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.

start 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. 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 Leaning Centre. With some other toy stores, there 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 (less 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, 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 who does (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 to tedious, you need to find yourself a toy supplier. Retailers can give you great discounts if you order by 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.

88 Comments

  • Shelia Saunders said on July 9, 2009
    I'm determined to have my dream of owning my own toy store come to fruition. My problem is with startup costs. I've been to grants.gov, searched for hours and left with my head spinning! I already kept records on toy suppliers, the layout for the store and other things. I don't know where to turn for help with the startup cost. Any ideas or advice will be greatly appreciated. :)
  • Rhonda said on August 14, 2009
    I have the same dream only my problem is in not knowing how the whole resale thing works. What if there is a specific toy company that I like and would like to purchase and resell their toys? Do I purchase at a whole sale cost? I've never worked in retail and have no friends or relatives to go to for advice. In answer to your question, I would go to the U.S. Small Business Association and apply for a small business loan or grant. I believe that if your business is at least 51% woman owned then you may qualify as a minority status. Don't quote me on that, but definitely check out the Small Business Administration as a resource and good luck!
  • Shelia said on August 24, 2009
    Thanks Rhonda. I'll definitely check it out. Buying at wholesale would really depend on the amount of that certain product you feel you can move through your store. Keep posting and keep me updated on your dream! Good luck girl!
  • awokay said on January 5, 2010
    i reside in and plan to open my to store at ibadan, oyo stae, nigeria. pls send me as much information as you can. thanks awokay
  • Lakis A said on February 26, 2010
    Hi there, I am very interested in opening my own toy store in Athens, Greece in the autumn of 2010. Can anyone provide me with some typical financial data, particularly profit margins? Thanks in advance. Lakis A.
  • vivek bindal said on March 28, 2010
    i want to start this business at chandigarh
  • sadasivn said on June 9, 2010
    I would like to open an exclusive toys shop in Thrissur town, Kerala state. good educational/fun/and safe and durable toys for all ages of children focusing customers from average and above middle class families.( I mean not the cheap plastic toys)pl give possible advices.
  • Ann said on June 24, 2010
    I started my online toy store 3 years ago. I started with just "dropship ping" but found that there were ever increasing websites selling the same items. I decided that September to start trading offline and went to our local trade fair armed with £200 of holiday spending money which I hadn't spent and I also sold some old jewelery. Trade fairs are a fantastic place to meet suppliers, gleen info and see the products in the flesh. I met some very helpful suppliers, some of which are indeed my fairy godmothers! I started trading on a market stall, did craft fairs, christmas events etc and was welcomed everywhere. My aim now is to find a permanent base because carrying and setting up is a pain! It has been fun and I love it - it sure beats working for somebody else. With regards to profit margins - most suppliers give you an rrp which averages out at 60% profit margin. Any way keep dreaming the dream and if you would like to see my toy store it is www.playtimetoysandgames.co.uk
  • mariam said on June 27, 2010
    hi, Am from kerala and am planning to start a toy shop, but have nil idea about it. Butt the urge to start the business is On. Can you help me with ideas and the initial cost, and the wholesalers where we can get things...
  • sangay wangmo said on July 19, 2010
    hello, i'm sangay wangmo from bhutan and m planning up to start toys business in my country, so could u please help me how to start it up initially.
  • shradha said on September 6, 2010
    i want to start my toy business from kolkata,(W.B) india. From where i can get toys at low rate. should i get it from china. how can i get it from there. how much money will be required. i want to make this business a success.
  • Mark Wlamark said on September 24, 2010
    I would like to start a toy and learning store in Kenya, Nairobi. Where can I get a supplier for learning toys and books?
  • vijay shikare said on September 30, 2010
    DEAR SIR, i am vijay from solapur (maharastra)i want to start my toy business from akluj (solapur)india. From where i can get toys at low rate. should i get it from china. how can i get it from there. how much money will be required. i want to make this business a success. thank you
  • Long Nguyen said on October 9, 2010
    Hi everyone, I want to start my toy business here in Hanoi, Vietnam, because I want to bring good quality toys to the kids here, as I always bought toys for my kids when I came to Japan or US. The most difficult point, I think, is finding providers/ manufacturers. Please help advice. Long.
