Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Why Matcha cat cushions were so difficult to remake

matcha cat animal cushion
It wasn't easy to clear 100 cat cushions last year. I sold through my homepage, during my talks and I rented booths at conventions. The books were freakin heavy and the cats were freakin bulky. You combine the two and it's a seller's worst nightmare. Finally after 3 months of struggle, it was finally sold out during Anime Festival Asia in December.

...and I thought my nightmare was over...

But whenever I take Matcha (yes that is the name of my cat) out to conventions, people kept asking for it. Strange that:
When I have plenty of stock, people don't want to buy.
When I have no stock, people want to buy.
WAT DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

When a fan met a car accident and two of her cats were stolen, her boyfriend contacted me to buy another two for her. Unfortunately, I had no stock left so I had to wash one that I gave to my nephew to give it to them. So I guess fans really like the life-size Matcha cat cushion so maybe I should really consider remaking them... but it will be EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

Why? Because...

  1. Factories usually do not entertain small orders of only 100 pcs. They did that for me after my agent pleaded with them and the factory did that out of goodwill in hope that I will order more in the future. Therefore the new re-order has to be at least 500 pcs.
  2. To ensure good quality, I had to pay extra for someone to go down to inspect the goods before delivery. That is because some people complained about the quality of cushions last year. Some were good, some were bad (BTW, my cushion is not a toy, it will get injured if your child whacks it around...). Big factories only entertain big orders from big companies (like making 5,000 or 10,000pcs), so only small factories will entertain my order and their quality is hard to maintain.
  3. Super bulky = expensive shipping. I did ask the factory if they could shrink-wrap but they say the shape will not be good when it is inflated again. Or maybe they said that to avoid trouble, like how they gave me a sky-high quote to print the labels on the plastic bag. That is why I had to print the labels separately and paste them onto the bags one by one, yes by yours truly, one by one.
  4. Super bulky = troublesome logistics and storage. Not only it is going to be expensive, it is troublesome for logistics and storage. Below is just 2 bags containing 50 cats each (total 100 cats), imagine x5:
There is no way my tiny bedroom can fit in all 500 cats. I also do not own a car and have no means of transportation besides my legs and public transport. That is why I had to find sponsors first to support the production AND storage before I could re-order, and that took 8 months.  

Now for the delivery, no joke, I had to hand-carry up to 8 cats for 15mins to my nearest post office under hot sun and haze. Then queue for another 10-30mins to mail them out, EACH TIME. 
So when someone says: "Wow why so expensive?" or "Can it be cheaper or not?", I feel very disheartened and regret making this unnecessary trouble for myself. After all, I already fulfilled my dream of making a cat cushion from the first 100 pcs already. I do not have to remake 500 pcs more, they were not very profitable anyway and extremely troublesome to sell. Furthermore, I have to sell 250 of them this time to breakeven =_= (luckily most of it was sponsored). That is why I am very happy whenever someone send me a note or photo that they love the cushion a lot, it counters that negative feeling of "damn why am I creating more trouble for myself".

With that, I hope readers and fans now understand it is not easy making this fat cat. I will automatically ignore rude comments like "Why so expensive" and "can give discount or not". But if you are buying 4 cats or more, I can give a small discount (please email me as it requires special arrangement).  Sorry bulk discount temporarily suspended till further notice due to overwhelming orders m(_ _)m

Now... it will be really nice if you can buy a cat or two @ http://www.eva.sg/EN/shop.html :)
THANK YOU!!!

P.S. I will not ever ever ever remake this cat cushion after all 500 is sold out. It is literally over my dead body, so please grab this chance while you still can. I repeat, I will not remake them no matter how many people request for it in the future because I have enough of so many big cats around me everyday and sending them around ... It's really very troublesome...

9 comments:

  1. The cushions look great.

    I guess you can learn some marketing lessons from this episode. Make it appear that your items are limited and can sell out anytime. If they don't buy now, they will regret!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I achieved the effect of selling more cats, I suddenly have more orders now than the first round of announcement. I think people did not realise how difficult and troublesome it is for us to make these products because all they see is the end product, a fluffy cushion. It is like comic book too, it took me 2 years to compile into one book, but to them it is just a comic book that finish within 30mins. There is a lot of effort and money behind all these things that I hope to let more people know it ain't an easy business.

      And thank you for your support at Patreon! :)))

      Delete
  2. Stumbled upon your site due to a Facebook comic I saw. Bought the cushion :)
    Wanted to get your autographed book when it has stock or when will you be having another Booth?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much :)
      I just updated my website to include a book+cushion bundle.
      The reprint should arrive tomorrow or next week.
      I am still wondering if I should take up a booth on Dec 26 as it costs $420 for two days. Might be skipping it. Will announce on my FB again if there's anything!

      Delete
    2. Hi!
      Wondering if I can upgrade my order at this point? Sorry I am not informed when you post a reply. I have to keep checking this website to see if you posted a reply.

      Delete
    3. Hi hi,
      Can I upgrade my previous order of the cat to cat + book?

      Delete

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