Rethinking $19.99

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These are the people who will pay $24.99 for a squeak toy like Sophie the Giraffe, or $1400 for a double wide baby carriage at Saks Fifth Avenue.

I was speaking with someone the other day, an industry veteran, who told me that when he entered the toy business 25 years ago, the hot price for toys was $19.99. Then he looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, gave me a weary smile and said…"and it still is."

Yes, amazingly the hot price point for toys is still $19.99. Isn't it time for us to rethink our decades long dependence on one, national price point?

There are really, at least, two types of American parents. There are those who are in their twenties, just starting off in life and with limited incomes. Then there are those who are in their 30's and 40's, careers in place, who have ample money with which to spoil their children. It is the latter that is having children at the most rapid pace.

They live in large cities, primarily on both coasts. These are the people who will pay $24.99 for a squeak toy like Sophie the Giraffe, or $1400 for a double wide baby carriage at Saks Fifth Avenue.

So, what is the hot price point for late life parents? Is it $49.99? $99.99? $199.99? Should some smart retailer open a store called "Everything's One Hundred Dollars" in New York, Los Angeles or Atlanta?

My point is that toy companies need to start thinking in terms of what products to produce and at what price points in order to satisfy two very different and diverging parent populations. Please, let me know your thoughts.

One thought

  1. Richard,
    There are different price points for different purposes. Almost all parents will spend more on their own child/children than they will on gifts for nieces/nephews and friends children. T
    That said, when you add up all of the expenditure for holiday season, depending on the number of “other” children, there will many parents whose total $ spend on other children is greater than the spend on their own children.
    As pure online sellers, we also see many comments from grandparents, who may be buying for several children as well as several gifts for each child, and here the $20/25 mark will continue to be very important to the vast majority of these buyers.
    The more expensive items will probably be left to the parents who can afford them, not least because of the risk of making a bad choice and wasting a bigger spend on the wrong item.
    Just a few thoughts, I hope they help.

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