  • Nithin said on October 15, 2010
    I want to start a toy business in Bangalore, Karnataka India . My plan is to sell cheap toys which are mostly electronic .
  • Agnes said on October 21, 2010
    hi, i really love toys and good toys .I want to start a toy shop here in my town but i don't know how to market it. There a no toy shops here and i think i will make a change in my town. We need toys and costumes for our kids and is very hard to get them because we have to travel mills to get quality toys and costumes. Please help. Agnes
  • anwar. said on October 25, 2010
    Dear sir, Thanx for the information,I am from Hyderabad,India I want some more information about toys store at my place,please give more ideas how to find the good suppliers in affordable rates..my target is mid class people who can afford the toys for their children.. Anwar
  • Shade said on October 26, 2010
    Hello, My name is shade from Nigeria. Please I need your advice. I want to start a toy store and I want to know what the startup cost will be. The toys suppliers where I can be buying at wholesale prices. Also any advice or information that will help me in running the business. Thanks
  • rajeev said on December 25, 2010
    i want to start a toy shop here in my town but i don't know how to market it.
  • warierbinap said on January 1, 2011
    i want to start my own toy and gift shop in my town but i dont know how to make project report for submit in bank for business formalities please help me i find quotation from wholesalers but only i dont know about project help on my mail please within two days!!!!!!!!
  • Joshua J Reza said on January 26, 2011
    As everyone here, I too share the same passion for toys. I am interested in starting up an ecommerce website for the sale of these items. I am familiar with the business aspect, however I am having a difficult time finding suppliers. I should mention that I am interested in selling vintage action figures such as He-Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I am located in El Paso, TX USA. Any insight or direction would be greatly appreciated.
  • kim said on February 3, 2011
    hi, I'm trying to open an adult toy shop in Portland or. I am having a problem for forecasting my start up cost. I am also having a hard time find out how much stores like this make a year so I can say this is a profitable business.
  • susan said on February 24, 2011
    i'm looking to open me own adult toy store . in ga. what is the start up cost and where do i find the toys?
  • seerat said on March 8, 2011
    Hi there, I am residing at Hyderabad India. I want to start my online toys store targeting middle class buyers .Can anybody please suggest any good & easily approachable toy store in my area? And also how to contact branded toys like fisherprice, funskool etc. Can anybody plz suggest any media to get the wholesale toys home delivery? Regards
  • sheyl said on April 5, 2011
    Hi i want to start my toys store in jamaica and am having a hard time finding a supplier can someone point me to that direction?
  • blindnezz said on June 27, 2011
    Hi! i've been trying to decide if I want to put up a toy store in the Philippines. I was thinking of collectible toy line such as Marvel, DC, Starwars, and Transformers. Could anyone send me some financial data or how the toy business works? Id love to also find places to get these toys cheap. Most toys above are done by Hasbro.
  • saurabh said on June 29, 2011
    want to start an online store for toys..how to get suppliers for branded toys (both nationally and internationally). I reside in India
  • mike said on July 22, 2011
    We own a toy store for a year now and can tell those of you who are looking for answers that the cost of opening is tremendous. at least 100,000 US$ . This includes shelves, flooring, registers, security, phones, banking, and of course product. There are hundreds of wholesale suppliers, and mark up is anywhere from 30 to 100 percent. Most of the items you find in the big box stores are 30 percent or less. some of the larger manufacturers (hasbro, mattel and others) require large minimum purchases per year to get their product. you will more than likely not see a profit for about 3 years at least, so be prepared for this.
  • Shirley said on July 31, 2011
    We have a toy plant in Hunan province,China,which with ard 500 employees .Disney is one of the good customer of us. We are very experienced as we have go on toy business for 15 years. If you are interested to find a factory to produce your products ,pls feel free to contact me through:meilovedream@126.com ,Tel:86- 18667507516 or 86 -15815265826 Tks
  • Tina Padgett said on October 10, 2011
    I have wanted to start a "in home" adult toy/lingerie store. I have spent alot of time researching information on this type of business. However, I am looking for a Business plan. I have the dream just need some directions on being successful. I would like to use dvd's to give to my customers so they can shop with out embarrassment. Any suggestions would be great...
