty little people in tow who just want to own everything in the shop – the words “we’ll just have to ask Father Christmas” have never been so over-used!

2)  Understanding which of my products appeal to my buyers.   This test has (and is continuing) to be carried out by presenting all of the sample products to friends who are Mums / people who work with children and asking them to (honestly!) classify them into ‘love’, ‘like but not sure / would want to change x’ and ‘hate’

3)  Understanding which of my products appeal to kids (yes I have finally let my 2 rascals loose on them and so far they have withstood both the interest and the durability tests – phew!)

The tricky decision point I have now reached is ‘how wide and how many?’.  The basic dilemma is do you carry a small range of products but in decent volumes and really plug them, or do you carry a wider range but with low volumes to better allow you to test the market?  This leads on to the challenge of how many is the right number for your first order (or to use my new found jargon – ‘the inventory control challenge’) a subject so complex it even has a Wikipedia page!!!

It is a careful balancing act and frankly one of my trickiest decisions yet.  Ideas on the back of a postcard please! 

Sorry, as posts go it isn’t the most riveting but it is pretty major decision point for me (not least because if Long Suffering Husband (LSH) comes home to find our life savings are gone and he can’t enter the spare room for boxes of toys I suspected I will be adding a divorce to my list of challenges!!!

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