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Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009
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TOPIC: Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009
#31042
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
I haven't seen anything in this thread that would constitute an attack. No worries at this end.

In regards to your first comment; How do you know this? How do you know how profitable DF is? How do you know they can not make new products without raising their prices?
You're right, I don't know. But I can make an educated guess based on DF's past behavior and basic economics.

There are only two reasons to increase the price of a product -- the cost of production has increased (so the price HAS to increase to cover those costs), or demand for the product is such that the market will bear a price hike that will increase the profit margin for the supplier. (More simply, because it costs more to produce or because so many people want the product so much that they will pay more.)

We know from the forums that DF is not a cash cow, and we know that DF did not increase their prices during a long period when the economy was fairly stable. No reasonable person/business would believe that an economic crisis is the time to see if they can increase their profits, so it must be that the costs of production have increased.

If the "processing center" charges a higher fee for processing international shipments, find a new processing center.
I'm fairly certain that if it were that simple, they'd have done it by now. Just from reading the forums, it's very clear that gamers all over the world are practically waiting in ambush to buy DF products, and I'm sure that DF wants their business and their money. I am not privy to DF's arrangement with their processing center, but I suspect that it may involve storage as well as shipping; UPS and FedEx don't warehouse the goods while they are waiting for a buyer.

Out Of Sequence
If US purchasers had to pay $200+ per set (like many international customers have to) how many of you would still buy DF in the same frequency or quantity?
US customers probably will cut back, and this is actually kind of my point. Some who've been posting haven't been saying that they will have to reduce the frequency or quantity of their purchases, they've been saying that they will never order again because of the twenty dollar price increase. That is their choice, and they know their budgets and pricing tolerances better than anyone else.

But in subsequent posts, some are mentioning general increases in shipping and outside financial considerations as additional factors. So this isn't just about DF raising their prices, and I don't think it is fair to expect DF to freeze their prices while everything else goes up.
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#31043
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
Hey Guys,

I feel I should explain a bit here...I understand that our "farther" away fans are frustrated...Once again, I am sorry about the very high cost of shipping out of the USA.
We are going through difficult times right now, and are just really struggling to once again, stay afloat so to speak.... Part of the problem is that we have little time to figure out a solution that will not take up all our actual working time. We are already very much delayed with the releases we wanted to release this year an in fact missed Christmas! A sure death for most toy companies...

I am not sure If many people understand just how small a company DF really is. There is me in NYC and Jeff in Illinois. I live with my mother and Wife (now that my father has died) and those of us left alive are still recovering from the NYC Crane disaster that destroyed much of our home and workspace. Our manufacturing costs have doubled over the last year or two but we are still trying to continue to create our "dreams"

I wish I could solve all these problems having so little time; The easiest way would be for someone to order a 20ft container or perhaps even a smaller quantity of 500 Sets (container=1200 sets) and then it would be left to them to distribute it as they will. I would offer a reasonable discount on such a large order. However, because we have had payment problems with various Distributors in the past we will only accept 100% Payment up front. Such a distributor would get exclusivity for Europe, (we would still reserve the right to sell product ourselves to Europe.)

The challenge that such a "Distributor" will then probably face will be that he will be poorly stocked most often since when he runs out of something he cannot immediately re-supply but must wait for another container order. If ordering very carefully I think it IS possible that it can work provided such a person is willing to hold onto some inventory for quite some time. As long as when the container order is placed it consists mostly of new Limited Edition products and then some core others.

If there is anyone who is seriously interested in such an endevour we are willing to spend some time figuring it out. Once again, because we have been burned in the past we will only listen to someone willing to pay up front (as all our current customers do)

So, in other words, does anyone have extra garrage/barn space, significant amount of extra cash, and free time to work out various shipping solutions to so many different destinations and countries...(it takes more time than you think) but it can be done by one person. I did so myself the first few years: I dreamed it, I sculpted it, had it manufactured overseas, payed up front for my containers, took it into my art studio loft, and every day UPS came and took out 10-30 boxes till none were left out of 1200...and so, someone else can do like me, but without the first parts, just the paying and shipping parts...someone must have the guts and the passion though...(and the space)
(and the money too)

Forgive us If somehow we didn't respond to someone before, perhaps such an inquiry was overlooked? I personally do not remember any serious discussion directed at myself, but I am often out of the loop...

I hope the above isn't taken in the wrong way, I am just trying to explain. As always, I am very upfront and on the level.

I have not been ruffled or offended either. I feel your anguish (all those concerned), but I must also keep things in proportion in order to stay functioning.

Sincerely,
Stefan
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#31044
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
Stefan,
If I lived in Europe, I would do it in a heartbeat...
Seriously.

