Interview with the owner of 215Toyz

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by edgecrusher, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. LBock

    LBock Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the additional info that @edgecrusher and others have brought to this thread. One of the better that I've read on TFW. When I watched the video, I didn't even think about the fact that Hung was arbitraging the price from Asia compared to other NA retailers.

    There's been several small guys on Facebook who have tried to sell 3P and ended up shutting their stores down because they weren't making enough money.

    If 3P was making money hand over fist, they'd be pumping out more figures than they are at this point. They need to be able to make profit on certain figures in order to fund the duds that don't sell. Same thing goes with retail.

    I would be curious to know what the profit margin is for 3P companies selling in Asia compared to the US. Is the profit margin that much higher or does it get eaten up with shipping costs, exchange rate fluctuation, etc.
     
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  2. CollectorDre

    CollectorDre Transformed

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    Conspiracy is not a big word and totally is not the same as difference between saying hate and dislike. A conspiracy is just a derivative of conspiring, which is a common word and totally explains what is being implied is being done here. But if words matter, then what I meant to say is a bunch of groups "planning together".

    So now that the big words are outta the way, my stance is still the same that there is not some big plan that these groups are getting together to make to punish the market. It's just regular market shifts like edgecrusher is saying. Market shifts that will for sure influence our buying decisions, which would in turn affect any seller's product movement. But if it's unsustainable either too low or too high, it doesn't matter, you won't see those price points again.

    But this is basically explaining basic retail practices since forever. Not some un heard of master plan.

    The mechanism is what you are using right now. If this was some hidden practice by a group that is trying to control the market, with so many people in the forums, someone would leak it here. And if there was some crazy illegal stuff that the government would have to get in on, then the info wouldn't be so easy to obtain, like through an interview with a retailer. I mean even @zfarsh was able to get some info from his source, so I don't think it's highly illegal information.

    The test is happening all the time, there are facebook sellers and even local people that can get inventory and undercut anywhere. Like I said, so many dealers. I only mentioned small, cause that is the context of this whole thread. The big groups having a bad day on a small dealer. But I just think why can't that just be an incident that happened with 215. It doesn't make his situation better, but it also doesn't make it like all guys are getting put in the dirt.

    I remember meeting TCP and Toy Dojo back at Botcon 2014 when they were just starting out. I know people that got things for under market price from them at shows. Maybe they got shafted too. But they went on to survive in this industry despite this escalating influence from big guys. CP has been around forever even before that and they started out small. I just think it's circumstantial.

    Well, there is also no evidence that suggest you are not telling the truth either, so I wouldn't call yourself out on fantasy. But not sure if you had this bombshell info why hide or protect it if you think it's wrong and cheer on Bobby for exposing this deep hidden info? Kinda seems like making things complicated for yourself as you are on one hand saying that you knew this was all true and are glad it came out, but happy to harbour this and keep it secret for the guys that you want exposed. Really confusing.
     
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  3. Mormolyce

    Mormolyce Throbbing Member

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    Everyone has their own subjective opinion on what a figure should cost, and also what they're willing to pay for it, which is a combination of that opinion and how much they can budget for shiny plastic toys. I don't think anyone should feel bad about what they're willing to pay for something, high or low.

    Companies price things at a certain level, and that always captures X% of people interested in buying it, based on whether it goes over what they're willing to pay. Of course it sucks when some people get priced out but on the other hand... the 3P market (for MPs at least) is already kind of a niche for collectors who have more disposable income than the average person buying a toy for their kid in a supermarket. We're happy to spend more to get more, meanwhile the mainstream Transformer toys are very economical with parts count etc to price at a low enough point to compete with a regular kids' toy.

    Of course it's always possible the price was set way too high and the company effectively lost more in sales than it gained in margin. I suppose that's something only their accountants know.

    For the record I think that BW Megs is crazy expensive, and it's certainly out of the range I'd personally pay for a BW figure (I guess I'll be waiting for the KO :p ). But I'm not judging anyone who's fine with it - I'm sure most "normal" people would think I'm a lunatic for paying what I did for FT Phoenix. A giant white plastic robot from the 80s.
     
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  4. Shunwei

    Shunwei Well-Known Member

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    Just finished watching the video and can’t say that I am surprised by anything Hung said. Having been in business for some years now a lot of people who have never run a business in his life would never know the difficulties in running one as most businesses fail after a few years. Let’s just say someone rents a storefront space of 1400 sq ft at a visible retail center for 3600 a month with about $600 utilizes a month, so 4200 in fixed overhead monthly. And let’s use say a popular figure like Fanstoys Sovereign at 150, with $50 net profit after everything (probably a bit high, for let’s say so for the sake of math). So justoverhead alone this hypothetical business would need to sell 84, or roughly 3, Sovereigns or its similar values a day just to pull even. Doesn’t seem like a lot at first but if you think about it, it’s not that easy. And then you have to add in taxes, staff, and the need for profit, so yeah there is a lot involved.

