New Wave Toys Ships Collectibles and Saves Up to 77% with ShippingEasy
A pocketful of quarters, a cacophony of beeps and boops, and no parental supervision…At one glorious place in time, happiness was found at the arcade. New Wave Toys in Los Angeles, CA aims to bring that magic right to the doors of their dedicated customers in the form of miniature arcade games, boomboxes, and even change machines. The company got their start on Kickstarter in 2017, and have leveled-up every year since then, now shipping thousands of orders a month from their LA warehouse as well as from a 3PL in China for their international orders.
Managing an ecommerce business from the crowdsourcing stage to the industry-leader stage is no easy feat. Luckily, New Wave has trusted ShippingEasy with their fulfillment from the very beginning. Given their business model that revolves around pre-orders and timed drops of new products and restocks, the company doesn’t have time to play games with their shipping. We visited New Wave Toys owner Peter Gould in their warehouse in LA to discuss how ShippingEasy keeps their business winning.
Optimizing Pre-Sales and Stocked Orders with ShippingEasy
New Wave Toys’ market is one that thrives on hype. Their quirky collectibles are released in a “drop-based” model, where nostalgic arcade fans rush online to submit pre-orders for a limited run of a new product as soon as it’s announced. Without a shipping solution like ShippingEasy in place, this high-volume fulfillment ecommerce model would be nearly impossible, or at least much more chaotic. To show us the difference, Peter walked us through a typical order process for an already-stocked item.
“For something in stock, we get the order, it comes into Shopify, and it immediately gets synced over to ShippingEasy. We come in in the morning and sort the orders, while setting aside the new orders.”
Since New Wave can depend on ShippingEasy to seamlessly transpose all orders into the program, they never have to worry about missing a beat – or a sale. The only thing left to do is get those packages ready to head out the door.
“If it’s a typical day, we’ll do 10 or 15 orders, sometimes a little bit more. We get it, we process, we print the label right there, we come out, grab, pick and pack. It goes out the same day almost every time. It’s really fast,” Peter says.
Pre-orders made easy
When it comes to those highly-anticipated drops, though, things get a little more complicated. The customers’ energy and expectations are high, and there’s no time for slip-ups when it comes to getting these collectibles to their new homes. After years of utilizing ShippingEasy to navigate pre-orders, Peter feels confident even in the most tense times.“Pre-orders are a little bit different. This is where knowing your way around ShippingEasy and knowing how to set up and use automation rules is really helpful,” Peter says. “So we’ll do a pre- order period for 2-3 weeks which will yield 3,000 orders. ShippingEasy holds onto those orders for us so that when we have the product, we’re ready to go. By the time it gets here, you want to get it out fast. So we have a whole system set up for grouping the same product by shipping class.”
The New Wave team have perfected the arts of both regular warehouse management and drop days with ShippingEasy by their sides. Through the years, they have tested other solutions to make sure that they are working smarter, not harder, and it seems the results speak for themselves.
“I tried several other shipping softwares and I kept coming back to ShippingEasy. For our business, it’s the best one that we’ve found.”
The perfect ecommerce packaging
Every ecommere business owner know that finicky customers come with the territory, but perhaps no customer base is quite as particular as the collectibles enthusiast.That’s why, when it comes to shipping these replicas, New Wave Toys has had to reinvent their packaging and shipping methods time and time again.
“These are all collectables. A lot of these are limited edition. We only willmake a few thousand of them. Shipping in general is incredibly important to our business. It can be a source of frustration, obviously, but we’ve done a lot to make it better and to get people what it is that they want.”
Keeping customers happy begins in the warehouse. When the company initially got their first products in from the production warehouse, they realized the thin fluted boxes weren’t going to cut it. After a test-run shipping them out to their own homes, New Wave employees were less than impressed. Now, they have implemented a box-within-a-box system to keep these collectible toys looking perfect.
“We prepackage it in a shipper and a frustration-free package, so we just stick it in a bubble wrap envelope and ship it out. We could slap a label right on the outside and do it, but we like people to have it arrive and look nice. And so we go overboard.”
When Peter says “overboard,” what he really means is “more cardboard!” These collectibles need to get to their destination without a scratch, a bend, or even a suggestion of a journey. So Peter and the team put their heads together to come up with some less conventional packaging standards.
We’ve had to accommodate the idea that the box is a collector’s piece as much as the inside. We added this outer layer that looks like the original shipping box that the arcade game came in,” Peter says.
Shipping collectibles safely
Keeping track of all these particulars, especially for products that vary in size, could be complicated, but Peter and the team use ShippingEasy to keep track of inventory and automatically weigh the orders before they go out.
“We have a variety of shapes. Our biggest package that we ship out is two of the arcade machines together in one box, which is like 16x16x10 in. and weighs about 12 pounds.”
No matter how demanding the customer, or how precious the box, ShippingEasy has New Waves covered (and not just with a thin layer of cardboard!)
Savings through UPS OneBalance®
Beyond the Russian doll-style packaging, there are also costs to consider when shipping thousands of products a month. One of the biggest draws to ShippingEasy for New Wave Toys was the negotiated rates they get with UPS OneBalance®. Since they use UPS for almost all of their domestic shipping, New Wave couldn’t imagine a business model without this system in place.
“We have a complex set of challenges that we’re presented with when it comes to fulfillment. Thankfully, ShippingEasy offers me really great rates through the UPS OneBalance Program,” says Peter.
By using OneBalance through ShippingEasy, New Wave Toys is able to cut their shipping costs by up to 77%. This savings allows the team to allocate fewer resources to getting products out the door and more to finessing products, packaging, and new ideas.
“At the end of the day, we have a very specific business model of pre-sales, and none of the other solutions provided the right set of tools.”