BLAST
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#31045
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
Stefan, thank you very much for your detailed answer. This answers quite some questions and even if I cannot promise anything I will keep up asking around on how to solve the handling in Germany. I also had lots of discussions with customs people and will look for a way to solve european shipping. If I see a way to do all this and to earn enough bucks on the way to finance all this I'll get in contact with you again.

CU all around,
Timo
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#31046
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
Man,
Even if someone was willing to take up the offer in Europe, it still leaves all of us living out East out of the loop. Something I suspect will never change. I can't see Asia and down under as a very big market for DF :( If the market could support it, I would even consider the option for us out East, but with less than a handful of forum posters from out this way, i can't see it as a viable business option.

Ah well, no solution for us, but best of luck to the Europeans if you guys manage to pull it off :)
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#31047
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
Lupus - alas I think you are right, just not a big enough market locally unless you were already a distributer of other goodies to make it worthwhile.

I do think DF need to look at the contract with their distribution center though as it has a faint whiff about it IMHO.

Cheers
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#31048
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
If there is anyone who is seriously interested in such an endevour we are willing to spend some time figuring it out. Once again, because we have been burned in the past we will only listen to someone willing to pay up front (as all our current customers do)

So, in other words, does anyone have extra garrage/barn space, significant amount of extra cash, and free time to work out various shipping solutions to so many different destinations and countries...(it takes more time than you think) but it can be done by one person. I did so myself the first few years: I dreamed it, I sculpted it, had it manufactured overseas, payed up front for my containers, took it into my art studio loft, and every day UPS came and took out 10-30 boxes till none were left out of 1200...and so, someone else can do like me, but without the first parts, just the paying and shipping parts...someone must have the guts and the passion though...(and the space)
(and the money too)

How much free space are we talking here? You aren't really talking about changing your US distributor, just "creating" an overseas distributor here in the states that would take care of international orders, right? I have alot of DF sets, but not 1,200, so I am not sure just how much space that would require, factoring in the need to have everything placed in a way that could be accessed easily. And there would need to be space for the cool DF boxes you guys send orders in. And the "ton-o-peanuts". How much space were you using when you did that part of it yourself Stefan?

The reason I am asking is that, well, maybe, I could do something like this. I am building a rather large house right now that will be finished around April. It may (probably will) have the room available, depending on what that requirement is. I also have a wife that may be willing to do something like this as part-time income (understanding no one is looking to get rich with this) now that she is home with a newborn and no longer working in supply as an active duty US Marine. She would have the time and "warehouse" experience, I would have the initial DF knowledge and enthusiasm (she actually thinks the DF stuff is cool too, just not "hundreds and hundreds of dollars cool!). The "significant amount of extra cash" we'd have to discuss... that is a pretty broad term... 1,200 sets at $100 a set would be $120,000, which would be impossible. I am wondering though how many orders even come from the international community. Ordering 1,200 sets and barely being lucky enough to fill orders to ship 100 of them would not be fun. Maybe there is an intermediate step to see how a local "international order filling department" would work in practice starting with a smaller quantity of sets, perhaps only carrying the main stuff. Orders for the extras might be filled by shipping them to the "international order department" first for inclusion into the rest of the order, with the end buyer realizing there would be a little increased cost for the extra shipping charge if certain items are ordered.

Shoe
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#31049
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
I think the European distributor might have to be in Europe to make it work. ;)
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#31050
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
I was under the impression that part of the problem was how the current warehouse is shipping stuff overseas, and that someone even here in the states could do it cheaper. A European distributor also wouldnt help with the international customers that are not located in Europe. Of course, perhaps Stefan was looking for someone in Europe in his post, and I just missed it. Very possible. If so, my bad.
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#31051
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
I had to cut way back after the last price increase. Looks like we will be cutting back even further. The sets we want are all out of stock at current so there is no getting them before the price increase which means it may be a long time if ever we can afford to get them with the economy the way it is.
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#31052
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 10 Months ago  
Stefan,

Keep up the great work. The economy sucks right now. If you need to shut things down for a while and bring it back once the economy comes back, then so be it. I am glad you are putting this is perspective. For you it is your livelyhood, and you seem more calm about this stuff then some of us gamers, for which it is merely a hobby.

DF is amazing, and you are an amazing fellow for making it work. I have seen your start up competitions (I even bought some of their stuff) come and go. This is a hard niche you have carved out, and for you to keep plugging ahead despite the setbacks, both professional (higher costs) and personal (home being destroyed by Crane) is amazing. I wonder if all of us have as much inner fortitude.

Thanks for the hard work, I hope that you, and all of us, find lots to be thankful for.

Cheers
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#31053
Price Increase Coming Jan. 1st, 2009 5 Years, 9 Months ago  
Just thought I'd mention that there is exactly ONE Lake set left.....
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