    Even if what Hung said in this video is entirely true, I am not holding it against TFS or the other shops. They all want to survive and grow as well, and margins are important. Otherwise you are just working for overhead, and who wants that?
     
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  5. Hoffman

    Hoffman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, basically at a minimum your gross revenue has to be 3x your overhead just to break even. (assuming a 30% margin)

    If you can find a super cheap unit, that's still going to be 10k a month. That gives you ZERO income. If you think you can live on 2k a month, you need to sell 6k more of goods every month.

    The bottom line is, if you think it's easy to make a ton of money selling consumer goods, you've probably never tried.
     
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  6. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    It's a situation where the Chinese _are_ making money but retailers are ending up stuck without alot of expensive product that just won't move. 3P is the most expensive by volume product outside of SH Figuarts or SOC. To use the example from the video, 4 Scorias take up about the same space as 4 CW Ultra Magnuses. One costs $200 ($800), the other costs $45 ($180). When your spare bedroom or garage is stuffed ceiling to floor with unopened cases, all but the most bull-headed stop ordering. When _that_ slack finally hits 3P, it'll be a bloodbath. No offense to NJCC (except I hate your move to two days) but I cannot believe that people keep paying money to sell Marvel Legends for _less_ than they cost through the wholesaler.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
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  7. mtl79

    mtl79 Well-Known Member

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    Well he also mentions that these guys are on all the sites, so maybe their planting those comments to see if people agree with that price and then they set the price...

    Some people are irresponsible with their money, they just can't control themselves....
     
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  8. knightmare6

    knightmare6 Reflector In Disguise

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    Yep, I've had the same thought myself in the past, like when FT Phoenix was still announced, prices started coming up in the $300 range, and I was wondering if it was a plant throwing out a price to see the reaction. Same with MakeToys' Utopia.
     
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  9. Shunwei

    Shunwei Well-Known Member

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    Ithink the best way is to just judge an item’s price by historical standards. If a similar item to past items is spiking in price, most likely something is going and it would be up to the buyer to decide to bite or not. It does take a lot of personal discipline to stick to your guns and not become impulsive, but people who are impulsive will do so for anything, not just toys.
     
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  10. Mormolyce

    Mormolyce Throbbing Member

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    Yeah, and they're not exactly selling hot dogs here - 3P Transformers are a very distinct niche market, with finite appeal. And there's significant competition. Only so many FT Arcees are going to sell. And since we're a pretty cosy little group of consumers, you only have to mess up a few orders or piss off a handful of customers and bam, you're persona non grata in TF fan circles. Then you have drama with suppliers to deal with, returns and refunds...

    I don't envy anyone having to run a small business like that.
     
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  11. solarstorm

    solarstorm Well-Known Member

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    I've said that here for years. Its pricing elasticity. Companies know there is a range for what people are willing to pay. For each percentage of a higher price, demand will drop and companies are fine with that. There is a sweet spot where having a higher price and fewer customers is more valuable than a reasonable/cost-based price and a larger market. But you need to be careful to gauge the market and not overcharge because you can lose enough customers to see no benefit from higher pricing.

    If I sell something for $100 I might sell 10k units (1 million). But if I sell it for $130, I might only sell 9k units ($1,170,000). I could sell for $30 more because I know demand wont drop much. I'll sell less, but my bottom line would be better. But if I sell it for $160, I might spur a larger share of the audience and only sell 7k (1,120,000). My "sweet spot" is somewhere between $130 and $160. This is where I can maximize my profit by having a high enough price.and just enough customers. I identified a "drop off" point where pricing can no longer be stretched.

    When we talk about how much we are willing to pay and when we buy items without any care for pricing, we help send the message that the "sweet spot" in that elasticity range is higher than it would have been otherwise
     
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  12. madpanda

    madpanda Well-Known Member

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    Watched the video, and was kinda sad to hear that this stuff happened to 215. Never even knew his store existed but can see something like that happening. Watched very similiar things happen in the aftermarket car scene.

    Makes me wonder if the big 3 went after Baba when he was a shaky a while back. I have noticed that FT prices have dropped a bit since i started purchasing FT products. I was expecting Hydra to clock in at $200 but glad he’s under $150. It could be a trickle effect of what we the consumers again are willing to pay.

    I was lurking on these boards for like 4 years and really only started to comment in the last year, but i remember back in the day the third party scene was very inclusive with a few different reviewers, but more recently ive noticed this subforum is a bit more hostile and less inclusive. We have some reviewers abandoning 3rd party all together, some remaining off the forum, and a handful officially or unofficially crewing up with a 3rd party company and getting really hostile when something negative is said about the company they have affiliated themselves with.

    I agree with Hung’s philosophy as this scene can’t last forever as most people probably have an end to their collection. I myself am almost there with my MP collection, mainly just waiting on combiners now. I’ll probably also pick up A couple more MMC Reformatted figures and Maketoys CD figures but I have an end or a severe cut in sight.

