Ball Bearing Manufacturers Are Jacking Up Prices Due to Fidget Spinner Demand
Seriously, this fidget spinner craze is getting out of hand (no pun intended). It's becoming such a phenomenon, that many suppliers of fidget spinners are having trouble keeping up with the demand. In some cases, manufacturers of vital parts of the toy, like ball bearings, are asking for exorbitant amounts of money to work to keep up with the demand.
Some companies have told The New York Post that Asian manufacturers are "hoarding" ball bearings, and charging between 50 to 200 percent more than normal.
Zing, a Portland, Oregon-based company that sells two kinds of fidget spinners, told The New York Post that the company was forced to bring "bags of cash" to factories in China to ensure that orders are fulfilled.
In the promotional products sector, companies like Bridgeport, Connecticut-based Prime Line have hopped on the fidget spinner bandwagon in a big way. Because of this, some have seen similar problems. Jeff Lederer, CEO of Prime Line, said his company hasn't specifically had to deal with such issues, but credits that to getting in at the right time.
"Prime was the first supplier to commit to the spinners," he said. "Because of our early planning, we were able to line up the best factories to produce this for us. We have tons of inventory, but it fluctuates every day, as demand heats up and our inventory is being replaced daily. I have heard the same stories, specifically about bearing shortages. But, in general, Prime has not experienced an interruption in inventory flow."
To deal with the markup on bearings prices, Zing started essentially hoarding ball bearings, buying them in bulk so they don't run out as demand increases.
"The factories would tell us, 'We don't have any more of the ball bearings unless you want to pay more,'" Zing vice president Josh Loerzel told The New York Post. "That's why we had to change our tactics."
Fanatics, the online sports merchandise retailer, reportedly saw sales of fidget spinners increase 1,000 percent over the last week alone, as sports fans wanted to get their hands on the items with their favorite teams' logos.
"We see this trend continuing through the back-to-school season and possibly through the holidays," Fanatics president of merchandising Jack Boyle told The New York Post.
For promotional products suppliers and distributors looking to include fidget spinners in future promotions, be aware of this price hike, and make sure your factories are keeping up with demand to ensure everything lands in the end-buyers' hands as expected.