Toys are a great option to sell online. It is one of those things that will always have a demand, and you can also expect to have high sales volume every Black Friday or Christmas.
However, you are not the only one selling toys. You have a lot of competition out there, and you will find it challenging to get your brand out to people’s eyes.
So, how do you successfully sell toys in your e-commerce store?
Today you will learn:
- What to look out for if selling toys online
- How to sell toys online effectively
- Ways to build your e-commerce store
By the end of this tutorial, you should have a clear blueprint—a plan—how to go about selling toys online.
Let us get this ball rolling!
When readers buy products and services discussed on our site, we often earn affiliate commissions that support our work.
What to look out for if selling toys online
Before you get started, there are some important things to validate. While toys are timeless treasures, you should not forget that you are in business, and you must make wise decisions instead of going at it head-on
You only want to sell toys that have a demand. Otherwise, you may be spending money on your website maintenance, like your Shopify or WooCommerce monthly subscription, and not make this money back if you have no sales.
Open this blog post on a new tab to learn more about Shopify pricing.
Read below for the three important things you need to study before you get started.
1. Check Trends
Remember the fidget spinner? Back in 2017, there was a massive craze worldwide about this toy. But the craze died down. The fidget spinner is one of the best examples of a trending toy.
This is not to say that you cannot sell what is trending, but I would advise you against stocking up on these items. But if you are in the dropshipping business model where inventory is not needed, then, by all means, go for it.
From time to time, new trends would surface, especially so if a new movie is released. Avengers’ toys would have an increased demand if a sequel is coming, and sales of Disney characters would skyrocket on every new film release.
But how do you check trends?
Your best friend, in this case, is Google Trends. Google, being the biggest search engine, has a database of what keywords are searched more than the others. To validate if there is a trend for your idea, go to Google Trends.
Here is a step by step tutorial on how to use Google Trends.
Go to Google Trends.
Type the toy category, and choose the one that says “search term”. If you choose another one like “topic”, Google Trends will look for trends about shows and discussions, not the toys. In our demonstration, we are using Rocking Horse.
Now, Google Trends will show you the result. As you can see from the screenshot below, there is a consistent trend here.
Google Trends score a search term from 0 to 100. A score of zero means there is no interest in the search term, while a score of 100 means that the search term is high.
Expand your search. In the example above, the search result is only for the United States, and only for the last 12 months.
But what if we want to see a longer period, and what if we want to see worldwide trends?
To expand your search, click on the four dropdowns and choose what applies to our search.
In our case, we will search for worldwide results for the last five years. See the screenshot below.
Lastly, you can compare this with another product to help you decide which one has more demand. To do this, click on the “compare” button on the upper right, and type a search term. In this example, I will try a toy car.
And here are the results:
As you can see, the toy car has more demand than a rocking horse.
So, what will you sell?
2. Materials Used
If possible, do not sell toys made of cheap plastic. They easily break. And if they do, you would be inundated with returns and refunds.
If you are keeping an inventory, then great. In this case, you know what the toys are made of. But if you are dropshipping, you’ll never know the quality of the toys you are selling until you order them.
If you are unsure what dropshipping is about, open my blog post below on another tab to read later.
As a toy seller, you must keep children safe. Do not sell toys that are made with lead. Make sure you find a reliable supplier who complies with legal expectations.
3. Validate Appeal
Are the toys you are going to sell appealing to both kids and parents? Some toys are just downright gory, and children are not the best audience for it. And speaking of audience, you need to have a target market—a niche.
It is a tad difficult to make an online store work if it is a general store. A general store is typically cluttered. It attracts a massive number of people, but they are likely not going to buy because of the sheer amount of choices they see.
To help you make a choice, read my blog about Niche vs General Store.
Also, keep in mind that for kids’ toys, it is the parents who will decide. Do not expect children to come to your website. Having said this, the appeal of your toy products would be supported by three pillars—function, presentation, and pricing.
- Are the toys useful?
- Are they educational and fun?
- Are they beneficial to motor and brain development?
- Are they going to improve cognitive function?
If you are dropshipping, does the supplier have professionally taken photos? How about the packaging? You will never know these unless your order the toy yourself.
If you keep your inventory, then the appeal is within your control.
Lastly, the price has to be attractive. You cannot sell a toy for $100 if it is nothing more than a simple doll. Study how the same toy you are selling is priced, and make sure that your price is competitive (including the shipping cost).
How to sell toys online effectively
To be able to sell your toys, you should be able to attract the buyer. Your buyers are definitely going to be parents, and it is also parents who use Google to search for items.
Even if you have great products, marketing is still the key to your success. Below are some tips.
1. Use Vivid Images
Toys look good if they are bright. You should use bright images against a white background. If at all possible, you must not use colored backgrounds.
Also, avoid using images that are pixelated. In a world where phones have powerful cameras, pixelated images are just downright sloppy. Customers who go to your site and see these poor-quality images are not likely to buy.
If you keep your own inventory, take close-up shots of some of the toy’s parts, especially areas where the customer has to put the battery, or where to turn it on.
This helps make the customer feel confident that she knows what she is buying. It also gives her an idea of how to operate the toy.
If you are selling a set, take a photo of the different parts altogether. Line them up near each other and take a shot. On your product description, make sure you itemize these parts, so the customer knows what to expect.
2. Write Great Copy
The product description is one thing that will make or break a sale. Good copywriting is the main component of inbound marketing.
Apart from using SEO to make your product page crawlable by search engines, you have to remember that you are writing for humans, too.
