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So Many Toys, So Little Time

So many boxes! Is it a coven, a gaggle….a murder of boxes? Whatever it is, it’s a lot! We received the order of toys that resulted from our trip to the convention in Vegas in March and it’s overwhelming. I attend the convention to look for new items for Novel Toy to sell but also because it is a once a year opportunity for me to put in a really large order that will ship for free. With the tight margins a small business has, free shipping means a great deal and even more so now with the Canadian dollar so weak against the US one. Suppliers at the convention will offer free shipping as a one time deal incentive to get customers to order after attending the convention. I like to take full advantage of it. Its nerve wracking to put in such a large order at once but if I really examine what I need and order carefully it can work to my advantage. If I make a mistake that’s a lot of toys to warehouse until they sell.

Over the years of owning Novel Toy I am constantly trying to streamline processes, cut overhead costs and give my clients the best deal I can. One of the ways I do this is by doing my own brokerage. Since I live and work in Canada but import most of my goods from the United States everything has to go through a customs broker at the border, incurring additional expense. If anyone has ever ordered anything online (who hasn’t by now?) you’ll notice that many times there is free or inexpensive shipping within the US but not to Canada. Not only is there expensive postage costs but there are always “shipping and handling” fees which include a brokerage fee. To get around this I have my goods shipped to a shipping depot just across the border and Fred and I go down and pick up the boxes and import them ourselves, acting as our own broker. It takes a bit more time and paperwork but saves Novel Toy money. Every little bit helps.

To handle such a large shipment we had to hire a moving truck for this adventure and a friend to help unload. It’s exciting when a shipment like this comes in to Novel Toy, kind of like our Christmas. We pray for good weather so the boxes can sit outside for a bit while we try to find space for it all. It took 2 days to put all the inventory away. Just like a kid a Christmas I love tearing open the boxes and seeing if the toys are what I expected and sometimes I get a bit of a surprise when a supplier tries to foist goods off on me that I didn’t order. I have to check it all. So for a while we will be squeezing down hallways and hoping things don’t topple over on us while we work but it is always worth it in the end.

Here’s two of the toys from our new delivery, Alien Eye Balls on the left and Smartphone Water Game on the right.

Till next time, … thanks for supporting Novel Toy.


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