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Solving the Challenges of Small Toys at a Pop Up

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Heart Felt Play Store has unique and affordable stuff for your kids’ Christmas Stocking this year. Packing for a Pop Up event can be daunting…I could blame the disorganization on naughty elves or even the Grinch…but, it’s me…I needed a solution to an entrepreneurial problem.

 

 

Heart Felt Play Store has a big heart for kids health and wellness . Explore Heart Felt Play Store .com

 

I am absentmindedly messy… like most genius’– I had to find some solutions for taking my fun stuff for kids with an educational twist to local Pop Ups and keep organized to maintain.my eCommerce inventory…

…I’ve been failing miserably… not a pretty site some days.

Stuff you kids’ Christmas stockings with fun stuff with an educational twist form HeartFeltPlayStore.com

 

I shine at window displays in a retail store- I stink at Pop Up table displays because I still need the tools- the display pieces…so I have struggled.

Why are party favor favor packages and stuff for Christmas stockings uniquely hard to display?

The No Non-cents Nanna buys fun stuff in bulk at wholesale then * repackages in combinations you won’t find any where else for her eCommerce HeartFeltPlayStore.com and local Pop Ups in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

…and the challenge is?…

It takes time…to repackage...I LOVE it.…I love little toys!…

1) The most expensive part of many toys is the packaging..not joking…that’s why I buy wholesale in bulk without out packages that cost as much or more than the party favor or stocking stuff-er.* My goal is to keep costs low as possible.

 

Small stuffed animals make fun party favors and slip easily into Christmas stocking – just add chocolate candy. Heart Felt Play Store

 

  • Because my Heart Felt Play Store inventory does not come in packages with header I package  my own for much cheaper  ( don’t look professional at all- but saves the customer up to 20% with a happy rosy color) – when I go out to Pop Ups in my local Colorado Springs I have the some of the same challenges as other vendors as do retailer stores..

( I took off doing events for over a year… I’m just getting back to doing Pop Ups.**)

Display small toys in a jar or fish bowl is fun for the kids- germ-y and more risk for shop lifting at Pop Ups.

 

I actually prefer to have little dinosaurs or lady bug note pads in fish bowls jars…like I did when I owned Nancy’s Fancy back in the ’80’s when I had pre-school classes came by once a week to enjoy my window displays….but…

Problem….

2)…when out at Pop Ups in the community versus a brick and mortar store crowds can get hectic…stuff disappears- accidentally or on purpose…yeah..shop lifting is every where and it kills the profit… and I go home with more of a mess then when I left home.

Solution…

Buy inexpensive cello bags and Vista Print business cards.

Put the small toys in the cello bag – bundle the same theme of party favors – Staple you business card to the top of the package. Put only a sample on the table.

  • see thru cello bags or even sandwich bags
  • keep product clean – a messed up package can replaced vs  germ-y merchandise.
  • the card stapled on the top takes a slight bit of more effort slip away with in your sleeve, pocket, big bag etc…. no one can say that item was their own just lie it.
  • BTW: don’t hesitate to post:

Shop lifters will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Pricegun.com made a graphic with shop lifting statistics that will shock you.

 …more than 13 billion dollars of items are stolen from retailers each year.

2014 National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) study finds that 1 in 11 people in the US is a shoplifter. No solid “profile” exists… commit this crime equally.

…statistics prove shoplifting … a common occurrence, retailers and staff should be prepared to handle it when it happens…. put in writing your shoplifting policies and procedures:

…moving on…

Most professional craft makers and vendors have a car, a van a truck and cool displays build to display their merchandise…

Problem: I stopped driving because of vision issues – I take public transportation.

 

Can you visualize me loading up my craft show table and 12 boxes on the city bus?..won’t happen.

 

  • I had to figure out how to compact my fun little toys in more than a dozen kid favorite themes in organized containers that would fit in a taxi cab quickly or in a friends car.
  • This is what I finally came up with..I had to go to pop ups just to meet people-not to sell- so I could figure out how to be compactly organized with what I had to work with – not much.

Grinch help No Non-cents Nanna get Heart Felt Play Store get organised in compact carry- all containers for local Pop Ups

 

  • This plastic boxes will snap together, then have a lid with a carrying handle on top.
  • The unicorn horns have their own compartment away from the dinosaur eggs.
  • My on-line product stays at home or I only take out one of each to display.

My other challenge to Pop Up shops is..I have an eCommerce store…

  •  don’t need extra weight of headers. ( I wrap each order in colorful tissue paper so when the package is opened it looks like a fun gift.)
  • had to stop spending days packing and unpacking from an event.
  • My Heart Felt Play Store Grinch comes out of moth balls every holiday season to do what he does…m-m-m? Let me know if you figure out what he does best.

To keep small product clean, less vulnerable to shop lifting and promote you brand staple your business card to the top of a cello bag with small merchandise in the bag.

 

I let the Grinch

  • staple my business card header on clear cello bags with bundled party favors: puppy dog note pad; puppy temporary tattoos: puppy dog collar bracelets…
  • each category has it own compartment of fun stuff for kids already bundled. 
  • The cool thing about buying from my Heart Felt Play Store whether it is at a local Pop Up or on-line, parents, teachers can request to mix or match for the number of children in the group.
  • Email Heart Felt Play Store at HeartFeltPlayStore@Gmail.com During the holiday season or on Pop Up days- expect 2 days for me to personally respond. ( Heart Felt Play Store is a Small Business- not a heartless corporation.)

