We all know the 70th Anniversary assortment models - and particularly the Saddlebred - have been hard to get so far this year. Breyer underestimated the demand, ran out in early February, and quickly put more into production in China. However, that was during the height of the pandemic in China, and everything was closed, from manufacturing, to warehousing, to transportation. It has taken until now (late June) for more to be produced, packed into shipping containers, and brought around the world on a freight ship. As of this writing, Breyer is just starting to straggle out a few cases here and there.
During this time between selling out and starting to get more, Triple Mountain has received over 200 customer requests for the Saddlebred. Most asked to be placed on a waiting list, but since waiting lists are prepaid, we only use them if we're as positive as possible that we'll be able to fill every wait list order. With the uncertainty around production and transport of these models, we decided it wasn't fair to hold anyone's money "in the hope" that more would arrive, so we did not create a waiting list. Instead, we're making them available as soon as we receive them. So far this week we received seven cases (1 Saddlebred each, remember) and then 2 more a couple days later.
As you've undoubtedly seen, we've opted to increase the price on these while they're scarce. We hope to reduce it again once they start getting delivered in greater numbers, but this allows those who REALLY want to be the first in their area to own or show one, the chance to do so, while helping our small business weather the difficult year that COVID has caused. A customer asked a very thoughtful question about the pricing by email, and after I answered, I decided it would be the right thing to do to post that answer here for everyone as well:
Pricing was a hard decision, and we talked a long time about it here. It is very probably only a temporary increase as well, so hold off buying right now if you can. Here's why we ultimately decided to price them like this right now, so you know we weren't just being greedy:
We have to buy in six models to get a single Saddlebred. We currently have 20 Andalusians sitting here, many of whom arrived in our very first January shipment. That means our buying budget is partly tied up in those models which are slow to sell (along with other slow models in inventory, but he's a good example), limiting how many more assortments we can buy. And when we do buy more, we have to pay for 5 more models for each Saddlebred we get to sell.
After July First, Breyer reduces their "Minimum Allowed Pricing" - the minimum price we can set for this year's models. At that time, we'll reduce the price on the Andys to help sell them more quickly and free up money to order more assortments (which will include more Andys). Because we'll be making a lot less on the Andys and others we reduce, just so we can order more assortments that people mainly want one model from, it made sense after a lot of discussion, to increase the price of that one hard-to-find model in order to offset lost money from the ones we'll be discounting, allowing us to buy more.
We really hate that Breyer is making retailers buy full assortments when we're already overstocked on certain models, but we've asked and they won't budge. In order to get as many of these out to collectors as possible, we have to make enough to buy five more horses for each Saddlebred. We checked eBay for what they've been selling for consistently, and found the Saddlebreds recently have been going for between $120 and $180 each, so we made sure we were still below that far enough that our customers were still getting a better price, without pricing them so low that people bought them up just to turn around and put them on eBay for a profit.
Breyer is still being close-lipped about how many of these they will have available now that their boat from China has arrived. Therefore, we don't know if our other backorders will be filled or shorted. If they start sending all that we have on order, we'll be able to make up the loss on the Andys and other slower sellers, in volume of sales, and reduce the prices again, but until we feel sure about that, we're opting to cover ourselves to allow us to order more, while still giving our customers who need one immediately the chance to get one at a lower price than the secondary market.
Some decisions aren't popular but are necessary for a business to stay in business, and Breyer's determination to make retailers buy random assortments, particularly in a year that has gone off the rails like this one, is liable to put some small stores out of business... Our plan is to not be one of them, so we'll adjust and weather this storm, looking forward to returning to normal as soon as possible.
Thanks for understanding,