How to Start a Toy Store
There are two greatest elements on how to start your own toy store: one, knowing exactly what kind of toys you want to sell; and two, knowing how you can get your hands on these toys.
If there is one thing constant in most malls, it's a toy store.
What’s a mall without a toy store after all? If you are planning on setting up your own toy store, it is essential to keep bringing out that child in you – literally. Keeping abreast with the times, with what children from all ages are “into” at the moment can help keep your store going. And definitely, like fashion, there are toy fads that come and go – but then, there are the “staples:” toys that are always in demand season after season. What are “staple” toys? Pull-toys are a good example, as with dolls, dinosaur models, and pool toys and accessories, to name a few.
Nonetheless, there are specialty toys shops that are calling out unto their own set of patrons. A Carved wooden toy shop is a good example of a specialty store, as well as model building shops and Christmas stores. Some specialty shops, rather than focusing on a specific type of toy, cater to a specific group age of children like the Early Learning Centre. With some other toy stores, their objective is to be a selling arena for toys that only its mother company makes like the Fisher-Price Store.
So perhaps, the primary thing you should consider when setting up your own toy store is what kind of toy store you would want. Specialty stores thrive because of the tough competition among the more conventional toy stores – this competition keeps toy prices low, toy fads ever-changing, and advertising gimmicks evolving. So unless you are particularly skilled in marketing and promoting your toy store you will have your hands (and finances) tied against still competition.
Specialty toy stores are making a killing in the e-commerce world simply because they are unique. If you don’t really have the finances for a grand toy store scheme, you may want to look into setting up your shop online. Not only is this less expensive than the brick-and-mortar business (fewer expenses on rent, utilities, staffing, maintenance, etc.) you can also carve out a niche in the marketing world and be a pioneer in it. Just make sure, though, that you can establish a good payment scheme online and have a great home-delivery service set up. v
Now that you have chosen what you would want to sell, the next objective is to find a toy supplier for your store. If you like to do like the Fisher-Price store, and sell toys that are of your (or your company’s making,) you have to remember that toy production is a more complex, more time-consuming operation than simply selling the toys. You can, however, turn this to your advantage. There are toy stores online that do (16th-century replica house) model building, and each order entails a waiting period of 1 to 2 months before completion and delivery. This type of business scheme entails the customer to pay beforehand, and then wait for a certain (agreed) time before the actual merchandise delivery. You could do that, provided of course, that your “goods” are good enough to find a market of its own.
If, on the other hand, you find this too tedious, you need to find yourself a toy supplier. Retailers can give you great discounts if you order in bulk. The trick here is to know what the kids want at the moment. It would not be wise to, shall we say, place all your eggs in one basket. Retailers, no matter how great, cannot have every popular toy in the warehouses. In one season, it may be dinosaur scale models; in another season, it may be action figures from a recently released movie; in another season, (particularly, if it falls under a specific world holiday) it may be kids’ costumes and accessories.) You need to know where to find new blood once in a while – at the same time, keep a healthy working relationship with trusted suppliers.
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