- 05 Apr 2017
We have never been asked why Chibebe is the best baby beanbag on the market. It is obvious. Just a quick glance tells it all. There are others out there who try to compete, but none are comparable to a Chibebe product, and those who purchase a cheaper one is obviously someone who thinks that just because the shape is similar, the product must be the same. They are someone who is not aware of what makes a product amazing and ethical. So we're here to sort that out. Grab a coffee and read on...
We are Australias original baby beanbag, We introduced the product to Australia. We have had others attempt to use our success to their own advantage, yet there is no comparison. Most try to use the same jargon we use to appear as professional. They try to duplicate our content because they assume they can get away with it. We ignore them as their target market is not the same as ours. We also prefer to focus on being the best that we can be, and not lose our focus because of these sellers. Their customer is one that wants a cheap product over a quality one. A Chibebe parent wants the best for their child and will either purchase the Snuggle Pod for this reason, or not buy a baby beanbag at all. If they cannot afford a Chibebe Snuggle Pod, they will pop it on their baby shower wish list and cross their fingers that they get one. They won't sacrifice on quality just for the price.
These cheaper stores think they're getting away with using us as inspiration to make a quick buck, even right down to using the same words that we use, but we know about them....we just don't care, because they're obviously just trying to make a quick buck, possibly at the risk of your baby's safety. They don't concern us as a brand, as a savvy shopper knows how to tell a high quality product from a low one.
The only concern we do hold, is for the un-savvy shopper who purchases a baby beanbag without knowing the facts.
We also believe that shoppers are getting savvier every day and we are seeing the trend as time passes, that they are getting frustrated with unethical sellers and those who possibly even consider themselves ethical yet don't do the hard yards to ensure a high quality product is made.
Originality: We introduced the baby beanbag to Australia circa 2007. It would have been 2 years earlier if we wanted an easy launch and were willing to suffer consequences, but that's not how we roll.
Hard Yards: It was a loooong ride to the launch of our baby bean bags, as we wanted to launch it 2 years prior, but no-one was able to help us with knowing what standards we had to meet, not even the ACCC, as it was a brand new product, never seen before here, so no-one knew what labelling to put on it; what testing we needed for it, etc. This is a product for babies, so we refused to launch it without testing it for use by babies! We were told by many people to just launch it as they could see how awesome it was. This was our first experience of how some people will just sell a baby product without worrying about the potential consequences! However, we stuck to our guns, and refused to launch it until we had some kind of testing done, to ensure it was safe for use by babies. This took us 2 years(!!!) to investigate and work it out with the ACCC and the consumer testing laboratory, to be super safe. At this point, not even the ACCC were too sure what to do, as it was a new product, but the eventual testing at least covered all of our concerns for safe use by babies. Forgive us, but we're all adults here, so for the first time ever, to let you know how serious we are about our product, we're going to say something rude, so you know that this was, and will always be, our thought process: Selling baby products is serious s##t! So we weren't about to launch anything without a certified report to show we did everything in our power to ensure we had the safest baby beanbag ever!
Launch: After we got our gorgeous little baby bean bag tested; had a gorgeous website made up; paid $$$ for marketing etc, we launched! We became successful quite fast. But we found that alot of ebay sellers wanted a piece of our pie, and started selling cheaper, nastier versions of the product. We expected this, which is why we started out being the very best, and remain so. We set a standard for quality that is non-comparable to this day. We trusted that parents wanted only the best for their child, so we weren't concerned about these sellers. But it seemed that some parents weren't aware that there was a better option out there, and some might have been, but were still willing to take the risk as they were price driven, not quality driven.
Standards Implementation: Finally, the baby beanbag product now got some serious attention from the ACCC as there were ebay sellers selling beanbags with no labelling, unsafe zippers with tags that a baby could swallow etc. It now wasn't just us selling this type of product. There were others, and they were not aware of how dangerous their product was. Selling baby products is a far cry from selling USB sticks or hair extensions. This was a baby products, and it was everywhere, and there HAD to be some sort of official standards put in place. The ACCC eventually decided that baby beanbags would come under the 'beanbag' standard, as it was, in their eyes, a beanbag. We were relieved to at least have some sort of finality on the standards that had to be met, but it took about a year to get over some hiccups until the standard was fully understood. It was still our preference that a standard be made just for this type of product, as it is a beanbag for babies, not adults, and we felt the standards were too generic. The standards were quite basic, and didn't require any sort of testing at all. Sellers simply had to ensure that zipper pullers were removed from certain zippers, and the labelling had to be right.