Recently I went over to the local hardware store looking for  materials to build a display. I ended up buying an old peg board display for $40. Now I can punch a hole in the headers and hang a few up for a display.

The peg board stand, of course is too big to carry on a city bus, but narrow enough to slip into my friend’s car. ( Sorry- no image)

Nickels, Dimes & Pennies! Oh MY!

  • My e-commerce shop has a secure payment portal. If I am at a Pop Up shop my customers can pay the bill from an ap on their cell phones…I prefer CASH & CARRY at events…keep reading….
  • My store’s payment portal will automatically collect applicable sales taxes..uh oh.. no one likes to read those words, do they?

But, yes, vendors at Pop Ups,  craft shows, and perpetual garage sales by law have to have permits and collect sales taxes and. All required permits must be read-allyvisible…keep reading how a messy person conquers that.

  • E commerce stores generally pay a host some kind of “rent” and a fee per transaction on top of the merchant fees from the credit card companies…Cash & Carry for small sales like I have avoids those extra fees incurred when doing business on line…keep reading… I still have to collect sales taxes.
  • I can count back change- been doing it since i was teen-ager. But, dealing with pennies, nickels and dimes with an odd % of sales tax is distracting when an event is hectic. I have an easy fix that I have done for years.

How to display tax permits and collect sales taxes easily?

I grew up in a business. I owned a brick and mortar store…I was always running out o small change…so I changed one thing…

  • change your prices to accommodate sales tax pennies.

For example: back int he ’80 Iowa sales tax was a whopping 4 cents per dollar..I sold a lot of fun stuff for kids at around $1.

Ugh! $1.04!  I priced many things for just 96 cents for quick and easy transactions. Sometimes I lost  a few pennies in profit – but I got easy sales rather then slowing down the check out process counting pennies.

 

Preparing for sales tax collection at events.

 

My next challenge is to NOT lose important tax permits and how to read the tax chart when in a hurry or you can’t read those little numbers. ( I have vision issues that are even more challenging when people are crowding around.)

  1. Put all applicable tax permits in a 3 ring hole plastic sleeve and tack it down in a 3 ring binder. Set the binder up and open on your table so if  secret shopper from the sales tax division comes by- you are legal. ( Check with your local government agencies for the laws.)
  2. Make arrangements with your event organizer to collect and submit the sales taxes under their permits. This year when i went to Pops, not intending to sell, but to build relationship and research my market – if I sold a sample – I ran it through the register of the business I popped up at. Don’t assume anything– find out the law in your circumstance.
  3. From my 1984 Iowa example above I adapted to my current Pop Up events – see below for the Colorado Springs events Heart Felt Play Store will be with stocking stuff-ers for the kids.

For Heart Felt Play Store event prices my customers will save 10% to 15 % with cash and carry in long run.

As an example I sell my animal ears on-line for between $4.50 and $5 plus tax if my customers live in Colorado and pay by plastic via the payment portal. At my local events- cash and carry saves me a ton of fees…still have to collect city and state sales taxes…my solution…win-win..

win-win!

I Heart Felt Play Store Pop Up prices include all the sales taxes. When the customer pays cash I dropped/ adjusted  my price so when the tax is added in- the amount of cash is in increments of 25 cents or a dollar.

In my image with the Grinch you may or may not be able to see part of my tax permits in my 3 ring binder; Colorado Tax chart AND my hand written inventory list with the cash and carry price ( odd numbers.) with the final charge with sales tax coming out to a very quick and easy dollar amount.

When my customers get the idea that they already know what the cash & carry price with the taxes and that they will enjoy and discount. we all are happy campers at Pop Ups. And the sales tax secret shoppers knows I am doing business legally.

Does that make sense?

I love going out into the community to meet families who want a good deal on fun things for the kids at affordable prices…but, hauling things out is a challenge for me.

Who wants my review on how well my new organization worked or did not work?

I would rather enjoy engaging with my customers than counting pennies under stress.

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Did you know that Heart Felt Play Store now drop ships the best toys EVER? Yes, our Heart Felt Play Store catalog has Melissa & Doug Toys sold here.

 

*No Non-cents Nanna can mix & match per YOUR request in a price range that fits your budget, for the number of party guest and your child’s favorite generic theme. ( We leave most of the registered characters to the big companies.)

Kid’s Favorite Themes

  • dinosaur
  • unicorn
  • princess
  • cars and trucks
  • constructions
  • scientist
  • tea party
  • building blocks ( imitation lego)
  • Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Bugs
  • farm animals
  • jungle animals
  • …more on request.

Heart Felt Play Store is small- owned by a loving granny who really does care about each and every order for every child. I keep a small inventory in-house in Colorado that can be mailed USPS the same day. For inventory I may need to order- allow 2 to 3 weeks depending on how fast or slow the mail or UPS moves.

No time to list everything new toy or party favor on the eCommerce catalog. When Nanna does local Cash & Carry Pop Ups in Colorado Springs, Colorado, some stocking -stuff-ers may be hidden on the Heart Felt Play Store catalog.

 

Up coming events for Heart Felt Play Store In Colorado Springs.

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Citadel Mall, Colorado Springs Letter to Santa, Visit Santa & Shop – HeartFeltPlayStore.com POPS Up with stocking stuff-ers kids will love. -see our Facebook page for sneak peaks.

Chocolate & Cheese Expo Colorado Springs was rescheduled to 11/18/18 due to snow on the 11/11/18

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