How To Lose A Million Dollars In Sales Quickly…

Just when we didn’t think it could get any worse, #Pantygate spiraled completely out of control yesterday. Someone purchased a doll with a less than satisfactory stuffing job on her backside. She also had “squishy” vinyl. When confronted with the doll via social media, “that company” denied it was their doll and even went so far as to accuse the person of altering the doll or that the doll wasn’t theirs. I heard that at one point, the traffic got so heavy to their Facebook account that it went down. Not sure if it crashed or they deliberately shut it down, but it looks bad no matter how you try to spin it.

This whole thing got me to thinking…how many people would have to quit buying their products before they saw a substantial hit? I’m a numbers girl, and I keep track of things that most people wouldn’t bother with. So I pulled up my trusty spreadsheet that shows what I purchased with “that company” over the past couple of years. Because of the blog, I probably buy more than the average individual, so I scaled my numbers back, and then ran my calculations.

If you use the thought that the average customer spends $1000 annually, and 1000 of those customers quit buying, you lose a million dollars in sales. Let’s take that down a bit, with the average customer only spending $500, you only have to lose 2000 customers to reach that million. Ramp that number down to what I would say is a good first-time customer figure of $200 a year, and it only takes 5000 customers. I think it’s safe to say that somewhere between $200 and $1000 is a very realistic figure for the average customer of “that company”. I think it’s also a good bet that at least 2500 people who have decided to either cut back their purchases significantly or quit buying all together.

They have alienated a lot of their customers with this recent debacle. Once the new releases are out and those still buying them come to the realization that the quality is less than satisfactory, the number of customers leaving is bound to go up, as well as product returns. They can’t continue to ignore this, but instead of trying to do some damage control, they have let it not only escalate, but they threw fuel on the fire! I’m just shaking my head at how all of this has unfolded over the past several days. I don’t know what to think anymore, and I know I’m not alone. This is one of the craziest business models I’ve seen in my life, and I quite honestly don’t get it. At all.

I’d like to think that perhaps we’ve reached the end, but I’m not holding my breath. Only time will tell. All I know is I’m glad I’m not employed by “that company” this week. I think it’s going to be a tough couple of days until their employer steps up and takes responsibility for their reckless actions. Ugh.


9 thoughts on “How To Lose A Million Dollars In Sales Quickly…

  1. I’ve already decided that I’m going to be buying Maplelea dolls first if I need a custom character over a TM doll with perma-undies or buying TM dolls on ebay. The quality of Mapleleas is comparable to AGs and the price difference is decent (95 Canadian for a doll vs 115 US, especially when the exchange rate gets factored in) and Maplelea’s shipping is way cheaper than AGs (15 dollar flatrate shipping within Canada and that includes dolls and furniture and heavy stuff).

    I’m also hoping that they give Gabby a larger collection as the year goes on because poor girl barely has any day-to-day clothes besides her meet (two dance outfits, 1 set of PJs and that’s it).

    • Yeah, you have the reverse issue with shipping since you are in Canada. And Gabby–talk about turning what could have been such a great thing into a disappointment. 😦

  2. It’s sad. American Girl used to be such a great company, and now it seems like they don’t even really care about it anymore.

    • Yes, and I’m really puzzled as to what is going on behind the scenes. How do you take a long established brand and run it into the ground so quickly? Things changed some after Mattel bought it out but the last two years have been mind boggling.

  3. Love math! Will not purchase a doll with permanent underwear. And if any doll has squishy vinyl, it’s getting returned.

    Looking forward to the Lanie discussion!

    • I’m a math geek. It served me well in my various careers though, so I can’t complain!

      Last night I went to TJ Maxx, they had some Our Generation dolls and I tried to squeeze them in the same places–no go! So if this is the direction they are headed, their dolls are now going to be LESSER quality than their competition (who is selling them for considerably less). Does that make sense????

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