  • kinley said on November 21, 2011
    hi i am kinley from bhutan,i want to open a toy shop here and i would like to open metal toys store especially, could you please help me with this.
  • kotesh said on December 18, 2011
    Hi, I want to open a toy store at below location. Please help me suggest is it encouraging in India? What percentage will be the margin? Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. Email: kotechuuu@gmail.com
  • kapil verma said on December 19, 2011
    Please help me ,I want to open a toy store in India.
  • Siyakubonga Ndamase said on February 9, 2012
    I'd like to start a toy store focusing mainly on entertainment and educational toys. Could you please help me with business plan and locate me with suppliers? I'm in South Africa,Eastern Cape, Mthatha and my name is Siyakubonga.
  • Tressie Perry said on March 25, 2012
    My name is Tressie Perry I live in Irving Texas and I plan to open a toy store. If you have a list of suppliers you can send me and a list of trade shows and dates they are held. Will I need a business license to buy and resale toys or do I need other permits? Any help will be appreciated. Thank You
  • D.s jahagirdar said on May 15, 2012
    Dear sir/Madam, I am MBA(marketing) with 5 years of sales experience and i am having very much interest in my own business, the segment which i often think of doing business is the products should belong to the children. so kindly advise me in this regards. Regards, D.J
  • Tsholo Mokate said on June 20, 2012
    Hi my name is Tsholo I'm in South Africa, North West province, Mahikeng. I want to start a toy shop please send me as much information as you can.Thank you
  • krishna said on July 19, 2012
    Hi, I'm from Panvel & want to start my own Toy shop, How much investment required? What infrastructure needed? Where should I get Toys in cheaper rate? Please send me information... Krishna
  • shiney said on July 22, 2012
    Hi, i want to start my own toy manufacturing company. i am from bangalore, india. Pls let me know whatever info u can provide to help with the same.
  • joshua said on August 3, 2012
    Hi, i am from Lagos Nigeria. i really want to start a toy store of my own. with diverse toys for every one. i have no experience in toy sale but am good in administration and management. i have no single capital but want to lobby for it. i need your help in knowing more on what i need to know about opening a world class toy store. thanks and i will be expecting your help. Joshua
  • Deliz said on August 26, 2012
    looking to start toy business store in Dubai, need reliable manufacturer supplier for kids toys, pls email me details to deliz4050@yahoo.com
  • Sonny Almodovar said on September 15, 2012
    Wanting to start a seasonal toy store in Mesa Az. Looking to sell basic toys like dolls, cars and trucks, some action figures. Typical toys and they don't have to be name brand. I'm looking for help how to get started in general. Thank you
  • Ramees said on September 27, 2012
    Hi All, I started an online toys shop "www.paymentday.biz", please advise what all are the best and top selling products. I offers free shipping anywhere in the world. Thank you
  • amit rawat said on October 19, 2012
    sir, i awant to open a toy store,only for the age group of 2years to 12 years..and also want to create an environment there where they can learn also...but i dont know the estimate budget and supplier and also about the starup cost...pls help me and assistme.
  • Colin said on October 26, 2012
    My dream is to open a small desginer toy store in my home town of Sydney Nova Scotia, Canada. Designer vinyl toys and resin toys would be my main focus. I don't know where to start. I would like information on start up costs, suppliers, profit margins and anything else you can think of. Thanks
  • Judi said on November 9, 2012
    Hi, I want to open a kids store in Belgium. Toys, decoration, accessorizes in a hip and trendy neighborhood. I know what products I want to sell and researched their distributors for my country. Now my question is: how do I get prices/information about profit margins, minimum purchase amount, without having my own company (btw number) yet? Also how do I negotiate with brands, distributors....I am stuck here, thanks for help!!!
  • Vijay said on December 11, 2012
    Hi All, All the very best with your ventures. In most of the posts (actually barring one..the trade fair one), the overall problem is the sourcing which many people do not understand. The problem is not set-up or marketing...If you source right, in unbranded toys, the Ideal margin should be 45-50% and thats when you recover your rents, fuel, displays, decor, staff costs, admin, legal etc. If you need more help on sourcing toys do drop me a line and I can help you out. Thanks, Vijay
  • Aanand said on December 17, 2012
    Hi @Vijay, Whats your contact number? I am interested to source kids toys. Let me know if you can help me out?. aanandvatgmail.com
  • Pankti said on December 18, 2012
    hey Vijay can you help me and send me some more details about where can i find supplier for toys.
