The Christmas Toy Trap

Every found yourself In a toy store in January scratching your head and wondering why on earth after the small fortunate that Christmas Cost and the lifetimes worth of amassed stockpile of toys your child has accumulated over the festive period are you yet here you are again opening your wallet. Then you remember you made a promise to a child and you need to show them a promise is important…

Sound familiar?

Every year it’s always puzzled me how the big toy that everyone wants is always no-where to be found. Radio station talk shows advise parents where the last items could be, parents queue for hours for the chance to get one of the “last batch in”. Listen out for it this year, it’s the best marketing, that money can’t buy.

So with the speed of production and distribution in the modern economy do the toy companies really get demand predictions that drastically wrong, is it just a coincidence that it happens every single year???

Surprisingly not! Toy companies are smarter than you think, the more rare a commodity the more value is placed on it. The fact that you can’t get a certain toy makes people talk and demand go up. January is a notorious slow time in the toy industry and to combat this the toy companies have a little trick up their sleeve. They:

1. Create the demand – you promise your kid a toy for Christmas
2. Limit the supply – so you can’t get it
3. Do supply a wide range of substitute goods – If your not capable of fulfilling your promise to your kid toy companies know that in the feeling of guilt you are likely to spend even more and buy even more toys to try and compensate for your feeling of letting them down.
4. And here’s the real clincher – “But Mum You Promised” come January your back in the toy store buying that gift anyway.

And this my friends is what strategy is all about, cleverly disguised as love and affection, subconsciously toy companies are maximizing your buying budgets through psychology. So next time you find yourself puzzled of how someone managed to get more of your wallet share than you were will to part with ask yourself… at what point did you loose control and in where children are involved did you really ever have a chance of winning?

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