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Convention Time

Novel Toy services a niche market in the toy and novelty world. We provide items for people to GIVE away so obviously our customers want those items at as low a cost as possible. Quite a bit of my time is spent sourcing out goods, not only the toy items but all the bags and boxes and other items that go into the shipping process. Costs are constantly rising for everyone, our suppliers, our shippers, our catalogue printers to name a few. To help with this issue Fred and I attend the ASD Market Week in Las Vegas. It is held twice a year but we only go to the one at the end of February. It is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the largest convention center in the world, 2 million square feet of exhibit space. That’s a lot of stuff to see!

This year a couple of friends decided to tag along on the trip and make a party out of it. We all chose to stay in the Fremont area, the old part of Las Vegas, off of the strip. It’s a different atmosphere there, less glitz, more grit, more our style. It was nice to have friends to relax with in the evenings after our long days spent in the convention center.

Fred and I walked to exhaustion for two days trying to see everything at the show. We don’t actually purchase goods at the convention but we try to find new items to add to our catalogue and strike deals over items I buy often. Sometimes the deals I can get there on shipping costs alone help a great deal. Since Novel Toy purchases most of its goods in U.S. dollars the terrible exchange rate of the last few months has made things difficult. I don’t want to pass on those higher costs to my customers so I try to find other ways to save and hope that the dollar will soon bounce back. Even as I write this the dollar has improved slightly and that is a relief to see.

Most of my competitors are Canadian branches of large American companies who are not bothered the same by the drop in the Canadian dollar. Their Canadian sales are only a small part of their business. I want to thank all my customers for their loyalty and their support of an individual Canadian business owner. Being smaller I can be more attuned to my customers’ needs. I am always happy to source out something specific someone might want and discuss what I can do better for them. Please call or email me with any suggestions or requests you might have.

I won’t mention the details of our weekend in Vegas because as we all know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! 😉


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