  • ramya said on January 10, 2013
    I am planning to start a toy store in bangalore. i am having difficulties sourcing out suppliers. so please help.
  • Cheryle G said on February 12, 2013
    Hi I'm from sunny Barbados in the caribbean and I would like to start my own toy and gift business. I would love to source toys for young children to young adults my contact is marcusw2005@hotmail.com Thanks
  • madonna said on February 25, 2013
    hello, i am an up coming business lady. i am looking at starting my own toy business but not to get a shop first. getting a shop is good but i rather think big and start small. what i need now is contact of suppliers and distributors, thanks
  • Sherine said on March 1, 2013
    Hi, I am planning to start a toy store in Egypt. i am having difficulties sourcing out suppliers. so please help.
  • Fazela said on April 11, 2013
    Hi, I am planning to start a toy shop in kerala, which includes kids furniture and outdoor toys too. i dont have any experience in this business. May i know who are suppliers for quality durable childrens toys. your help highly appreciated.
  • Mimi said on April 11, 2013
    I'm interested in starting the same business, but with a twist. I wanna the headquarters to be in Jamaica, and then venture to other places. I have no capital, or anything of that sort, I cant even decide on a name! Can you please help? I don't know where to start. Please help!
  • Roopesh said on April 18, 2013
    Hi Fazela... please contact me for more details. roopeshin@gmail.com
  • Huda said on April 24, 2013
    Hello, i'm planning to start a toy shopping Bahrain.
    1- I need to know where i can find out suppliers.
    2- know estimated budget.
    3- I want to focus on decoration
    4- i need a good quality of toys.
    5- i need to open new corner related to hobbies toy.
    Thank you waiting for your kind reply.
  • Rajamani said on May 8, 2013
    Hello, i'm planning to start a toy wholesale business in India
    1. want to know how do i get suppliers details in china
    2- What kind of budget do i prepare.
    3- how will the goods arrive in india and what will be my tax implications
    4- how do i set up the distribution line
    Kindly help
  • shahid raza said on May 22, 2013
    i am from lahore pakistan. I am interested to start a toy shop on small level, how to start, how much investment require coze its will be my first experience
  • sanjay said on October 26, 2013
    hi, my self sanjay, i am planing to start my toys store in one year, place mumbai plz help me to get complete knowledge of toy industries. how much investment required to start business. toy shop for all age group send all possible info plz..
  • Niket Barot said on November 20, 2013
    HEY, I want know that, what is the better prospect. online toy store or offline? i mean online is better option or open a shop and sell the toys?? I am looking forward for some helpful suggestions guys.. I want to start a business in Ahmedabad, India...
  • Francis Dimalanta said on December 14, 2013
    Hi there, i am planning to start an online hobby store here in my province in the Philippines, which i am planning to sell Japanese hobby kits, toys and supplies. thing i want to know:
    1- I need to know where i can find 100% Japanese toy suppliers.
    2- know estimated budget.
    3- i need a good quality of toys, more importantly direct from factory or first hand distributor
    4- i need to open new corner related to hobbies toy.
    Thank you very much, also waiting for your kind reply.
  • Shiela Lustre said on February 6, 2014
    Hi , I'm planning to have an online business for toys and educational books for kids... I want to know where can I get a supplier and a quality product.. I am now dubai , UAE
  • Shylia said on February 12, 2014
    Hi I want to know how much does it cost in all to start an small business online toy store? I'm in the U.S
  • nipun said on April 15, 2014
    hi, i am from mumbai. i have to start a toy business how much capital is required and what are the expenses of toys in store.
  • Shaaheen Adam said on May 31, 2014
    hi @Shylia, i think i can help you , if you are interested please drop me an email and we can discuss this further as i am looking for a partner in USA. my email is : shaaheen@metalsigns.com.mv. Regards, Shaaheen
  • J V Solanki said on June 10, 2014
    Sir, I am interested to make a small factory on plastic toys in Gujarat. So I request you to please provide me necessary information regarding it. Regard. J V Solanki
  • R K Lalit said on September 14, 2014
    I want to start a Toy Retailing business in Gaya , Bihar. Need guidance
  • MonisH said on October 26, 2014
    Hi, me and my friend is planning to set up a toy shop at Calicut, India . We have found some providers from china. But i am not sure about the quality and durability. So I request you all to provide necessary details regarding investment needed and the profit margin that can be achieved. Please help.
