How to Sell Your Toy, Games and Video Products to Retail!
Transcript for this Video:
Hey everyone. This is Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA. Today we’re going to be talking about how to sell your toy and game products to retail chains. So if you’ve a great product that’s a toy or a game and you’re trying to figure out what to do with that product and where to sell it, just want to give you some quick tips and strategies on how to do that and how to get started today.
Just to give you a little background about me again, I’m Karen Waksman, founder of Retail MBA Brands. I’ve personally taught over 50,000 product companies across the globe over the last 11 years on how to get your products in retail chains, online retailers, catalogs, smaller retailers, HSN, QVC and so forth. And the information that we’re going to be talking about today is just from my many, many years of selling to retail chains and ultimately started teaching my methodologies to support people, just to actualize their dreams of making money with their consumer product. So our whole goal here is just to give you ideas and to help you get started today. You can learn a little bit more about us at retailmba.com.
Anyways, let’s talk about the toy and game category and just some things to think about. First of all, since Toys “R” Us is no longer, at least as of now, even though they have been moved around a little bit, a lot of the toy industry has been suffering. And so one of the things that a lot of people have to do is they have to go to their local toy stores and sell individually and so forth because there’s a lot of toys stores that are on the individual level. But on the chain store level, they’ve kind of diminished a little bit. There’s a ton online and so forth, but just in general, it’s definitely shifted in the last several years. Again, by the time you watch this video, it might’ve changed. But as of now, and for a while, things have kind of changed a little bit for the toy industry.
What that really means is that usually distributors are involved. Why I say that is because if you’re trying to sell to a retailer and they have a lot of stores and/or you have to need a lot of feet on the street, distributors come into play where they basically have a ton of sales reps. And they’re third party company that is actually essentially buying products from you and reselling it to retailers. And there’s usually niche distributors, ones that are working in the toy and game industry and so forth. And especially when there’s a lot of major brands at play, a lot of distributors are in place.
So some product categories, you don’t deal with a lot of distributors. In terms of the toy and game category, there’s a ton of distributors. So again, part of that is just that you’re dealing with a lot of competition for the big corporations and so forth. And part of it is just the fact that the toy industry requires more feet on the street to get more products out there. And distributors are, again, companies that have a lot of reps, typically. They’re going out and doing the work and so they would represent your product in these stores and so forth. So for your particular category, you’re going to have to deal with somebody else, typically who’s going to be managing that relationship more than directly you going after stores. Again, if that happens, what will require you to do is you’re going to give a piece of your money to them. I mean, typically if you work with a distributor in the toy business, it could be anywhere between 10% and 30%, depending on the deal that you do with them in terms of what they take off the top. So just be aware of that.
Again, it’s also an incredibly competitive category, but it’s a fun category. And just be aware that a lot of times distributors are very, very common. And so that really means that you’re going to have to convince the distributor to pick up your product and ultimately get them into stores. How you do that takes a little time to explain. I have other videos explaining working with distributors and so forth, but just give you an idea of what this industry is like.
First of all, with toys and games, mostly toys, what you’re dealing with is a lot of regulations because if the kid chokes on a product, they obviously care about that, right? So there’s more at stake for them to sell toys to kids. And so you’re going to be forced to deal with regulations in terms of what they’re expecting, health codes and this type of thing, and so forth, just to make sure that the product is safe for children and so forth, depending on how old they are and what years they need to protect from and so forth. So that’s something to consider as well.
And so they do have a lot of situations where that comes into play, so you definitely need to see what’s going on with the retailer that you’re trying to sell into and what they expect from you. You also will probably have to pay a little bit more of a premium for insurance, just because of the fact that for product liability insurance in the toy industry, you’re dealing with kids and so forth. And again, it’s all the same issue in regards to regulations. So they tend to charge you a little bit more, which is okay because a lot of people are buying toys. Obviously a lot of children in the world, but it is something to consider.
So one of the things that I tell people to do is since the toy industry is a little bit more complicated in terms of distributors and this and that and the fact that you have to go to more individually owned stores and all sorts of things, something to consider is to go to retailers that can buy your product who are on a corporate level, massive retailers like Walmart or Target or whatever it is. There’s so many retailers out there who sell toy products, department stores, and so forth. And so maybe expand beyond just going after that particular industry. If you have a games product, obviously you could sell to GameStop and so forth. But again, there’s a lot of competition and so forth. So maybe going beyond your comfort zone and into other types of retailers will reduce your competitive issue a little bit as well. So that’s something to consider.
If you’re going to have a toy product, it’s very, very important that you connect and associate with like-minded individuals. There’s toy industry associations out there. Do a Google search. Find them, connect with them. They probably can help you speed up the process of getting to know your industry and your category very well. It’s always good to know what’s going on in the world in terms of the industry that you’re in, especially in toys. It’s so competitive. A lot of times they’ll give you ideas and strategies and support you along the way because they know the industry really, really well. So join your local association.
Also, if you wanted to go to trade shows, the Toy Fair in New York is really, really popular. It’s a great place to go check out your competition, see what’s going on in the world and so forth. So that’s something to consider.
So if I was to give you any quick tips and strategies, it’s really just to think about the fact that if you’re going to go after retailers and you’re going to deal with the toy industry, you definitely want to go beyond just the local toy store in your local area. There’s a lot of money to be had to be selling these chain stores that no one’s even considering. You can even sell your toy product to retailers like ACE Hardware and Michael’s stores. There’s a lot of retailers that could conceivably buy your product beyond just the toy store industry and so forth.
So anyways, there’s so much more to say about toys and games, but if you want to learn exactly how to approach, pitch and sell to retailers, take a look at what we’re up to. We actually have a free training at retailmba.com/free. And we actually have a 90 minute training that we walk through what buyers care about and so forth. And then we kind of discuss the ways that we can work with you if you’re interested in getting additional support. We have live events. We have coaching. We have Done-For-You programs. We have do it yourself programs, all related to generating revenue with consumer product brands. And we have worked with so many toy companies and so forth, and game companies.
So if you are interested in learning more, take a look at what we’re up to a retailmba.com or check out our free webinar. It’s listed on every single page on our site. And we are always creating new content, so please subscribe to this, keep in touch with us. We’re always providing new information and I hope this helps. And we would love the opportunity to support you with retail chains. This is Karen Waksman, Retail MBA, and I appreciate you. Thank you.