Why Many Toys Don’t Come With Batteries: Unpacking the Cost and Safety Factors

Jan 2, 2024 | 0 comments

Ever wonder why most kids’ toys don’t come with batteries?

This crossed my mind again during the holidays as my kids were unwrapping their presents.

Having helped clients source and ship products with and without batteries, here’s a short list of reasons:

5 Reasons to Not Include Batteries

➡️1. Safety: No surprise here, right?

Batteries obviously contain chemicals that need special consideration.

Special handling, special shipping arrangements, and special warehousing.

That’s a whole lot of “special” that complicates the process.

➡️2. Affordability: It’s a key word these days.

And including batteries costs manufacturers—and therefore customers—more.

Not only because of the item cost.

But all of the above “special” considerations raise the cost at each turn.

➡️3. Compliance: Ah, the word that strikes fear into any seller’s heart.

Certifications, documents, applications, possible listing suppressions

It’s no wonder suppliers often find it easier to leave the batteries out.

➡️4. Shelf Life: Ever pick up an old flashlight only to discover the batteries are all corroded and “crusty?”

Without batteries, toys and other products can be stored for longer without the risk of battery-induced damage.

Some manufacturers opt to include “try me” temporary batteries which generally address the long-term storage issues.

➡️5. Safety (again): Without batteries, kids need to call an adult for help getting the toy working.

This limits the risk of a child mishandling or—worse—ingesting one.

It seems impossible to imagine someone swallowing a battery, but having raised three children I can definitely say there’s an “everything goes in the mouth” phase.

Those were some anxious years as a dad

Is it Worth Including Batteries? 

So, when it comes to batteries—ultimately, it’s a question of weighing the pros and cons.

Is it really worth including batteries with your product? 

A Client’s Experience

Case in point, we had a client recently who had to have their shipment with batteries diverted through a specialty facility in Hong Kong for export.

Instead of the normal Guangzhou port.

And… you guessed it—this increased the time and the cost.

But they did the math, and decided shipping with batteries was the best decision with all things considered.

A Little Fun

Have you read down to here? Then I have a special reward for you today.

My dad joke of the day:

What did the Battery say on his Blind Date? I have a lot of energy and I am a pretty positive guy. But I do have a negative side…

Ba-dum tss!

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