The retailer has 20,000 products listed on Amazon and ships 100,000 parcels all over the world from its own warehouse each year. "This is a full-time undertaking and requires a tremendous degree of professionalism", says Ingo Loebner, the twelfth generation of his family to manage the toy business. Eight of his twelve employees work exclusively on Amazon orders and a large part of Loebner’s own working day is devoted to assessing pricing tools and monitoring competition on the marketplace. "We are highly numbers driven, also when it comes to planning our range", says Loebner. "Our tools show us which products are currently selling well and with good margins on the marketplace and we adjust our purchasing accordingly." But marketplace conditions change on an almost hourly basis; yesterday’s bestsellers may already be a losing deal just a few hours later. "You have to have a really firm grasp of the figures and be alert and flexible at all times", says Loebner. "You can’t down tools and lock up shop at six in the evening when selling on Amazon. You’ll still find me working on Sundays and public holidays, as well as Christmas Day and thereafter."
Modest beginnings, big investment
The long-established Torgau business began selling on Amazon in 2013 – only five products at the time – while still under the aegis of Ingo’s father, Jörg Loebner. Two orders were received on the first night. From these modest beginnings quickly grew a flourishing online business that soon could no longer be handled out of the Torgau store. The Loebners have hence invested some six-digit investment to date in setting up their own logistics centre outside of Torgau and in automated pricing software designed to aid administration. New items added to the range can now be automatically listed and priced on Amazon in seconds. A new order arriving in the system is immediately acted upon by warehouse staff and the finished parcel is on its way within one day.
The toy retailer never considered storing its products in Amazon’s own warehouses as part of the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, although this would have considerably reduced the high logistical burden associated with meeting Amazon’s strict shipping requirements. "Even though we could save a few euros or maybe even reduce our headcount with FBA, we prefer to handle our own shipping", says Ingo Loebner. "This means we can be more independent."