Embracing the web for international growthJul 20, 2019
Amazon Bedford LTN1 Market Seller Inside Out Toys Ltd Julian Director and his employees on tour in the FC centre. Nikki Garner ( (short Blond) Lesley Vance and Sri Alberadurm ( check Spelling) © Vicki Couchman Photographer 07957226911 vickicouchman.com
A TOYS and games entrepreneur has ramped up his partnership with the Amazon fulfilment centre to help his business export products from the town to customers around the world.
Julian Garner created Inside Out Toys in 2012 with the aim of selling quality toys at reasonable prices and runs the Milton Keynes-based business with his wife Nikki.
Julian’s idea to start his business came from taking his children to toy shops, where he noticed how expensive certain toys were for consumers. He believed he could bring the same toys to the market in the UK for a better price by importing them directly from the manufacturer.
His idea was simple – to sell the toys online at a better price than other retailers could offer. He quickly opened a store on Amazon and began selling products to customers in the local area and around the country.
Inside Out Toys grew at breakneck speed and today, more than half of Julian’s sales are exports to countries across Europe. It’s this pan-European demand for his products that led him to turn to the local Amazon fulfilment centre to stow, pick, pack and ship the toys to his multi-national customer base.
The success of his first business led to the creation of a new brand Jumini, which specialises in high quality, wooden toys that are sold direct to smaller retailers.
Julian uses a service called Fulfilment by Amazon, which makes selling across the world easy for SMEs.
Businesses simply send their products to Amazon’s fulfilment centres, where they are stowed and given Prime listing status to final shipping. Amazon also offers tracking, customer service and handles returns all over Europe.
Julian visited the Amazon site at Marston Gate, Ridgmont, to see how his products are fulfilled. During the tour, he met some of the staff that have played a key role in helping him to expand into markets far beyond Milton Keynes.
“The team at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Milton Keynes have been key in helping me grow my business and it’s been great to come along to the site and meet some of them,” he says. “I wanted to say thank you for everything they’ve done and continue to do for Inside Out Toys.
“When I first started the business, I quickly realised that I had two options. I could invest heavily in warehousing, staff and processes of my own or I could team up with a partner to look after that for me. That is when I came to Amazon and since then, I have not looked back.“ Our sales continue to be strong in the UK but it’s the pan-European market that’s really taken off for us.
“The beauty of having support from the people at the Milton Keynes fulfilment centre is they handle everything for me. Picking, packing, shipping and even customer service support means that I have more time and resource to dedicate to the areas of the business that I am most passionate about, leaving the rest to the experts at the fulfilment centre.
“The success I have had working with Amazon has also allowed me to create a second business, Jumini, which manufactures wooden toys. We sell the toys direct to smaller retailers and the idea behind the business is based on the focus on plastics and the need to embrace more renewable materials in all walks of life.”
The local entrepreneur visited Amazon as it geared up for one of the biggest sales events of the year – Prime Day on July 15 and 16 – to experience the journey their products take once a customer in the UK, Europe or further afield clicks ‘buy’ on the Amazon website.
At the site, he met some of the staff that have helped grow his business.
“Our team really enjoyed meeting Julian and loved showing him how we work to help his business grow,” says general manager Scott Wharton. “A key element of what we do at Amazon is helping small businesses to grow by exporting and we are proud of the part we’ve played in helping a local business like Inside Out Toys expand to international markets.”