Helen's Doll Saga

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Posted by helen on November 19, 2007

If I posted my opinion at bc.com, some people might be really angry, no one like high prices…. but I am free to speak here, as no one knows me!)

Platinum Cher,  Ethel Santa at $34.99?

—It’s all about what “Platinum” should be. If it represents the newest designing concepts & the highest quality of Barbie, then, the price should match & reflect all the efforts–it would upgrade Platinum dolls image as well– Platinum dolls are limited editions of 999, they are not made for everyone.  They should represent the best of Mattel and be “hard to get” and give the collectors more Pride to own.

It just doesn’t make sense that a pink lable is selling $49.99, a gold label is selling $179, but a Platinum goes down to $34.99.

 There will always be problems when demands are larger than quantities produced. Right Price should closely reflect & well balance the market demands.  It’s a loss/mistake that Mattel started the platinum at $34.99, Mattel didnt use price as leverage to control its own market and benefit its distributors & consumers, but let a few secondary market sellers take full advantages.

I have no doubt many who initially didnt want Cher & Ethel Santa decided to get as many as possible just to make profits. Some wanted to get the dolls as they were heated up by other’s burning desires. Acra’s price didnt go up much at ebay, the original price certainly reduces the demands, the sellers would not dare to hold many dolls, it’s not b/c they dont have enough credit line, it’s b/c they have less chances to make sales since less people have the desire to buy the doll at high price, it actually gives collectors more chances to get the doll at reasonable price.

Both Acra & Deirdra are still available at Times Square TRU, do they set great example?
I am sure Mattel’s Marketing strategists knew all the pricing tactics, and they could have foreseen the market demands based on their experiences. I dont understand why they set Platinum at $34.99 then let it soar up to $500 at eBay.  Maybe they wanted to stir up consumers feelings and attract attentions, also give some people  false impressions that Barbie is hot, profitable & hard to get(you’d better start to collect now :D) — so these $34.99 platinum dolls serve one purpose:  Getting “Publicity”– No matter you are happy or angry, these dolls hit “Headline” news in doll communities & are hot topics for long time to come. 
There will always be problems with sales channels, not everyone would be happy. the key is, whom should Mattel make the happiest? It certainly should not be the 2nd market sellers, who should be the most disappointed ones? certainly not the royal collectors.

I would really love to hear Mattel Marketing Strategists’ explainations, I guess it’s a secret for Mattel to keep.

I dont run fever for any platimuns, although they wont break my bank account,  I wont pay $500 since they do not meet my quality standard.


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