Frequently Asked Questions for Inventors and Children’s Book Authors
Can you help me sell my idea?
Yes, I can. The least expensive way I can help sell your product is with my Ultimate Package. You get a website built for you ready to sell your product and other sales tools. I have been working with individuals and very small companies trying to invent a new stuffed toy idea for well over twenty years now. The next step up is the Ultimate Package Plus which will get you social media posts and we can start to manage your advertising spend to drive new business.
Can I get a sample to show around to buyers?
Yes. The Basic Startup package gets one prototype in your hands. There are many steps to go through but I’ll walk you through them the whole way. I’ll do sketches, get your changes, do a full turnaround (which is the front side and back view of your toy) and get any other changes from you. When that stage is approved, I’ll sew together a rough prototype. You can make changes to that and I’ll incorporate those into a finished prototype that I will send to you.
How do I protect my idea?
The first step to protecting your idea is ensuring that the manufacturer you work with signs an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). When you and I sign an NDA, it means that I cannot reproduce your product or discuss your ideas without your permission. I have built my company over the last 20+ years on the fact that I only manufacture goods for my clients. I have no interest in stealing ideas, and I am happy to put that in writing. You can get a free NDA here.
I sold my own product years ago – very successfully actually – but when I started manufacturing products for inventors I made the decision not to compete with my customers. I would recommend you choose a manufacturer that is not in competition with you. Think about it. If your idea sells well, do you want your manufacturer (who sells their own toy ideas) seeing your success? Your best ideas may get ‘borrowed’ by your own manufacturer. I don’t compete with my customers which is something you should require from your manufacturer.
How much does my idea cost?
The fastest way to get a ballpark cost on your idea is to use my Quote page. I have created the Quote page to email you a full quotation immediately. There are a number of factors that affect a toy’s price, but the basics are height, quantity, and bulk (how fat it is).
Height – this affects your price as you choose larger toys. Common sizes that we use now are 4″-6″ for beanie type toys, 8″-12″ for smaller stuffed toys, and 12″ and above for everything else. A bigger toy does not just mean more material. The greater size adds to labor and shipping costs as well.
Quantity – as you increase the quantity, the shared costs to produce your project is spread over more pieces, therefore lowering your price. In general, the more you order the less you pay per piece. You may want to test the market with your toy idea so that is why I offer low minimum orders.
Bulk (Volume) – how fat/round your toy is affects the cost throughout production and especially during shipping. I have an excellent method which walks you through 15 questions you MUST ask yourself before giving one penny to anyone. The 15 questions are contained in my Design Guide and have helped hundreds of inventors organize their ideas.
Where do you manufacture my toys?
All the toys I make for you are designed locally on the computer. Your prototype and production run is made in China. I did manufacture everything locally up until the end of 2001. At that time I developed my “SEED System“. This is where my unique process literally grows your idea into the best toy possible. The big toy companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring one toy to market. That is just not economical for a small inventor. The SEED system ensures that your toy idea belongs to you, is developed at a reasonable expense (as little as $500) and the system allows you to tap in to my proven talent pool all over the world. I have developed strong relationship with a few factories in China, designers in Asia, and artists in several other countries including the US and Canada. All of these experts share my desire to bring good quality products to you at reasonable prices and low quantity levels. The SEED system allows one of my specially trained Project Managers to tap in to this talent pool. Your PM (Project Manager) can monitor and adjust the work flow at each and every stage of your toy development based on your ideas and needs.
What happens if my sales exceed our expectations, can Binkley Toys (customplushtoys.com) keep up?
Yes. I have not had one customer exceed my manufacturing capabilities. When your orders get in the hundreds of thousands of pieces per year, I can escalate my manufacturing system so that a container or two full of your toys is shipping out every few weeks. Your main focus should be on selling as many toys, as fast as you can, and let us worry about keeping the shelves stocked up. For sales levels below this, there is a similar lead time required for each order you place of approximately 12 weeks. We can deliver 900 to 100,000 pieces in that time. Each contract is unique so we will advise you in detail at that time of an exact delivery date. Any way you look at it, I’ll be there to take care of your needs.
Where do I send my ideas, payment?
You can get your project started, and submit your investment securely online here. Email or courier your ideas and investment to my address in New York, NY, or my Ontario, Canada address. You can find my detailed contact information here. Or simply call the toll free number found in your quote, and any emails you have received from me after your quote. That is my direct line to my office here.
What is your minimum order?
900 pieces is my minimum order. You will find that the pricing is more ‘retail sales’ friendly at 3,600 toys per production order. But don’t hesitate to order the minimum to see if your marketing is ready to go and sales will flow as expected. You won’t get rich at 900 pieces and I won’t either of course but it’s just a way to see if your marketing plan will work, your pricing is at the right price point, and you have the ability to drive traffic to your sales page.
Is your price your final price?
Yes, and no. You can always find a cheaper price. Some companies are comfortable manufacturing junk and shipping it to you. I am not comfortable with that. I feel making a great toy is important so that you can sell it. To determine your price, I have spent years developing detailed formulas to predict what the cost of a toy will be. If you think about it, I have to quote on your toy idea even before it is created. So any quote you receive before I make your prototype is a ballpark quote. The approximate prices are based on thousands or projects I have done in the past, so you will be amazed at how accurate they are. You may be thinking, “But my idea is different.” Rarely do I find that our quote is more than 5% – 10 % off which is easily absorbed in the higher quality the toy will be. That means you can easily charge more for your toy idea. In developing a unique product, there are dozens of decisions which need to be made in order to establish your price.
You will get to decide on the quality of materials, the complexity of the design, and the speed at which it will be produced. I can guide you and help you reduce or increase any of these factors in order to re-quote and alter your final price. I believe that when you deal with my company, you get more than what you pay for. You should get a quote, choose an investment level, and we can discuss your toy in detail. If it becomes clear that I cannot make your toy, or you want way more than is possible at the quoted price (which I can identify easily within the first few emails/ phone calls) I will refund 100% of your prototype deposit with no questions asked.
How long does it take to get my product?
Approximately 12 weeks after you approve the production sample and mandatory safety testing is completed. Shipping times vary contract to contract. A timetable is provided along with your quotation. Normally the biggest factor in completing a project is getting that first design approved. The better you and I work on the initial stages of a project the quicker it will go. The typical steps and duration are:
* Prototype Stage – within 4 weeks approximately
* Pre Production – within 1 to 3 weeks approximately
* Production Stage – within 12 weeks approximately
* Delivery ( local ground shipping ) – 3 to 8 days
Are your toys safe?
Yes. I have been designing and manufacturing toys since 1995. All of my toys meet or exceed international health and safety standards. I pride myself on my high level of customer service, exceptional quality, and before any of these qualities, I place safety as #1 above all else.
For Canada and USA I follow the ASTM and CPISA standards. For Europe I follow the EN71. No matter what country you will be accepting the goods into, I’ll be sure to have them safe and compliant with your country’s laws. Your price per toy includes safety testing for your country so if you plan to sell larger quantities to other regions than additional safety testing may be required.
How do I know Binkley is a reputable company?
At the bottom of every page, you can click on the logos to check out a list of credentials that you can double check, including my Dun and Bradstreet number, my Better Business Bureau membership, my Chartered Accountants contact information, and more. Don’t take my word for it! Read comments from my customers just like you on my feedback page.
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Updated for you June 6, 2020