Everything joyful and merry is upon us. And what’s more joyful than buying presents. The process is filled with more joy and less stress if you shop online. Maybe that’s why Black Friday sales went up by 21.6% from last year. Toys are one of the most sought-after presents. Many ecommerce sites and other publishers release their top toys list this time year, so parents and grandparents can plan their shopping. Children probably have the best time of all at Christmas.
We tapped into the Indix Cloud Catalog and tracked prices of 15 randomly-picked toys from Amazon’s Top Holiday Toys list. To get a sense of competitive pricing, we started tracking a month before Thanksgiving at both Amazon.com and Walmart.com. The dataset included five boys’ toys, five girls’ toys, and five gender-neutral toys.
Our biggest takeaway was that overall, although both stores had frequent price fluctuations, neither Amazon nor Walmart showed any major noticeable price drops on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Also, both stores were mirroring each other’s prices throughout the month to be competitive. Individually, the toys had their own story to tell. Here are the toys we looked at:
Amazon and Walmart competed on price for the Hot Wheels AI Intelligent Race System Starter Kit through the month. It was cheapest a few days before Thanksgiving ($60.79 on Amazon). On Black Friday, it was $75.99 on Amazon and $62.83 on Walmart. On the other hand, the LEGO City Airport Air Show Building Kit was priced consistently for the whole month at both stores (at $57.59) and saw a significant increase (to $71.99) around Thanksgiving. Walmart changed the price right after Amazon did. Pricing for the Lionel Polar Express Train Set had an interesting pricing route. Until November 11, it was priced at $99 at both stores. Then both stores dropped the price to $75.99 until November 22. And then they went their own way with the price at Walmart ($123.94) being almost double as that at Amazon ($69.99) on Black Friday.
The good news is, we didn’t find any instances of gendered pricing among the 15 toys we looked at. Girls’ toys had the same random patterns as boys’. For instance, Walmart didn’t change the price of the Fischer-Price Shimmer and Shine Magic Flying Carpet (at $23) during the one month period. The Barbie Dream House was most economical at both stores until November 9 at $141.59. The price increased by about $20 after that and then settled around $149.99 around Thanksgiving. If you bought the DreamWorks Trolls Hug Tim Poppy doll on Black Friday, you got a good deal. The price at Walmart almost doubled (at $97.98) after the holiday.
The ever-lovable Elmo was actually cheapest around Thanksgiving on Amazon at $29. Prior to the holiday, both Amazon and Walmart were mirroring each other’s prices in the $35-$45 range. Want to get a Selfie Mic Music Set for your little performer? You’re better off buying that one at Amazon – the price was consistently lower there throughout the month. However, if you want to get a EasyScore Basketball Set, you’re likely to find the better deal at Walmart. The product was about $6 more expensive at Amazon throughout the month. The prices were closer to each other around Black Friday but Walmart was still cheaper at $22.97.
Although this was by no means a comprehensive dataset, we did see that there were no particular screaming deals on Thanksgiving. For many of the toys the prices were actually lower during the earlier part of the month. This shows once again that price isn’t everything. Many other factors come into play during heavy shopping season. What do you think about heavy discounting and price wars? Let us know in the comments below.