  • christine said on November 11, 2014
    Hi i have a strong passion to start a toy store for kids but really have no idea of where to get them from at cheaper price. please advise
  • kailas rakhewar said on November 16, 2014
    hi, where are toys wholesalers market in india
  • Al said on January 11, 2015
    Hello, I am located in Los angeles ca I am starting my own toy business small at first ( converting a good size residential garage into a toy store then move into a retail location. I have contacts to to companies, video game companies and to other types of businesses as well. So if you want to start any business or since this topic is for toys contact me. I have information for small unknown to major toy line companies and able to get licenses as well. contact me through jedikingz@ymail.com in subject put the word toy business or i will not open the email. thank you
  • Keith said on February 17, 2015
    Hi, I'm looking to start up a toy store in Richmond Ky, but need to come up with a budget. Such as how to get my toys, how much will that cost? Electric, water, employee wages. Where can I find help to these ?
  • dee said on February 19, 2015
    Hi, I need to start toy shop in south africa, I need guidance and how much capital I need to start with in Rands. Please help
  • Anu said on February 25, 2015
    Hi, I want to start Toy Business in Delhi/NCR, need to know suppliers. New to this. Please suggest. Anu
  • suneetha said on February 26, 2015
    Hi.... I want to start toy business.need guidance
  • vinu said on March 2, 2015
    hi,i need to start toy shop in Kerala, Need guidance
  • Edwin Bethune said on March 31, 2015
    Hi everyone, I am working in a Toys store in Kuwait. I am from Kerala india. I have some ideas and Supplier details, but those who like to be my partner please mail me. Hopefully we can do a real good business in Kerala. This is the right time to start a new venture. edwinjbethune@gmail.com.
  • dipti said on August 31, 2015
    hello this is to present my interest towards Toy Business in my location. regarding which i would like to know about the initial costs, other expenses, and overall details about the suppliers i could get to start my business. i'm residing at THRISSUR (KERALA) and looking for a commercial place too. kindly help with the details as soon as possible.
  • Imtiaz Ahmed said on September 8, 2015
    Hi, I reside in New Delhi, India. I am interested in toys business, would like to start a retail shop or to sell online. I do not any idea how to do that. Can anybody help me where to these toys and how to sell them for a better profit margin? Thanks.
  • Imtiaz Ahmed said on September 11, 2015
    Hi, I reside in New Delhi, India. I am interested in toy business, would like to start a retail shop or to sell it online. I do not have any idea how to do that. Can anybody help me where to buy these toys and how to sell them for a better profit margin? Thanks.
  • TUSHAR said on September 13, 2015
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  • Rohit said on October 15, 2015
    Hi Abhijit,I am looking for opening a store in Hyderabad,Please share some details, i am mailing you my contact details and store address soon.rohit.
  • YEINDER JAIN said on November 6, 2015
    I AM A MANUFACTURER AND IMPORTER OF TOYS IN BANGALORE YOU CAN CONTACT ME ON MY EMAIL ID-yetindersadani@gmail.com
  • Abhijit Kolhatkar said on November 16, 2015
    Hello Everyone, Anyone interested to open toys store kindly contact me on a.kolhatkar@simbatoys-me.com or call on 09769450106. Simba Toys India Pvt Ltd ( worlds 3rd largest Toys Manufacturer) are expanding their store base and looking out for the right franchisee partner across India. Regards.
  • Ashok said on December 18, 2016
    Hi Sirs, I would like sart up Toys business in Hyderabad Kukatpally any one could suggest were to buy toys? how much cost will needs for start the business? my mail is ashok.kamilla@gmail.com
  • Vidya Bhushan Thakur said on January 30, 2017
    I want to start a small toys & gift store in delhi aya nagar. In this area middle and lower middle class people lives. Please help me to start this.
  • Kalyani naik said on February 20, 2017
    I from pune want to open toy shop pls send me list of wholesalers from where I get toys with low cost but good quality.

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