Voluntary Standards: We're a fussy bunch here at Chibebe, and we felt that there should be mandatory lab testing to ensure that the chemicals in the fabrics were safe, and that flammability was tested, just like baby clothing was. There were other aspects that concerned us also, that should have been tested for. This was not, and is still not mandatory, yet we undertake these tests on a regular basis, among other tests. The current standards allow for fabrics for baby beanbags on the market, are more than likely purchased from China markets...we know this because we have been importing from China for over 16 years now, and we know that all suppliers will source fabrics from their Chinese markets unless you have them made yourself, which is extremely costly, hence you cannot afford to sell a beanbag for only $49 if you go this way. We have had these market fabrics tested before we decided to go with our own exclusive designs, and they always failed the tests, hence the reason we began manufacturing the fabrics for our brand, giving us complete control to ensure they pass laboratory testing to meet our own high standards for baby use. Most people just think of all baby beanbags as being the same. But they're not. Chibebe baby beanbags go through alot before we allow them to be made and sold!
Quality: No other brand, and we mean no other brand, compares to a Chibebe Snuggle Pod. This is obvious at a glance, even to the most un-savvy shopper. Others try to pass themselves off as a competitor, but we don't consider ourselves to have one. As the Mariah song goes, 'Often imitated, never duplicated'.
Branding: We eventually launched the baby beanbag, which we originally branded Retro Owl. We just liked the sound of it. But it didn't have a great ring to it, for the product that it represented. So we went with Slumber Pod, which sounded great, and we hadn't heard the world 'slumber' used in decades....it is an old term, but has made a comeback in recent times, so to prevent people getting confused, thinking that the Pod is a tool to replace a cot (ie: 'to slumber in'), we changed to the Snuggle Pod. The name is so apt, as our Pods are super snuggly and comfy!
Testing: Other stores do not test their products in a laboratory. If they say they are tested, they more than likely simply mean that they have looked over the product (ie: tested) themselves at home or wherever they are working from. Lab testing costs thousands. You cannot sell this product at a mere $49 if they are tested in a lab. Especially in our case, where we don't conduct testing just once in a lifetime. We do it on a regular basis as the Chibebe parent cares about these things.
Materials: Our fabrics, zippers, buckles and all other parts are also made just for us. They are not made from cheap Chinese market fabrics. Our brand is featured on each and every design for authenticity, and not just on a cheap label. Our seats are not made from 'sweaty suede' as we call it. This is cheap, nasty fabric and is common for a Chinese factory to offer to sellers who want a cheap product to sell quickly. If a seller tells you that their fabric is made for them also, then ask why their logo is not printed on it (not just ironed on etc). Also ask for the lab test results....because, why would you make your own fabric if you weren't concerned about the chemicals levels etc? If they are still selling their product for less than a Chibebe one, question the authenticity of their claims. Excuses can always be made...it's the end price and quality that determines the truth.
Colors: Our base fabrics, seat fabrics, rockers and pod warmers etc, are made to our strict color instructions. This means they cannot be bought from a Chinese market, as most normally do, to cut cost. Everything is made just for us, to our strict color instructions. In addition, they must meet our high standards. Being a fussy bunch, we give our suppliers a headache with each and every order, but they appreciate our attention to detail and love working with us. This is why the Chibebe seat and rocker color range is so perfectly matched to each and every Snuggle Pod design. We don't do ugly shades of orange or brown etc....this would be a sure sign that we just accepted whatever color was picked from the China markets. We carefully decide which colors are to be used in our ranges, and they are made especially for Chibebe. Each and every color of our Pods and accessories are exclusively designed to be mixed and matched. Yummy!
Inner Bag: the inner bag for the baby beanbag is a registered design of Chibebe, to make it easier for parents to wash the beanbag cover at any time without making a mess when removing the beans. If someone else offers the same thing, they're doing so illegally. Question their ethics and due diligence.
Chemicals & Flammability: All fabrics used in baby furnishings are more than likely dyed in some way. In China, there is no strict rule on how this is done, and most of the time, unless they are ethically made, they contain high levels of dangerous chemicals.
