With the goal of trying to be a more candid company, as well as maybe people can both benefit and learn how to incorporate my experiences into their own side hustle, I am currently going to try and have a weekly update.
Let's see how long that lasts. 😝
On Monday, I placed an order with our factory to not only restock on the popular Attack on Titan pins, but to finally get the ball rolling for some new properties that we've been trying to get made for a while now. While I would love to just order every single thing that comes to my mind and get it to the market, after 2020, we have been extra cautious on budget control, and analyzing what we can afford to make on a month-to-month basis. On top of that, we are working on improving our own forecasts so that we don't buy something way too early, only for it to not sell, costing us thousands, or even, tens of thousands.
Oh, that still happens, but I think it's becoming a lot less often.
The problem, however, is that costs to both manufacture, and to ship the product to us, has gone up more than once in the last six months, and our profit margins are beginning to diminish so much so that I can no longer go "What's a few cents less per pin?" We see this happen in almost every industry, maybe not so much video games, where they have, for the most part, kept their base game at $60 USD for about 15 years now, and now focusing more on DLC and microtransactions... But, it's time to start raising the prices to keep our quality not only on par, but to give me more wiggle room to experiment and explore what else we can do with our product.
While I consider Disney to be the king of pin collecting, I have seen their online store's pin prices are extremely low when they sell pin sets. However, their individual pins are around $12.99 each. While I'm not quite ready to sell our stuff for $12.99 each, I will start rising the prices of many of our pins, by about a dollar, making our new standard price to be about $10.99.
I am cautiously optimistic that by raising the price a single dollar for the market will offset what has been getting devoured by manufacturing and shipping.
In more enjoyable news, I have been focusing on getting lanyards submitted to our clients, so that we can begin offering more accessories that complement our pins. I want to do more patches, and we have a lot of keychains currently in production, but lanyards we wanted to offer at conventions...And well, time to stop using that as an excuse. Lanyards did very well for us in 2019, and we only had about four or five designs back then. We have literally hundreds of pins at the market, but why not more of the other products?
It's something on my list.
We're working on anniversary items for Sonic The Hedgehog's 30th, and we're currently going back and forth with Sega to make sure the packaging looks right. But we also have Resident Evil items submitted for review, as it's also their 25th anniversary! And come on, 9 foot tall vampire women! But, I've received only a few questions from CAPCOM, such as my estimates over how much the Resident Evil pins would sell, how many are we planning to manufacture, where would we sell them, etc. Perhaps, to show the people who approve the products how important they are (or lack of imporance).
Okay next week, bring it on.