Exclusive: Viewpoint – ducking price rise communications

Published on: 5th July 2021

This Viewpoint, from Liam O’Shea of Wicked Uncle, shares how some of the online present specialists’ suppliers have handled recent price increases.

“Extremely badly in a few cases. ‘Cowardly’ is the word I would use,” begins Liam.

“Some pricing has been forced to go up, as shipping costs are currently vastly inflated, and the cost of materials has risen. As highlighted by Toy World recently, the Covid aggravated congestion at shipping ports has caused a huge demand for shipping space, delaying shipments and resulting in container costs increasing by several thousand dollars.

We placed an order recently for a 20 ft container of 2000 pieces and agreed to pay the additional £4k shipping cost, in effect a 10% price rise on each unit. We knew this when we ordered and fully appreciated the reasons why. We know about the reasons, everybody does, but the big question is how much should prices be raised and crucially how do suppliers tell you, the customer, that this is going to happen?”

Liam goes on to detail how various suppliers have handled the situation – and reveals that some have done so better than others. “Enough,” he complains. “This is now the fourth supplier who has introduced significant price increases (20-35%) without telling us, with no notice, in fact with no communication at all. When we asked why we hadn’t received any notice or even been told, the shifty and evasive replies contained everything from IT error, email problems and mail delivery, but strangely 5% price rise emails seem to have no problem getting to us.”

Liam firmly believes this is an unacceptable approach and has even closed the account with one particular supplier. He compares their methods with those of ‘a properly run company’, which keeps Wicked Uncle fully informed of pricing and stock availability, enabling a clear understanding and a choice to be made.

“We deal with some great companies, where everything is transparent about their pricing, their teams are efficient, have been brilliant during lockdown and are a pleasure to deal with,” he concludes. “Thank you for being straight, a lesson some others clearly need to learn.”

To read the full Viewpoint column, which appeared in the July edition of Toy World, click here.



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