(Chinese market fabrics are normally not ethically made). Our fabrics are tested for chemicals and flammability, and meet the strict Australian standards for safe use by babies. As mentioned above, these are voluntary tests, and if you undertake it, the criteria is strict. Parents are always amazed when they discover that these tests are not mandatory for this product, and we don't blame them!
Agencies: We have nothing to hide. We work with agencies such as the ACCC, to ensure it is very clear what a baby beanbag is, and how it should be used. We played a part in the re-labelling of beanbags in 2015/16 and are proud to be vocal leaders in the baby beanbag industry in Australia.
Accessories: We design and manufacture accessories for our Pods. We don't just sell baby beanbags to make a quick buck. We are specialists in this product. We take it very seriously. You cannot engineer and manufacture accessories if you are only selling this product at $49, $59 or even $79.
Packaging Etc: The Chibebe Snuggle Pod is so much more than just a baby beanbag, It is an experience. It is something we take pride and joy in. From the gift cards to the tote bags for gifting, to the amazingly gorgeous packaging for all of our products, the Chibebe Snuggle Pod is the perfect baby gift for your own child or a loved ones.
User Friendly Website: Even our website exudes quality, and we have never seen another like it. Even so, we continuously work on it to make it super user friendly and fun to use.
Trademarks: We are trademarked all over the world. We are not a stay-at-home business. We own the warehouse which holds our products. We run a company. We take our brand very seriously, and have distribution centres in Australia, the USA and NZ.
Registrations: Have you ever wondered why there are no other baby beanbag 'brands' that sell the rocker or other accessory that we do? All of our accessories are registered to us, so that they cannot be copied. We see the unethical practices of other brands who try to use our success to their advantage, so we protect ourselves legally, and this also costs money. You can't sell a baby beanbag at a measly $49 if you take your brand and inventions as seriously as we do and take all avenues to protect it.
Staff: We also have staff. They don't work for free. If we were not so serious about our product, and ensuring babies rest safe in our Pods, we would be working from home, making a yummy roast for dinner tonight while writing this right now. But instead, we are sitting at our desks, in the office, in our warehouse, writing this. We're all very hands on and are there for each other. We will soon finish up on this topic, then check to see if our awesome customer service guru has booked all orders in for the day so far, then they'll be printed off to hand to the warehouse to pack, and then we'll get back to work on some amazing new products we can't wait to bring to you.
Legal: Golly gosh. We have spent a fortune on IP Lawyers to stop sellers who think they can infringe on our IP Property. We have a great IP Law Firm we have worked with for many years. We prefer to settle things outside of using them, as it can be quite costly for both sides, but in the end, we will do what it takes to protect our brand and creations.
MISC: There is so much more that goes into ensuring your Chibebe product, and your Chibebe experience, is the best you can get. Much, much more that can be mentioned. It is an exhaustive list, and you have to love hard work and coffee to be us!
Target Market: Touching on this again, we do not target those wanting a cheap product, as this means compromising on quality. We're talking about babies here. We refuse to lower our standards. We'd rather you not purchase a baby beanbag at all, not even a Chibebe Snuggle Pod, if you can't afford our $99 price tag.
Price Matching: Please do not ask us to 'price match'. We don't do this, as the Chibebe Snuggle Pod is nothing like any other out there who have tried to be comparable, but are not. We do not align ourselves to any other baby beanbag brand and it never ceases to amaze us of the lack of ethics some stores who dare to assume they come close. We will not compromise on our quality to be able to price match a cheaper brand who has not taken the same level of pride in their products as we do. We do not point fingers or name names of the unethical to prove our point. We rely on your smarts to make the right choice for your child.
What We Consider To Be Unethical? *Anyone who does not do the hard yards to create the very best product for your child, at any cost (this covers all of the above and more, as we have some in-house secrets that we won't divulge, as it can be copied and used by others to cheat someone into buying their unethically made products). *Someone who copies content and changes a word here and there to make it 'authentic'. *Sellers who claim that their product is sold to them by the actual factory that Chibebe uses. This is impossible. They are liars. *Someone who tries to 'put down' another brand. We feel we are in a position to do so, given our experiences, yet we don't. Its unethical, even if they deserve it.