Monday, April 30, 2012

Marketing Experimentation

Nothing much at the flea market again, this week. This I consider a good thing, since every time I log onto Blab I end up throwing more money at the Breyer web site. (Honestly, I should have just direct-deposited my check into Reeves account this week!)

This time it was a "Second Chance" offering to Collector’s Club members of the most recent Web Specials: Mont Tremblant, I’m Yours, Fall in Love, and Paddy. Announced via Twitter Saturday morning, all sold at issue price, only one item per customer. Since the only piece of the four I didn’t have was I’m Yours, and I’m no greedhead, that’s the one I caved on.

I didn’t bother to log on here to post anything about it because I assumed that the piece counts were infinitesimal - and that posting would be moot. I think everything except the I’m Yours is sold out at this point, though I haven’t really had the time to check to see if that’s still true or not. (Frankly, I’m a little afraid to!)

This sale is no reflection of the popularity - or lack thereof - of the Web Special program. No matter how tightly you run a program, there are going to be leftovers. What these represent were the leftovers of nonpaying customers, returns, and possibly some overage made to cover damages.

Actually, with the relative ease of entering these drawings, I wouldn’t be surprised if the redemption rates drop a bit. A lot of the people who couldn’t be bothered to put a stamp on an envelope before - or had their entreaties to enter rebuffed by their "financial caretakers" (parents) - can now enter anything and everything they want with a few mere mouse clicks.

If they "win" but cannot pay, oh well. No consequences for them, just more labor for Reeves, as they track down another buyer.

I admire Reeves’ marketing experimentation, but I do wish they’d space these experiments out a bit more. I guess they figured as long as they had all the extra staff on hand getting ready for the Kids Only Event, they might as well toss a few bones to the rest of us sitting at home trolling for gossip from said event.

It does make me worry about what’s going to show up in the NPOD this year, though I am relieved that I’m not going to have to witness any fistfights over leftover Mont Tremblants. Surprise SRs are nice (and I’m pretty darn positive it’s going to be more than just Killarney and Taskin), but what we really line up for are the oddball surprises - the failed experiments, abandoned concepts, leftovers, samples and whatnot.

What gives me hope is that most of this kind of stuff is difficult to distribute almost any other way. I just can’t imagine having a drawing - a la the Chestnut Esprit - for every single one of those things. It’s neither economically feasible, nor fair. And what fun is a big ol’ tent sale, without any surprises?

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