    I’m just hoping that the 3rd party scene can get back to the figures, but I know it probably won’t as some of these etailers have invested too much in their businesses and now rely on it to put food on their table, but they gotta realize these deal guys are like Hydra, you cut one head off and two more will take their place. They may have cut 215, but i think baba and showz/rub took his place.
     
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  13. StriderHiryu

    StriderHiryu Well-Known Member

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    I just watched this interview this morning. We can all agree that MP scale stuff is not cheap and this premise that many of the bigger retail outlets muscle out the little guys who try to give good deals is fairly disturbing. The fact that we as collectors are willing to pay the money for this stuff is what drives it, I'm sure. But I wonder if there's anything we can do as a fandom to be wiser and more informed about our purchases and who we buy from and support. Would like to hear perspective from sellers as I know we have quite a few that come to this board. Anyway, it is a pretty intriguing watch and worth a discussion here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2018
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  14. theschmendrick

    theschmendrick Well-Known Member

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    Resurrecting this thread because I finally watched the vid and am currently wondering how everyone feels in the wake of MP-44's price. Am I being dumb for not digging around other threads, or is TT pushing for a 3P price-point the exact thing everyone in this thread was afraid of, including me?
     
  15. rikk

    rikk Well-Known Member

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    HERES WHAT REALLY HAPPENED WITH ANTHONY DILLENBECK AKA HUNG NGO OF 215TOYZ..
    HE RIPPED ME OFF ON A DEAL HE AND I HAD WORKED OUT.
    I DID SOME CUSTOM SCULPTUNG AND RESIN CASTING FOR HIM IN EXCHANGE FOR A FANSTOYS SOAR AND STOMP.
    HE PAID 100 DOLLARS FOR MATERIALS AND I DID ALL THE WORK ...THE SCULPTING..THE MOLDING THE CASTING THE PAINTING AND PAID 60 DOLLARS TO HAVE OVER 1,000.00 DOLLARS WORTH OF WORK INCLUDING ORIGINAL SCULPTURES DONE BY ME IN ADDITION TO ALSO SENDING HIM 3 TOYWORLD DINOBOTS.
    HE GOT EVERYTHING THEN ..LIKE A SNAKE...SLITHERED HIS LAME ASS OUT OF THE DEAL LEAVING ME EMPTY HANDED.
    SO I FILED A REPORT WITH THE BBB..FILED A REPORT FOR MAIL FRAUD AND INTERNET THEFT AND SENT HIM LEGAL PAPERS VIA FEDEX DEMANDING THE RETURN OF ALL AFOREMENTIONED GOODS.
    HE CHOSE TO BLOW ME OFF..BLOCK ME...IGNORE MY CALLS AND TEXT MESSAGES .
    I EVEN HAD MY 6 FOOT 3 INCH TALL COUSIN SHOW UP AT AN EVENT HE WAS ATTENDING AND HAD MY COUSIN TAKE PICTURES OF THE STOLEN ITEMS HE HAD ON SALE AT HIS TABLE.
    I HAD MY COUSIN HOLD HIS PHONE OUT TO DILLENBECKS FACE AND CONFRONTED HIM ABOUT WHAT HE HAD DONE VIA SPEAKERPHONE ..HE QUICKLY TURNED AND TOOK OFF..WENT BACK TO HIS HOTEL ROOM AND NEVER CAME BACK OUT ACCORDING TO MY COUSIN..
    SO NO..IT WASNT SOME HUGE CONSPIRACY OR PEOPLE CONSPIRING AGAINST ANTHONY THAT DID HIM IN...IT WAS ANTHONY WHO SCREWED HIMSELF OUT OF HIS BUSINESS BY BEING A BACKSTABBING UNDERHANDED THIEF WHO TRIED TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE WRONG MF..
    I SHUT 215TOYZ DOWN AND THATS ALL THERE IS TO IT.
    AND AS FAR AS BSF ...HE KNEW ABOUT IT THE WHOLE TIME AND CHOSE TO ENDORSE THAT SNAKE IN THE GRASS BECAUSE BSF WAS GETTING FREE STUFF FROM ANTHONY AND DIDNT WANT TO ROCK THE BOAT .
    SO THATS THAT.
    ALL OF IT FACTS.
    AND IVE GOT THE PROOF OF IT ALL ON FILE.
    TCP OR ANY OF THOSE OTHER PEOPLE DILLENBECK CLAIMS DID HIM IN..I THINK HE WAS JUST TRYING TO TAKE AS MANY PEOPLE OUT ON HIS WAY DOWN AS POSSIBLE.
    I HAVE NO REGRETS..IM GLAD I DID WHAT I DID AND I WOULD HAPPILY DO IT AGAIN WITH GREAT APLOMB .
    I CANT STAND A THIEF AND A LIAR..LET ALONE SOMEONE WHO MASQUERADES THEMSELVES AS BEING A FRIEND WITH NOTHING BUT NEFARIOUS INTENT IN THIER MIND.
    GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD RUBBISH.

    R.ROBERTS