Friday, April 10, 2015

Store Story

I went toy store hopping yesterday. Nothing is worth buying at the moment. Sale season is over. I did notice little interesting things.

First stop, Cool Republic Toy in Greenhills. I had a good experience buying from this store before. They allow customers to haggle. The store owner was ranting when I walked in. He was ranting about another customer who was driving a hard bargain. The owner said that if someone wants a toy, they should be willing to pay the price. That makes sense, right? But he sounded like he meant that if someone wants a toy, they should be willing to pay the price no matter how unreasonable.

I went out that toy store immediately. I don't like to patronize sellers who speak ill of their customer in public, no matter how unreasonable the customer is. Yeah, sure they can rant all they want in private but when they do it in public, it speaks a lot about how bad sales people they are. And sales is not just about the quality of product. Customers also pay for the buying experience.

I went around other toy stores in Greenhills. It is interesting to note that they are selling Marvel Infinite Series figures for more than US$10 even if major toy stores have a more competitive price. Major toy stores have more resources so they can offer these figures at lower prices. Small time sellers in Greenhills buy it in foreign retails stores so they don't get bulk discounts. I love a healthy competition. It's good for the consumer. I won't buy the new figures from Greenhills because they are more expensive there than in major toy stores (except for the Blue Beast which is offered by some Greenhills stores cheaper). Old figures that are no longer available in major toys stores are great buys in Greenhills when it comes to Marvel Universe figures.

I also visited the major toy stores. I wasn't interested in picking up any more Barbie Style Resort/Glam Vacation so I wasn't really looking at them after I bought Grace. Yesterday, I was reconsidering getting another with the hat. I immediately dismissed getting another after I saw the price. It has increased by more than 50% in less than a month! That makes me really glad that I bought Grace earlier. That makes my wallet happy, too.

I know someone who works in retail. He told me that they usually double the price so that when they offer it at 10 to 30% off the original price, they still get a profit. When I bought Grace, it's safe to assume that they already have a big enough profit margin. Increasing her price by 50% makes their margin a lot bigger and unreasonable if you ask me. So I'm taking down my blog entry where I promoted those dolls.

I keep telling that we pay for these people's (the store owner, sales person, toy designer etc) salary. We are their boss. We should teach them how they do their business.


Troy said...

It sounds like they offered an "introductory" price and then increased it when they thought it would be supported. I've found that some dolls (like the Barbie Style dolls) appear first on the West Coast here in the United States, and then sellers offer them at high markups online. They then will start appearing at regular or even discounted prices here on the East Coast much later. It's not always easy being patient, but it does pay off most of the time from that "wallet" perspective!

Niel said...

Yeah, deciding to buy now or to buy later is a hit and miss with toys.

I haven't heard of "introductory prices" being used here in Barbie products before. The observable price difference is mainly due to the source, either primary or secondary market. The primary market has a sole distributor so there shouldn't be a large price variance unless there is a sale in one store.