What would you pay for Easy Builder building blocks?

Posted by Ryans Dad on 28th October 2009

What would you expect to pay for a set of Easy Builder building blocks? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.

As the date approaches for Ryan’s story to air on WICZ FOX 40 TV I’ve had a growing concern, pricing. As things currently stand, we are simply not able to make any money. There just isn’t any profit margin. Maybe this is another learning opportunity with Ryan. So far I have truly left all final decisions throughout this endeavor to Ryan. The question of product pricing has been one he’s expressed strong opinions on from the start.

Ryan’s preference has been to keep the pricing of his blocks as low as possible, very low. His thinking? If the price is too high no one will buy the blocks. NO ONE. However, the pricing he started with was excessively low. $1.15 per set to be exact. At that time he was selling only through personal arrangements with his grade school friends who simply do not have any money to begin with. Even at pricing below $2.00 per set, the vast majority of those original sales were never paid for. It makes sense and it is something Ryan has learned from.

Easy Builders muslin carrying bagSo, a week or two ago Ryan and I did a little math to figure out what it really costs for us to produce these sets of blocks. The results were eye opening for both of us. For Ryan it was a big surprise to see how much it really costs to make his product. For me the eye opener was in learning which of the materials represented the greatest expense. It was the paint, followed by the nice muslin bags we are using as packaging.

So now with an accurate picture of what our costs were the discussion moved to what we should really be pricing the Easy Builder building block sets at. Ryan’s initial answer was… the exact cost we had just arrived at. So, Dad continues with the discussion in hopes of a better answer. Ryan’s final decision on the matter left us with less than $.50 “profit” on each set of building blocks sold which is where our pricing currently stands.

Now I worry that should we get a surge of sales (even a small surge would be significant) by virtue of good publicity with the upcoming tv news story broadcast, will we find ourselves spinning our wheels? Without any appreciable profit margin we create no income for Work Builders and we also are not able to support charity as Ryan intends.

Easy Builders building block set - 12 blocks with carrying bagSo the question I would pose to you here is simple. What would you expect to pay for a set of Easy Builder building blocks? Each set contains 12 blocks of varying sizes, they are sanded smooth and painted as you see here. The blocks are sold with a nice muslin carrying bag and there are a number of color choices you can choose from. Please leave your comments right here in this blog post. I appreciate any feedback you might be willing to offer. Keep in mind, Ryan will be giving some of this money to charity. More info on that coming soon!

7 Responses to “What would you pay for Easy Builder building blocks?”

  1. Paula Wolfe says:

    There are a few certainties in life. One of them is nothing is free! I strongly believe anyone who places an order should expect to have to pay for them. This should be true for friends and relatives. I would definitely pay for a set! Ryan is developing a business and needs to make this a primary focus. In order to grow his business and realize his dream of ultimately giving some to charity, he needs to first receive adequate payment for his blocks in order to make a profit.

    Ryan is obviously a warm-hearted boy from a loving family! It would be so sad to see him give his business away out of generosity.

    If Ryan chooses to give a set of blocks away on a rare occasion, I personally feel that would be very kind; However, it goes deeper than that. How will that help his business? It will not without having a profit margin. Larger, established businesses give nothing away!

    It warms my heart that Ryan has the enthusiasm and motivation to make his blocks, as well as a very supportive family! This journey is an incredible learning experience for all of you!

    For Ryan — Keep up the great effort! Make sure you receive payment for each set of your Easy Builder building blocks, and watch your piggy bank grow fatter!

  2. Paula Wolfe says:

    I’d expect to pay around $10.00 for a set of bocks. They aren’t inexpensive to make. There’s no price on the value of this entire experience…taking orders, having and replenishing supplies, the time, and if any sets are mailed. It’s Invaluable!

  3. Ethan says:

    This is a pretty cool project/business Ryan has going here. It is never to early to start a business.

    I think Paula nailed it with the price point of $10, of course I could even see paying up to $15 because of the lead free and charitable donation factors.

    Good luck as you keep selling, and I am looking forward to the Fox40 clip!

  4. Dena says:

    I would have easily paid $10 for a bag of your beautiful blocks when my kids were small! Ethan makes an excellent argument for possibly going a little higher. $11.95 sounds pretty good to me. Now that my children are grown ups, I would buy them for gifts!

    Keep up the good work, Ryan!

  5. Ryans Dad says:

    This is great. Thanks for the feedback everyone. From your comments it seems we should not be shy about getting the price closer to $10.00 per set. I’ll have to touch on that with Ryan. It’s his decision ultimately.

    I’ve had a private suggestion of $9.95 (for psychological pricing reasons) plus some shipping at $4.80 which would leave the total for one set at $14.75, again psychological pricing strategy playing a part here. $14.75 just seems better than $15.00 even.

    Ryan s still enjoying the ride! Thanks for your comments!

  6. I don’t get the psychological argument for $9.95. I’m going to rationalize it in my head as “spending ten bucks.” Just make it $10.

    I know its a popular “as-seen-on-tv” pricing point method, but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Also, avoid “charging” for shipping. I’m much happier when I see “free shipping” for online purchases. I’d much rather pay $15 even, then pay $10, and get charged a hidden $5 shipping fee.

    All that being said, I think your sweet spot is around $12. If you really personalize the experience (great website, great purchasing process, great packaging), I could see that going up as high at $20 without hesitation.

  7. Meggan Bush says:

    Hi, I volunteered at BU, I was the one that was the last to be sanding when everyone was done! I just read all this and I CAN”T believe how cheap these are! All the hard work that goes into these, plus, the donation that the money goes to! I figured these blocks were a flat $20 at the very least $15! The bags alone are not cheap, I know I’ve done a lot of business things and have had to purchase them. I say at the VERY least, make them $15! One more comment, GO RYAN!
    -Meggan Bush

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