A good copy should be able to convert a site visitor to a buyer. If you are not sure how to do this, you can pay for the services of a copywriter.
You have to split your product description into three parts:
- Ad Copy
Features are technical aspects of the product, such as whether it is battery-operated, or what the size is. Ad copy refers to a text that attempts to convince the customer to buy. And FAQ is a list of questions that parents may have about the product.
In the Ad Copy section, you can capitalize on the benefits. You can also use this section to write sentences similar to what you normally hear on commercials on TV shopping networks.
In the FAQ section, you have to think of what your consumers may ask, such as what the toy is made of, where the product is coming from, if it has small parts, or if it comes with a warranty, etc.
Here is an example:
Do you wish you could fly your drone faster and longer? Will you enjoy more if you could charge it or a shorter period of time?
Check out our Brand XYX Drone Model 12345! It is one of the fastest drones out there that gets a full charge in less than an hour!
Capture memorable moments in 4K Ultra—take videos and photos from up above and never miss a moment!
- Material: plastic
- Dimensions: 37.5X39X6.5cm
- Lithium-ion battery
- Comes with charging unit
- Two wide-angle lenses 13 MP cameras
- 4K aerial photography
- Charging time: 40 minutes
- Flight time: 20 minutes
How long will the shipping take?
Shipping will take between 5 to 7 business days in the US.
Do you process refunds?
Yes, we have a 7-day refund guarantee. No questions asked!
As you can see, the example product description is broken down into segments. The first part is the ad copy, where we are trying to promote the benefits of having this product. The second one is the features area, and the third is the FAQ.
If you want to learn more about writing product descriptions, read my blog post below:
6 Tips on How to Write a Product Description That Sells
3. Design Your Website for Toys
Not all themes are made for toys. Some of the themes are built for electronics, food, and some for food supplements. Choose a theme that best matches your brand’s character.
Use colors that blend well for your products, and use these colors consistently all throughout your webpage. If possible, use bright colors.
Stick to primary colors in the color wheel. If you may have noticed, big brands of toy manufacturers and retailers use bright colors such as Toy Kingdom and Mattel.
Where to sell toys online
Now that you know what to sell and how to sell, it is time to decide where to sell your toys online.
Your main choices are:
- Build your store
- Sell on Amazon
- Sell on eBay
1. Building your store
There are many platforms you can use to build your store. If you want an easy web-builder, you have to use Shopify.
Shopify is a platform specifically designed for e-commerce. It is the most popular store platform in the world, and the lowest plan costs only $29 per month.
At this plan, you can already build a fully functional store. It is easy to use that it only takes minutes to build a store.
There are many themes and apps that you can choose from. Many of these are free, but you can buy the premium ones if you have a budget.
To learn more about Shopify, read my blog post below:
If you are short on cash, your other option is to build your store with WordPress and WooCommerce. Both of these tools are free, but you have to pay a web hosting provider to set make your website viewable on the internet.
This second option is also easy to implement, but not as easy as Shopify.
To make this happen, you need three things:
Bluehost – Bluehost is a web hosting provider where all your files will be stored. It is the company that will take care of showing your website to anyone who goes to your domain or URL.
Bluehost only costs less than $5 per month, and you can already build a website at that.
WordPress –this is your content management system. This is where you will create your website pages, blogs, landing pages, etc. WordPress is free.
WooCommerce – this is the plug-in that you need to integrate with WordPress. It is WooCommerce that makes it possible for you to create product pages, and also charge your customers’ credit cards so you can get paid.
The only money you would spend in this second option is hosting, which is less than $5 per month.
If you want to learn more about Bluehost, read my review about this hosting provider:
2. Sell on Amazon
To be able to sell on Amazon, you have to register for an account. In Amazon, you will list your items and then pay Amazon a fee if that item was sold.
There are two ways that you can fulfil your order here. The first one is that you ship the item yourself, and the second one is that you use the Amazon FBA program.
Amazon FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. In this business model, you have to ship your items to the Amazon warehouse. After they have received your goods and cataloged them, you can now post your items for sale.
If a sale is made, it is Amazon who would ship the items to your customer. Amazon charges a lot of fees, like referral fees, closing fees, and sales fees.
At a minimum, you have to pay $0.99 for every item you sold. In this set-up, you can only sell a maximum of 40 products a month. If you are selling more, you have to pay a monthly fee of $39, but the $0.99 is waived.
3. Sell on eBay
eBay is still one of the largest marketplaces online. Unlike Amazon, you cannot ask eBay to ship your items for you.
To get started on eBay, all it takes is to register for an account and then start listing your products. eBay is an online auction marketplace, so make sure you price your products with a minimum bid that you can accept without a loss.
The primary method to accept payments on eBay is PayPal, and it charges several fees. It charges a final value fee (FVF) of 10% of the product cost.
The FVF varies per product type. For example, it charges 12% for books and media, but only 10% for ordinary goods.
Pin it so you don’t forget it!
While it is easy to set-up a toy shop online, marketing the toys and serving your customers right is much easier said than done. This is not to discourage you from your dreams of putting up an online shop, but only to get you in touch with reality.
You are competing against hundreds of toy shop operators, so you better create something that is unique and trendy. More importantly, add value to your customers first, and the profits will come later.
Toys are always in demand, so there is a market, the trick to selling them is to become more creative than your competition. Apply the marketing tips that we discussed earlier to improve your conversion rate.
Test different promotions and see which ones are receiving positive responses.
Create a parent-friendly site. Design the store in a way that it appeals to both children and parents. Write blogs that are helpful, and you will have better credibility as an online toy retailer.