- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
Cheap Places to Find Great Kids Toys
How to Find Cheap Kid's Toys
The hottest place to find great toys for your kids? RESALE venues. No kidding.
With 4 kids of our own, my husband and I are not able (or willing) to spend a fortune on new toys. I've been on a quest to find great toys without paying exorbitant amounts of money.
Here are some of my favorite spots to shop:
A Great Toy for a Cheap Price
Top Places for Kid's Toys
1. RESALE stores
You may have to dig around in big piles, but you are sure to find one-of-a-kind treasures at a resale store. Goodwill and Salvation Army are the big names, but locally owned consignment shops are popping up all over the place these days. Shopping local is always a plus for me, so I prefer to go to the small businesses and purchase from there.
Along the lines of resale stores, some churches and charities are adding a resale store to their site. This allows people the chance to donate directly to the charity or church and know that their goods are being given to those in need or sold to generate money to help the charity's cause. A local give and receive operation.
Many of these stores are now offering NEW items that have been discontinued from places like Target or donated by local businesses, so if buying used has kept you from these places, let it hinder you no more.
2. GARAGE SALES
Look for local listings in newspapers or online sites such as Craigslist.org to get a heads up on where sales are going to be. I have the best luck with Neighborhood Garage Sales.... I enjoy walking a neighborhood and knowing that I will have several sales in the area to shop at. It saves me time and gas money and offers a chance for more variety.
If my neighborhood happens to host a garage sale, it is a big bonus: I get to walk my neighborhood and meet neighbors I may not usually get to see. I get to build bridges of relationships while searching for treasures for my kids. A swap of goods between neighbors is a good option in this case too (i.e. I will trade you this box of toys for the dish set I am trying to sell that I noticed you eyeing).
3. MOM'S SALES
Moms of Twins have their own sales and nowadays most cities have at least one yearly kids consignment gig going at the local fairgrounds or community center. These sales are often seasonal and great deals are to be found since most are run by local moms who recognize the importance of selling items at prices that are affordable for today's family.
If you happen to have some items you are willing to sell, you might as well consign those items in the sale. You can be making money of what you are selling while you are shopping for other items. In essence, you can make your purchases seem more like a "swap for free" if you limit your buying to the amount you have sold.
Type in the name of what you are looking for and, wallah, chances are someone in your area has one for sale. Chances are also pretty good for being able to negotiate the pricing of the item.
If I have trouble finding what I want in my area, I search in areas close to places I travel often (like my parent's house or my in law's house). I have been able to coordinate a visit with family and a pick up for a purchase in this way.
If I find an item that is a little too far for me to drive to, I call and ask the seller if he/she would be willing to meet me half way to get the item. This is appropriate only when the item I am buying is worth the money and time for both the seller and me (the buyer) to travel. I have done this on larger items or hard to find items.
What did we do without this site? Items listed here are often backed with some sort of return policy and you can easily read ratings of the seller. What big pluses for using this avenue. PayPal is accepted, which makes payment easy as well.
If you happen to find several items from the same seller and can communicate to them about your items being purchased, most sellers are willing to combine shipping prices. This will make your total payment due even a smaller number.
Not only do they offer new and used items, they also recommend items based on your buying history. And a lot of items ship for free. A click on your computer and a box delivered to your front porch. It's an easy, low stress experience.
7. Facebook groups
Facebook offers an option for people to make groups. Groups can be categorized in essentially any way people please. I have found several groups already started in my local area that sell or trade kids' toys. I ask to join the group (just a click on the Facebook site) and after acceptance I am free to browse the site for deals. I am able to comment under the posted picture on the group page and contact the seller through private messaging. No need to befriend everyone in the county to get deals from all over the county!
Using these Facebook sites, I have been able to purchase items I am looking for quickly and easily. Some sellers have been in my neighborhood. Can't get more convenient than that! Another plus to this site is that I am able to post a statement such as, "I am looking for......" Posting a statement about a specific item I am looking for on a site that usually is seen by hundreds, sometimes thousands of people in my local area has yielded great results in terms of helping me find items quickly. I post the statement and just wait while others contact me about finding the item for me. It's like having others shop and be on the lookout for me.
8. Your garage, under couches, and in closets
No kidding. Take a look in your garage. There are most likely some things out there that have been sitting there for a long time without being played with. Perhaps it is a box of toys you meant to donate or you thought your child(ren) outgrew. Bring in inside, let the kids rummage through it. They will most likely get to playing with something.
Many a favorite toy has accidently been stuck under a couch cushion or put in a closet only to be forgotten about for a time. Do a scavenger hunt around your house. Look in closets and corners and behind couches and under tables. Chances are some treasures will be found. The thrill of the hunt is an engaging and fun activity for all and perhaps you can find a way to dust or sweep those dark hidden places while you are searching.
and perhaps my favorite of all the ideas I've listed.....Swap a tub of toys with a friend. Absolutely zero cost to both of you. In the mind of children, "new" toys means toys that the child does not already own. My kids will play with almost anything if it is something new to them. Another plus to the toy swap idea: It's a good way to pass along that truck that has 7 noisy siren options that you are quite sick of hearing at early hours of the morning.